Second year - Drama and Theatre Arts

Compulsory modules

(20 credits)

Theatre Lab

This module enables students to explore devising vocabularies and strategies adopted by professional contemporary practitioners. These may include experimentation with levels of presence and distinctions between acting and performance; experimentation with physical choreographies and visual aspects of theatre; experimentation with audience participation and configuration; experimentation with narrative, new text, found models of text and textual adaptation. Students will be taken through a series of workshops and then supported in drawing on selected strategies to create their own original practice in small groups.

Theatre Praxis

The module aims to enable students to approach text-based material for performance through methodologies appropriate to that particular text. Through the development of a number of different rehearsal techniques and methods of textual analysis, students are led through the process of preparation of texts for performance.

The Politics of Performance

This module investigates the ways in which theatre is shaped by the socio-political conditions in which it occurs, as well as the effects of performance on the broader cultures in which it takes place. The module builds on students’ work in level one by encouraging them to apply theory as a means to analyse performance.

Optional modules

(20 credits)

Theatre Crafts 2

The module builds on the Year 1 module Theatre Crafts 1. Students specialise in one area of theatre production: stage technologies, design or stage management. Over three semesters students will be taught and assessed working on performance events, and specific practical and theoretical project work.

Theatre Arts

This seminar-based module explores the theatrical vocabularies of design at work within the theatre event, looking at elements ranging from scenography, costume, sound design, technologies and multi-media. There will be a range of perspectives offered throughout the module, from analysis of the conceptual roles of design, sound and multi-media technologies in historical and contemporary performance, to seminars with practitioners currently working and teaching in those fields.

Widening Horizons Module

A Widening Horizon Module (previously known as a Module Outside the Main Discipline) is a module that can be taken alongside your main degree programme, allowing you to explore a different discipline during your undergraduate studies. 

Recent study options

(20 credits)

Modern Drama: Ibsen to Pinter

This module provides an overview of the main theatrical developments in Europe from the 1870s to the 1960s. You will examine representative plays to gain an understanding of themes and issues that they raise and address, as well as the methods through which they challenge and engage the audience. You will also become familiar with major movements in theatrical representation.

The Dark Comedy

This module will consider the development of tragicomedy. We will look briefly at Renaissance tragicomedy and then consider the second wave of tragicomedy in the modern period, from Chekhov’s realism through to the Beckett’s metatheatre and the Theatre of the Absurd, including the work of writers such as Ionesco, Albee and Pinter. We will then go on to look at what tragicomedy means in the work of contemporary writers.

Popular Performance

This module explores genres of popular theatre from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. We will look at music hall in all its forms, early and contemporary pantomime, shows and exhibitions, folk-drama and postmodern burlesque, analysing both their performative and their cultural and political roles and examining ideologies including class, travesty, gender and Empire.

Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama

Drawing on the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, this study option aims to provide students with an understanding of the significance of English Renaissance theatre, both to the historical, social and cultural contexts of its time, together with its contemporary relevance.

British Theatre

This module has three aims: to introduce students to major developments within British theatre writing and theatrical practice from 1945 to the present; to extend students' awareness of the ways in which theatre practice may be related to historical, social and cultural contexts; and to enhance skills of critical analysis of both play scripts and theatre performances, using appropriate critical frameworks.

Recent practical intensive option modules

(20 credits)

Monologue

The module looks at the actor’s approach to monologue in its different forms – as storytelling, as soliloquy, as part of a duologue. It also explores a variety of physical techniques for and approaches to the text.

Acting

This explores the transition from naturalistic techniques to non-naturalistic approaches (for example, contemporary approaches to Stanislavski, Michael Chekhov, Jacques Lecoq and contemporary directors), considering each approach as an embodied method. Exercises will be applied to a number of texts that require a range of performance modes.

Collaborative Strategies

This module will introduce students to a range of contemporary performance strategies to enable collective devising practice to take place. Our practical examination will be framed by reading and theoretical reflection. The module will progress through a series of tutor-led workshops to supervised rehearsal where, in small groups, you will be responsible for researching material, constructing a performance text and staging a short piece of original theatre.

Voice and the Actor

Through weekly 3-hour practical workshops, this module provides students with vocal skills that can be applied to live performance work as well as to performance analysis. The module provides skills enhancement in voice.

Writing for Performance

The module offers students the opportunity to explore a range of different models of writing for performance, including approaches drawn from dramatic playwriting, autobiographical practice, performance poetry, narration and storytelling. Students will put existing examples of texts into practice, analyse the results through discussion and further reading, and explore ways of creating and staging performance texts of their own.