SM6061 - Writing for Theatre and Performance (2017/18)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2017/18|
|Module title||Writing for Theatre and Performance|
|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|
|Running in 2017/18||
This module is intended to develop skills in writing for theatre and performance and to consider the ways in which texts shift, enlarge, contract and transform once they are performed. It will combine analysis of existing written and performed texts with creative writing exercises to develop informed, critical, creative writers. Students will also view theatre and performance in London and consider the relationship between the text-as-written and the text-as-performance. The work will be firmly embedded in the contemporary theatre industry – drawing on links with new writing/live art venues in London. Students will develop a portfolio of work and a completed short script. This module will make links with Identity and Performance, Society and Performance and where possible Dramaturgy.
• To assist students in the development of tools necessary to undertake their own critically-informed script making for performance
• To explore the role of the writer within the collaborative nature of theatre-making
• To encourage students to connect their creative lives to global and local and personal events.
• To encourage students to reflect critically on the implications of theatrical appropriation, as it is practised by others and by themselves
• To encourage students to reflect critically on the relationship between texts and staging of text
• To continue to explore the relationship between performance, identity and society.
Students will be expected to view and analyse theatrical performances from the writer’s viewpoint, thus placing their own work in context. The module leader will facilitate workshops that will explore existing written and performed texts and teach skills and techniques of writing. In addition students will be expected to lead roundtable and work-in-progress sessions where ongoing script making work will be shared and discussed. There will be an emphasis on students exploring their own experience and the communities’ to which they belong.
Each week students will be set creative writing tasks that will help them to develop their own skills in writing. Over the semester, they will build up a portfolio of creative pieces and be required to analyse the work of other students. The major writing project will be a text that they develop and stage in a reading for the class. They will be encouraged to consider the venue/site of performance for their writing.
Classes will address such issues as:
- Selecting source material and environments
- Building a writing archive
- Performance dramaturgy—reading, writing, and structuring narrative
- Plot, story and character
- Justifying choices and “responsibility”
- Editing performance scripts
- Presenting the performance script
- Solo creation and group collaboration
Learning and teaching
The teaching of this module will combine tutor and student-led practical and theoretical seminars. There will be a good balance between the analysis of the work of professionals and the exploration of the students own work with each other. There will be a focus on the industry and an introduction to the ways in which writers get employment and collaborate with others, therefore visiting lecturers and speakers will be brought in where possible.
On completing the module the students will be able to:
- Critically analyse the writing and staging of written texts
- Participate in roundtable discussions about their own and others’ work
- Compile a portfolio of developmental and final scripts
- Develop active theatre viewing
- Develop a short text for a staged reading
This module has a pass on aggregate requirement
Coursework consists of:
1) A portfolio, which includes critical and creative tasks.
2) A completed 15 minute script and a stage reading of that script.
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Edgar D How Plays Work Nick Hern Books 2009
Egri Lojos The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives Simon Schuster 2003
Fountain T So You Want to Be a Playwright?: How to Write a Play and Get It Produced Nick Hern 2007
Gooch, S Writing a Play, A & C Black, 2001.
Greig N Playwriting: A Practical Guide Routledge 2004
Lojos E The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives Simon Schuster 2003
Spencer S, The Playwright's Guidebook Faber and Faber 2003
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Yeger, S The Sound of One Hand clapping: A Guide to writing for the theatre Amber Lane 1990