Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Studying Theatre 2
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 1 hour lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 1 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar contribution including group oral presentation and documentation  20%
Semester Assessment Essay - 2,500 words  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Exam - 2 hours  40%
Supplementary Assessment Individual presentation (10 mins) and documentation  20%
Supplementary Assessment Essay (on a new topic) - 2,500 words  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Exam - 2 hours  40%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. demonstrate an appropriate understanding of key theoretical frameworks and mthodologies relevant to the analysis of contemporary theatre and performance practices.

2. describe, interpret and evaluate a range of theatre, performance and scenography texts, practices and forms.

3. demonstrate an appropriate ability to analyse theatrical performance as a live event within a variety of stylistic conventions and genres.

4. employ appropriate personal research strategies in the examination of theatre, performance and scenography and to realise this through academic presentation.

Brief description

This module offers a comprehensive introduction to the main artistic and analytical concerns in 20th century and contemporary theatre, performance and scenography. Through key readings and video viewings the module introduces students to key analytical concepts, foregrounding the physical/visual aspects of contemporary theatre and performance and the live interaction with an audience. The emergence of new sites for performance, the development of increasingly interdisciplinary performance practices and the influence of popular culture and new media technologies on contemporary forms will also be discussed. Students will gain a sense of the variety of the work produced in this area and a critical vocabulary with which to address this work in order to apply these skills toward the analysis of live performance.


Studying Theatre 2 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 1 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 proposed module are:

. To introduce students to key concepts, key practitioners and major forms in 20th century and contemporary theatre and performance practice.
. To develop working definitions of theatre and performance as both aesthetic practice and live event.
. To provide an introduction to theatre theory and aesthetics.
. To introduce methodological approaches to the analysis of live performance and their application.


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 to deepen student's 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:

. Epic Theatre
. Theatre of the Absurd
. Theatre of Cruelty
. Theatre Anthropology
. Theatre of Images
. Body: Dance and Body Politcs
. Media: Performance, liveness and multimedia
. Text: New forms of writing for performance
. Postcolonial Theatre

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 successful 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. Career's 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

Recommended Text
Auslander, Philip (1997) From Acting to Performance - Essays in Modernism and Postmodernism Routledge Primo search Balme, Christopher (2008) The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Studies Cambridge University Press 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