Enhancing Shakespeare Through a Mobile App
2016 - Present
Repercussion and Plank joined forces during a pro-bono session to help the theatre better serve its francophone audience during Shakespeare-in-the-Park productions. The theatre wanted a web app designed for a mobile view, that would allow people to read the text in French on any mobile device at their own pace. It was all part of expanding the theatre’s reach and giving a wider audience in Montreal’s diverse city, a chance to enjoy the Bard’s work.
Why this project was a success
Designed an optimal mobile app with quick loading times and minimal data usage.
Built a bold new immersive approach to expand the theatre’s reach and community.
Engaged and enhanced the viewing experience of a bilingual audience.
An app to follow Shakespeare
With our partnership now spanning several years, the initial app has evolved and changed since it was first created in 2016. The first edition required prompts pushed from a stage manager at the appropriate time.
Updated editions allow users to navigate the text and choose the desired act and scene. Alternately, you can select an act and just start scrolling. To facilitate the experience, the scene being acted out on stage is highlighted in flashing blue.
Plank’s partnership has made possible things we thought – as a small organization – were unimaginable. They get as excited about dealing with challenges as we do, and are always trying to best understand what we’re trying to do as a company in order to ensure that the result is truly aligned with who we are. Working with Plank has been an unexpected and utterly fulfilling gift.Amanda Kellock, Artistic Director, Repercussion Theatre
The future looks bright
From Romeo and Juliet to Measure for Measure, designs for Repercussions web app were updated each year to match the look and feel of the play being performed. Fonts were carefully chosen so they would work when data connection was poor (sitting in a park or a cemetery!), so they required as little loading time as possible. The app has been optimized to use a minimal amount of data – about 1 MB per page-refresh.
Taking a bow
Plank and Repercussion Theatre have formed a special and lasting relationship. One where both parties are engaged and committed to creating something new and exciting each season. This web app technology optimized for a mobile view is unique. Translating a play into another language while the performance is actually going on, is building on a bold new approach to engaging theatre audiences through technology.
About the client
Montreal’s Repercussion Theatre was founded in 1988 and is best known for its annual Shakespeare-in-the-Park summer tour. This professional theatre company and non-profit arts organization prides itself on artistic excellence, social relevance and accessibility.