module specification

SM5009 - Performing the Text (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Performing the Text
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Coursework 30%   Group work practical with inbuilt attendance requirement (15mns)
Practical Examination 50%   Ensemble production with inbuilt attendance requirement (45 mns - 3 mns per student)
Coursework 20%   Written Documentation (2,000)
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

Performing the Text is a year-long module coupled with Excavating the Text and timetabled alongside it.  It also builds on work done at Certificate level in Narratives of Self and Devised Production.  Essentially it affords opportunities for students to create performance texts and to show them in front of an audience.  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 texts 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 Objects and Theatre and will provide models of theatre making and production which will be drawn upon in year three.

Module aims

• To introduce the work and ethos of the contemporary theatre companies and practitioners.
• To demonstrate the complexity and variety of roles undertaken to create theatre. 
• To explore a physical approach to text work from the point of view of the performer and theatre maker.
• To allow performance opportunities for students to explore notions of and relationship with audience.
• To model professional practice in rehearsal and performance.


The module will be taught through practice in a workshop setting.  In the first part of the module students will look at alternative approaches to making work which responds to or explores a ‘text’. They will be introduced to several different practitioner approaches but focus upon one. It is envisioned that this part of the module will be led by a company in residence for example Frantic Assembly, Shared Experience, Sound and Fury, Elastic Theatre, Lightwork, Gheko who work with physical approaches to text.  Using their mission, ethos and methodology as a starting point the director will introduce students to skills and concepts needed to create performance work. It will result in the presentation of the work in a practical assessment. The second half of the module will be directly linked with work undertaken in the second half of Excavating the Text. It will utilise the concepts explored and the research undertaken to begin the process of creating an ensemble studio production.  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.

Learning and teaching

This module will be taught through practice which will be supported by research and theory.
Learning and teaching strategies for this module will include:
Practical workshops and rehearsals
Individual and small group practical tasks
Self and peer observation and evaluation
Independent research tasks
Practical assessments with group and individual feedback 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will have gained:
• A detailed understanding of a particular professional case study.
• The ability to work collaboratively with a distinct and focused ethos and mission.
• The ability to explore, explain, theorise and practice a working methodology.
• Physical performance skills.
• A practical understanding of signifying systems and aesthetics in performance.
• An embodied understanding of the processes undertaken to mount a theatre production.
• A complex understanding of notions of a diverse audience applied in practice.
• The ability to apply skills in making and performing theatre to projects with a social agenda.

Assessment strategy

Assessment for this module will be mostly practical. 
1) Group Practical
2) Practical production in front of an audience. 
3) Supporting written documentation which documents and analyses the process of making assessment 2.
In practical modules students will be marked on theory and process and product but not specifically on ‘performance’.  Written work can be submitted on line.


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
Graham, S. and Hoggett, S. 2009. The Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre Routledge
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 2009
Keefe, J. and Murray, S. 2007.  Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction Routledge
Mermikedes, A. and Smart, J. 2012.  Devising in Process Palgrave McMillan
Radosavljevic, D. (Editor). 2012.  The Contemporary Ensemble: Interviews with Theatre-Makers 
Wright, J. 2006. Why Is That So Funny?: A Practical Exploration of Physical Comedy  Nick Hern Books