Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Theoretical Practices
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture Lecture/seminars: 10 x 2 hours (20 contact hours)
Seminars / Tutorials Research Seminars: 5 x 1 hours (5 contact hours)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written essay (3000 words)  To analyse the conceptual structure and staging of a chosen performance, live or on video, utilizing theoretical framework(s) studied.   50%
Semester Exam 7 Hours   Performed essay (15 minutes)  To analyse a theme, practice or genre introduced in the module through performative presentation, demonstrating an understanding of contemporary theatre and performative practices.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resit as written essay with alternative title  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resit as performed essay with alternative title  (to be taken at next opportunity)  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. to demonstrate an advanced critical awareness of the nature of theatre and performance as aesthetic and critical practices
2. to evaluate complex conceptual differences between different modes and genres of performance
3. to articulate mastery of a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of theatre and performance
4. to demonstrate a critical understanding of the potential of performative presentation in an academic context
5. to demonstrate a high level of understanding and achievement in the employment of performative means in the live exposition of intellectual material.


The aim of this module is:

a) to introduce and explore conceptions of theatre and performance as both aesthetic practices and modes of cultural production, and to examine approaches to the analysis of a range of genres of theatre and performance.
b) to provide a secure grounding in key theories of theatre and performance and in a range of conceptual frameworks and practical methodologies, including compositional approaches and creative methods.
c) to address and evaluate the form and function of certain forms of contemporary theatre and performance, through the development of appropriate critical vocabularies and theoretical frameworks to enable the assessment of contemporary practice.
d) to enable students to understand and critically apply current theatre and performance theory.
e) to enable students to contribute constructively to debates on the nature of contemporary theatre and performance.

Brief description

This module introduces a range of contemporary theatre and performance theories and explores interdisciplinary approaches to their critical analysis. Students examine forms of contemporary theatre and performance practice, their conceptual and methodological principles, alongside theoretical and analytical approaches to documenting and evaluating live performance. Particular critical attention is paid to the theoretical practices operated with the department, in relation to current theatrical and performance practices in Wales, the UK, and Europe.


Module content includes origins and definitions of theatre and performance; contemporary genres of theatre and performance; theoretical, critical and analytical approaches to theatre and performance; aesthetic, conceptual and compositional dynamics of making theatre and performance; performance writing and documentation. (Content may be adjusted to capitalize upon the specific expertise of those delivering the module.) A fortnightly `Research Seminar? will accompany the module, offering support for the precise requirements of the assessment assignments and examining ways in which specific modular material informs the development of a research methodology towards TPM0660.

Lecture/Seminar Content:
1. Introduction to contemporary Theatre and Performance Studies
2. Play, ritual and proto-theatre
3. Site, place, location
4. Performance and ecology
5. Performance Art, live art and the media
6. Performance and identity
7. Philosophical approaches
8. The politics of performance
9. Ethics, participation, engagement, agency
10. Spectatorship and affect

Research Seminar Content:
1. Critical Reading Practices
2. Libraries and Archives
3. Academic Writing
4. The Performance of Knowledge
5. Preparing Assessments

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number This element is not assessed.
Communication The ability to communicate ideas effectively is developed and 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.
Information Technology The ability to utilize information technology both in the research for and delivery of assignments is assessed directly.
Personal Development and Career planning Transferable skills (managing personal workloads and meeting deadlines, designing and realizing assessment projects) are developed and assessed directly
Problem solving Analytical problem solving, outcome recognition and the identification of appropriate strategies and procedures are encouraged and assessed.
Research skills Independent research and the development of effective personal research practices are encouraged and assessed.
Subject Specific Skills See QAA Dance, Drama and Performance Subject Benchmark Statement (Version 2007). The following subject specific skills are developed and partly assessed:- establishing an advanced critical awareness of the nature of theatre &performance as aesthetic & critical practices.- articulating a range of theoretical & methodological approaches to the analysis of theatre & performance.- evaluating complex conceptual differences between different modes & genres of performance.- describing, theorising, interpreting & evaluating performance texts & performance events from a range of critical perspectives.- considering theories of spectatorship & developing an awareness of the audience or client group for performance.- identifying& interpreting the cultural frameworks which surround performance events & on which these events impinge, and taking these into account in creating and/or interpreting performances.- demonstrating a critical understanding of the potential of performative presentation
Team work Seminar discussions demand the application of skills necessary to conduct collaborative activity, such as negotiating ideas and opinions. Students work in collaboration with others on the formulation and implementation of practical research.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Auslander, P. (1997) From Acting to Performance London: Routledge Primo search Badiou, A., Blistene, B. and Chateigne, Y. (2007) A Theater without Theater Barcelona: Museu D'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) Primo search Bial, H. (2003) The Performance Studies Reader London: Routledge Primo search Bishop, C. (ed.) (2006) Participation (Documents of Contemporary Art) London: Whitechapel Art Gallery Primo search Carlson, M. (1996) Performance: A Critical Introduction London: Routledge Primo search Delgado, M. and Rebellato, D. (eds) (2010) Contemporay European Theatre Directors London: Routledge Primo search Diamond, E. (1996) Performance and Cultural Politics London: Routledge Primo search Goodman, L. and De Gay, J. (1998) The Routledge Reader in Gender and Performance London: Routledge Primo search Kelleher, J. and Ridout, N. (eds) (2006) Contemporary Theatres in Europe London: Routledge Primo search Martin, C. (2010) Dramaturgy of the Real on the World Stage London: Palgrave Primo search Pearson, M. (2006) In Comes I Exeter: Exeter UP Primo search Pearson, M. and Shanks, M. (2001) Theatre/Archaeology London: Routledge Primo search Phelan, P and Lane, J. (eds) (1998) The ends of performance New York: NYU Press Primo search Phelan, P. (1993) Unmarked London: Routledge Primo search Read, A. (1995) Theatre and Everday Life London: Routledge Primo search Read, A. (2009) Theatre, Intimacy and Engagement: The Last Human Venue London: Palgrave Primo search Reinelt, J. and Roach, J.R. (1992) Critical Theory and Performance Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press Primo search Ridout, N. (2006) Stage Fright, Animals and Other Theatrical Problems Cambridge: CUP Primo search Schechner, R. (2002) Performance Studies: An Introduction London: Routledge Primo search Schechner, R. (2003) Performance Theory London: Routledge Primo search Schechner, R. (1995) The Future of Ritual: Writings on Culture and Performance London: Routledge Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7