The aim of this module is to engage students with established practices and key theories related to dramaturgical processes in preparing the text for performance. Students explore a variety of dramatic texts and engage with practical methodologies and rehearsal techniques appropriate to the text studied. They are also introduced to key theories and practices related to dramaturgy, translation, and adaptation in the performance context.
This module is intended to engage students in the creative and collaborative process of staging and performing a dramatic text for a public audience. Throughout an intensive actor-training period, they re-explore key acting techniques, and engage with selected contemporary texts that are recognised as posing the greatest challenges for the actor through ensemble work, adaptation, devising, scripting and experiments in staging.
This course is designed to give students a detailed overview of the American theatre in the twentieth century, its texts and contexts. In addition to a number of plays, the course also looks at a number of the key companies, groups, and practitioners producing work at this time, such as the Provincetown Players, the Black Arts Movement, and the Open Theater, and examine the importance of Broadway and Off-Broadway movements in general. As one of the modules in the Elements of Theatre History series, it focuses upon the social, historical and political backgrounds to this period, and the effects of these upon the texts and groups under discussion.
This module allows students develop their writing for and about the stage. Each week they are set creative writing tasks that help them develop their skills in writing. Over the semester, they build up a portfolio of creative pieces and be required to analyse the work of other students, as well as existing plays in performance and on the page.
Culture and Performance introduces the students to a range of contemporary cultural and critical perspectives on drama, and investigates the relationship between culture and performance through seminar discussions and practical workshops. The major emphasis of the module is upon developing a refined understanding of how drama, theatre and performance operate in different contexts. The main features of the module are the investigation of ways in which drama expresses cultural and critical perspectives in practice, and the exploration of theories such as post-colonialism, feminism, and materialism as creative and analytical tools.
The aims of the module are to introduce seminal American plays from the post-war era to the present within their social and historical context, as well as an awareness of the playwrights’ wider bodies of work. The course explores a variety of different styles of theatrical texts created in the context of American theatre in the last 70 years.
I designed this practical workshop to suggest possible ways of approaching the challenge of writing historical plays. The workshop included approaches to the research process, generating and synthesising ideas and ways of tackling period dialogue, as a solo practice and also in a collaborative, workshop setting. I used the process I created when writing, researching and workshopping my own plays Alice’s Adventures in the New World and World Enough and Time as examples of working.
This module investigates questions around the areas of theatre writing, adaptation and translation–both single authored playwriting and collaborative work—through practical application and critical analysis. Students are encouraged to engage in dramaturgy, individually and in groups, as a way of interrogating decisions made by previous writers. Cultural transposition, tone, texture, idiom, linguistic immediacy, reception theory, performance shape and performance history are focused on as dramatic texts are read, discussed, reworked and recreated.
This practical, 10-week course is designed for for adults (55+) who are looking to build new skills around performance analysis, practice and writing, using a full range of techniques, open to those with a wide range of knowledge and ability. Throughout the course, participants explore actor training techniques, performance analysis, text analysis, improvisation as an ensemble.
This module is designed to help students develop the sensitivity necessary for the reception and interpretation of diverse cultural materials. This is done through exposure to performance forms and styles from other cultures, and also through an engagement with the politics and debates surrounding cultural contact and exchange.
This module introduces a range of key theoretical perspectives that can be used to analyse a range of playtexts. It also examines some of the major interventions in theatre over the centuries in order to assess the creative developments and outcomes in the light of key playwrights and theorists. The students are asked to engage in textual analysis of individual plays, considering the contextual influences of history and culture as well as genre and form. A variety of approaches are covered, with the intention of providing the student with the tools necessary for rigorous critical and conceptual interpretation.
This series of weekly workshops was run in collaboration with Theo Herdman and Giles Faulkner. They were performance-based and ensemble-driven, revolving around a series of exercises and approaches to physical theatre, devising and other modes of collaborative practice.