One of the reasons that the editors must again apologize for late publication is the relocation of Didaskalia to the University of Warwick. We are planning to expand Didaskalia considerably over the next several years and would like to invite our readers to contribute their own ideas about where Didaskalia should be going. Our present text-only format has been somewhat restrictive to a publication dedicated to a subject which is so intensely visual and audial. The advantage of the ASCII format has been that nearly everyone with a connection to the Internet has the software to view, store, and print the files, and ASCII files take up less storage space than formatted text files, .gif or other image files, and MIDI sound recordings.
As Web-browsers such as NCSA Mosaic, available free of charge from various online software archives, spread across the world, an increasing number of individuals and institutions have the ability to access hypertext and other media exclusive to computer networks. The creation of a WorldWideWeb site for the journal is already in progress. The University of Warwick has the necessary facilities for this step in Didaskalia's expansion, and also for making the publication-available to WAIS searches. Nor is the step to AutoCAD and then Virtual Reality, both of which could contribute a great deal to the documentation of modern performances and the reconstruction of ancient ones, a long one.
Didaskalia could also maintain several databases of information related to the performance of Greek and Roman drama. Among the possible contents of these databases are: names and contact information of people throughout the world who are researching and performing ancient theater, a bibliography of relevant works which could be continuously updated, performance translations of plays which might not be published elsewhere, an online image library of scenes from productions (also updated continuously), comprehensive records of performances (which could be searched by play title, director, translator, location of production, date of production, and so forth), AutoCAD or Virtual Reality reconstructions of ancient theaters at the time they were used, and site plans of those theaters as they exist today.
By cooperating with publishers and manufacturers of videotapes and compact disks we could also become a clearinghouse for teaching aids, connecting consumers with producers and performers with agencies and individuals trained and equipped to provide high-quality documentation. This function may prove particularly important. The existing commercial organizations which offer educational films charge prohibitively high prices and offer a quite limited range of materials on ancient theater. At present, if an instructor at one school or university wants to show a videotape of a production done at another school or university to a class, he or she has to contact an individual in possession of that tape and ask for a copy. Reproducing slides is even more time- consuming and troublesome. But as more institutions of learning are connected to the Internet, the online databases will be available to students and instructors everywhere, and the formation of a subject-based consortium might reduce costs.
The editors of Didaskalia would like to work with as wide a range of collaborators as possible. Universities, and in particular the university at which the journal is based (and which would therefore house all of the data in electronic storage), are one obvious participant, as are libraries. But museums, arts organizations, media organizations, and individual scholars will all have material, and possibly personnel, to contribute to the establishment of an expanded resource on ancient theater, as will book publishers and distributors of educational films, videotapes, recordings, and slides.
Volunteers for any aspect of any of these projects are welcome.
The University of Warwick