module specification

SJ6052 - From Page to Performance: Stage and Screen (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title From Page to Performance: Stage and Screen
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 150
120 hours Guided independent study
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Oral presentation in pairs (15-20 minutes) with word processed handouts and powerpoint slides.
Coursework 60%   3000 word essay OR 10-12 mins adaptation + 1500 word commentary.
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module ‘From Page to Performance: Stage and Screen’ will examine a selection of  texts from prose and drama and students will assess the creative journey these texts make from the verbal medium of the page to the embodied and enacted forms of stage and screen and the range of representational modes involved in that process. Students will look at the semiotic systems involved in transmediation, that is, how the act of storytelling is transformed as it migrates from one medium, audience, context, purpose to another.  This will involve the overlapping but distinct processes of critical analysis, creative writing and screen theory and practice.

This module is taught over 15 weeks using a theoretical and practical approach to the subject. Assessment comprises seminar contribution (formative), a seminar presentation (40%) and written essay or creative adaptation with evaluation (60%).

Module aims

This module aims to

● examine a range of storytelling skills across prose, drama and film;
● analyse dramatic texts in terms of historical and theoretical context;
● develop the process of translating a wide range of texts for performance on screen;
● employ the appropriate vocabulary to describe the stylistic features of particular texts;
● engage in the processes of writing creatively, including a consideration of audiences;
● develop competency in group-work and in written and oral presentation.


Students will be introduced to key literary forms and genres which may range from Classical tragedy and Shakespeare to the 19th century serial novel and blockbuster or contemporary and postmodern texts.


Learning and teaching

This module will be taught by a programme of weekly sessions over 15 weeks comprising a one hour lecture and two hour seminar/workshop. The lectures will remain pertinent to all disciplines throughout.  Independent learning will include guided reading and focus on assignment tasks. The module will be supported by full use of weblearn including links to relevant video clips. Throughout the module students will be expected to reflect, in class discussion, on the connections between creative and critical practice and between the disciplines of literature, film and TV, and creative writing.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to

● distinguish and apply critical concepts specific to the different mediums of text, theatre and film;
● evaluate the relations between word and image and the generic qualities of performance texts;
● employ appropriate methodologies in the creation of performance texts, including an appraisal of production values;
● write with confidence and technical ability, and with an awareness of tone, structure, genre and audience.

Assessment strategy

● A summative assessment where students will present in pairs a seminar presentation: students will choose a scene or passage from a playtext/prose text and discuss its transition to stage and/or screen, drawing on the disciplinary backgrounds of either literature, film or creative writing or any combination of these disciplines.

● A 3000 word essay where students will explore the critical concepts and production values discussed on the course and the practical application of those concepts: the essay will discuss a chosen example which best illustrates the transition from page to performance either on screen or stage; OR an adaption for screen or stage of approximately 10-12 minutes, accompanied by a 1,500 word critical commentary on their adaptation, demonstrating their understanding of the processes and production values involved.


Amkpa, Awam, Theatre and postcolonial desires, London, Routledge 2004
Brosh, Liora, Screening novel women: from British domestic fiction to film, Basingstoke, Palgrave MacmIllan, 2008
David, Ian Rabey, British and Irish political drama in the 20th century: implicating the audience  Basingstoke, MacMillan 1986
Giddings, Robert, Keith Selby, Chris Wensley Screening the novel: the theory and practice of literary dramatization  , MacMillan 1990
Hindle, Maurice, Studying Shakespeare in Film, 2007
Manvell, Roger Theatre and Film: a comparative study of the two forms of dramatic art, and of the problems of adaptation of stage plays into films.  AUP London 1979.
McFarlane, Brian Novel to Film: An introduction to the theory of adaptation,  Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996.
Morrissette, Bruce, Novel and film: essays in two genres, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1985
Portnoy, Kenneth, ed. Screen Adaptation: A Scriptwriting Handbook, London: Focal Press, 1998.

Theatre of the avant-garde, 1890-1950: a critical anthology  ed  Bert Cardullo and Robert Knopf, Yale University Press, 2001
Theatre in theory 1900-2000: an anthology   ed David Krasner    Oxford, Blackwell, 2008