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Unit information: Site-Specific and Immersive Performance in 2021/22

Unit name Site-Specific and Immersive Performance
Unit code THTR30006
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Paul Clarke
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts


Site-specific and immersive performance strategies are increasingly prevalent in contemporary theatre. In this unit students will encounter forms of site-specific performance, such as environmental responses to landscape; community-focused urban interventions; and the staging of existing plays within found spaces. Students will develop an understanding of the role of space and place with regard to performance, which will inform their engagement with site-specific and immersive performance practices beyond traditional indoors theatre venues. These can range from medieval theatres in the round and heritage sites to contemporary installations and flash mobs. Students will further consider the ways in which bodies, in solo and group forms, can produce new meanings from sites. In this unit, site-specificity will be addressed through a combination of historical, theoretical, and practical approaches, such as ecofeminist criticism and heritage interpretation.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will have:

1) developed in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of place, body, and space and how these inform site-specific and immersive performance

2) developed detailed understanding of the key theoretical and theatrical concerns in both current and contemporaneous criticism of performance environments

3) applied and evaluated a range of approaches to the viewing and interpreting of site-specific and immersive events, and explored their practical implications in public

4) acquired advanced knowledge of a range of site-specific and immersive performative techniques and understanding of their practical application

5) demonstrated the advanced ability to analyse and evaluate site-specific and immersive performance both in terms of their own practice and the practice of others

6) conceptualised and performed a collaborative group project in response to understanding of a site or set of immersive principles

Teaching details

Weekly seminars, workshops; intensive period culminating in a performance

Assessment Details

One 2000 word essay (40%) ILO 1 - 3

Group performance of no more than 20 minutes, for a group mark (40%) ILO 3, 4, 6

Individual viva (20%) ILO 3 - 6


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