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Unit information: Site-Specific and Immersive Performance in 2021/22

Unit name Site-Specific and Immersive Performance
Unit code THTRM0007
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Paul Clarke
Open unit status Not open

Health and Safety Training



School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Site-specific and immersive performance strategies are increasingly prevalent in contemporary theatre. In this unit students will encounter forms of site-specific performance, such as environmental responses to landscape; community-focused urban interventions; and the staging of existing plays within found spaces. Students will develop an understanding of the role of space and place with regard to performance, which will inform their engagement with site-specific and immersive performance practices beyond traditional indoors theatre venues. These can range from medieval theatres in the round and heritage sites to contemporary installations and flash mobs. Students will further consider the ways in which bodies, in solo and group forms, can produce new meanings from sites. In this unit, site-specificity will be addressed through a combination of historical, theoretical, and practical approaches, such as ecofeminist criticism and heritage interpretation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will have:

1) developed detailed knowledge and critical understanding of place, body, and space and how these inform site-specific and immersive performance, as well as their place within Theatre and Performance Studies (and related disciplines)

2) developed sophisticated awareness of, and the ability to apply at a postgraduate level the key theoretical and theatrical debates in both current and contemporaneous criticism of performance environments, and to consider them with a critical lens.

3) the ability to apply and evaluate a range of approaches to the viewing and interpreting of site-specific and immersive events, and explored their practical implications in public, including a wider range of secondary literature on site-specific and immersive performance than at Level H

4) acquired sophisticated knowledge of a range of site-specific and immersive performative techniques and understanding of their practical application

5) demonstrated the ability to analyse and evaluate site-specific and immersive performance both in terms of their own practice and the practice of others through a highly critical account that considers a wider range of relevant art works and discourses than at Level H.

6) the sophisticated ability to conceptualise and perform a collaborative group project in response to understanding of a site or set of immersive principles, in which practice-as-research enquiry is used to develop a coherent process and present an advanced practical outcome

Teaching Information

Weekly seminars; workshops; an intensive period culminating in a performance

Assessment Information

One 2500 word essay (50%) (ILO's 1-3)

Group performance presentation of less than 15 minutes, for group or individual mark (25%); (ILO's 3, 4, 6)

One 1500 word Critical Reflection on the Group performance presentation (25%) (ILO's 3 - 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. THTRM0007).

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.