Skip to main content

Unit information: Early Modern Theatre Practice in 2021/22

Unit name Early Modern Theatre Practice
Unit code THTR20013
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Eleanor Rycroft
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Students will encounter a range of performance texts and contexts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in a unit which emphasises modes of staging and early modern performative practices. The students will develop understanding of indoors and outdoors performances: commercial amphitheatres such as The Globe, private playhouses such as The Blackfriars, as well as aristocratic forms of theatre such as dining hall drama, pageants, royal entries and court masques. In the second half of the unit they will focus on texts and performance skills, including early modern rehearsal and acting techniques; uses of space in the early modern drama; and the production of gender, race, and class on the stage. By the end of the unit, students will have a thorough understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of early modern theatre, as well as a detailed knowledge of early modern practices of playing including verse-speaking, stagecraft, costume, make-up, music, and clowning.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1) demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of early modern playing contexts and how these inform playwrighting of the period

2) demonstrate understanding of the key theoretical and theatrical concerns in both current and contemporaneous criticism of the early modern drama as appropriate to level I.

3) apply a range of critical approaches to reading and interpreting early modern playtexts, and explore their practical implications on-stage

4) demonstrate knowledge of a range of early modern performative techniques and understanding of their practical application

5) demonstrate the ability to analyse and evaluate early modern performance both in terms of their own practice and the practice of others

6) conceptualise and perform a collaborative group project based on an early modern playtext, and develop their skills in acting and/or dramaturgy and/or directing

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including seminars, practical workshop activities and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

Group performance presentation (100%) ILOs 1-6


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. THTR20013).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.