From the archive: Shakespeare’s digital heartbeat

At our 2012 event in Brighton, Sarah Ellis, digital producer at the RSC, spoke at our event about the work she is doing to represent Shakespeare today online. For those that missed the event, or who want to revisit what she had to say, we’ve published an audio visual Slideshare version of her talk here.

It would be easy for a hugely successful organisation like the Royal Shakespeare Company to take a complacent view towards its digital content strategy. Afterall, it’s a theatre company first and foremost. Live performances are its “content” not iPhone apps or blog posts. It has a hugely loyal fan base of Shakespeare-loving theatre goers who will probably come to productions come what may. It has an international reputation for artistic excellence and can attract the world’s greatest actors to tread the boards in its theatres in Stratford-on-Avon. And everyone knows Shakespeare, right? So does the RSC really need to “engage” online?

Sarah took us on a fascinating journey into the culture and passion that beats at the heart of the RSC. Complacency definitely isn’t an element in its digital strategy. Quite the reverse. Sarah and others in the team there are leading work to reach out, through digital content, to people who might not ordinarily connect with Shakespeare or theatre. And at the same time, she’s helping the organisation to understand that through digital content people are able to create their own relationships with Shakespeare and his words. And that this has an implication for the work that the RSC produces.

As Sarah puts it: “the narrative has been fractured” by the way that we all interact with digital content and the RSC needs to understand what that means for its own role as a theatre maker in the future.

We were really delighted to welcome Sarah to Cool Content Coming Soon. You can see what attendees thought about her presentation in the video clip created by our partners Zone below. If you want to ask Sarah a question about what she had to say, why not join our LinkedIn group and ask her there?

Cool Content Coming Soon 2012: Sarah Ellis, Royal Shakespeare Company talk from Zone on Vimeo.

We’ll be posting about our other cool speakers soon.


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