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SXSW Interactive 2015

Shakespeare and the Future of Interactive Stories

This presentation will look at the future of theatrical storytelling in a world where content is increasingly being delivered via the Internet. It will centre its arguments on a report on Ravensbourne's educational projects with the Royal Shakespeare Company, which began with Tim Crouch’s play I, Cinna and have continued with a production of Richard II starring former Dr Who star David Tennant, viewed by over 30,000 UK schoolchildren. It has since evolved into a three-year programme of events that will further push the boundaries of online delivery for theatrical content. The presentation argues that screen narratives are entering an era where the data-oriented culture of the Web will become increasingly influential in shaping story form and content. In particular, the latest Internet standards, including HTML 5 and Semantic Web implementations, allow Internet content delivery much greater integration between audiovisual, textual, and social elements.

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  1. How do you present traditional theatre like Shakespeare to a school audience who have grown up with participatory online culture and are used to a less passive role than being mere viewers, whilst still maintaining the value of the dramatic tradition?
  2. The Ravensbourne RSC projects are entirely built and managed by university students, for schoolchildren. How do you manage the balance between providing an educational experience for the university students working on the project, whilst delivering a professional-grade interactive and educational audiovisual event for the schoolchildren-participants?
  3. What are the problems with delivering audiovisual content into schools, and how can you overcome them? How do you get round draconian security policies, restrictions on the use of social media, and the limited technical abilities of some teachers?
  4. What are the implications of projects like the events Ravensbourne has created with the RSC for online education in general? Can these techniques be integrated into wider educational strategies for the Internet age?
  5. How can the latest Web technologies aid the creation of more engaging, participatory audiovisual stories that allow viewers to be part of the process without losing narrative depth, as can often be the case with gamified storytelling?


  • James Morris, Subject Leader, BA (Hons) Web Media, Ravensbourne


James Morris, Subject Leader, BA (Hons) Web Media, Ravensbourne

Meta Information:

  • Tags: narrative
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Content and Distribution
  • Level: Beginner
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