Making Performance: Practitioners (Q3107)

30 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module introduces you to a range of approaches that have developed in contemporary performance practice since the 1950s post-war period. You’ll consider some of the issues and challenges these new approaches raise.

You’ll look at the opportunities afforded by theatre and theatricality in an increasingly uncertain world – where destabilisation has become a way of life, and cross-disciplinarity has become a regular approach to making and performing theatre.

Through readings and discussions focused on groups and artists as case studies, you will investigate the ways theatre performance has responded to and accommodated (or resisted) certain cultural, social, ideological and artistic shifts.

You will engage with issues that arise in contemporary stagecraft on a practical and theoretical level. You will compare and contrast the working practices and productions of internationally acclaimed groups and artists, from the late 70s to the present day.

Your understanding of contemporary performance will develop through a combination of reading, researching attending performances. Topics will include:

  • new strategies in composition and devising
  • the treatment of character (acting, non-acting, performing)
  • "decentering" and development of non-linear or "multiplicity" plot
  • the role of the spectator/audience
  • task and process
  • durational vs. fictional time
  • collaborative methodologies
  • the use of "off-stage"
  • low-fi aesthetic strategies.


5%: Lecture
74%: Practical (Practical, Workshop)
21%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 48 hours of contact time and about 252 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. 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: