ACU Theatre makes Shakespeare interactive


A New Kind of Theatre 

When is the last time you attended a show and were reminded to keep your phone on?

"Twenty years ago, the Abilene Shakespeare Festival began with its first performance of "Othello," says Adam Hester, chair of ACU's Department of Theatre. "For our 20th anniversary, I thought, why not take a fully new approach to that play?"

Hester and his troop relied on Shakespeare's original text for their script, then made use of cutting-edge technology both on stage and off to bring the story into the modern era.

The truly innovative twist? Attendees were invited to use their iPhones to receive messages throughout the performance. Cast members worked behind the scenes to clarify difficult Shakespearean vocabulary, to share brief scene summaries, and to interact with audience members through a live blog.

"We wanted the audience to feel completely connected," says Hester.

Watch the video and see how the pairing of Shakespeare’s 400-year-old play with state-of-the-art mobile technology took this particular theater experience to a whole new level.

The Promise