13 Foundations of Twentieth-Century Performance 16




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Module Specifications


For


BA (Hons) Drama
















Date 20 May 2009


Contents



Module


Page


Discovery Play


4


Languages of Theatre


7


Histories of Performance


10


Page to Stage


13


Foundations of Twentieth-Century Performance


16


Twentieth-century American Drama


19


Creation and Realisation


23


Tragedy and Comedy (Option)


26


Gender and Performance (Option)


30


Mask Work (Option)


34


Aspects of Acting (Option)


37

Performing Shakespeare (Option)





Drama Practitioners


41


Practitioners in Practice


44


Modern European Drama


48


Drama in the Community (Vocational Option)


51


Teaching Drama (Vocational Option)


55


Production Skills (Vocational Option)


58


Arts Management (Option)


61

Being an Actor (Option)

65


Post-war British Drama


68


Theatre Company


72

Placement (Study Abroad Option)

76


Dramaturgy


79


Physical Theatre (Option)


82


Radio Drama (Option)


86


Post-colonial Drama (Option)


90

Writing and Devising (Option)

93


The Musical (Option)


96


World Drama


91


World Performance


94


Theatre and Consciousness (Option)


98


Staging the Supernatural (Option)


101


Staging Science (Option)


105


Independent Study (Option)


108


Restoration to Melodrama


111


Contemporary Directions in Theatre and Performance


115


Breath and Performance (Option)


118


Scriptwriting (Option)


122


Theatre of the Avant-garde


126


Early Modern Drama


130


Multi-Media Performance


134


Adapting Shakespeare

149



Section 1: Basic Module Data


Module Title

The Discovery Play


Faculty

Media, Humanities & Technology


Department

Performing Arts


Programme(s) in which this module appears:

Drama Single Honours


Code:

TBC


Credit Rating:


15


Level:


One


Pre-requisites:


None


Co-requisites:


None


Barred Combinations:


None


Module Co-ordinator:


Dr Donald Pulford



Section 2: Module Synopsis


This unit introduces the student to the art of acting and performing together. Concentrating on the discovery of individual acting and production skills, the student will learn how to work with a purpose. Students will begin their degree with immersion into a demanding canonical play (e.g. Macbeth). The class will work together as a cohesive ensemble under the guidance of a faculty director, linking the intentions discovered in a play script with the instinct to physicalise and act out those intentions.


Initial workshops will focus on group cohesion, confidence building and practical exploration and script-based analysis of the chosen play, its issues, themes and contexts. Thereafter the ensemble will use class meetings as faculty directed rehearsal periods in which practical decisions will be discussed and adopted to meet the casting needs of the group and the requirements of the space in which the production will be presented.


Outside of the workshops students will focus on the terms and needs of their production. They will be set specific research tasks, the results of which will be presented to the rest of the group. The unit will culminate in assessed productions staged at the end of the semester for an invited audience of tutors and fellow students. These will be of no more than an hour’s duration, and will focus on the release of a classical play with minimal recourse to technical resources and support.


Section 3: Outline Syllabus


  • Learning the nature of play, role-playing and collaboration;

  • Acquiring basic skills and knowledge of acting and directing;

  • Discovering the physical self through voice, speech and movement, text and ensemble work;

  • Encountering a challenging play and learning how to explore its language and style.

  • Reflecting on practical work through the medium of the written report.


Section 4: Learning Outcomes


On completion of this unit students will be able to:


  1. Act a role with greater confidence, focus and deliberation.

  2. Formulate an approach to performance that makes use of different intellectual and physical techniques.

  3. Collaborate with others in an ensemble to produce a finished performance and production

  4. Timetable rehearsals and manage team-working strategies.

  5. Create a performance that does not need to use complex lighting, sound, set design or costume.

  6. Reflect on their practical work in a scholarly and analytical manner.


Section 5: Learning and Teaching Strategy/Methods


Students will take part in studio based group exercises that culminate in ensemble performances.


Section 6: Assessment


Group mark for the production (30%), plus individual contribution to the production (formative and summative; 30%) plus written reflective report (40%).


Section 7: Indicative Reading


Primary Reading

Plays such as Macbeth, Euripides, Electra or As You Like It


Secondary Reading

Artaud, Antonin, The Theatre and Its Double. London: Calder Books, 1958.

Barker, Clive, Theatre Games. London: Methuen, 1970.

Benedetti, Jean, Stanislavsky: A Biography. London: Methuen, 1988.

Benedetti, Jean, Stanislavski and the Actor. London: Methuen, 1988.

Benedetti, Jean, Stanislavski: An Introduction. London: Methuen.

Braun, Edward, Meyerhold: A Revolution in Theatre. London: Methuen, 1995.

Braun, Edward, ed., Meyerhold on Theatre. London: Methuen, 1969.

Brook, Peter, The Empty Space. London: Penguin, 1968.

Chekhov, Michael, To the Actor. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1985.

Chekhov, Michael, On the Technique of Acting. New York: Harper Perreniel, 1991.

Cole, Toby and Chinoy, Helen Krich, eds, Actors on Acting. New York: Crown, 1970.

Craig, Edward Gordon, On the Art of the Theatre. London: Heinemann Educational,

1980.

Donnellen, Declan, Acting the Target. London: Nich Hern Books, 2002.

Goffman, Erving, The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life. London: Penguin, 1959.

Grotowski, Jerzy, Towards a Poor Theatre. London: Methuen, 1969.

Hagen, Uta, Respect for Acting. New York: Macmillan, 1973.

Hodge, Alison, ed., Twentieth Century Actor Training. London: Routledge, 1973.

Hornby, Richard, The End of Acting: A Radical View. New York: Applause Books,

1992.

Johnston, Chris, House of Games: Making Theatre from Everyday Life. London: Nick Hern Books, 1998.

Meisner, Sandy and David Longwell, Meisner on Acting. New York: Vintage, 1987.

Picon-Vallin, Beatrice, Meyerhold. Paris: CNRS, 1990.

Pisk, Liz, The Actor and His Body. London: Methuen, 1999.

Stanislavsky, Constantin, An Actor Prepares. London, Methuen, 1936.

Stanislavsky, Constantin, Building a Character. London, Methuen, 1968.

Stanislavsky, Constantin, Creating a Role. London: Methuen, 1961.

Williams, David, Peter Brook: A Theatrical Casebook. London: Methuen, 1992.

Section 1: Basic Module Data


Module Title

Languages of Theatre


Faculty

Media, Humanities & Technology


Department

Performing Arts


Programme(s) in which this module appears:

Drama Single Honours


Code:

TBC


Credit Rating:


15


Level:


One


Pre-requisites:


None


Co-requisites:


None


Barred Combinations:


None


Module Co-ordinator


Mrs Lisa Gaughan



Section 2: Module Synopsis


Live performance is a result of a combination of language and sign systems—set design, costume, make-up, lighting and sound, to name a few. This unit will introduce students to a number of visual and technical aspects of theatre, based on the concepts associated with semiotics. Students will study the relationship between drama texts and their visual realisation on stage, and will analyse elements of scenography and technical design. They will also explore relationships between audience and performer/performance space. A selection of short excerpts from playscripts will function as ‘blueprints’ for practical work and as initial examples for analysing the languages of theatre.


Section 3: Outline Syllabus


  • Terminology of the stage;

  • Interpretation of set descriptions and ground-plans;

  • Performance spaces;

  • Proxemics, kinesics, stage picture, scenography;

  • Costume and make-up;

  • Lighting, sound and multimedia;

  • Themes, genres, periods, atmosphere, style;

  • Set designs;

  • Design concepts.


Section 4: Learning Outcomes


On completion of this unit students will be able to:


  1. Employ basic terminology in analysis of performance, design and performance space;

  2. Identify ways in which visual and other effects are created in theatre;

  3. Utilise a range of languages of performance;

  4. Describe relationships between drama texts and the creation of theatrical ‘stage pictures’;

  5. Think in terms of creative and practical solutions to staging problems;

  6. Demonstrate their ideas to their peers through live presentation;

  7. Reflect on and theorise the content and style of their presentation in a written report.


Section 5: Learning and Teaching Strategy/Methods


Students will attend a series of workshops featuring practical and script-based sessions with academic discussion.


Section 6: Assessment


An individual or group presentation (50%) plus 1000 word report (50%).


Section 7: Indicative Reading


Primary Texts:

Excerpts from the following plays will be used in workshops:

Beckett, Waiting for Godot (1955)

Berkoff, Metamorphosis (1969)

Campton, Cagebirds (1976)

Genet, The Balcony (1963)

Priestley, An Inspector Calls (1945)

Littlewood and Theatre Workshop, Oh! What a Lovely War (1963)

Lorca, The House of Bernarda Alba (1936)

Miller, Death of a Salesman (1949)

Rattigan,. Separate Tables (1954)

Shakespeare, Macbeth (c.1606)


Secondary Texts:

Aston, E. and Savona, G. Theatre as Sign-System: A Semiotics of Text and

Performance London: Routledge, 1991.

Blaikie, T. and Troubridge, E. Scenic Art and Construction: A Practical Guide

Crowood: Marlborough, 2002.

Buchman, H. Stage Make-Up London: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1989.

Counsell, C. Signs of Performance: An Introduction to Twentieth-century Theatre

London: Routledge, 1996.

Davis, T. Stage Design Hove: Rotovision SA, 2001.

Essig, L. Lighting and the Design Idea Toronto: Thomson Wadsworth, 2005.

Fraser, N. Stage Lighting Design: A Practical Guide Crowood: Marlborough, 1999.

Goodwin, J. (ed) British Theatre Design; The Modern Age London; Weidenfeld &

Nicolson Ltd, 1989.

Griffiths, T. Stagecraft London: Phaidon Press Ltd 1982.

Holt, M. Stage Design and Properties London: Phaidon Press Ltd 1993.

Hall, P. (ed.) Time and Space - Design for Performance London: Society of British

Theatre Designers 1999.

Ingham, R. From Page to Stage. Portsmouth: Heinemann 1998.

Ingham, R. and L. Covey The Costume Designer’s Handbook London:

Heinemann, 1992.

Pilbrow, R. Stage Lighting London: Nick Hern Books, 1993.

Reid, F. Designing for the Theatre London: A & C Black, 1989.

Taymor, J. Playing With Fire New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc 1999.

Thorne, G. Designing Stage Costumes: A Practical Guide Crowood: Marlborough,

2001.

Thorne, G. Stage Design: A Practical Guide Crowood: Marlborough, 1999.

Walne, G. Sound for the Theatre London: A & C Black, 1990.

White, C. Technical Theatre: A Practical Introduction London: Arnold, 2001.


Section 1: Basic Module Data


Module Title

Histories of Performance

Faculty

Media, Humanities & Technology


Department

Performing Arts


Programme(s) in which this module appears:

Drama Single Honours


Code:

TBC


Credit Rating:


15


Level:


One


Pre-requisites:


None


Co-requisites:


None


Barred Combinations:


None


Module Co-ordinator:


Dr Kelly Jones



Section 2: Module Synopsis


Students reading this unit will learn about the forms, practices, and traditions of drama in Europe from Classical times to the realist theatre of the end of the nineteenth century, as well as the landmarks of development of South Asian, Japanese and Chinese theatre for comparison. The primary emphasis will be on historical evidence including eyewitness accounts, representative plays, theatre architecture, the stage, scenery, costume, acting, directing and modes of production. The lectures provide necessary overviews and contexts, while the seminars allow the students to explore many aspects of theatrical performance, and also consider how theatre reflects politics, society, economics, philosophy and ideology.


Section 3: Outline Syllabus


  • From ritual to performance (theatre and dance

  • Classical performance: form and function

  • Medieval performance and religion

  • The Renaissance; Shakespeare

  • Restoration and sentiment

  • The Romanic period and Melodrama

  • The Rise of Realism


Section 4: Learning Outcomes


On completion of this unit students will be able to:


  1. Discuss the history of dramatic texts and dramatic performances.

  2. Identify a range of theatrical genres and their cultural contexts.

  3. Outline the history of theatre design and the uses of different performance spaces.

  4. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the changing shape of history as applied to theatre, drama and performance.

  5. Develop skills in library use, research, report, essay and case study writing.


Section 6: Assessment


One essay of 1,500 words (100%)


Section 7: Indicative Reading


Beauman, Sally, The Royal Shakespeare Company: A History of Ten Decades. Oxford:

Oxford University Press, 1986.

Berthold, Margot, A History of World Theater. New York: Ungar, 1972.

Bigsby, C.W.E., Modern American Drama 1945-2000. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 2000.

Brockett, Oscar G., History of the Theatre, 3rd edn. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1987.

Brown, John Russell, ed., The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre. Oxford and New

York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Findlater, Richard, Banned. London: MacGibbon and Kee, 1967.

Elsom, J. and N. Tomalin, The History of the National Theatre. London: Cape, 1978.

Harwood, R., All the World’s A Stage. London: Secker, 1984.

Hobson, Harold, Theatre in Britain. Oxford: Phaidon, 1984.

Lacey, Stephen, British Realist Theatre: The New Wave in its Context. 1956-1965.

London: Routledge, 1995.

Lucas, F.L., The Drama of Ibsen and Strindberg. London: Cassell, 1963.

Mulryne, J.R. and Margaret Shewring, eds, Shakespeare’s Globe Rebuilt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Nagler, A.M., A Source Book in Theatrical History: Twenty-five centuries of stage history

in more than 300 basic documents and other primary material. New York: Dover, 1952.

Nicoll, Allardyce, Drama from Aeschylus to Anouilh, 2nd edn. London: Harrap, 1976.

Roose-Evans, James, Experimental Theatre from Stanislavsky to Brecht. London:

Studio Vista, 1970.

Orgel, Stephen, The Illusion of Power: Political Theater in the English Renaissance.

Rowell, George, The Victorian Theatre, 1792-1914, 2nd end. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 1978.

Pavis, Patrice, Dictionary of the Theatre: Terms, Concepts, and Analysis. Toronto and

Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1998.

Rutter, Carol, ed., Documents of the Rose Playhouse, rev edn. Manchester:

Manchester University Press, 1999.

Scolnicov, Hanna, Women’s Theatrical Space. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,

1994.

Southern, Richard, The Staging of Plays before Shakespeare. London: Faber, 1973.

Styan, J.L., Modern Drama in Theory and Practice, 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 1980.

White, Martin, Renaissance Drama in Action: An Introduction to Aspects of Theatre

Practice and Performance. London and New York: Routledge, 1998.

Williams, Raymond, Drama from Ibsen to Brecht, 2nd rev edn. Harmondsworth: Penguin,

1976.


Section 1: Basic Module Data


Module Title

Page to Stage

Faculty

Media, Humanities & Technology


Department

Performing Arts


Programme(s) in which this module appears:

Drama Single Honours


Code:

TBC


Credit Rating:


15


Level:


One


Pre-requisites:


None


Co-requisites:


None


Barred Combinations:


None


Module Co-ordinator:


Mrs Lisa Gaughan



Section 2: Module Synopsis


A script is not a finished product, like a poem or a novel. That is because, unlike a poem or a novel, a script is not a thing that is written to be read. A script is a blueprint for a performance, written to enable a theatrical event to take place. 'Page to Stage' will introduce students to the processes by which a script is turned into a live event. Emphasis will fall upon the interpretation of existing scripted material, and its subsequent realisation as performance. Students will examine textual drama through basic play analysis whilst also being encouraged to conceptualise drama as live performance. Textual analysis will contribute towards the academic content of the unit, and will inform the ways in which the written word might be translated into speech and movement. A range of twentieth century scripts will be read and analysed. The reading and analysis will form the basis for the workshops, which will explore possibilities and problems that exist in transferring drama from the page and on to the stage. This unit will utilise the formalist methods of script analysis as outlined in:


Thomas, James, Script Analysis for Actors, Directors and Designers (2nd edition). Oxford: Focal Press, 1999.


Section 3: Outline Syllabus


  • Definitions: drama/script, theatre/performance;

  • Analysis of written texts; interpreting texts for performance;

  • Structure/beats/units and exposition; back-story; action: psychological and physical; conflict, status, and character objectives; dialogue; punctuation; tempo/rhythm/mood; ‘given circumstances’; the ‘world of the play’; the ‘idea’ of the play.

  • Approaches, techniques and methods enabling the movement from page to stage;

  • Detection of performance opportunities, ambiguities and challenges implicit in the script;

  • Choosing suitable texts for assessed performance and study;

  • Teamwork, participation, confidence and preparation;

  • Reflecting on practical work and the writing of academic reports based on this reflection.


Section 4: Learning Outcomes


On completion of this unit students will be able to:


  1. Interpret a script for performance;

  2. Analyse and utilise the processes by which a live performance is created out of the written word;

  3. Effect the transition from page to stage;

  4. Work as a team;

  5. Reflect on, analyse, theorise and write up the processes involved in the creation of live performance from scripted material;

  6. Develop analytical and writing skills.


Section 6: Assessment


A small-scale performance based on a published script (50%) plus 1000 word report reflecting on the transition processes from page to stage (50%).


Section 7: Indicative Reading


Primary Texts:

Excerpts from the following twentieth century plays will be used in workshops:


Beckett, Come and Go (1965)
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