Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Theatre in Society
Academic Year
Semester 1
Successful completion of Part 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 1 hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay (2500 words)  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay (2500 words) - (to a new title)  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Supplementary Examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate an awareness of the different ways in which theatre manifests social debate.

Show an awareness of the political implications of analytical positions in relation to theatre.

Critically read dramatix texts and theoretical work to gain an understanding of the various interpretations and descriptions of society.


This restructured module will be offered as part of a suite of Year 2, 20-credit critical practice options in the Department's revised Part 2 provision. It may be taken by students registered for any of the Theatre Curriculum Group schemes depending on the specification of their degree scheme pathway.

Brief description

This is a course of directed reading and weekly discussions, focusing on texts by theatre practitioners, theorists and critics which outline several different approaches to the relationship between theatre and society. The module examines the various ways in which theatre operates in relation to society adn seeks to describe theatre as a social construct. The module also debates the relevance of several different descriptions of society as seen by several different practitioners and critics


1. Theatre and "The Big Society"
2. Popular Theatre and Community Theatre: Subsidy and Separatism
3. Theatre of Catastrophe and Radical Elitism
4. Theatre of the Oppressed and the Rainbow of Desire programme
5. Women's Theatre
6. Gay and Lesbian Theatre
7. Explicit Body Performance: Marian Abramovic and others
8. Documentary of Verbatim Theatre
9. National Theatres in Context
10. In conclusion: Theatre in Crisis?

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number This element is not assessed
Communication The ability to communicate ideas effectively in written form is directly assessed. The work done in seminars develops oral communication skills although this is not directly assessed.
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 all assignments
Information Technology The ability to utilize information technology both in the research for and delivery of assignment is assessed directly in Assessments 1 and 2
Personal Development and Career planning Transferable skills (managing personal workloads and meeting deadlines, designing and realising research project) are developed through the completion of the 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
Research skills Appropriate personal research and the development of effective personal research practices are directly assessed through essay and examination
Subject Specific Skills See QAA Dance, Drama and Performance Subject Benchmark Statement (Version 2007). The following subject specific skills are developed and partly assessed: 1. Describing, theorising, interpreting and evaluating performance texts and performance events from a range of critical perspectives 2. Developing skills of observation and visual, aural and spatial awareness 3. Engaging in research, whether independent, group or performance-based 4. Identifying and interpreting the cultural frameworks which surround performance events and on which these events impinge, and taking these into account in creating and/or interpreting performances. Making records of performance, using skills in notation and/or documentation.
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

Should Be Purchased
Boal, A. (2002) Gsmes for Actors and Non-Actors 2nd ed Routledge Primo search Brown, Mark (ed) (2011) Howard Barker Interviews 1980-2010: Conversations in Catastrophe Intellect Primo search
Essential Reading
Barker, H. (1997) Arguments for a Theatre 3rd ed Manchester UP Primo search Boal, A. (1994) The Rainbow of Desire Routledge Primo search Conroy, Collette (2009) Theatre and the Body Palgrave Primo search Delgado, M. and Svich, C. (2002) Theatre in Crisis? Manchester UP Primo search Dolan, Jill (2010) Theatre and Sexuality Palgrave Primo search Forsyth, Alison and Megson, Chris (eds) (2009) Get Real: Documentary Theatre Past and Present Palgrave Macmillan Primo search Holdsworth, Nadine (2010) Theatre and Nation Palgrave Primo search McGrath, J. (1981) A Good Night Out NHB Primo search Rebellato, D. (2009) Theatre and Globalization Palgrave Primo search
Recommended Background
Aston, E. (1994) An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre Routledge Primo search Barker, Howard (2005) Death, The One and the Art of Theatre Routledge Primo search Case, Sue-Ellen (1990) Performing Feminisms: Feminist Critical Theory and Theatre John Hopkins UP Primo search Diamond, Elin (1997) Unmaking Mimesis: Essays on Feminism and Theatre Routledge Primo search Favorini, Attilio (2009) Memory in Play Palgrave Macmillan Primo search Goodman, L (ed) (1998) The Routledge reader in Gender and Performance Routledge Primo search Goodman, Lizbeth (1993) Contemporary Feminist Theatres Routledge Primo search Gritzner, Karoline (ed) (2010) Eroticism and Death in Theatre and Performance Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press Primo search Hall, P. (1999) The Necessary Theatre NHB Primo search Hammond, W. and Steward, D. (eds) (2008) Verbatim Verbatim London: Oberon Primo search Harvie, Jen (2005) Staging the UK Manchester UP Primo search Isaac, Dan (1971) Tulane Drama Review, Summer 1971 Theatre of Fact Volume 15/3, pp 109-35 Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5