Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 1 hr lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment (1) Critical commentary (1500 words)  20%
Semester Assessment (2) Essay (total: 2500 words)  60%
Semester Assessment (3) Seminar contribution  20%
Supplementary Assessment Assessment (1) may be resubmitted on a different topic  20%
Supplementary Assessment Assessment (2) may be resubmitted on a different topic  60%
Supplementary Assessment Failure of Assessment 3 would necessitate the following supplementary assessment: Individual Presentation (10 minutes)  20%


Studying Theatre 1 will form a core component of the Department's revised Part 1 provision. It will provide all Part 1 students across the Drama and Theatre Studies, Performance Studies and Scenography and Theatre Design degree schemes with a common introduction to key concepts in the study of theatre and performance as well as focusing on core academic reading, research and writing skills. Together with Studying Theatre 2 this module will enable Part 1 students to develop a firmer understanding of the interrelated nature of study in Drama, Performance and Scenography.

The aims of the module are:

  • To introduce students to key concepts, key practitioners and major historical forms in theatre, drama and performance practice.
  • ' To provide an introduction to theatre theory and aesthetics.
  • To introduce working definitions of theatre and performance as both aesthetic practice and live event.
  • To introduce methodological approaches to the analysis of live performance and their application.

Brief description

This module offers a comprehensive introduction to major periods of theatre history and to key analytical concepts of drama, character, the body, space and time. It will also provide an introduction to the analysis of live theatre/perfmance events.


The module offers a series of lectures on major forms, genres, histories and theories of theatre, performance and scenography. The lectures will be accompanied by tutor-led seminars, which will help deepen students' engagement with the critical vocabulary introduced in the lectures, and provide students with ways of applying this vocabulary to an analysis of live performance. Lectures will cover, among other aspects:

  • Definitions of 'theatre', 'drama' and 'performance'
  • Space: Theatre & Polis
  • Audience: Shakespeare's Globe
  • Character: Identity & 17th Century Acting Theory
  • Time: Japanese Theatre Aesthetics
  • An Introduction to Performance Analysis
  • Naturalism/Realism
  • Development of Modern Scenography
  • Expressionism

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number This element is not assessed.
Communication The ability to communicate ideas effectively is developed in the seminars and assessed directly through Assessment 1 and 2.
Improving own Learning and Performance Self-regulation, motivation and time-management skills are developed through the module and are demanded for the succesful completion of its assignments. These skills are directly assessed through Assessment 3.
Information Technology The ability to utilize information technology both in the research for and delivery of written assignments is assessed directly in Assessments 1 and 2.
Personal Development and Career planning Transferable skills (managing personal workloads and meeting deadlines, designing and realizing research project) are developed through the completion of assessment tasks. Careers awareness does not of itself constitute an assessed element of this module, however.
Problem solving Analytical problem solving, outcome recognition and the identification of appropriate strategies and procedures are encouraged and assessed across the duration of the module.
Research skills Appropriate personal research and the development of effective personal research practices are directly assessed through Assessments 1 and 2.
Subject Specific Skills Subject specific skills as noted in the QAA Dance, Drama and Performance Subject Benchmark Statement are developed and partly assessed.
Team work Effective group work through negotiating ideas and opinions is addressed through the seminars. Seminar discussions demand the application of skills necessary to conduct collaborative activity. These skills are directly assessed through Assessment 3.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Balme, Christopher (2008) The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Studies Cambridge University Press Primo search Course Reader A Course Reader will be available from the departmental office in the Parry-Williams Building Primo search Worthen, W.B. (2004) The Wadsworth Anthology of Drama Wadsworth CENGAGE Learning Primo search
Recommended Text
Auslander, Philip (1997) From Acting to Performance - Essays in Modernism and Postmodernism Routledge Primo search Barba, Eugenio and Nicola Savarese (1991) The Secret Art of the Performer - A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology Routledge Primo search Carlson, Marvin (2003) Performance: A Critical Introduction Routledge Primo search Carlson, Marvin (1984) Theories of Theatre: A Historical Survey from the Greeks to the Present Cornell University Press Primo search Childs, Nicky and Jeni Walwin (eds) (1998) A Split Second of Paradise: Live Art, Installation and Performance Rivers Oram Press Primo search Counsell, Colin (1996) Signs of Performance: An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Theatre Routledge Primo search Counsell, Colin (ed) (2001) Performance Analysis: An Introductory Coursebook Routledge Primo search Drain, Richard (1995) Twentieth-century Theatre: A Sourcebook Routledge Primo search Fischer-Lichte, Erika (2004) History of European Drama and Theatre Routledge Primo search Fischer-Lichte, Erika (1997) The Show and Gaze of Theatre: A European Perspective University of Iowa Press Primo search Huxley, Michael & Noel Witts (eds) (1996) The Twentieth-Century Performance Reader Routledge Primo search Kaye, Nick (2000) Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place and Documentation Routledge Primo search Pavis, Patrice - Transl. David Williams (2003) Analyzing Performance: Theatre, Dance and Film University of Michigan Press Primo search Schechner, Richard (2002) Performance Studies: An Introduction Routledge Primo search Zarrilli, Phillip B. (2006) Theatre Histories Routledge Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4