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BA Drama and English Literature / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Texts in Rehearsal/Texts in Performance

Unit code DRAM20192
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Drama
Available as a free choice unit? No


This module introduces students to a range of methodological approaches used in rehearsal, and explores the ways in which these might be applied in practice. The module is taught through a workshop format where students work with a variety of prepared texts both as an ensemble and as individual performers, applying the different working rehearsal practices and techniques, in the process of taking a text from ‘page to stage’.  Using approaches developed and documented by key practitioners, the module equips students with a useful vocabulary and series of technical tools that they can map creatively onto their own practice as performers and theatre makers.



Pre-requisite units


Any L1 Drama Practice module – Performance Practices 1; Performance Practices 2


Co-requisite units

Any L2 Drama Core Study module - Practitioners in Context 1; Practitioners in Context 2




  • To introduce students to a range of rehearsal techniques from twentieth and twenty first century theatre practitioners.
  • To develop a working vocabulary of rehearsal practices which can be applied to textual analysis for the performer and theatre maker.
  • To provide students with a variety of working methods in terms of processing and transferring textual analysis into performance.
  • To provide students with a range of texts (plays and theoretical texts) which can be used to develop rehearsal technique in practice.


Indicative syllabus (representative only – all of the topics listed below may not be covered every year).

Each week will focus on working with one play, and will utilize a particular set of theoretical perspectives and related rehearsal techniques as a means of opening up the text for performers and directors to work with it in practice.


Week 1: Starting Points: True or False?         


Week 2: Stanislavsky and ‘the Method’        


Week 3:  Brecht, Gestus, and Scenic Composition    


Week 4:  Sound and Movement: The Open Theatre   


Week 5:  Actioning Roles: Joint Stock


Week 6:  Post-Dramatic Texts                 


Week 7:  (Alternative) Viewpoints       


Week 8: Working with ‘Found’ Text      


Week 9:  The Crafty Katie Mitchell




Week 11:  Groupwork rehearsals towards Week 12 assessments. Staff available for guidance.



Teaching and learning methods

Weekly workshops will take a number of theoretical and practical approaches to textual analysis and rehearsal and apply them to an investigation of a spectrum of rehearsal techniques. Each week will focus on a different text from the canon – and apply techniques from specific practitioners to the reading and rehearsal of specific plays.


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

  • Recognize a series of practitioner-generated theoretical propositions related to practices of rehearsal.
  • Apply a learnt working vocabulary to the development of rehearsal practice based on a detailed analysis of text.
  • Productively draw on their experience working with both a variety of theories of rehearsal and a variety of genres of text.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to apply a number of techniques to the rehearsal of a variety of texts.

Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate their learning through practice an extended vocabulary of practical techniques.
  • Apply an articulation of these techniques to the analysis of a text for performance.
  • Articulate, through critical reflection, their own analysis of process in rehearsal and performance.

Practical skills

  • Draw on a vocabulary for the analysis and rehearsal of text.
  • Apply a variety of rehearsal techniques to the practice of developing textual analysis, through rehearsal, for performance.
  • Work in an ensemble and individual context to develop their rehearsal techniques in relation to a specific text for performance.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • demonstrate a good level of interpersonal communication and team-working skills
  • demonstrate creative group-work skills (problem-solving, thinking innovatively, drawing on creative approaches of others, evaluating creative approaches of others, giving and receiving feedback, time-keeping)
  • use effective leadership and group-work skills to solve problems and sustain a creative process
  • develop a performance with confidence and precision for specific audiences/contexts, making use of creative approaches and media as appropriate to the module)

Employability skills

Group/team working
¿ Ability to work independently and as part of a group to conceive, plan, undertake and evaluate original, well-developed responses to briefs (overseeing a creative process from inception through production, post-production and evaluation) ¿ Enhanced skills in managing a group-work process ¿ leadership skills, ideas-sharing, giving and receiving feedback, taking initiative, negotiation, flexibility, compromise, collaboration, making contributions, reliability, time-keeping et cetera
¿ An enhanced ability to use reflexivity and emotional intelligence when working in groups (maintaining balance between taking initiative/leading and developing the ideas of others, supporting and challenging, ability to empathise with multiple perspectives, ability to adapt to distinct contexts etc.) ¿ Maintaining professional standards as regards self-presentation, including ability to perform in front of an audience with confidence and precision, and to effectively adapt performance to specific contexts

Assessment methods

30%: 1. Small group performance, developed through documented rehearsal, from page to stage (15 Minute play extract minimum

30%: 2. Workshop a specific rehearsal approach, including detailed documentation of workshop

40%: 3. Critical reflective essay

Feedback methods


Ongoing feedback during workshops – oral, peer to peer and tutor to student


Feedback on rehearsal workshop – oral and written

Formative and summative

Reflective essay - written



Recommended reading

Ann Bogart and Tina Landau, The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition (New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2004)


Declan Donellan, The Actor and The Target (London: Nick Hern, 2005)


Hans-Thies Lehmann, Post-Dramatic Theatre, trans. Karen Jurs-Munby (London: Routledge, 2006)


David Mamet, True and False (London: Vintage Books, 1997)


Bella Merlin, Konstantin Stanislavsky (London: Routledge, 2003)


Katie Mitchell, The Director’s Craft: A Handbook for the Theatre (London: Routledge, 2008)


Robert Pasolli, A Book on the Open Theatre (New York: Grove, 1970)


Philip Roberts and Max Stafford-Clark, Taking Stock: The Theatre of Max Stafford-Clark (London: Nick Hern, 2006)


John Willett (ed.), Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic (New York: Hill and Wang, 1964)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Additional notes


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