Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2,500 word written assignment  35%
Semester Assessment assessment of class contribution  via presentations and seminar discussion  10%
Semester Exam 2 hour written exam    55%
Supplementary Assessment 2500 words written assignment  35%
Supplementary Assessment Assessment of class contribution via presentations and seminar discussion  10%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   55%

Learning Outcomes

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

- To demonstrate an intelligent awareness of the different ways in which theatre incarnates social debate.

- To show an awareness of the political implications of analytical positions in relation to theatre.

- To co-operate as part of a group in presenting an argument in the analysis of course material.

Brief description

This is a course of directed reading and weekly discussions, focusing on texts by theatre practitioners, theorists and critics which outline several different approaches to the relationship between theatre and society.


  • To examine the various ways in which theatre operates in relation to society.
  • To describe theatre as a social construct
  • To present and debate the relevance of several different descriptions of society as seen by several different practitioners and critics.


1.Tragedy and the Spirit of Terrorism
2. Popular Theatre and Community Theatre: Subsidy and Separatism
3. Theatre of Catastrophe and Radical Elitism
4. Theatre of the Oppressed and the Rainbow of Desire programme
5. Women's Theatre
6. Explicit Body Performance
7. Gay and Lesbian Theatre
8. Documentary and Verbatim Theatre
9. National Theatres in Context
10. Conclusion: Theatre in Crisis?

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Oral Discussion/ Presentation Writing in an Academic Context * Read in different contexts and for different purposes * Write for different purposes and audiences * Speak in different contexts and for different purposes (inc presentation and discussion) * Listen effectively. Level 3 Critically review, consolidate and extend a systematic and coherent body of knowledge, utilising specialised skills across an area of study; critically evaluate new skills and exercise significant judgements on a range of situations; accept responsibility for determining and achieving personal and/or group outcomes.
Problem solving Class discussion, written assignments and examination essays * Identify problems * Identify factors which might influence potential solutions * Develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving * Evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions * Construct a rational proposal in response to a problem
Research skills Independent Project Work * Understand a range of research methods * Plan and carry out research

Reading List

Essential Reading
Aston, E. (1994) An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre London: Routledge Primo search Barba, E. (1995) The Paper Canoe London: Routledge Primo search Barker, H. (1997) Arguments for a Theatre (3rd ed) Manchester: Manchester UP Primo search Boal, A (1994) The Rainbow of Desire London: Routledge Primo search Delgado and Svich (eds.) (2002) Theatre in Crisis? Manchester UP Primo search McGrath, J. (1981) A Good Night Out London: NHB Primo search Schneider, R. (1997) The Explicit Body in Performance London: Routledge Primo search
Recommended Text
Barker, H. ((2004)) Death, The One and the Art of Theatre Manchester: Manchester U P Primo search Bharucha, R. (1994) Theatre and the World London: Routledge Primo search Boal, A. (2002) Games for Actors and Non-Actors (2nd ed.) London: Routledge Primo search Goodman, L (ed) (1998) The Routledge Reader in Gender and Performance Routledge Primo search Hall, P. (1999) The Necessary Theatre London: NHB Primo search Harvie, Jen (2005) Staging the UK Manchester UP Primo search Jellicoe, A. (1987) Community Plays (currently out of print but in library)) London: Methuen Primo search Kershaw, B. (1992) The Politics of Performance London: Routledge Primo search Lucas, I. (1994) Impertinent Decorum London: Cassell Primo search McGrath, J. (2002) Naked Thoughts that Roam About London: NHB Primo search Pavis, P. (1992) Theatre at the Crossroads of Culture London: Routledge Primo search Shade, Ruth (2004) Communication Breakdowns University of Wales Primo search Watson, I. (1993) Towards a Third Theatre London: Routledge Primo search Wilson, A. (2001) The Ground on Which I Stand London: NHB Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6