Module Identifier DR34430  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Patricia A Rhodes  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Other staff Mr Richard A D Cheshire  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   12 x 1 hour Seminars  
  Lecture   12 x 1 hour Lectures  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment3 Hours Semester 1: 2 Reviews (500 words each)20%
Semester Assessment Semester 1: Essay (3000 words)30%
Semester Assessment Semester 2: Semester Examination including review (3 hours)50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of any failed elements  

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Identify production choices made in selected performances;
2. Reflect analytically and critically on the efficacy and significance of those production choices;
3. Examine in detail the 'performance history' of three selected texts and previous production choices made;
4. Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the challenges and difficulties of presenting those texts studied for modern theatre audiences;
5. To be able to write a review for an identified readership about the theatrical production.

Brief description

This module is designed to build on the skills and methods acquired in pre-requisite module, Production Analysis 1, allowing students to develop their own style and produce informed analysis bases on independent research. The module will examine a number of both professional and in-house productions in order to consider critically the way in which the different elements of production come together to create the theatrical experience. The module will look at aspects of production history and the critical evaluation of particular texts, and will also provide opportunities to discuss production choices and working methods with directors and members of production teams working on contemporary productions of the texts chosen for scrutiny.


This new module is specifically designed for those students who do not wish to participate in practical modules in the Department. It develops and extends the work covered in the core module DR30220: Production Analysis 1 in which students are introduced to methods for analysing productions of plays in performance. In this new module students are required to specialise in the interpretation of three contrasting texts, analysing their performance history and the efficacy of production choices made by directors, designers and performers. The contribution of these key players will be considered in isolation, in relation to each other and insofar as they contribute effectively to the realisation of the text in the consciousness of the give audience.


The lectures and seminars will focus on the text chosen for performance. In the first semester these will be third-year productions of texts performed as part of the Department's English-medium practical semester and two professional productions: one at Aberystwyth Arts Centre and one at Theatre Clwyd. During the second semester students will focus on the Department's Schools' Shakespeare Project and two further productions offered by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.

During the theatre visits students will have the opportunity to meet with actors (and where possible directors and designers) involved in the production process. These will be arranged by the Module Co-ordinator in conjunction with the Education Departments at Theatr Clwyd and the RSC in Stratford.

Students should bear in mind their own responsibility for acquiring their experience of the relevant text and bringing it to bear in the analysis of separate production events. It is also the responsibility of students to ensure that they attend the productions studied on the course. The lectures and discussions arranged with theatre practitioners are designed to be generally helpful and informative, but they should not distract attention from the proper focus of the module which is firmly on the personal experience and analysis acquired and developed by the individual student.

Students will be made aware that they will be required to meet the additional costs incurred by the theatre visits. These are subsidised by the Department who also benefit from reduced costs as a result of group bookings.

Lecture Content: the texts for analysis and discussion obviously differ from year to year depending on which
productions are being offered in repertoire. Students will be notified of which productions have been chosen at the beginning of each semester which allows proper time to select and purchase the tickets. The Department tries to attain a balance in the type, genre and style of the text chosen focusing primarily on classical texts written before 1960.
The lectures will discuss each text in its theatrical, social, political, religious and historical context and will inform students of the recognised challenges and perceived difficulties of interpreting the text for contemporary theatre audiences. Students will also be introduced to the differing styles of contemporary theatre critics as well as examining methodologies for reviewing text in performance. During the theatre visits, arranged in conjunction with the education departments of each venue, students will meet with practitioners who will discuss the directorial concepts and rehearsal methodologies applied during the rehearsal/performance process.

Seminar content: these will give students the opportunity to discuss and share their views and experiences of the productions seen and in particular identify the textual justification for production choices made.

Module Skills

Problem_solving The examination and analysis of aspects of theatre production inevitably involves understanding concepts relating to problem solving. Students are also required to use their initiative and logic during the periods covering theatre visits where there is a minimum amount of supervision.  
Research skills Students will demonstrate the results of individual research in the form of essays, examinations and contribution in lectures and seminars.  
Communication Students will demonstrate oral communication skills in seminar sessions and gain experience in selecting and analysing material for written assessments.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will receive feedback on written assignments as well as informal oral feedback during seminar sessions. The structure of the assignments allows students to submit one assignment for only 20% of the module and further components of assessment subsequently which are more heavily weighted given the expectation that they should improve upon their performance in the first submission.  
Team work Students will work in seminar groups and will therefore develop their team skills in that way. They will also form teams on an informal basis during theatre visits.  
Information Technology IT and information handling skills will be demonstrated through students' individual web based and library research. Furthermore, students are expected to submit all essay-type assignments in word-processed form.  
Application of Number The academic content of the module does not demand any application of number. However, students will be required to budget in order to meet the costs of theatre visits of which they are made fully aware prior to registration at University and the module.  
Personal Development and Career planning Students will have the opportunity to explore specific areas which reflect and strengthen their individual career needs.  
Subject Specific Skills Students will be encouraged to develop the use of a critical and analytical awareness and to expand their vocabulary in written and oral response to issues concerning theatrical texts in performance for modern audience.  


This module is at CQFW Level 6