Creating, Publishing, and Evaluating Virtual Performance Venues

I propose a discussion on the possibilities and challenges of incorporating virtually reconstructed performance venues into scholarly research, cultural heritage management, and performance practices. I am trained as a literature and performance studies scholar and have just begun using Sketchup to reconstruct one of the venues I study. I would like to begin our discussion by introducing the London Charter for the Computer-based Visualisation of Cultural Heritage, which “seeks to establish what is required for 3D visualisation to be, and to be seen to be, as intellectually rigorous and robust as any other research method.” The charter emphasizes the importance of intellectual transparency in 3D visualization, which I hope will get us right into a discussion about why we might reconstruct performance venues virtually and how we might best ensure that this quite time-consuming work contributes productively to our respective fields.

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About Mary Isbell

I am a Postdoctoral Associate in Interdisciplinary Performance Studies at Yale (IPSY), and received my PhD in English from the University of Connecticut in May 2013. I specialize in nineteenth-century literature and performance history, and am revising my dissertation, Amateurs: Home, Shipboard, and Public Theatricals in the Nineteenth Century, for publication. I am learning the intricacies of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) as I prepare a digital edition of The Young Idea, a rare journal that was circulated in manuscript aboard the HMS Chesapeake and printed by facsimile in London in 1867. At the Digital Humanities Summer Institute in Victoria, I took a course on 3D modeling (using the free program, Sketchup) and am working now on a model of the makeshift theatre constructed aboard the Chesapeake. I am very interested in reconstructing performance venues that no longer exist and using those virtual venues as platforms for future performances. With Judith Hawley, I direct the international interdisciplinary network known as RAPPT (Research into Amateur Performance and Private Theatricals) and maintain the website rappt.org.