Module Information

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

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Workshop 8 x 2 Hour Workshops
Lecture 10 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  50%
Semester Exam 14 Hours   Performed Essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  50%
Supplementary Exam 7 Hours   Performed Essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the role of the director in contemporary theatre practice.

2. Demonstrate an ability to employ appropriate rehearsal methodologies and directorial strategies in working with others to generate performance.

3. Demonstrate an ability to employ situational resources (texts, images, objects, environments, scenarios) effectively in performance.

4. Demonstrate the capacity to envisage and partially realise a coherent directorial concept, strategy and performance design

5. Demonstrate an awareness of the ramifications of social, cultural, political, historical, ideological and aesthetic contexts on the nature, form and function of theatre-making practice.

Brief description

This module provides an exploration of a range of contemporary directing practices. Recognising that contemporary directors have become much more than ‘interpreters’ of texts and functional metteurs-en-scène, the module seeks to historicise the rise of the director as auteur and to critically interrogate the director’s role in the theatre-making process. With reference to case-studies drawn from a broad spectrum of contemporary theatre and performance, the module explores the skills and processes involved in working with performers, dramaturgs, scenographers and choreographers in organizing the elements of the theatrical event; investigates a range of rehearsal methodologies and compositional strategies; and provides an opportunity to develop and practice these in a workshop environment. Constructed as a series of investigative case-studies and linked master classes the module provides students with an analytical and compositional tool kit of principles and strategies as well as an understanding of the contexts within which these principles and strategies have been developed and used.


The aims of the proposed module are:

  • To historicise the emergence of the figure of the director in 20th century theatre practice
  • To analyse the role of the director in contemporary theatre
  • To investigate key approaches to directorial practice operative in contemporary theatre-making
  • To introduce theories, principles and practices of directing.
  • To develop a critical awareness of the work of the director in relation to the work of other practitioners in the theatre-making ensemble.
  • To encourage students to develop a critical and creative process of practical investigation, reflection and development of their own directorial practice.


This module will be taught through a series of 10 three-hour lecture/workshops (typically, an hour lecture followed by a three hour practical workshop); led by departmental staff and visiting guest lecturers when available. Each lecture/workshop will involve substantial practical exploration combined with reflection on set readings and tasks. The sessions will focus on the following:

Week 1: Introduction: What is directing?
Week 2: The director’s perspective? Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints methodology
Week 3: Directing dramaturgy: reading Ibsen against the grain
Week 4: Directing actors, mostly: animating Chekhov’s mise-en-scène
Week 5: Directing scenography: tracing Strindberg’s performance design
Week 6: Directing composition: Katie Mitchell
Week 7: Directing decomposition: Elizabeth LeCompte
Week 8: Directing concept: Mike Pearson
Week 9: Directing practice: student-led investigations
Week 10: Directing rehearsals: student-led experiments and strategies

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Neither developed nor assessed.
Communication The development and use of communication skills are intrinsic to the students’ experience in this module. The individual student’s ability to articulate and communicate their ideas and opinions is developed and encouraged across all aspects of the module, and the assessment forms recognise effective communication across written, verbal and performative material.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students are expected to respond to formative feedback during workshops and are required to reflect critically as part of their learning process. Self-regulation, motivation and time-management are demanded to maintain engagement with the development of the course and the completion of its concomitant assessed assignments. Assessment procedures recognise effective self-management and self-motivation.
Information Technology Skills of information handling are exercised through the conduct of research, presentation processes, and the collation of materials, within assessed submissions, and weekly writing assignments, and are recognised in the assessment of those submissions.
Personal Development and Career planning The module encourages the initial development of skills directly applicable to careers within cultural (particularly theatre/performance) industries. Further transferable skills (project planning and execution, the development of personal creative initiatives) are also developed through the completion of assessment tasks, though this does not of itself constitute an assessed element.
Problem solving Creative 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 and group research practices, are implicitly encouraged throughout the module, and are assessed through their impact on the development and presentation of the assessed submissions.
Subject Specific Skills See QAA Dance, Drama and Performance Subject Benchmark Statement (Version 2007). The following subject specific skills are developed and partly assessed: * engaging in performance and production, based on an acquisition and understanding of appropriate performance and production vocabularies, skills, structures and working methods * contributing to the production of performance * creating original work using the skills and crafts of performance making * using performance techniques associated with particular cultural forms and/or practitioners * engaging in research, whether independent, group or performance-based * making records of performance, using skills in notation and/or documentation * working within a group to make performance.
Team work Practical classes demand the application of skills necessary to conduct successful collaborative activity. The assessed group project relates directly to the development and employment of such skills.


This module is at CQFW Level 5