Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Successful completion of Part One Drama

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 1 hour Lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 1 hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay (2500 words)  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay (2500 words) - (to a new title)  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Display a sophisticated critical understanding of the texts under consideration and an awareness of the implications of these texts in performance

Situate American dramatic and theatrical texts in their cultural, political and historical contexts. Demonstrate an awareness of the wider cultural and theoretical issues raised by the module.

Produce organized, coherently structured and critically engaged written and/or oral work.

Brief description

A selection of plays will provide a springboard from which to explore a variety of issues and to pose a number of questions about not only "American" Theatre, but also "American" Identity: How far has multiculturalism succeeded or failed in America? To what extent can the "voices" of the many ethnic, social, religious and cultural groups in America be heard? How and to what extent has theatre and performance (from early 1960s to the present) contributed toward providing a platform for the many "other" voices that make the United States?


1. The Musical voice and Questioning "The American Dream": From Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti Onward
2. Multiculturalism and Heteroglossia: Alternative Voices (1963-present) Context of New Movements in the American Theatre from that time to the present
3. Valdez, Los Vendidos and Baraka, Dutchman - Chicano Theatre and Black Consciousness Take to the Stage
4. Orientalism and Myth-Making in Hwang's M. Butterfly and screening of parts of the film version of the play, M. Butterfly
5. Parks, TopDog/underdog and screening of parts of play and discussion with dramatist
6. Reviewing The Intertextual Voice: Hwang, Parks and Baraka - the "his-story" of America, Wagner's The Flying Dutchman and Puccini's Madama Butterfly
7. Shattered Dreams: Shepard's True West and Female Space: Fornes's Fefu and Her Friends
8. New York, New York: Kushner's Angels in America and Perestroika - with screening of key episodes from film adaptation of the play
9. Deavere Smith's Fires in the Mirror and Twilight Los Angeles and screening comprising extracts from both filmed performances
10. The Long Journey and Present Developments - A summation
[8-10 play texts and 1 libretto accompanied by at least 6 screenings of play extracts]

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written: clear articulation of ideas and analysis in written assessments Verbal: class contribution and interaction
Improving own Learning and Performance By independent research; tutor feedback on written work and oral contribution in class; interaction of peers during seminar presentation; developing time/work management skills; reflecting upon presentational skills and other written work
Information Technology For research purposes (for written assessments and class presentations); Use, for example of PowerPoint for class presentation. Using electronic research and bibliographic resources
Personal Development and Career planning Personal development and career planning skills will not be explicity developed through the module; however, many of the generic skills developed through work on this module will have significant transferability to a wide range of career contexts
Problem solving By critical engagement (verbal and written) with intellectual concepts raised by plays and their context
Research skills By preparation for written assessment (essay and exam)
Subject Specific Skills See QAA Dance, Drama an dPerformance Subject Benchmark Statement (Version 2007) The following subject specific skills are developed and partly assessed:
1 Describing, theorising, interpreting and evaluating performance texts and performance events from a range of critical perspectives
2 Developing skills observation and visual, aural and spatial awareness
3 Considering theories of spectatorship and developing an awareness of the audience or client group for performance and an ability to respond and adapt to it through flexible means
4 Engaging in research, whether independent, group or performance-based
5 Identifying and interpreting the cultural frameworks which surround performance events and on which these events impinge, and taking these into account in creating and/or interpreting performances
Making records of performance, using skills in notations and/or documentation
Team work By class presentation in small groups


This module is at CQFW Level 5