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Unit information: Introduction to Performance Studies in 2020/21

Unit name Introduction to Performance Studies
Unit code THTR10008
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Wozniak
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

Year 1 of the course is designed to lay foundations in performance studies, introducing key concepts, theories and approaches. These are supplemented by seminars to focus on critical and textual analysis and small group tutorials to develop new study skills needed for study at university. In this unit students are introduced to a range of performance forms and methods of analysis. This unit will develop close analytical skills by considering topics including but not limited to:

· Definitions: what is performance and what is theatre?

· Defintions: who is the performer and who is the actor?

· Defintions: what is the play text?

· Definitions: performance spaces and spectatorship.

· Definitions: what are the contexts of performance?

· Liveness: performance in a mediatized age.

· Semiotics of performance and theatre.

· Analyzing performance: reading the signs and analyzing events.

· How does critical theory help us to analyze performance?

· Why does theatre history matter?

Lectures, seminars, screenings and online discussions will explore contrasting ways in which elements of performance forms have been configured in different periods and cultural contexts, in order to establish conceptual vocabularies and theoretical frameworks, which students can use to analyse creatively the complexities of performance in practice.

· to introduce students to key areas in the study and analysis of performance forms;

· to undertake a close investigation of selected historical and contemporary performance forms;

· to encourage critical understandings of the crucial components of performance forms;

· to explore how elements of performance forms have been configured in different periods and cultural contexts;

· to establish conceptual vocabularies and theoretical frameworks for the creative analysis of the complexities of performance forms in practice;

· to introduce a range of approaches to the teaching and learning of performance analysis.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will

  1. be able to identify key areas in the study and analysis of performance forms;
  2. be able demonstrate an understanding of the issues involved in a close investigation of selected historical and contemporary performance forms;
  3. be able to demonstrate a critical understandings of the crucial components of performance forms;
  4. be able to explore effectively and critically how elements of performance forms have been configured in different periods and cultural contexts;
  5. be able to deploy conceptual vocabularies and theoretical frameworks in their creative analyses of the dynamics of performance forms;
  6. be able to demonstrate effective academic research and writing skills.

Teaching details

This unit will be taught using a blended teaching approach. A combination of synchronous and asynchronous lectures, seminars and group tutorials will introduce students to the core theories, approaches and academic skills necessary to a transition to studying performance at Higher Education level. Students will complete formative assessments and receive peer and tutor feedback in preparation for the summative assessment. Formative assessments will include:

250 word review of performance

500 word critical analysis of performance

1,500-word literature review

Assessment Details

2,000-word essay (100%) (ILOs 1-6)

Reading and References

  • Campbell, Patrick ed. (1996) Analysing Performance: a critical reader, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Carlson, Marvin (1996) Performance: a critical introduction, London: Routledge.
  • Davis, T. and Postlewaite, T (eds) (2003) Theatricality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pavis, P (2003) Analyzing Performance, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
  • Postlewaite, T and McConachie, B (eds) (1989) Interpreting the Theatrical Past, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.
  • Shepherd, Simon and Mick Wallis (2004) Drama / Theatre / Performance. London: Routledge, New Critical Idiom

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