How to Make a Shakespeare Machine

Shakespeare Machine is a permanent artwork in the lobby of the Public Theater in New York City. It was commissioned by the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent-for-Art program and the Public Theater. ┬áIt was opened to the public in October, 2012.

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The work is by Ben Rubin with a great deal of help from statistician Mark Hansen, who collaborated with on all aspects of Shakespearian digital dramaturgy, and architect Michele Gorman, who conceptualized and realized the form of the piece with me.

Electrical engineering and fabrication services were provided by Marty Chafkin of Perfection Electricks and Will Pickering of Parallel Development.

Processing software development by Ian Ardouin-Fumat and Jer Thorp.

Structural engineering support provided by Guy Nordenson and Associates.

The work was also the recipient of enormous quantities of patience and good will from the teams at Anead Architects, Pentagram, the Public Theater, the NYC Dept. of Design and Construction, and the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs.

And a special thanks to those who shared their insights into Shakespeare’s writing: James Shapiro, Stephen Greenblatt, Barry Edelstein, Oskar Eustis, and my English-major parents, David & Elly Rubin.


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2012 Award Winner for Excellence in Design, presented in July 2013 by the Public Design Commission of the City of New York
2013 CoD+A Awards, top 100 projects, Public Spaces Category


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