This is part of a weekly series here at TSS: Early Modern and Open Access regularly showcases peer-reviewed articles (or other resources) of interest to early modernists that are freely available in open access formats.
This week, Early Modern and Open Access brings you a double feature! If you haven’t yet heard of Digital Acting Parts or Digital Renaissance Editions, there’s no time like the present to familiarize yourself with both of these fantastic (and free!) resources.
Firstly, Digital Acting Parts is hosted at Texas A&M University. You can find the project online here, and this is its raison d’être:
In the early modern period, rather than having access to a full-text play, actors learned their lines using “Actors’ parts,” hastily handwritten documents that provided them with only their cues and lines. Traditionally, today’s actors learn their lines from full-text plays, without any computer assistance. Digital Acting Parts (DAP) is an online environment that both mimics and enhances the early modern acting experience in order to facilitate actors learning their lines. DAP is the first project to give users an interactive experience with an early-modern-inspired “actor’s part,” which encourages both active reading and memorization, in turn leading to a better understanding of the texts themselves.
Secondly, Digital Renaissance Editions, which you’ll find online here, is a newly launched collaborative venture involving the participation of the University of Victoria (in Canada) and the University of Western Australia. Here’s the project’s description of what’s currently available and what’s imagined for the future of their site:
publishes electronic scholarly editions of early English drama and texts of related interest, from late medieval moralities and Tudor interludes, occasional entertainments and civic pageants, academic and closet drama, and the plays of the commercial London theaters, through to the drama of the Civil War and Interregnum. Inspired by the and using the same publication platform, editions include photo-facsimiles and diplomatic transcriptions of early textual witnesses alongside a modern-spelling text with full critical apparatus and generous introductory and supplementary materials. With its focus on producing peer-reviewed scholarly editions of plays by Shakespeare’s immediate predecessors, contemporaries, and successors, the project is dedicated to expanding the range of early English drama available for study, teaching, and performance. To complement and enrich the editions, the project also includes a comprising a growing collection of multimedia materials related to early English drama on stage and screen, as well as a of freshly commissioned, peer-reviewed essays on the plays and their historical, cultural, social, political, and theatrical contexts.