Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Directors' Theatre
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2000 Words  50%
Semester Exam Conceptual project presentation  15 Minutes  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Exam Conceptual project presentation  15 Minutes  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate a critical awareness of the role of the director in contemporary theatre practice.

Demonstrate an understanding of rehearsal methodologies and directorial strategies in the construction of theatrical representation.

Demonstrate an ability to undertake dramaturgical and production analysis.

Demonstrate the capacity to envisage a coherent directorial concept, strategy and performance design.

Demonstrate an awareness of the ramifications of historical, political and cultural contexts on the aesthetic form and function of theatre-making practice.

Brief description

This module provides an exploration of a range of key directing practices. Recognising that contemporary directors are much more than ‘interpreters’ of texts and functional metteurs-en-scène, the module historicises the rise of the director and critically interrogates the director’s role in the theatre-making process. The module explores the processes involved in directing theatre, starting with case-studies drawn from the foundational practices of modern theatre and performance, and expanding to address key contemporary practices. It explores approaches to working with performers, dramaturgs, scenographers and choreographers in organizing the elements of the theatrical event; investigates the development of rehearsal methodologies and compositional strategies; and provides an opportunity to explore these in a workshop environment. Constructed as a series of lectures and linked workshops the module provides students with a firm understanding of the historical and aesthetic contexts within which key directing practices were developed and are used.


1. To historicise the emergence of the figure of the director in 20th century theatre practice
2. To analyse the role of the director in modern theatre
3. To investigate key approaches to directorial practice operative in contemporary theatre-making
4. To introduce theories, principles and practices of directing.
5. To develop a critical awareness of the work of the director in relation to the work of other practitioners in the theatre-making ensemble.


The module explores the critical frameworks and creative processes involved in organizing the elements of the theatrical event. It investigates key directorial approaches to staging. During the module, students will be given the opportunity to try out, test, and experiment with different rehearsal methods and directorial methodologies, and to develop and ‘pitch’ their own directorial concept and approach.

Topics covered may include, for example:

1. Thinking through the stage: directors, directing and mise-en-scène
2. Thinking through the text: directing complex drama
3. Thinking beyond the text: directing space and scene
4. Thinking through the body: directing movement
5. Thinking through the scene: directing images and objects
6. Thinking through ensemble: director as organizer
7. Thinking through intertextuality: director as experimenter
8. Thinking through collaboration: director as facilitator
9. Thinking through culture: director as interrogator
10. Thinking through narrative: director as storyteller

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication The development and use of communication skills are intrinsic to the students’ experience in this module. The individual student’s ability to articulate and communicate their ideas and opinions is developed and encouraged across all aspects of the module, and the assessment forms recognise effective communication across written, verbal and performative material.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students are expected to respond to formative feedback during workshops and are required to reflect critically as part of their learning process. Self-regulation, motivation and time-management are demanded to maintain engagement with the development of the course and the completion of its concomitant assessed assignments. Assessment procedures recognise effective self-management and self-motivation.
Information Technology Skills of information handling are exercised through the conduct of research, presentation processes, and the collation of materials, within assessed submissions, and weekly writing assignments, and are recognised in the assessment of those submissions.
Personal Development and Career planning The module encourages the initial development of skills directly applicable to careers within cultural (particularly theatre/performance) industries. Further transferable skills (project design and planning, the development of personal creative initiatives) are also developed through the completion of assessment tasks, though this does not of itself constitute an assessed element.
Problem solving Appropriate personal research and the development of effective personal and group research practices, are implicitly encouraged throughout the module, and are assessed through their impact on the development and presentation of the assessed submissions.
Research skills Appropriate personal research and the development of effective personal and group research practices, are implicitly encouraged throughout the module, and are assessed through their impact on the development and presentation of the assessed submissions.
Subject Specific Skills See QAA Dance, Drama and Performance Subject Benchmark Statement (Version 2015). The following subject specific skills are developed and partly assessed: * engaging in performance and production, based on an acquisition and understanding of appropriate performance and production vocabularies, skills, structures and working methods * creating original work using the skills and crafts of performance making * using performance techniques associated with particular cultural forms and/or practitioners * engaging in research, whether independent, group or performance-based * making records of performance, using skills in notation and/or documentation.
Team work Practical classes demand the application of skills necessary to conduct successful collaborative activity.


This module is at CQFW Level 5