Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical Practical class 1 x 2 hour per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Development and progress during workshops  25%
Semester Assessment Group Examination  50%
Semester Assessment Development and progress during workshops  25%
Supplementary Assessment Individual Practical Examination  25%
Supplementary Assessment Written work in lieu of practical examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment Development and progress during workshops  25%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Understand the key principles of a number of acting and rehearsal methodologies;
2. Employ a range of conceptual and rehearsal procedures and modes of exposition appropriate to the presentation of different characters and theatrical styles;
3. Apply the techniques and rehearsals methodologies encountered to an approved extract of theatre text;
4. Work conscientiously and responsibly with a partner on the approved extract within the timescale and guidelines for the project;
5. Reflect upon and discuss the theatrical procedures of training and rehearsal, encountered in the module.

Brief description

In the weekly workshops for this module, students will be introduced to acting exercises, which are commonly used in the creation of characters from classical texts. In particular they will examine the approaches including those of Max Stafford Clark, Cicely Berry and Peter Hall.

Students will be allocated to small groups to work independently on extracts from approved plays in which they will apply the principles and methodologies experienced to their own rehearsal work. They will then present their extracts under examination conditions to three Departmental examiners and reflect upon and analyse their experiences in an oral examination.

Students will be given the option to perform their examination either in a Departmental Studio or at Gregynog. The latter will incur a cost of approximately #75 per day.


This module is specifically designed to examine the relationship between the actor and the director when working on classical texts. Students will be required to demonstrate a conceptual and practical understanding of the potential challenges of working in different theatrical styles in particular working on the development of characters from Shakespearean and English Restoration dramas. During the final workshops for the module, students will then appraise and assess the efficacy and usefulness of the various approaches experienced in both modules when creating a stage character from a classical text.


Students will work in a series of practical workshops designed to investigate and experiment with a variety of theatrical styles and experience a variety of approaches and techniques leading to the creation of characters in the rehearsal environment. Students will be allocated to small groups to apply these principles outside of the workshops and will be expected to plan and organise their own rehearsals for their practical examinations. The workshops will focus on the following:

Performing in verse: the structure and rhythms of the language; understanding Shakespeare's iambic pentameter and the hidden clues in the text for the performer. The influence of Peter Hall and Cicely Berry on contemporary productions of Shakespeare.

`Actioning the text': working on seventeenth century Restoration theatre play texts; archetypes and stereotypes; etiquette and manners. The conventions of performing in 17th century English playhouses. The influence of Max Stafford Clark on contemporary productions of restoration comedy.

Working somatically - the text is not the starting point!

Working on the text through improvisation.

Marrying the two traditions of contemporary and classical acting.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Neither developed nor assessed.
Communication The individual student's ability to articulate and communicate their ideas and opinions is developed throughout the module. This area of development is encouraged and assessed within all aspects of the processes and presentations involved.
Improving own Learning and Performance Self assessment and appraisal are intrinsic to the practical and theoretical study of the craft of study. This module places emphasis on students' progression, development and achievement and students are given continuous feedback during classwork and opportunities to reflect on their progress.
Information Technology Information handling is not formally assessed, but is encouraged through the conduct of research.
Personal Development and Career planning The module encourages the initial development of skills directly applicable to careers within the theatre/performance industries. A large number of students elect to further their acting training at postgraduate level.
Problem solving Creative problem solving, outcome recognition, and the identification of the appropriate strategies and procedures and encouraged and assessed throughout the module.
Research skills A wide range of research skills are necessary e.g. researching writers' background, examining the style and context of the play, comparing rehearsal methodology. Whilst these skills directly inform the work of the students, they are not directly assessed as part of this module.
Subject Specific Skills A theoretical and practical understanding of the craft of acting is at the core of the Department's Drama provision.
Team work Group working is addressed and exercised throughout the module. Practical classes demand the application of skills necessary to conduct successful collaborative activity.

Reading List

General Text
Artaud, Antonin (1970.) The theatre and its double : essays /by Antonin Artaud ; translated by Victor Corti. Calder Primo search Barba, Eugenio (1995 (various p) The Paper canoe :a guide to theatre anthropology /Eugenio Barba ; translated by Richard Fowler. Routledge Primo search
Essential Reading
Calderone, M/ Lloyd-Williams, M (2004) Actions: The Actor's Thesuarus Nick Hern Books Primo search Linklater, Kristin Freeing Shakespeare's Voice Primo search Merlin, Bella (2007) The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit Nick Hern Books Primo search
Recommended Text
Barton, J (1984) Playing Shakespeare Methuen, London Primo search Berry, C (2002) Text in Action Virgin Primo search Berry, C The Actor and the Text Primo search Brook, P (1968) The Empty Space Pelican Primo search Giannachi, G and Luckhurst, M (1999) On Directing Faber and Faber Primo search Grotowski, J (1975) Towards a Poor Theatre Methuen Primo search Hall, P (1975) Shakespeare's Advice to the Players Oberon Books Primo search Hodge, A (20000) Twentieth Century Actor Training Routledge Primo search Linklater, Kristin (2006) Freeing the Natural Voice: revised and expanded Nick Hern books Primo search Mamet, D (1997) True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor Faber and Faber Primo search Manfull, H (1999) Taking Stage: Women Directors on Directing Methuen Primo search Shomit, M (1992) Systems of Rehearsal Routledge Primo search Stafford Clark, M (1989) Letters to George Nick Hern Primo search Wertenbaker, Timberlake Our Country's Good Primo search Willett, J (1964) Brecht on Theatre Methuen Primo search
Supplementary Text
Park, Glen (2005) The Art of Changing Ashgrove Primo search
Recommended Background
Brook, Peter (1993) There Are No Secrets Methuen Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5