Shakespeare on Zoom, Fandom, and the Uncanny Humor of Imperfections and Plurality: A Comparative Study of The Show Must Go Online and Zoom Shakespeare Productions
Date of Degree
Acting | Digital Humanities | English Language and Literature | Film and Media Studies | Other Film and Media Studies | Other Theatre and Performance Studies | Performance Studies | Theatre and Performance Studies
Shakespeare, Zoom, Covid-19, fandom, vernacular media, The Uncanny
This thesis surveys the phenomena of Shakespeare performance on Zoom (‘Shakespeare on Zoom’) that have emerged during the current Covid pandemic in order to illuminate a complex intersection of lockdown culture, fandom, and new media’s techno-social archive, including its affective resonances. As case studies, this study pays attention to The Show Must Go Online (TSMGO) and Zoom Shakespeare Productions (ZSP) to examine countercultural fandom, vernacular creativity, and technologically imperfect aesthetics (or anti-aesthetics) in ‘Shakespeare on Zoom’ performed by underfunded artists or amateur fans. In analyzing TSMGO’s and ZSP’s endeavors of production and dramaturgy, I bring in Sigmund Freud’s notion of “The Uncanny” to approach the experience of encountering the disembodied and often grotesque double of self on Zoom from our pandemic ‘cave.’ My analysis of ‘Shakespeare on Zoom,’ however, channels the surprising experience of “The Uncanny” into the humorous realization of our enforced isolation at home and our inordinate reliance on technologies for the make-believe of connection. In the comparative study of TSMGO and ZSP, in favor of ZSP, I advocate an imperfect theater of ‘Shakespeare on Zoom’ where a creative mundanity of glitches or imperfections proliferates with the festive suggestions of presenting heterogeneous self-expressions and plurality to the media-sphere and its affective participants.
Kim, Hyemin, "Shakespeare on Zoom, Fandom, and the Uncanny Humor of Imperfections and Plurality: A Comparative Study of The Show Must Go Online and Zoom Shakespeare Productions" (2023). CUNY Academic Works.
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