BA Music and Drama / Course details
Year of entry: 2020
Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This module provides students with an opportunity to learn about and practice different approaches to directing text for theatre and performance. Students will work through workshops, discussions, observed rehearsals and supervision sessions towards a practical assessment of a short directed performance of a play excerpt in the John Thaw Studio. Written assessment involves critical reflection on the process of practice throughout the module.
Any L1 Drama Study or Practical core option
Any L2 Drama Study core option - Practitioners in Context 1; Practitioners in Context 2; Screen, Culture and Society
At least one 20 credit L2 Drama practical course
· To explore the role of the theatre director in the realisation of text-based performance
· To prepare students for professional practice in directing and stage management
To develop student’s abilities to investigate practical methods and critical perspectives in theatre practice, with a focus on theatre directing
Indicative syllabus (representative only – all of the topics listed below may not be covered every year):
Week 1: Approaches to Directing – student presentations
Week 2: Working with Naturalistic text
Week 3: Working with Shakespearean text
Week 4: Working with Post-Naturalistic text
Week 5: Rehearsal Techniques
Week 6: Production Pitches and Guest Practitioner Workshop
Weeks 7- 10 Rehearsal
Weeks 11 and 12: Performance
Teaching and learning methods
The course is taught via weekly workshops on approaches to directing, including working with text using a range of approaches to directing, and giving and receiving feedback on practical experiments, and observed rehearsal.
The course unit will be complemented by a Blackboard site that conforms to minimum requirements including a course handbook, weekly course breakdown, provision of reading material, reading lists. Supplementary material from workshops will be added as appropriate. The blackboard site will be prepared and available to students at least one week prior to the beginning of the first teaching week each semester.
Knowledge and understanding
· Demonstrate a working knowledge of a variety of working approaches to directing for theatre and performance
· Work with dramatic texts from a number of different traditions, specifically focusing on textual analysis and the process of taking a text from page to stage
· Work in a team to produce a short piece of theatre, in collaboration with their peer group and with technical staff
· Consider the relationship between the director, the actor, the text and the performance stage
Evaluate and apply a process of critical enquiry to the effectiveness of their working process and final presentation outcomes.
· Demonstrate a critical understanding of the various relationships possible between text, actor, theatrical space and spectator
· Develop an understanding of, and critically engage with and make use of in their own reflective practice, distinct kinds of writing about directing (including writing by professional directors, researchers, reviewers, and actors as well as critical writing about theatre practice
Demonstrate a systematic understanding of key aspects of practical and intellectual approaches to directing and theatre production
· Articulate an understanding of and make use of a range of directing techniques in making theatre production
· Develop an interpretation of text/performance into a coherent theatrical performance
· Demonstrate awareness and apply professional standards and industry practices in the area of theatre directing
· Work collegially and productively with technical and administrative staff in an arts centre in order to realise theatre production
Offer constructive feedback to peers and revise their own approach in response to feedback
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Transferable skills that students can expect to gain from successful completion of this module include:
· Advanced interpersonal communication and team-working skills
· Critical thinking skills and creative group-work practice skills (problem-solving, thinking innovatively, drawing on creative approaches of others, evaluating arguments, giving and receiving feedback, time-keeping)
· Using effective leadership and group-work skills to solve complex problems
Performing with confidence and precision for specific audiences/contexts, making use of diverse creative approaches and media
- Group/team working
- ¿ Ability to work independently and as part of a group to conceive, plan, undertake and evaluate original, well-developed projects that involve complex and unpredictable scenarios ¿ Ability to work independently and as part of a group to solve problems arising from engaging with challenging and unpredictable scenarios ¿ Advanced skills in group-work, leadership, reflexivity, planning and project management
- ¿ Understanding of and adherence to industry-level professional and ethical standards in practical work ¿ Ability to develop informed critique of professional practice (own and others), drawing on understanding of high quality standards ¿ Development of a professional identity and skills/knowledge base to inform further professional practice, training and learning
Formative or Summative
Weighting within unit (if summative)
Practice portfolio (to include preparation, rehearsal and performance of excerpt)
Pitch (10 minutes), rehearsal process (2 x I hour) and performance (20 minutes)
Initial presentation on a theatre director and feedback on rehearsal workshops (throughout the module)
Full written feedback on all assessments
Cicely Berry The Actor and The Text (London: Virgin Books, 2000)
Ann Bogart, A Director Prepares (London: Routledge, 2001)
Maria Delgado et al eds., In Contact with the Gods? Directors Talk Theatre, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996).
Marina Calderone & Maggie Lloyd-Williams: Actions: The Actors’ Thesaurus.( London: Nick Hern Books, 2004).
Declan Donellan The Actor and the Target, (London: Nick Hern Books, 2002)
Katie Mitchell The Director's Craft: A Handbook for the Theatre, (London: Routledge, 2008)
James Thomas: A Director’s Guide to Stanislavski’s Active Analysis. London: Bloomsbury, 2016.
Di Trevis (2011) Being A Director: A Life In Theatre, London: Routledge.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Practical classes & workshops||220|
|Independent study hours|
Only open to Drama students (Single and Joint Honours)