module specification

SM6061 - Writing for Theatre and Performance (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Writing for Theatre and Performance
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 150
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 35%   Portfolio 1 (Short extracts and critical reflection)
Coursework 65%   Portfolio 2 (Completed script of 15 mins performance material)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

Writing for Performance develops skills in writing performance texts across mediums and considers the ways in which texts shift, enlarge, contract and transform once they are performed. It combines analysis of existing written and performed texts with creative writing exercises to develop informed, critical, creative writers. You will also view performances and consider the relationship between the text-as-written and the text-as-performance. Students will undertake regular writing tasks to develop a portfolio of work and a completed short script. This module will make links across the programme, with particular reference to Dramaturgy.

Classes will help you to:

• Develop the tools necessary to undertake your own critically-informed script making for performance.
• Explore the role of the writer within the collaborative nature of theatre-making.
• Connect your creative life to global and local and personal events.
• Reflect critically on the implications of theatrical appropriation.
• Reflect critically on the relationship between texts and staging of text.
• Explore the relationship between performance, identity and society.

Prior learning requirements

Pre/co-requisites:  SM5020, SM5076 or SM5080, SM5019 or SM5023

Available for Study Abroad? YES


The tutor will facilitate workshops that explore existing written and performed texts and teach skills and techniques of writing (LO1). Additionally, you will be expected to lead roundtable work-in-progress sessions where ongoing script making work will be shared and discussed (LO2,3). You and your peers will share work at different junctures and through various mediums, such as a portfolio of work, the final year festival, a rehearsed reading and a final script (LO4).

Sessions will consist primarily of workshopping and developing pieces of writing produced in previous classes, with constructive criticism offered by peers, the tutor, and invited specialist guests (LO2). In addition to this, we will focus on technical and creative issues through demonstration, improvisation, discussion of contemporary play extracts and in-class writing exercises (LO1, LO4). Writers will be set writing tasks enabling them to explore a variety of genres whilst also having the opportunity to identify and explore their own creative preferences (LO3).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching provides the guidance and foundation to ensure that independent study is effective in addressing the module’s learning outcomes and assessment tasks.

In-class activity makes use of varied student-centred approaches such as active, flipped and blended learning, so that a range of learning strategies is deployed, and individual learning styles are accommodated. Information is provided through a range of means and sources to minimise and remove barriers to successful progress through the module. The course team seeks to embed the University’s Education for Social Justice Framework in fostering learning that is enjoyable, accessible, relevant and that takes account of the social and cultural context and capital of its students.

Activities foster peer-to-peer community building and support for learning. Reflective learning is promoted through interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, receive 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 written reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-based learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal and career 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 completing the module you will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

LO1  Develop active and critical theatre viewing, with a deepened appreciation of dialogue, imagery and structure.

Cognitive Intellectual Abilities

LO2  Critically analyse the writing and staging of written text.

Transferable Skills

LO3  Participate in roundtable discussions about your own and others’ work, providing constructive and tactful feedback and responding to the input of others in developing your own work.

Subject Specific Skills

LO4  Develop an approach to writing for a range of performance mediums and genres.