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BA Drama and English Literature / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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

Overview

This module combines aspects of practical and improvisational engagement as a performer/theatre maker with embodied exploration and analysis of performance techniques in the field of devising. The module helps students to gain practical skills relating to the process and practice of devising for performance, and develops their ability to evaluate their own creative work in practice. The module is structured through workshops that explore a mainly body based approach to devising designed to build a working practical vocabulary and repertoire through which students can work towards creating original devised work in performance. Students are expected to read from the reading list provided and to research the work of contemporary companies and practitioners who make work through devising. This research will form the basis of an understanding of the wide variety of practice constituting devised theatre.

 

Pre/co-requisites

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

 

 

Aims

  • To develop and deepen students’ working knowledge of approaches to devising for performance
  • To extend students’ knowledge of key practitioners in the field of devised performance, and their ability to draw on these approaches to develop their own work
  • To enhance the students' skills in devising theatre and their ability to evaluate their own creative and intellectual work
  • To provide students with an opportunity to learn how to work effectively in a group-based process of theatre-making, from conceptualisation to realisation of a piece of group performance that is intelligible, playable, and challenging

 

Knowledge and understanding

  • examine and test in practice some of the key components of the theory and practice of devised theatre
  • develop effective strategies for collaborative group work
  • demonstrate an ability to evaluate their own work and consider professional practitioners through a log book and reflective essay
  • demonstrate skills and a working knowledge base in devised performance practice

Intellectual skills

  • display a critical and practical understanding of the various relationships possible between text-stimuli (including images, text and objects), body, actor, theatrical space and spectator
  • analyse the creative process of others, student and professional, and measure the quality of their own work against professional standards
  • draw theory and practice together through processes of creation and reflection

 

Practical skills

  • collectively devise for, and present material to, an audience
  • demonstrate their ability to take personal responsibility and take initiative in decision-making
  • offer constructive feedback to peers and revise their own approach in response to feedback from tutors and peers

 

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
  • perform with confidence and precision for specific audiences/contexts, making use of diverse 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)
Innovation/creativity
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.)
Leadership
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
Project management
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

Group Performance 60%
Logbook and reflective essay 40%

 

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

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

Formative

Feedback in ‘realisation’ phase of performance preparation - oral

Formative

Group performance - written

Summative

Reflective essay and logbook - written

Summative

 

Recommended reading

Colin, Noyale, and Stefanie Sachsenmaier. Collaboration in Performance Practice: Premises, Workings and Failures. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 

 

Go¿mez-Pen¿a, Guillermo, Roberto Sifuentes, and Rachel. Roger. Exercises for Rebel Artists: Radical Performance Pedagogy. New York: Routledge, 2011. 

 

Harvie, Jen, and Andy. Lavender. Making Contemporary Theatre¿: International Rehearsal Processes. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2010

 

Heddon, Deirdre, and Jane Milling. Devising Performance: a Critical History. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006

 

Leupin, Rahel. “Making the Intercultural: The Rehearsal Processes of Gintersdorfer/Klassen.” Contemporary Theatre Review 28.4 (2018): 504–521.

 

Oddey, Alison. Devising Theatre: a Practical and Theoretical Handbook. London: Routledge, 1994

 

Study hours

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

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Cara Berger Unit coordinator

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