Module Identifier PF20110  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Mike Pearson  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite PF10320, SG10320 OR DR10320  
Course delivery Lecture   15 Hours 10 x 1.5 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   3 Hours Seminar.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Group Project: Working in small groups, conceive and devise a performance for a given location in Aberystwyth on a given theme. (This includes the development and presentation of a set of conceptual notions as a group project. Assessment of this project will be made through live exposition (lecture/presentation), though not performance, by including the use of video, slide, diagrammatic and textual material as appropriate. The presentation will last 20 minutes to be followed by 10 minutes of questioning from the two examiners.) 50%
Semester Assessment Essay: 2,500 word written essay Analyse the structure and staging of a given performance, live or on video. (The essay demands the development and application of methods of intellectual analysis assessed according to conventional academic criteria by one member of staff.) 50%


Aims :

The aim of this module is:
- to provide working definitions of the phenomenon of performance as both aesthetic practice and event
- to provide a comprehensive introduction to the field of performance theory
- to examine approaches to the analysis of performative practices and non-textual genres of performance
- to encourage practical initiatives in the area of conceiving performance


The lectures concentrate upon definitions of performance as an aesthetic event and provide a series of oblique approaches for its analysis through the use of video and mult-media.

The seminars allow for further reflection upon key notions introduced in lectuers and upon the implication for the development of the assessment assignments.

Lecture schedule :

1. A working definition of performance: the presentation of a distinctive model of performance, which defines performance and its analysis as existing in a triangular field at the apexes of which are the terms practice, context and theory.
2. Body : definitions of performance as physical action
3. Space : definitions of performance as spatial manipulation
4. Audience : definitions of performance as interactive event
5. Context : the mediating effects of cultural and social context upon performance
6. Site and location : the mediating effects of place, location, architecture and landscape upon performance
7. Dramaturgy and structure : the compositional devices and procedures of performance.
8. Approaches to performance analysis : an overview of the principal British, American and European models of performance analysis
9. The analysis of performance I : a synthetic model for the analysis of performance
10. The analysis of performance II : examination of the application of the synthetic model to a given video of a fragment of performance

Criteria for assessment :

i] Written Essay : in assessing the essay the examiner will expect:
- an application of the analytical approaches presented in the module (30% of the overall essay mark)
- an understanding of the dramaturgical and spatial devices and procedures presented in the module (30%)
- an ability to sustain an intellectual argument for the duration of the essay (15%)
- evidence of individual research and reading in addition to lecture material (15%)
- appropriate presentation, including bibliography (10%)

ii] Conceptual Project : in assessing the project the examiner will expect:
- Personal contribution: attendance, punctuality and participation in both preparation and presentation (10% of project mark)
- Group work: evidence of group working within the conceptual framework of the project (20%)
- Creative achievement: understanding of the relationship between dramatic material and the chosen performance context, and an awareness of the feasibility of the proposition (30%)
- Presentation: clarity and coherence of exposition in presenting conceptual notions (30%)
- Feasibility: persuasiveness commensurate to competence with the media employed (10%)

Transferable skills

Transferable skills :

- writing as an academic tool
- group organisation and creative operation
- project design, problem solving, implementation and exposition of the group plan
- acquisition of analytical, conceptual and creative tools which may be applied in a variety of media and social contexts

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Elam, Keir (1980) The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama Routledge
Pearson, Mike and Shanks, Michael (2001) Theatre / Archaeology Routledge
Counsell, Colin and Wolf, Laurie (2001) Performance Analysis Routledge
Carlson, Marvin (1996) Performance: A Critical Introduction Routledge
** Recommended Background
Hilton, Julian (1987) Performance MacMillan
Huxley, Michael & Witts, Noel (eds) (1996) The Twentieth Century Performance Reader Routledge
Students will be expected to purchase a specially produced reader containing art textual extracts which will examine the notions presented in the course.


This module is at CQFW Level 5