Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  Submission: one month after the end of the module  7,500 words.  100%
Supplementary Assessment Essay:  Submission of the essay to a new title  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

*demonstrate a clear understanding of non-Western forms of theatre and its impact on developments of Western Theatre.

*Have a working knowledge of key concepts of theatre aesthetics fundamental to non-Western theatre forms.


  • To introduce students to key concepts of non-Western (Indian, Chinese, Japanese) forms of theatre.
  • To establish differences and similarities between a variety of world theatre traditions.
  • To familiarise students with the practical and theoretical techniques that distinguish these forms and lead to a comparison of the organising principles which govern their realisation.
  • To consider the impact and influence that Asian and African dance and theatre has had on the development of Western Theatre, particularly in the context of the 20th century and the key innovators of the theatre in this century (Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Craig, Copeau, Artaud, Grotowski, Brook and Barba)


This module will study the central concepts that form and give rise to the great traditions of world theatre: Kabuki, and Noh theatre of Japam; the dance/theatre of India (Kathakali, Kathak, Odissi and Bharata Natyam); Chinese Opera; the dance/theatres of Bali and the ritual/dance of Africa and South America. The course will analyse key texts and writings that have influenced and directed the development of these forms (e.g. the ancient treaties on Indian dance Natyasastra, and the 16th century writings of Zeami with regard to Noh), and the innovations that have enriched and promoted the practice of these forms (e.g. Mei Lan Fang of Peking Opera)

Reading List

Recommended Text
Bandem, I Made (1981) kaja and Kelod Kuala Lumpur Primo search Brandon, James (1970) On Thrones of Gold Cambridge, Mass Primo search Brandon, James (1967) Theatre in Southeast Asia Cambridge, Mass Primo search Ernst, Earl (1974) The Kabuki Theatre Honolulu, Univ. of Hawaii Press Primo search Extracts from the following key texts will be made available. Multiple copies of the original books are available for reference in the CPR archive. Ghosh, Manomohan, ed & trans. (1950) The Natyasastra: A Treatise on Hindu Dramaturgy and Histrionics Calcutta Primo search Keene, Donald (1966) No: The Classical Theatre of Japan Palo Alto, California, Kodansha Primo search Kompary, K (1983) The Noh Theatre: Principles and Perspectives Tokyo: Weatherhill Primo search Richmond, Swann & Zarrilli (1990) Indian Theatre Univ. of Hawaii Press Primo search Scott, A. C. (1959) Mei Lang-Fang, Leader of the Pear Garden Hong Kong Primo search Scott, A.C. (1957) The Classical Theatre of China London Primo search Sekine, Masaru (1985) Zeami and his Theories of Noh Drama London: Smythe Primo search Zarrilli, Phillip (1984) The Kathakali Complex: Actor, Performance & Structure New Delhi, Abhinav Primo search Zung, Celia (1937) Secrets of the Chinese Drama new York Primo search de Zoete, Beryl (1938) Dance and Drama in Bali Kuala Lumpur Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7