ROMEO+JULIET: THE SHAKESPEARE APP
What’s in a name? That which we call an "app"… Four years ago, Prof. Daniel Fischlin envisioned an affordable, content-rich multimedia device delivering literary classics to the digital generation. Now that Romeo + Juliet: The Shakespeare App is available for iPads, iPhones and iPods, the University of Guelph professor can be satisfied that Shakespeare is but a click away.
“I wanted to create a unique teaching and learning tool that appeals to the tech-savvy among us, and I’m relieved that the app passed Apple’s rigorous review process,” Fischlin said. “I’m also keenly aware of how much more there is to do in terms of making it accessible on other software platforms.”
Fischlin, University Research Chair and a professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies (SETS), worked with student research assistants and members of the Guelph IT community to develop Romeo + Juliet: The Shakespeare App.
“When I launched the Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project (CASP) in 2004, I recognized the fact that youth spend significant amounts of time in digital environments not always geared toward quality content or learning in positive ways. By 2007, I felt that something more interactive would be interesting for young people, and the app grew from there,” said Fischlin.
The Romeo + Juliet application offers note-taking and share functions as well as images for challenging words, making it ideal for Shakespeare neophytes, according to Fischlin.
“It’s organized in a user-friendly interface that can appeal to students, teachers and performers alike. With the app, you can watch videos of set designers, dramaturges, critics and playwrights talking about the play from their own perspectives, and all the source texts Shakespeare used to write the play are also available in digital format,” he said.
“This app probably offers the most complete, media-rich version of Romeo and Juliet ever created. It is intended to provide a template not only for Shakespeare’s works but also for just about any other text.”