Introduction to Text in Performance
The module will focus on text analysis, practical methodologies, and rehearsal techniques of practitioners such as Konstantin Stanislavski and Cicely Berry.
Perspectives on Performance
The first part of the module will be dedicated to the theory of performance studies taking Richard Schechner’s seminal text as the core work; you will apply its central concepts to examples ranging from canonical dramatic text to everyday life. The second part will focus on exploring ways of reading text and performance with reference to theories relating to space (Pavis, Balme) and the framing of performance (Goffman), and to semiotics and reception theory (Esslin and Bennett).
Introduction to Stagecraft
This module will serve as an engaging and primarily practical way of introducing fundamental design concepts for theatre that traditionally fall under the banner of stagecraft.
The Actor and The Ensemble
The module will concentrate on a variety of means by which an actor can develop and expand his/her skills through a study of techniques focused on improvisation and composition such as Viewpoints.
Theatres of the World
This module will be focusing on: different understandings of theatre practice across cultures; intercultural theatres; a historical understanding of theatre traditions that have changed the history of world theatre; the changing roles of the director and actor in Western theatre practice in the twentieth-century.
This module focuses on interdisciplinary working and the devising processes. The investigation and development of ideas through exploration tasks is central to the work you will produce. You will study mainstream/traditional devising devices and compositional structures and be introduced to aspects of production and design. In interdisciplinary groups (which may include students from music, performing arts, dance and drama) you will create a devised performance piece from a given stimuli.
You will explore the politics of identity through feminist theory and psychoanalysis and then reception theory and postmodern performances, placing the emphasis on issues of space and the body.
Contemporary Performance Practice
The module will enable you to appreciate the responsibilities of a director in the production process, as well as the evolving nature of the role. You will explore various techniques and approaches for directing a performance.
There is a range of option modules to choose from in Terms 1 and 2 likely to include:
African and European Theatre
The module will be drawing on a range of plays and practitioners from 20th and 21st century theatre traditions as developed in continental Europe and Africa. The chosen case studies will cover selected countries from each continent’s different geographical regions (e.g. France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Uganda, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa).
Stage Management 1
This module is designed to introduce you to the concepts and processes relating to stage-managing live performance events. You will explore the very specific roles relating to managing performance for large-scale events together with examples of how those roles conflate to a more all-encompassing single management role for small performance companies.
The Actor and Verse
You will gain awareness of techniques that will help you to analyse and perform verse in order to meet the demands of heightened style. The range of texts chosen for study will further develop your understanding of the relationship between the text and its performance and your ability to respond to specific textual and performative conventions.
The Actor and the Object
You will gain awareness of techniques that will help you to explore and perform a piece of stylised dramatic text and meet the demands of stylised characterisation. Voice and movement sessions will focus on voice and body as tools with which to perform stylised emotions and characterisation, while developing your awareness of kinesics, vocalics, and verbal aspects of communication.
Approaches to Applied Performance
The module will primarily focus on the application of drama techniques for intervention in educational settings and/or with young audiences. The first weeks will be dedicated to the study and practical exploration of relevant theories and methodologies from applied theatre practice and arts management, covering a range of contexts including Theatre in Education (TIE) and Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA).
Practice as Research or Dissertation
You can choose to engage more practically or in the written form as you explore an area of interest in greater depth.
The module aims to prepare you for professional roles in the theatre and related industries. It aims to provide the environment for you to develop practical knowledge and understanding of the principles of professional practice that operates in the discipline, as well as some of the opportunities that are available to you within the profession.
There is a range of option modules to choose from, likely to include:
The module will be focusing on the study of post-war and contemporary theatre examples by an array of British playwrights such as John Osborne, Harold Pinter, Sarah Kane, Debbie Tucker Green, Martin Crimp and theatre companies such as Stan’s Cafe and Joint Stock. It will be covering a range of theoretical approaches and themes including identity politics and stylistic innovation.
The Actor and the Production
This module will engage you in the creative and collaborative process of staging and performing a dramatic text for a public audience. Throughout an intensive actor-training period, you will re-explore key acting techniques, and engage with selected contemporary texts that are recognised as posing the greatest challenges for the actor.
Stage Management 2
You will focus on company stage management and the logistics of stage management in a professional context. Emphasis will be placed on professional development and employability, and you will build a portfolio of practical experience to evidence engagement with the professional process.
The module will primarily focus on post-dramatic techniques of characterisation and storytelling including the use of persona, autobiographical performance, collage and adaptation. It will be drawing on existing practice by theatre collectives and practitioners such as The Wooster Group, Stan’s Cafe, Reckless Sleepers, Bobby Baker and Forced Entertainment.
Practicing Applied Performance
The module will primarily focus on broadening your understanding of applied performance by introducing you to the broad area of practice, such as the application of performance in the context of heritage, healthcare, social inclusion, environment, and management. In the first weeks, you will explore theories and practices related to applied performance within these contexts as well as their social, political, ethical and environmental implications.