module specification

DN5015 - Designing the Performance (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Designing the Performance
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
162 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
138 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 30%   Group work practical with participation requirement (15 minutes)
Group Presentation 50%   Ensemble production/s with participation requirement (circa 3 minutes per student)
Coursework 20%   Written documentation
Running in 2019/20

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Monday Morning
Year City Thursday Afternoon
Year City Thursday Morning
Year City Monday Afternoon

Module summary

 Designing the Performance is a year-long module that runs parallel with curriculum of BA Theatre and Performance Practice so that production design and performance students are able to work together.
It provides opportunities for students to create designs for performance and have them exposed to audiences.  It continues to challenge and broaden the notions of ‘text’ and ‘audience’. It will draw on case studies of contemporary theatre practitioners in exploring how performance designs are created and will focus in particular on ensemble and collaborative work.  
It may be taught by theatre companies or practitioners in residency. It will utilise skills and concepts learnt in year one and will provide models of theatre making and production which will be drawn upon in year three.
Students will be introduced to the ideas, ethos and working practices of contemporary theatre companies. The module will ask students to adapt a physical and visual approach to text work from the point of view of the performer and theatre and/or film maker using design and making strategies that test notions of the relationship with the audience, employing professional modelling techniques in both rehearsal design and performance.

Prior learning requirements

 Pass and completion (120 credits) of prior level


 The module will be taught through practice in a workshop setting. Indicate LO addressed

• Introduction to several different practitioner approaches with in-depth focus upon one. This part of the module may be led by a company in residence, for example: Frantic Assembly, Sound and Fury, Elastic Theatre, Lightwork, Gheko, Filskit, Improbable, who will work with physical and/or visual approaches to text. LO1
• Working with a director who will use their mission, ethos and methodology as a starting point. LO2
• Study work undertaken in the third section of DN5013 Scenography, Text and Place and utilise the concepts explored and the research undertaken to begin the process of creating an ensemble studio production in collaboration with students taking the BA Theatre and Performance.  LO2, LO3 LO3, LO4
• Led by a director, students will collaborate to realise a text-inspired piece of ensemble theatre with simple production values.  This will be performed in front of a public audience in one of our studios. LO3
• Investigating alternative approaches to making work which responds to or explores a ‘text’. LO4
• Introduction to skills and concepts needed to create performance work which will result in the presentation of the work in a practical assessment. LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

 By the end of the module students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

LO1 explore the work and ethos of contemporary theatre companies and practitioners through case studies;

Cognitive Intellectual Abilities

LO2 understand the significance to both programme and practice of the differing professional and technical collaborative practitioners within a production;

Transferable Skills

LO3 work collaboratively with performers and a production team with a distinct and focused ethos and mission;

Subject Specific Skills

LO4 express through models or drawn work the relationship of a performance and meaning of the text to the audience and demonstrate how the text is realised through the both the physical and visual approach of the designer from the viewpoints of the performer and theatre director or film maker;
LO5: understand the embodied processes undertaken to mount a theatre production and its ethos through modelling and visual and reflective methods.

Assessment strategy

 Assessment for this module will be mostly of practical work. 
1) Group practical
2) Practical production in front of an audience.
3) Supporting written documentation which documents and analyses the process of making assessment item 2

In practical modules students will be marked on theory and process and product but not specifically on ‘performance’.  Written work can be submitted online.


 Bogart, A. and Landau, T., (2006) The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Compositions, Theatre Communications Group
Bonczek, R. B. and Storck, D., (2012)  Ensemble Theatre Making: A Practical Guide, Routledge
Boncek, R. B., and Storck, D., (2013) Ensemble theatre making: a practical guide, Routledge
Graham, S. and Hoggett, S., (2009) The Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre, Routledge
Graham, S. and Hoggett, S., (2014) The Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre, Taylor & Francis Group
Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [6 April 2018].
Harvie, J. and Lavender, A., (2012) Making Contemporary Theatre: International Rehearsal Processes, MUP
Lecoq, J., (2009) The Moving Body (le Corps Poetique): Teaching Creative Theatre, Methuen
Keefe, J. and Murray, S., (2007) Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction, Routledge
Mermikedes, A. and Smart, J., (2012) Devising in Process, Palgrave McMillan
RadosavljevicA, D., (2013) The contemporary ensemble interviews with theatre-makers, Routledge
Wright, J., (2006) Why Is That So Funny?: A Practical Exploration of Physical Comedy, Nick Hern Books