Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Further Details:

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 5,000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

*demonstrate a clear understanding of foundations of critical theory.

*apply critical theory to a range of theatre texts.

*apply critical theory to a range of theatre concepts.


To provide students with a foundation in critical theory which may serve as a common basis for the exploration of the theatre-related topics under discussion throughout the rest of the degree scheme.


In Part 1 of this module students will consider the history and current status and function of interpretation in the context of Theatre. Various definitions of the concept of Post Modern will be exploited so as to provide a standpoint from which students may develop an understanding of the underlying concepts involved in critical interpretation, of the circumstances in which critical methodology has evolved and of the various discourses which converge in contemporary criticism.

Particular attention will be paid to the specific criteria of critical interpretation when applied to a theatrical text and to the historical evolution of the theatrical text in the context of Western European and North American theatre. In Part 2 of this module, three texts will be set for study in order to establish appropriate critical procedures and methodologies.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Counsell and Woolf (2001) Performance Analysis : A Coursebook Routledge/Taylor and Francis Primo search
Recommended Background
Calvino, Italo (1995) Six memos for the New Milennium Vintage Primo search Etchels, Tim (1999) Certain fragments Routledge/ Taylor Francis Primo search Kane, Sarah (1998) Crave Methuen Primo search Marcus, Greil (2002) Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century Faber and Faber Primo search Marranca, Bonnie (ed.) (1995) The theatre Images PAJ Primo search Muller, Heiner Hamletmachine PAJ Primo search Reinelt, Janelle and Roach, Joseph R (eds.) (1992) Critical Theory and Performance Ann Arbour:Michigan university press Primo search Schimmel, Paul (1998) Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object 1949-1979 THames and Hudson Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7