BA Music and Drama / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Devising for Performance

Unit code DRAM21042
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Drama
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course combines aspects of practical engagement as an actor-creator with discussion and analysis of performance practices and techniques. Weeks 1-10 will consist of workshops and rehearsals at which students will create their devised performance. There will be 3-4 groups of up to 6 students who will work collectively on their performance projects. There will be occasional workshop/viewing/seminars with visiting experts and theatre or other visits where appropriate.
Students are required to use their time outside these sessions in the practice and development of their performance. The students are expected to to read/listen to/view contemporary dramatic material on a daily basis.
Weeks 11-12 will be spent presenting and receiving feedback for their performances.


To develop the students' practice of devising theatre and their ability to evaluate their own creative and intellectual work in order to create a group performance that is intelligible, playable, and challenging, and to use contemporary theatre practice through critical exploration and intellectual engagement with their work.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students are expected to have

  • developed their knowledge of performance practice
  • worked creatively and effectively with all members of a production team
  • developed skill in devising and creating dramatic material appropriate to individual interests
  • critically engage with own writing and measuring it against professional standards
  • analyses the creative process of others, student and professional
  • displayed a critical and practical understanding of the various relationships possible between text-stimuli , actor, theatrical space and spectator
  • been introduced to contemporary practice in multi-media performance
  • learnt to use appropriate media technology
  • learnt how to use different rehearsal techniques and creative processes to enhance and develop devising
  • produced a portfolio of work
  • collectively devise for, and presented material to, an audience

Teaching and learning methods

Practice based Workshops/Seminars

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 40%
Practical skills assessment 60%

Feedback methods

Full written feedback on all assessments

Recommended reading

Barba, E. A Dictionary of theatre anthropology, London: Routledge 1994.
Barker, C. Theatre Games: A New Approach to Drama Training. London: Methuen, 1989.
Barker, C , T. Bicat and C. Baldwin. Devised and Collaborative Theatre, The Crowood Press Ltd , 2002.
Boal, A and A. Jackson Games for Actors and Non-actors. London: Routledge 2002.
Bradby, D and D.Williams. Directors' Theatre. London: Macmillan Press, 1988.
Delgado, M. And P. Heritage, ed. In Contact with the Gods? Directors Talk Theatre. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996.
Dundjerovic, A. Robert Lepage. London: Routledge, 2007.
Etchells, T Certain Fragments: Texts and Writings on Performance London: Routledge, 1999.
Heddon, D and J. Milling. Devising Performance. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
Hodge, A. Twentieth Century Actor Training. London: Routledge, 2000
Holdsworth, N. Joan Littlewood, London: Routledge, 2006
Johnstone, K. Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre. Methuen Drama, 1981.
Kaye, N. Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place and Documentation. London: Routledge 2000.
Miller, J. Ariane Mnouchkine London: Routledge, 2006.
Murrey, S. Jacques Lecoq. London: Routledge, 2003
Oddey, A. Devising Theatre: A Practical and Theoretical Handbook. London: Routledge, 1994.
Pitches, J. Vsevolod Meyerhold. London: Routledge, 2003.
Schechner, R. Performance Studies. London: Routledge, 2002

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Carran Waterfield Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For Drama Students (Single and Joint Honours) Only


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