English and drama

Performance: Directing and Composition

Module code: Q3261
Level 5
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar, Workshop
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module introduces you to a range of historically situated practices, approaches and methods that have become established (to greater and lesser degrees) and are commonly applied in directing and composing performance today. Through seminar, focused dialogue, presentations and collaborative workshops you will focus upon a number of distinctive styles and approaches to making theatre works that have dominated and shaped the development of performance-making and theatre production since the middle of the 20th century to the present day. You will investigate methods and strategies (visual, critical, written, practical) through case-studies of a range of productions and/or directors and theatre-makers in order to gain a deeper understanding of some of the concerns that determine and shape contemporary practice. You will be encouraged to evaluate how such approaches have both advanced and constrained the way we think about directing and composition (collaboration versus director-led work, for example) and the implications facing theatre-makers and writers in the current cultural climate.

From the most traditional plays that take place in main stream theatres to outdoor, immersive spectacles, small installation works and interdisciplinary performances, from plays to newly-devised versions of classical works to the generation of new material by ensembles from initial idea and workshop through to production, the aim of Directing and Composition is to help deepen both your knowledge in this area of study as well as your creative practice.

Module learning outcomes

  • Process and evaluate a wide range of approaches to making and directing theatre
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the techniques that different playwrights, practitioners and companies use in generating and directing material for performance
  • Reflect critically on the relationship between making and performing material for performance
  • Apply relevant theories and debates to a discussion of contemporary theatre practice
  • Apply an informed understanding of the processes involved in making/directing theatre to the student's own practice