Module Information

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

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 3 Hour Lecture/Workshops


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Group Presentation  50%
Semester Exam 7 Hours   Group oral examination and Creative Portfolio  50%
Supplementary Assessment Presentation Plan  50%
Supplementary Assessment Creative Portfolio  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Appreciate, appraise and apply a range of methods for devising theatre texts;

Show an awareness of the contribution of selected theatre companies and relevant practitioners skilled in the process of devising;

Produce appropriate analytical documentation of devising practice;

Work collaboratively in small groups to create, present and analyse a short piece of devised theatre work.

Brief description

The module will offer an introduction to the processes of devising theatre texts and scenarios, for a number of different theatre contexts. It will enable students to investigate and explore, in theory and practice, established methodologies and proven approaches to creating (as opposed to interpreting) theatre texts. It will also examine the relationship between the methodologies chosen and the contexts and purpose of the performances created.


The module will be taught through a series of lectures, seminars and practical workshops led by Departmental staff.
The Lectures and practical seminars will focus on the following:-

-Definitions of devising
-Contexts of devising
-Strategies and methodologies of devising
-The use of improvisation and games
-World and character building
-Developing narrative and structure
-Approaches to writing text
-Director led and edited creation
-Devising as a group
-Time management and organisation

Methodologies / case studies of practitioners and companies examined on the module will include Augusto Boal'r Theatre of the Oppressed; the Joint Stock workshop devising process; Viola Spolin, Keith Johnstone and Mike Leigh'r contrasting approaches to the practice and uses of improvisation; the Neo-Futurists (and Greg Allen'r 21 Rules for Great Theatre); Noel Greig'r exercises on narrative and character creation; Mike Pearson'r engagement with landscape and autobiography; and Tim Etchell'r work as artistic director of Forced Enterainment.
Students will be encouraged to develop their own improvisation structures, exercises and creative strategies as well as learn from the approaches used by the tutors, and the practitioners studied.
During the process the student groups will be sub-divided into smaller groups and given a brief from which they must devise a short examination piece. The organisation of rehearsals and their progression is independent study, to be conducted outside of classes. Near the end of the process, the staff will lead a session during which each group will receive feedback about their progress so far and where groups may seek advice if they are experiencing difficulties.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Written communication skills are developed through a series of working notes and script exercises. Oral communication skills through seminar discussion, participation in exercises and performance and are also assessed through the oral presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will required to reflect and analyse their level of creative achievement attained individually and in the small group presentation.
Information Technology Students will be expected to employ IT resources where possible and appropriate.
Personal Development and Career planning Personal development and career planning skills will not be explicitly developed through this module; however, many of the generic skills developed through the practical and written work of this module will have significant transferability to a wide range of contexts.
Problem solving Problem solving skills are fundamental to the successful employment of devising strategies. Strategies will be addressed and experienced during all parts of the module.
Research skills Will be developed through the collection of information necessary to complete the assignments for the module.
Subject Specific Skills See QAA Dance, Drama and Performance Subject Benchmark Statement (Version 2007).
Team work Much of the work is carried out through group collaboration.


This module is at CQFW Level 5