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Digital playscripts from Uneditions

A new digital publishing platform which enables plays to be read in a way that mirrors a live performance, has been unveiled.

Leeds-based theatre company Unlimited Theatre has launched a prototype of Uneditions, which creates digital playscripts for mobile and tablet devices, as well as desktop computers.

Playscripts on Uneditions can include elements of a live performance, like lighting and sound, and the project also takes “a bold new approach to text layout to create a rich theatrical reading experience”.

The prototype has been built for Unlimited Theatre’s recent release "The Noise", and can be viewed free of charge from any web browser.

Over the coming months other plays, including texts from the Royal Shakespeare Company, will be published using the new digital format, and will be available for free until November.

Jon Spooner, director of Unlimited Theatre, said: “This project is a sincere, rigorous wondering about how we – as theatre makers and as a wider arts community – can better transpose the stories we’re telling to other mediums. I’m excited by the potential that our digital playscript has to allow existing audiences to deepen their understanding of the work we make, and also, importantly, open our and our sector’s work up to a much wider range of people.”

The platform will be developed continually and will be made available in late 2014, with playwrights and theatre companies able to self-publish their own digital playscripts and distribute them through an online library of digital plays.

Uneditions has been developed in partnership with technology partner Storythings, researchers from the Product Design Research Studio, University of Dundee and a group of 20 people including theatre-goers in Leeds.

It is one of the first research projects supported NESTA’s Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.

The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts is a £7million fund to support collaboration between organisations with arts projects, technology providers, and researchers. It is a partnership between Arts Council England, Arts and Humanities Research Council, and Nesta.