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Unit information: Independent Study: Performance Project in 2018/19

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Unit name Independent Study: Performance Project
Unit code THTR30015
Credit points 40
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Jess McCormack
Open unit status Not open

THTR10002 Production for Design and Performance or DRAM10028 Production Skills for Performance 1

Performance Forms and Analysis

Performance Histories or Politics of Performance.



School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit will provide a structured and supervised opportunity for final-year students to research, develop and produce a student-directed practical project. A proposal that focuses the practice-as-research enquiry will be negotiated and agreed with a supervisor, and students will collaborate in small groups towards a 20-minute performance or installation. This will be performed for a public audience, shown as part of Gradfest, a well-established student-produced, programmed and marketed showcase of graduating students’ work. A viva will provide an opportunity for individual students to reflect critically on the process and performance shown in relation to their enquiry, and to contextualise their work. The unit prepares students for postgraduate practice-as-research or professional practice.

Intended learning outcomes

(1) To propose, plan and execute an effective practice-as-research project;

(2) To be able to apply a range of complex critical, theoretical and aesthetic ideas to practice;

(3) To present work that is highly assured, well-composed dramaturgically, articulated and performed with confidence;

(4) To demonstrate ability to work within the disciplines of production and project processes, managing time, working to deadlines and within production budgets;

(5) To work independently, reach individual decisions and make constructive personal judgements within a collaborative context;

(6) Reflect effectively on individual work within a collaborative production context, with reference to an appropriate range of critical ideas and related theatre/arts practices.

Teaching details

6 x 2hr tutorials in groups. 4 x 1hr production meetings

Initially office-based tutorials to discuss and develop practical enquiry and questions, and to feedback on proposals. Followed by studio-based supervision of practice, observations of rehearsals and work-in-progress. Tuition will be given by a relevant member of staff

8 x 2 hour Professional Practice sessions to prepare students for post-University work

8 x 3 hour Peer Rehearsal Sessions

Assessment Details

(1) 20-minute group performance or equivalent practice, for an individual mark (70%) ILO 1, 3, 4, 5

(2) Individual Viva (30%) (15-minutes) ILO 1, 2, 6

In advance of the performance and for the purpose of informing the assessors, each student submits a 300-word Abstract, which frames their individual practical enquiry within the context of the group project, outlines their research questions, concerns and methodology, and specific contribution to the project. The individual Viva will be 15 minutes long, structured such that there is 5 minutes in which the student can present their reflections, followed by 10 minutes of questions. These will be focused around critical discussion of the performance shown in the light of the abstracts, individual roles, understanding of group decisions and process, the conception of the work, inspirations, theoretical and aesthetic contexts, and how the practice could be developed further.

In terms of formative assessment, student groups will submit detailed proposals for their performance projects, which their academic supervisors will offer feedback on. Groups will also show at least one work-in-progress extract or ‘draft’ of their performance or installation.

Reading and References

Reading and references will be provided individually according to the agreed project.