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date: 17 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

One dimension of contemporary Shakespeare, and of contemporary theatre more widely, is its involvement in technicity: the critique of the relation between notions of technology and the human. Taking Annie Dorsen’s A Piece of Work—an ‘algorithmic’ performance of Hamlet—as touchstone, this chapter explores the relationship between acting, print, digital textuality, and code in the fashioning of the contemporary technology of Shakespearean theatre, a theatre—like all theatre, perhaps—that enacts a principle of deformance with regard to literary notions of the drama. Literalizing a vision of text-driven performance, A Piece of Work marks the interplay between textuality and acting as technologies within a theatre undergoing constant technological transformation.

Keywords: Key terms, Acting, algorithmic performance, code, digital textuality, technicity, text-driven performance, deformance

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