BA Music and Drama

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Performance Practices 2

Course unit fact file
Unit code DRAM10102
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Drama
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

Performance Practices 2 is a practical course that gives students experience in developing new work for theatre and performance. It encourages students to investigate a wide range of up-to-the-minute contemporary theatre and performance-making, covering innovations around audience/performer relationships, approaches to text, questions of space and site-specificity and challenges to traditional acting styles. Having developed their own contemporary performance vocabulary, students will test and expand this through workshops where they will focus on tasks designed to extend their practical skills and abilities to work in a group. Performance Practices 2 is a practically driven unit that equips students to create original performance material and to analyse, through practical exploration, contemporary performance practices and theories. By the end of the module, students will have developed a strong understanding of a wide range of experimental contemporary theatre/performance practice.



  • To explore contemporary theatre and performance making practices
  • To stimulate students’ interest in forms of theatre and performance that exist at the boundaries of contemporary practice.
  • To provide students with insight into a range of building blocks in contemporary theatre-making practice to give them an opportunity to explore those of particular interest



Learning outcomes






Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of significant examples of contemporary performance-making, and engage practically with the challenge of realising these in performance
  • understand some of the most significant issues and preoccupations in contemporary performance practice – for e.g. in relation to experiments with space, form, text, and audience participation – via practical encounters and experiments
  • demonstrate a developed sense of the skills and expertise needed to work together effectively and efficiently in ensemble-based performance practice
  • demonstrate an enhanced theatre-making skills base which takes account of the specific examples of contemporary performance

Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate an accurate use of technical and theoretical concepts relating to contemporary theatre-making, and apply these to reflections on practical exploration
  • Draw on practical explorations to understand, examine, research, and test the conventions of contemporary theatre-making
  • Demonstrate an ability to reflect on the results of practical exploration, in discussion and written form


Practical skills

  • Use practical exploration to develop learning and understanding
  • Work effectively with peers
  • Demonstrate an enhanced performance-making skills base which takes account of the specific skills and approaches used in contemporary performance
  • Undertake practical research within a given timeframe and evidence a skillful use of theatrical and/or performative resources or other appropriate audio visual aids




Transferable skills and personal qualities

Transferable skills that students can expect to gain from successful completion of this module include:

  • Basic interpersonal communication and team-working skills
  • Developing an awareness of effective leadership and group-work skills
  • Developing an ability to solve problems creatively and critically
  • Performing with confidence and precision for an audience
  • Working to deadlines and under pressure, independently and as part of a group


Employability skills

¿ Ability to work in a group to create original responses to briefs ¿ Ability to work in groups to conceptualise, manage and deliver projects to time ¿ Ability to use reflexivity and emotional intelligence when working in group-work settings ¿ Developing an understanding and ability to use effective leadership skills ¿ taking initiative, listening, responding, delegating, taking responsibility ¿ Maintain professional standards as regards self-presentation and time-keeping

Assessment methods

Group presentation 60%
Essay 40%
Reflective essay NA (formative)


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Group performance – oral and written


Evaluation of workshop


Reflective essay - written



Recommended reading

Allain, P. and J. Harvie, (2005), The Routledge Companion to theatre and performance, London: Routledge

Goldberg, R., (2001), Performance Art. From Futurism to the present, London: Thames and Hudson

Govan, Emma, Helen Nicholson and Katie Normington, (2007), Making a performance. Devising histories and contemporary practice, London: Routledge 

Heddon, Deirdre and Jane Milling, (2006), Devising Performance, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan

Marranca, Bonnie and Gautam Dasgupta (eds), (1999), Conversations on Art and Performance, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press

Pickering, Kenneth, (2005), Key Concepts in Drama and Performance, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Tufnell, Miranda and Chris Crickmay, (2003), A Widening Field. Journeys in body and imagination, London: Dance Books Ltd.




Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 66
Independent study hours
Independent study 134

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Andrew Smith Unit coordinator

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