IbsenStage is a research tool that can be used in larger and smaller research projects with a quantitative perspective along the lines of recent developments within digital humanities. The database contains functions for visualizing data, network analysis (under development), and mapping. It is possible, for example, to develop maps of the dissemination of Ibsen’s play globally or regionally, diachronically as well as synchronically.
Surveying various plays can result in different types of comparative investigations, including within Ibsen’s oeuvre (how one play spreads in relation to others – within various national traditions, etc.) and in relation to other dramatists (how Ibsen’s plays spread compared to those of Beckett, Shakespeare, Brecht, Lorca, etc.).
The data in IbsenStage can also be related to data that demonstrate the dissemination of translations, technological developments, to economic structures and financing, to name just a few approaches. The data can also be investigated with the help of network analysis, an approach that has already resulted in interesting findings. See:
- Hanssen, Jens-Morten (2018) "Ibsen on the German stage 1876–1918: A quantitative study". Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto.
- Holledge, J. et al. (2016) A Global Doll's House. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Helland, F. and Holledge, J. (2013) “A Doll’s House as National Tradition: Understanding the Construction of Aesthetic Value”. In: Assigning Cultural Values. Peter Lang Publishing Group.
- Bollen, J. and Holledge, J. (2011) "Hidden dramas : cartographic revelations in the world of theatre studies". In: The Cartographical Journal, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp. 226-236.
Research projects based on IbsenStage will often in practice make use of other, more qualitatively oriented methods in conjunction with the quantitative.
The database has been developed in cooperation with AusStage (www.ausstage.edu.au), the national database of performative art in Australia, and with the National Library of Norway (ibsen.nb.no). IbsenStage is a world leader in the application of digital humanities to drama research.