BA Music and Drama

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Dramaturgy: Professional Practices

Course unit fact file
Unit code DRAM20291
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Available as a free choice unit? No


Please note that this unit is delivered on-campus only and is therefore not available to remote learners

In this course you will receive hands-on training in the core fields of dramaturgical practice which includes: production dramaturgy, creative programming, performance curation, and outreach/communication. Dramaturgy is a growing area in the professional theatre sector in the UK and with its double emphasis on theoretical/historical understanding and creative practice, it is a career pathway that lets you make the most of the skills you acquire during a Drama degree. This is a practical module which will give you the opportunity to research and pitch a season or festival tailored to the Greater Manchester area, and to workshop extracts from a performance suited to the festival or season as part of a concept presentation. To enhance your understanding of the context of your work, we will explore the production and dramaturgical work of local theatres. This part of the course will provide you with insight into the theatre ecology of the region and current developments in institutional dramaturgy.


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 the professional practices and critical contexts of dramaturgy.
  • To develop the intellectual, practical and professional skills necessary for successful dramaturgical work on both a production and institutional level in preparation for a career in the creative industries.
  • To enhance students’ understanding of the theatre ecology of the Greater Manchester region as a central case study and to enable them to respond inventively and critically to its needs.
  • To provide students with a range of techniques for developing dramaturgical concepts (which includes season programming and festival curation) in order to present these in a pitch/presentation format.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Articulate a range of historical and contemporary approaches to professional dramaturgy and demonstrate an understanding of their usefulness for developing new work through oral presentations and reflective writing.

  • Apply learnt dramaturgical techniques and professional skills to the development and realisation of concept pitches and workshop presentation.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the theatre and performance ecology of Greater Manchester by creating practical and conceptual work tailored to it.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the critical contexts of dramaturgical work through reflective writing.

Intellectual skills

  • Critically evaluate a number of approaches to production and institutional dramaturgy by articulating their relevance in a specific location and historical moment.

  • Recognise and discuss the social, political and ethical goals underpinning particular forms of dramaturgical work.

  • Evaluate and critically reflect on their own and colleagues’ practice.

  • Draw on professional case studies to inform and develop their own dramaturgical work.

Practical skills

  • Apply professional dramaturgical skills to researching, composing and delivering a pitch and concept presentation.

  • Compile, edit and professionally present a dramaturgical casebook.

  • Evaluate and reflect on their own and others’ practice

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.

  • Present and perform confidently to a group of peers.

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)
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
Oral communication
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.)
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

Assessment methods

Group workshop presentation and dramaturgical casebook 60%
Essay 40%
Group presentation NA (formative)


Feedback methods

 Feedback method

Formative or Summative

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


Feedback on group presentation – oral and written

Formative and summative

Reflective essay - written



Recommended reading

  • Davida, Dena et al. Curating Live Arts: Critical Perspectives, Essays, and Conversations on Theory and Practice. New York: Berghahn Books, 2019.
  • Hauptfleisch, Temple. Festivalising!: Theatrical Events, Politics and Culture. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007. 
  • Kelly, Philippa. Diversity, Inclusion, and Representation in Contemporary Dramaturgy: Case Studies from the Field. Abingdon: Routledge, 2020.
  • Romanska, Magda. The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy. Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2015.
  • Meerzon, Yana and Katharina Pewny. Dramaturgy of Migration: Staging Multilingual Encounters in Contemporary Theatre. London: Palgrave, 2019.
  • Turner, Cathy, and Synne K. Behrndt. Dramaturgy and Performance. London: Palgrave, 2016.
  • Trencse¿nyi, Katalin. Dramaturgy in the Making a User’s Guide for Theatre Practitioners. London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2015.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Supervised time in studio/wksp 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Cara Berger Unit coordinator

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