Reading and Staging Theatre Texts (Q3258)

30 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

This module will introduce you to approaches to reading and staging theatre texts taken from a range of historical periods.The module will interrogate the structure of dramatic texts, their cultural and historical frame and question the impact of performance and its material conditions on the chosen works. Furthermore it will introduce you to practical techniques for translating a text from page to stage.

Weekly seminars will explore the issues, historical and cultural contexts of these plays while accompanying workshops will focus on exploring the status of the text in relation to performance asking whether it is a blueprint, a set of instructions, a springboard or a resource for performance. In workshops you will also explore different staging practices from original practices to the stylised, from radical, postmodern approaches to ones that draw on the techniques of theatre practitioners such as Brecht, Bogart and Stanislavsky.

The module will help you to understand how you may prepare a text for performance and how practical approaches to the text bring new ways of understanding its composition, form and meaning. The overall aim is to broaden the your understanding of the complexity of the text's relationship with performance and encourage you to think about practice as a form of embodied theory: experiential, critical, evolving and dynamic.


13%: Lecture
87%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 36 hours of contact time and about 264 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: