Resident Fellow Speaker Series: Suzanne Tanner

"Shakespeare’s Stage and Page as Interfaces"

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Interfaces, or boundary spaces of interaction between two systems, are primarily observed in screen media, though they exist in every area of life. Expanding the study of interface beyond screens and considering a material text, such as a Shakespearean printed play or performance, as an interface between “users” (the audience) and the “play system” (story world of the play), offers several important contributions to the ideas of media and materiality studies. One contribution includes reframing the goal of media as providing access to the user (a primary goal of interface), which allows us to move beyond the frequently cited but often problematic goal of media as mimetic representation. Further, interface theory allows us to consider Shakespearean text and performance design in creating a user-oriented experience, centering the audience/reader and their cognitive response to the interface features of the play.

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