Digital Scripts on a Virtual Stage: The Design of New Online Tools for Drama Students

S. Sinclair, S. Gabriele, S. Ruecker, and A. Sapp (Canada)


Kinetic text, drama, interface design


Students interested in studying scripts might have a variety of goals and requirements, in part depending on whether they are actors, directors, or literary scholars. In each case, the needs of the students differ slightly, although all are typically involved both in reading the text and watching performances. This paper describes the design of an online system that introduces another alternative for all three groups: the ability to watch the script play itself out dynamically on a virtual stage. By combining this virtual playback with a number of tools for selecting relevant passages and controlling the motion, as well as drawing on any available encoding in the text, this online prototype will have the potential to provide an instructional experience that brings together some of the best features from the printed page and the live staged or filmed production.

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