module specification

SM5022 - Theatre Arts Studio: Second Year (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Theatre Arts Studio: Second Year
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
Coursework 40%   Process
Coursework 40%   Process
Coursework 20%   Written task (2000 words)
Running in 2021/22

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

Module summary

This is a practice-based module that provides students with the key techniques and creative skills required for different professional pathways in theatre and performance. Students will develop their understanding of industry specialisms such as:
  1.  directing;
  2.  choreography;
  3.  dramaturgy;
  4.  installation and site-responsive work;
  5.  playwriting;
  6.  workshop leadership.

Students will undertake a combination of workshops, exercises and presentations to advance their knowledge of different areas of theatre and performance from the particular perspective of an identified professional role or practice.  Students will also develop the qualities required to realise group projects and/or successfully complete independent creative tasks, drawing from theoretical and historical awareness to create their own original work and/or learn how to nurture others through different creative processes. A selection of these specialisms will be offered each year to students at levels 5 and 6, providing the opportunity to work alongside each other and collaborate on a variety of studio based activities and projects.

Prior learning requirements

Completion and pass (120 credits) of previous level.


At the beginning of the module, students will receive an outline explaining how the aims and key outcomes will be achieved in relation to the specific discipline(s) they are studying.  Irrespective of area, the syllabus will include:

• seminars instructing students in methods for creating or supporting the creation of original work; LO1, LO6

• independent and collaborative projects culminating in presentations; LO2, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7

• workshops to experiment with established techniques; LO1, LO2, LO3

• critical reflection and analysis of the methods employed and their effectiveness in a range of contexts. LO5, LO6

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 to 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

On completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding
LO1:  apply different concepts and processes to create or support the creation of new performance work;

Cognitive intellectual abilities
LO2:  demonstrate practical and theoretical understanding of social, historical and artistic trends through their own practice;

LO3: develop skills of observation and visual, aural and spatial awareness;

LO4: investigate performance environments to determine how place, site and space shape the events they accommodate;

Transferable Skills
LO5:  apply library and IT skills in independent research activities; articulating ideas and communicating information in visual, physical, oral and textual forms;

Subject Specific Skills
LO6: take responsibility as an individual artist whether working independently or within a group for creative decision making and demonstrate an understanding of the duties and functions of a specific industry profession;

LO7: contribute to the production of performance, for example through direction, choreography, dramaturgy, writing, scenography, workshop leadership and sound and lighting production or within the context of installation and site responsive work.

Assessment strategy

Students will be assessed through a variety of modes on their ability to engage in ongoing exercises and demonstrate their understanding of the methods appropriate to the professional specialism that they have studied.  They will also be assessed on their willingness to experiment and take creative risks, ability to integrate feedback, their capacity to generate new ideas and material, and/or their collaborative skills as demonstrated through in-class project work with peers. 


Students are continuously assessed on this module, with their assessment referencing key events during each assessment period. This includes their work in exercises, practical presentations, and collaborative projects.  Together with their creative and collaborative skills, process is also evaluated in terms of professionalism, engagement, progress, ability to integrate feedback. 

Written Task (2000 words)

The written task will enable students to activate or reflect upon the practical skills they have acquired through the module using academic analysis.  Students may be assigned a portfolio, essay, or other writing in order to enable them to demonstrate understanding of the skills that they have developed.


Textbooks: Core


Trencsenyi, K. (2015) Dramaturgy in the Making, Bloomsbury 


Shepherd, S. (2012) Direction: Readings in Theatre Practice, Palgrave Macmillan


Blom, L.A. and Chaplin, L.T.  (1982)  The Intimate Act of Choreography, Pittsburgh Press (available on-line)

Installation and Site

There is no core textbook for this area of the studio.


There is no core textbook for this area of the studio. 

Workshop Leadership

There is no core textbook for this area of the studio.

Textbooks: Other


Aston, E. Savona, G. (1991) Theatre as Sign-System: A Semiotics of Text and Performance, Routledge
Bicât, T. and Baldwin, C. (2002) Devised and Collaborative Theatre: A Practical Guide, Crawford Press
Irelan S. and Fletcher A. and Felise J. (2009) The Process of Dramaturgy: A Handbook, Focus
Luckhurst, M. (2006) Dramaturgy: A Revolution in Theatre, Cambridge University Press
Pavis, P. (2012) Contemporary Mise en Scène: Staging Theatre Today, Routledge
Radosavljevic, D. (2013) Theatre-Making: Interplay Between Text and Performance in the 21st Century, Palgrave
Trencsényi, K. (2015) Dramaturgy in the Making, Bloomsbury
Turner, C. and Behrndt, S. (2016) Dramaturgy and Performance: Revised Edition, Palgrave Macmillan
Zatlin, P. (2005) Theatrical Translation and Film Adaptation: A Practitioner’s View, Multilingual Matters

Online resources:

The Dramaturg’s Network


Oddey, A. (2007) Re-framing the theatrical, Palgrave Macmillan.
Barker C. (2010) Theatre Games, Methuen Drama
Boal, A. (1992) Games for Actors and Non-Actors, Routledge
Barba, E. (2010) On Directing and Dramaturgy, Routledge
Bartow, A. (ed.), (1988) The Directors Voice Theatre, Communications Group
Braun, E. (1982) The Director and the Stage, Methuen
Brook, P. (1983) The Empty Space, Penguin
Crook, P. (2016) The Art and Practice of Directing for Theatre, Routledge
Delgado, M. and Heritage, P. (1996) In Contact With the Gods? Directors Talk Theatre, M U Press
Delgado M. M. and Rebellato, D. (eds), (2010) Contemporary European Directors, Routledge
Letzler Cole, S. (1992) Directors in Rehearsal, Routledge
Luckhurst, M. and Giannachi, G.(1999) On Directing, Faber and Faber
Mitchell, K. (2009) The Director’s Craft, Routledge
Mitter, S. (1992) Systems of Rehearsal, Rouledge
Mitter, S. and Shevtsova, M. (eds), (2005) Fifty Key Theatre Directors, Routledge 
Simonsen, B. (2017) The Art of Rehearsal, Bloomsbury
Whitmore, J. (2004) Directing Postmodern Theater, University of Michigan Press
Zarrilli, P. B. (2009) Psychophysical Acting: An Intercultural Approach after Stanislavski, Routledge


Aggiss, E., Cowie, B. and Bramley I. ( eds), (2006) Anarchic Dance, Routledge
Sofras,  P. A. (2006) Dance composition basics : Capturing the Choreographer's Craft, Human Kinetics
Blom, L.A. and Chaplin, L.T.  (1982)  The Intimate Act of Choreography, Pittsburgh Press (available on-line)
Bogart, A. and Landau, T. (2014) The viewpoints book, Nick Hern Books
Karen K. (2009) Rudolph Laban, Routledge
Butcher, R. and Melrose, S. (2005) Rosemary Butcher : choreography, collisions and collaborations, Middlesex University Press
Butterworth, J. and Clarke, G. (1998)  Dance Makers Portfolio – Conversations with Choreographers, Centre for Dance and Theatre Studies at Bretton Hall
Butterworth,J. and Wildschut, L. (2017) Contemporary Choreography- a critical reader: Second Edition, Routledge
Cooper Albright, A. and Gere, D. (2003) Taken by surprise : A Dance Improvisation Reader, Wesleyan University Press
Copeland, R. (2004) Merce Cunningham, The Modernizing of Modern Dance, Routledge (on-line)
Chatterjea, A. (2004) Butting out : Reading Resistive Choreographies through Works by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Chandralekha Wesleyan University Press
Desmond, J. (ed.) (2001) Dancing Desires, University of Wisconsin Press
Ewan, V and Green, D. (2014) Actor Movement: Expression of the Physical Being, Methuen
ldils, A. and Albright, A. (2001) Moving Histories/Dancing Cultures, Wesleyn University Press
Govan, E. and Nicholson, H. (2007) Making a Performance, Routledge (available on-line)
Huxley, M and Witts, N. (eds.), (2002) The Twentieth-Century Performance Reader- 2nd edition, Routledge,
Lepecki, A. (2006) Exhausting Dance : Performance and the Politics of Movement, Routledge
Moseley, N. (2012) Meisner in practice : a guide for actors, directors and teachers, Nick Hern Books
Ploebst, H. (2001) No Wind No Words: New Choreography in the Society of the Spectacle: Nine Portraits, Kieser
Smith-Autard, J. (2010) Dance Composition: A practical guide to creative success in dance making,  Methuen Drama [on-line]

Installation and Site

Kaye, N. (2000) Site-specific art, Routledge
Kwon, M. (1997) One place after another: notes on site specificity, October. (Vol.80), pp.85-110. [online]. Available from Jstor. [Accessed 19 June 2012]
McAuley, G. (2000) Space in performance, University of Michigan Press
Oddey, A. and White, C. (2006) The potentials of spaces, Intellect Books
Oddey, A. (2007) Re-framing the theatrical, Palgrave Macmillan
Schechner, R. (1968) Six axioms of environmental theatre, The Drama Review. (Vol. 12 No3), pp. 41-64. [online]. Available from Jstor. [Accessed 31 December 2011]


Craze, T. (2012) Write a Theatre Script in 25 Days (& 10 hours), Amazon Digital Services
Edgar, D. (2009) How Plays Work,  Nick Hern Books
Lojos, E. (2003) The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives, Simon and Schuster 2003
Fountain, T. (2007) So You Want to Be a Playwright?: How to Write a Play and Get It Produced, Nick Hern
Gooch, S. (2001) Writing a Play, A & C Black
Grace, F and Bayley, C. (2017) Playwriting, Bloomsbury
Greig, N. (2004) Playwriting: A Practical Guide, Routledge
Lojos, E. (2003) The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives,  Simon and Schuster
Sierz, A. (2001) In Yer Face Theatre: British Drama Today, Faber and Faber
Spencer, S. The Playwright's Guidebook, Faber and Faber
Waters, S. (2010) Secret Life of Plays,  Nick Hern
Yeger, S. (1990) The Sound of One Hand Clapping: A Guide to Writing for the Theatre, Amber Lane
Yorke, J. (2014) How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them, Penguin

Workshop Leadership

Barba, E. (1986) Beyond the Floating Islands, PAJ Publications
Carlson, L. (1990) Performance Art as Political Activism, Artweek Vol 22 pp23-4
Kuppers, P. (2007) Community Performance: An introduction, Routledge
Kuppers, P. (2007) The Community Performance Reader, Tailor and Francis
Martin, R. (1990) Performance as Political Act; The Embodied Self, Bergin & Garvey
McAvinchey, C. (2013) Performance and Community: Commentary and Case Studies, Methuen Drama
Poulter, C. (2018) Playing the Game: A Drama Workshop Guide: Second Edition, Palgrave