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Unit information: Staging the Text in 2020/21

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Unit name Staging the Text
Unit code THTR10006
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Mark France
Open unit status Not open



Introduction to Performance Studies and Introduction to Performance Practices

School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit introduces students to a range of approaches to staging a play for an audience. Practical, studio-based workshops will explore various ways of performing dramatic texts; directorial and acting techniques will be developed. Beginning with interpretation and textual analysis, students will follow the process from page to stage, collaborating in groups to rehearse a scene or scenes from a chosen play. The production elements will be realised through Producing the Performance and together these units address all aspects of practical theatre-making, enabling students to take a play through to public performance. The unit will explore exemplary stagings, actors, directors, dramaturgs or ensembles, and will develop students’ critical skills through reflection on their own and others’ practice.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed their

(1) ability to stage a scene or scenes from a play and experienced performing for an audience;

(2) practical understanding of a range of ways of acting and directing;

(3) approaches to interpreting a play and analysing texts for performance;

(4) ability to collaborate effectively, constructively and creatively in group-based workshops;

(5) ability to apply and adapt the tools introduced through taught workshops to their own interpretations of scenes;

(6) approaches to documenting workshops, contextual research, rehearsal processes and performance;

(7) critical engagement with theatre through reflections on their own and others’ practices.

Teaching details

Students will initially take part in practical workshops, followed by self-directed research, development and rehearsals in groups, with staff tutorials. The unit concludes with a rehearsal and production period, leading up to the assessed performance. If a live physical performance is not possible, digital and other alternatives will be used to assess student practical work.

The taught workshops develop students' ways of approaching a play and provide tools for interpreting, devising around, directing, acting and staging a text. These will be contextualised by further reading, discussion, occasional presentations of research and screenings. Workshops are increasingly self-directed and teaching will take the form of group tutorials and feedback on ideas for staging, performance material produced and work-in-progress. The rehearsal and production period runs in conjunction with Producing the Performance.

Assessment Details

Critical analysis (2000 words) (50%) ILO 3, 4, 6, 7.

Practical work: for a group mark (50%) ILO 1,2,4,5. .

Reading and References

  • Brecht, B. (1978) Brecht On Theatre, London: Methuen.
  • Christopher Innes and Maria Shevtsova (2013) The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Directing, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Delgado, Maria M. and Dan Rebellato (2010) Contemporary European Theatre Directors, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Mitchell, Katie (2008) The Director's Craft: A handbook for the theatre, London: Routledge.
  • Stanislavski, C. (1937, 1988) An Actor Prepares, trans. E. R. Hapgood, London: Methuen.