Performance Shakespeare 2016 is a digital archive that captures a selection of worldwide performances of Shakespeare in the anniversary year.
The digital archive is arranged and searchable by play and area. This design reflects our objectives for the project: inclusivity, accessibility, and grassroots participation. The goal was never to be fully comprehensive, authoritative, or to collect ‘the best’ of Shakespeare in performance in 2016.
We sought out contributions from scholars, theatre companies, and interested audiences worldwide, and have been thrilled by the diversity, scope, and quality of the productions that we have archived here. This grassroots approach has meant that we have had contributions from a range of styles, theatres, and traditions, from street performance to national stages. This approach has also allowed us to expand beyond academic imperatives and current discourses around “global Shakespeare” because the archive has created a platform for contributors to decide what productions they saw and found interesting. We have not imposed a value of what is worth remembering, but have left that question open for future generations of scholars and students.
Each entry in the archive includes a brief description in English, but we have encouraged contributors to include materials in the production’s own language(s) to ensure usability for their local performance, academic, and student communities.
The archive of 435 entries across 83 countries is, and will continue to be, an open access resource. It will be archived by the Shakespeare400 consortium until 2022, and in perpetuity by the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Project leaders Susan Bennett (University of Calgary, Canada) and Sonia Massai (King’s College London) are grateful to the Web Director, Jess Nicol, to their Research Assistants, Benjamin Blyth, Rowena Hawkins, Shana Krisiloff, and Aimee Morris, and to all the academics and theatre professionals who have helped us build the digital platform. Shakespeare400—a consortium of cultural and creative partners led by King’s College London—and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada sponsored the Performance Shakespeare 2016 project.
Note: Many blog entries were uploaded from information provided by contributors (who are listed under "Project Team") and were not moderated or fact-checked. This project is now complete and we are not able to accept new contributions.
King’s College London and the University of Calgary accept no responsibility for the content of external websites.