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Module UXS-3408:
Site-Specific Performance

Module Facts

Run by School of Music, Drama and Performance

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Kate Lawrence

Overall aims and purpose

This should specify the purpose of the module where it fits into the programme specification and what it aims to provide. This will be in the Gazette entry for this module.

Site Specific Performance module explores theoretical and practical strategies that are currently in evidence within contemporary theatre and performance in relation to non-building theatre conventions. The module introduces a range of performance practices (street theatre, architecture and performance, the body in performance, etc). Some of the issues we will investigate include how theatre and performance might relate to audiences and communities, what histories and memories connected to places might be mobilised to create new stories and how these are framed in the architecture of a site.

Through discussion and practical application, the module investigates creative strategies, methods and theoretical and ethical issues arising from creating site-specific performance. The module considers performer/audience relationships, health and safety considerations, occupation and function of sites, rehearsal tactics, subversion or congruence in performance.

The module is a practice/theory module consisting of seminars and workshops and visits to sites around the campus. In the seminars we will consider a range of approaches and debates surrounding ‘locational’ performance practices. In the practical sessions we will undertake specific tasks, both observational and improvisational and watch and discuss work in progress.

Course content

Introduction to site specific performances, conventions and performance practice Exploring performance in a non-theatre building environment The historical and cultural legacy of selected performing traditions.

Assessment Criteria


A- to A*

Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Has originality of exposition with the student’s own thinking being readily apparent.
  2. Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study.
  3. Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.


C- to B+

Submitted work is competent throughout and may be distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It:

  1. Demonstrates good or very good structure and logically developed arguments.
  2. Draws at least in parts on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  3. Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  4. Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.


D- to D+

Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows:

  1. Generally accurate but with omissions and errors.
  2. Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.
  3. Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions.
  4. Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.

Learning outcomes

  1. Undertake independent research-based investigation to inform written and practical work.

  2. Be an active and creative participant in the process of project devising appropriate for a site specific performance context.

  3. Be able to identify and discuss the theoretical and practical strategies that are currently in evidence within site specific performance practice.

  4. Understand and engage with key artistic movements and philosophies that have informed site specific performance practice.

  5. Identify and execute the appropriate practical skills, techniques, performance vocabularies and working methods needed to conceive and realize a piece of site specific performance.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Presentation 20
Performance 40
Essay 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy


1 hour seminars (first 6 weeks)


3 hour performance assessment


2 hour workshops (first 6 weeks) 3 hour workshops (5 weeks)

Private study 164

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: