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BA Drama and English Literature / Course details
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
In this module students will explore the history, theory, and practice of street theatre. After briefly considering such longstanding traditions as pageants and processions, we will turn our attention to forms of street theatre that have emerged since the 1960s in the UK and Europe, South Asia, Africa, and the Americas. We will structure our analysis of these practices around three themes: agitation and activism, invisibility and interruption, and magic and myth. Each of these units will entail theoretical reading alongside detailed case studies of specific performers and troupes, including Jana Natya Manch, El Teatro Campesino, Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Royal de Luxe, and La Machine. We will consider how street theatre alters and/or critiques prevailing relationships between performer and spectator, protest and festival, and art and everyday life. We will also consider questions of the public sphere, public space, and what counts as the ‘street’.
Any L1 Drama Study module
Any L2 Core Drama module
To engage with the theory, history, and practice of street theatre, focusing on themes of agitation and activism, invisibility and interruption, and magic and myth
To explore in depth selected case studies of street theatre from the UK and Europe, South Asia, Africa, and the Americas
To discuss and debate the relationship between theatre and protest, theatre and everyday life, and theatre and the urban environment
To raise questions about how theatre might construct a ‘public’ or even a ‘public sphere’
To develop students’ abilities in performance analysis and research writing
Knowledge and understanding
Identify major figures in street theatre from the UK and Europe, South Asia, Africa, and the Americas
Identify and discuss major issues in the theory and practice of street theatre since the 1960s
Understand how contemporary street theatre responds to past aesthetic traditions and current social conditions
Engage with questions of theatre’s place in the public sphere and understand the theoretical and political issues that arise when theatre makes a claim to public space
Describe and analyse theatrical events based on multiple forms of performance documentation
Evaluate the information offered and questions raised by different kinds of evidence, including live performance, video, photography, personal accounts, and newspaper reviews
Responsibly situate performances within historical, geographic, and cultural contexts
Incorporate performance analysis and theory into a structured, written argument
Locate multiple forms of evidence using Library resources, particularly databases
Write coherent, well-structured arguments
Take organised observational notes
Transferable skills and personal qualities
demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively with others about intellectually demanding concepts, topics, materials
demonstrate an ability to draw with accuracy, focus, detail and precision on complex materials in independent and group work
demonstrate an ability to effectively present – through discussion and in writing – complex topics, drawing convincingly on oral, written and visual media as appropriate to the topic
- ¿ a good level of critical thinking and problem-solving skills ¿ an ability to develop detailed, planned and multi-layered approaches to tasks ¿ an ability to work productively as part of a group and independently in learning environments that present complex challenges ¿ an enhanced ability to effectively adapt self-presentation to different audiences/contexts, especially when communicating complex topics
|Essay OR Creative project proposal||60%|
Formative or Summative
Performance analysis – written
Essay OR Creative project proposal – written
Consultation on performance analysis and essay or creative project proposal plans – oral and written
- David Wiles, A Brief History of Western Performance Space (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
- Marvin Carlson, Places of Performance: The Semiotics of Theatre Architecture (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993).
- Sudhanva Deshpande, ed., Theatre of the Streets: The Jana Natya Manch Experience (Delhi: Janam, 2007).
- Jen Harvie, Theatre & the City (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).
- Susan Haedicke, Contemporary Street Arts in Europe: Aesthetics and Politics (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
- Jan Cohen-Cruz, ed., Radical Street Performance: An International Anthology (London: Routledge, 1998).
- Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink, Nomadic Theatre (London: Bloomsbury, 2020) .
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|David Calder||Unit coordinator|