Module UXS-2400:
Contemporary Theatre Practice

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Branwen Davies

Overall aims and purpose

Contemporary Theatre Practice is a module that explores theatre making at an advanced level. Through performance, direction and dramaturgy, students will be encouraged to establish companies and produce their own work to explore artistic policy on the 21st Century Stage that welcomes the experimental. Understanding of research and development exploration and production values will be shared and practiced and through discussion and practical application, the module will investigate creative strategies, methods and theoretical issues arising from creating contemporary theatre.

The module considers performer/audience relationships on the 21st Century stage, scenography, and technology in performance as well as dramaturgical decisions in staging and performance training.

**Students are expected to have completed at least one of the Level 4 Modules as a pre-requisite. Either UXS/B 1120 (Theatre Making) or UXS/B 1403 (Performing for Stage and Screen).

Course content

  • Explore advance theatre making methods to create original creative work
  • Introduce theoretical and practical research in Contemporary Theatre Practice
  • Develop research and development material as well as a short company production to evaluate practice.
  • The module runs every 2 years with students from the second and third year of undergraduate study working together

Assessment Criteria

good

Students will have met the standards of class developed knowledge and understanding with some independent research to support.

threshold

Students will have developed a knowledge and understanding of the majority of the class material but very limited independent development.

excellent

Students will have developed in-depth research (theoretically and practically) beyond class knowledge and understanding.

Learning outcomes

  1. • Understood the appropriate skills, working methods and approaches required when conducting performance work.

  2. • Has undertaken independent research-based investigation to inform written and practical work.

  3. • Been an active and creative participant in the process of play or project devising appropriate for a contemporary theatre practice context.

  4. • Been able to identify and discuss the theoretical and practical strategies that are currently in evidence within contemporary theatre practice.

  5. • Participated in an extended period of practice-based exploration to assist in the generation of an original performance.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
DEMONSTRATION/PRACTICE Performance Study

DESCRIPTION: In groups of 4-5, produce a short practice based research and development performance study that will be shared with the rest of the class for critical exploration midterm. A laboratory performance (rather than a production) that will allow the opportunity to put theoretical and practice based critical research into action. The group will be expected to choose one area of focus for practical enquiry:

  • DIRECTION AND DRAMATURGY ON THE 21st Century Stage (Possible areas of exploration ‘actor/spectator relationship’, ‘staging the unstageable, ‘adapting the text’)
  • •PERFORMANCE AESTHETICS on the 21st Century Stage (Possible areas of exploration ‘relationship between the character/actor’, ‘experimenting with different performance technique for performance)

This assessment has been designed to encourage experimentation prior to the establishment of assessment 2 (short company production).

20
DEMONSTRATION/PRACTICE Group Production

DESCRIPTION: In groups, establish a company identity and create a short original production in the field of contemporary theatre practice. Marketing material will be expected to be produced to establish the company’s identity as well as reflected in the work.

Second year students will be expected to partake in one role (ensemble maker). This will be documented in a professional log.

Third year students will be expected to partake in 2 clear roles (ensemble maker, production manager, marketing manager for example). One artistic and administrative role. This will also be documented in a professional log.

All students are expected to be available for rehearsal and production week that will take place after week 12 of teaching term and dates will be given at the beginning of term. The performance day will take place 16th May 2018.

50
ESSAY Critical Essay

DESCRIPTION: In relation to your developing practice based research this term, critically examining contemporary practice through further theoretical research.

This essay will give you the opportunity to question key areas of contemporary theatre that you are interested in (possibly in relation to performance, direction or dramaturgy). Allowing your developing practice to be of support to your critical understanding, focusing on key theories, practitioners, practices that justify a place on the 21st Century Stage.

30

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Seminar 6
Practical classes and workshops

Laboratory Workshops in Direction, Dramaturgy and Performance Training will be delivered in development to practice based research.

22
Private study

The students will be expected to invest a minimum of 20 hours on their performance study assessment. 50 hours minimum on their short production and 30 hours minimum on their critical essay to develop the minimum requirements of subject knowledge development. The Students will also be encouraged to developed their own practice based and theoretical research in relation to these assessments as well as contacting their groups on a regular basis to attend independent rehearsals and any additional organisation needed outside of class hours. High group commitment is required on this module as well as the commitment to attend live performances on a regular basis and this element will be monitored during the term.

156
Supervised time in studio/workshop

Groups will be allocated time in class to develop group work under the supervision of the lecturer.

16

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • An understanding of creative and critical processes, and of the wide range of skills inherent in creative writing. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Knowledge of a wide range of canonical English texts, providing a confident understanding of literary traditions as well as the confidence to experiment and challenge conventions when writing creatively. (English Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Artistic engagement and ability to articulate complex ideas in oral and written forms. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Reflective practitioner skills, including awareness of the practice of others in collaborative learning (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to engage in processes of drafting and redrafting texts to achieve clarity of expression and an appropriate style. (English Benchmark Statement 3.3; NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).

Resources

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: