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Unit information: Performance Forms and Analysis in 2019/20

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Performance Forms and Analysis
Unit code DRAM11004
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Eleanor Rycroft
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

Year 1 of the course is designed to lay foundations in performance and screen studies, introducing key concepts, theories and approaches. These are supplemented by seminars to focus on critical and textual analysis. In this unit students are introduced to a range of performance forms and methods of analysis. This unit will develop close analytical skills by considering topics including but not limited to:

  • Definitions: what is performance and what is theatre?
  • Defintions: who is the performer and who is the actor?
  • Defintions: what is the play text?
  • Definitions: performance spaces and spectatorship.
  • Definitions: what are the contexts of performance?
  • Liveness: performance in a mediatized age.
  • Semiotics of performance and theatre.
  • Analyzing performance: reading the signs and analyzing events.
  • How does critical theory help us to analyze performance?
  • Why does theatre history matter?

Lectures, seminars, screenings and online discussions will explore contrasting ways in which elements of performance forms have been configured in different periods and cultural contexts, in order to establish conceptual vocabularies and theoretical frameworks, which students can use to analyse creatively the complexities of performance in practice.

  • to introduce students to key areas in the study and analysis of performance forms;
  • to undertake a close investigation of selected historical and contemporary performance forms;
  • to encourage critical understandings of the crucial components of performance forms;
  • to explore how elements of performance forms have been configured in different periods and cultural contexts;
  • to establish conceptual vocabularies and theoretical frameworks for the creative analysis of the complexities of performance forms in practice;
  • to introduce a range of approaches to the teaching and learning of performance analysis.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will

  1. be able to identify key areas in the study and analysis of performance forms;
  2. be able demonstrate an understanding of the issues involved in a close investigation of selected historical and contemporary performance forms;
  3. be able to demonstrate a critical understandings of the crucial components of performance forms;
  4. be able to explore effectively and critically how elements of performance forms have been configured in different periods and cultural contexts;
  5. be able to deploy conceptual vocabularies and theoretical frameworks in their creative analyses of the dynamics of performance forms;
  6. demonstrate a developing understanding of the range of approaches to the teaching and learning of performance analysis.

Teaching details

Blended teaching: 10 x 1hr lectures 10 x 1hr seminars 10 x 2hr screenings Blackboard discussion board exercises, as appropriate.

Assessment Details

1,500-word literature review (30%) (ILOs 1, 5, 6) ; 2,000-word essay (70%) (ILOs 1-6)

Reading and References

  • Campbell, Patrick ed. (1996) Analysing Performance: a critical reader, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Carlson, Marvin (1996) Performance: a critical introduction, London: Routledge.
  • Davis, T. and Postlewaite, T (eds) (2003) Theatricality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pavis, P (2003) Analyzing Performance, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
  • Postlewaite, T and McConachie, B (eds) (1989) Interpreting the Theatrical Past, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.
  • Shepherd, Simon and Mick Wallis (2004) Drama / Theatre / Performance. London: Routledge, New Critical Idiom

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