Interfacing Shakespeare Onscreen
Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Interface (2023), ed. Clifford Werier and Paul Budra, pp. 332-344 :::: DOI: 10.4324/9780367821722-30
The screen as an interface immerses audiences in an alternate universe. As a result, that interface seems transparent. Through analyses of performances that call attention to filmic genres, such as Edgar Wright’s parody film, Hot Fuzz (2007), and the Wooster Group’s multimedia production, Hamlet (2007), as well as (meta)theatrical operations on small screens within cinematic and digital performances, such as Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus (2011), the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Dream (2021), and Michael Almereyda’s film Hamlet (2000), this chapter argues that the screen is an interface that generates dramatic meanings and that promotes audiences’ self-reflexivity.
Performance, as a medium, interfaces with textual variants, audience expectations, and site-specific arts—artworks produced and consumed at specific physical sites and in designated social spaces. Performances with screens as interface, in particular, create celluloid and digital pathways to various ideologies. The interface between humans (story-tellers) and machines (technologies of representation) governs the very logic of screened performance as a narrative medium.
With case studies showing how screens big and small have become more than technologies of representation, this chapter reveals the central place of screen as interface between the different universes of the characters, the performers, and the audiences.