Shakespeare site adds iPhone/iPod compatibility, resizer for visually impaired and private site sections for classrooms
The comprehensive free Web site, PlayShakespeare.com, which made its official launch earlier this year, has added several useful new features for users, educators, theater companies and reviewers.
The Web site now offers a text resizer for the visually impaired.
"We have a wide population of users, including a scholarly population from the senior community. This feature should help make reading the texts online a lot easier for seniors and those who are visually impaired," said Ron Severdia of Mill Valley, founder of PlayShakespeare.com.
For users of the iPhone and latest iPods, PlayShakespeare.com has forged a new partnership with Readdle.com for free eBook versions of all Shakespeare's plays.
"PlayShakespeare.com has provided us with high-quality texts of William Shakespeare's masterpieces. Now our wide audience of users can enjoy reading them along with our other classics. It was a great luck that we found such a good partner," notes Igor Zhadanov, founder of Readdle.com .
PlayShakespeare.com has fulfilled the site users' most popular request for full texts on a single page, a feature which helps dramaturgs, directors, and theater professionals copy an entire play for their own production.
The PlayShakespeare.com team is expanding. Under the guidance of Editor-in-Chief and Bay Area theatre critic Denise Battista, reviewers in all the major Shakespeare "hotspots" around the world contribute reviews and commentary on theatrical performances, books and films related to Shakespeare and his works.
The site now has an archive for downloading hard-to-find documents, audio recordings and users can now submit documents, papers, and dissertations for distribution. There is a new FAQs section so users can get immediate answers to the most common issues and questions.
Earlier this year, the Royal Shakespeare Company announced their own edition of Shakespeare's Complete Works and editor Jonathan Bates has chosen the First Folio versions as the standard for all RSC performances going forward. All of these editions are now freely available on PlayShakespeare.com.
An expanded news section features syndicated Shakespeare news from around the world and stories by staffers of PlayShakespeare.com.
Educators can now have their own private section of the PlayShakespeare.com forum for discussing class activities and homework. The special section would only be visible and accessible by the specific school or class and students of that class.
"This free new function allows for communication and participation outside the classroom and enables students to help each other with Shakespeare-related questions," explained Severdia. "It's classroom communication of the future."
Other new features being added to the Web site will soon include an international performance calendar, which enables theater companies around the world to add their season of performances, allowing users to find performances in cities around the world. A new customized searching tool will offer advance searches of the entire site, all plays or individual plays.
The site continues to feature ongoing reviews of Shakespeare productions on stage and screen by a network of noted critics; a "Links" page showcasing the largest and most comprehensive up-to-date list of U.S. and International Shakespeare companies, festivals and organizations, plus a monologue search site and resource site for teachers and students; an expansive discussion forum; and a "Facts" page that includes Shakespeare's biography, play chronology and related facts.
In addition, the PlayShakespeare.com site has been optimized for increased speed, stability, and security.
PlayShakespeare.com has demonstrated an overwhelming worldwide appeal. Since the site went live in April 2007, it has generated over two million worldwide hits from countries including India, Malaysia, Germany and the United Kingdom and has over 500 registered users.
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