Cason Murphy published in new edited collection “Pandemic Play: Community in Performance, Gaming, & the Arts”


Cason MurphyCason Murphy, assistant professor of theatre in the Department of Music and Theatre, was recently published in “Pandemic Play: Community in Performance, Gaming, & the Arts.” In this collection, published through Palgrave’s innovative Studies in Performance and Technology series, Murphy’s work appears alongside an international line-up of contributors and case studies examining how the arts, culture, and entertainment industries have adapted to a majority virtual world.

Murphy’s chapter“No Longer ‘Merely Players’: Porting the Elements of Theatre into Video Gaming” – interrogates the development of “game/plays,” or pieces of live theatre developed by professional theatremakers within video game worlds during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using two game/play case studies – Celine Song’s “The Seagull on The Sims 4” (2020) and Samuel Crane’s “Grand Theft Hamlet” (2022)he articulates the unique characteristics of this form and examines how each game/play’s repurposing of its chosen game successfully transmediated its original theatrical texts to engage new digital audiences. 

Book cover with rows of blue seats and steps

Murphy developed this chapter through presentations at several national and international conference presentations, including the Live Performance and Video Gaming International Conference (Institute for the Performing Arts and Film, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland), Video Games as a Common Ground International Conference (University of Zadar, Croatia), and the 43rd Annual Mid-America Theatre Conference (Minneapolis, MN).

Murphy teaches courses in acting foundations, musical theatre, acting for the camera, script analysis, and introduction to performing arts. He is author of “The World at Play: Performance from the Audience’s Perspective,” a textbook that offers an audience-oriented view of theatre, dance, music, film, television, podcasting, video gaming, and other emergent contemporary performance forms. Murphy is also the recipient of the 2021 ISU Early Achievement in Teaching Award, the 2021 LAS Cassling Family Faculty Award for Early Achievement in Teaching, 2022 Arts Educator Award from the Ames Community Arts Council, and the 2023 ATHE/KCACTF Prize for Innovative Teaching. He will be directing “Fixing Troilus and Cressida,” a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s least-performed “problem play,” for ISU Theatre’s 2024-2025 mainstage season.