Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Professionals in theatre and associated arts workers require a global outlook in a world characterised by transnational flows of culture. The study of global theatre history and traditions prepares students for roles in the world of theatre and the arts by developing a deep understanding of the way theatre is a location for global cultures. Reading and understanding plays is a pivotal concern for drama scholars and this unit explores plays from a range of geographical locations in an attempt to demonstrate how theatre reflects culture. This unit gives students the opportunity to examine some of the core arguments that have been posed about particular plays and performances within a global context. It also explores the repertoire and critical reception of a range of historical and contemporary plays. Its primary focus will be the theoretical perspectives which can be used to evaluate and critique these plays and performances that have been influential in the development of theatre performance practice. The main aim of this unit is to encourage you to engage in complex critical thinking through a sophisticated recognition and reflection on the plays that you read and see in performance from global perspectives.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Analyse and critique global plays from a specified theoretical perspective (GA4, GA9)

LO2 - Describe and evaluate plays or performances from a range of cultural and geographical locations with an awareness of how your personal knowledge of contemporary society and dramatic theory might influence your interpretation (GA5)

LO3 - Articulate how to prepare a play text for a performance using a particular theoretical approach (GA4, GA9, GA10).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


This unit will focus on up to three of the following global drama case studies:

  • Thematic case studies may examine in depth one or more of the following styles of drama or theatrical periods:

o   Festival theatre: Greek, Roman, and Medieval theatre

o   Contemporary theatre and cultural diversity

o   American theatre

o   Asian theatre

o   Non-Western styles of performance

o   Continental European theatre

o   New Zealand and Pacific performance

o   Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other world Indigenous styles of performance and theatre

o   Other current case studies in the Global drama field

  • Content will also focus on skills development in at least three of the following:

o   The theatre and its elements: theatre buildings; acting companies; theatre as a place for professional work.

o   Critiquing performance: This may include attending live performances or recordings of live performances and developing appropriate methods of evaluating their effectiveness.

o   Critical discourses in and about contemporary and historical Drama.

o   Adapting a play script for a contemporary audience.

o   Writing for theatre: This may include case studies of contemporary playwrights and relevant methods of playwrighting. 

o   Writing about theatre: This may include textual analysis and involve appropriate research methodologies.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This is an online unit which is designed to encourage complex critical thinking. By necessity it will require students to engage in extensive reading and feature active learning strategies between all of the online learners. Whole group and small group asynchronous discussions will be included to help students to grapple with complex theoretical concepts in a supportive learning environment. Students will have the opportunity to engage and extend the writing and theoretical skills that you have acquired during their introductory study of drama And their discipline knowledge will be expanded.

A range of learning and teaching strategies may be incorporated into this unit including formal lectures, videos, performances, seminars, online learning resources, guided readings, and discussions. Formal lectures and seminars will be used to model research techniques and analytical methods, as well as communication strategies which are appropriate for the study of drama. Online learning, guided reading, and discussions could be used to develop skills which are fundamental to drama such as the close reading of plays, the ability to identify relevant secondary sources, and the capacity to enhance creative, critical and reflective thinking.

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessments have been designed so that they use a variety of tasks to measure the different learning outcomes of the unit. They have been structured to ensure that students are developing advanced skills in the academic study of performance. Each drama unit extends student’s knowledge and skills of the discipline through the study of different genres, texts, theatrical periods and practitioners. From this developing base of knowledge students will hone their academic application to the study of drama through purpose-built assessment tasks.

This is an advanced Drama unit and students will be expected to start showing a high degree of self-motivation to support their learning within it. The assessment in this unit is designed to help students to develop their research skills as well as their analytical and communication skills. These skills will then be used to help enhance their knowledge of drama theory. 

The Analytical Task encourages students to learn about a particular play and then to analyse and critique this play using some of the theoretical tools discussed in the unit.

The Knowledge and Application Task requires students to write about a particular dramatic theory to demonstrate a working understanding of how their own previous dramatic and cultural experiences might impact on your interpretation of a play or performance. 

The Research Task requires students to demonstrate research techniques necessary to gain a deeper knowledge of a particular play text and then consider how to use dramatic theory to develop a proposal for a prospective performance of the play. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Analytical Task 

The key purpose of the Analytical Task will be for students to analyse and critique a play from a specified theoretical perspective.  



GA4, GA9

Knowledge and Application Task

The key purpose of this task is to examine how well students have developed their understanding of dramatic theory.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA9

Research Task

The key purpose of the Research Task is to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their scholarly knowledge of theatre.



GA4, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Auslander, Philip. Theory for Performance Studies: A Student's Guide. Routledge, 2008.

Chambers, Claire. Performance Studies and Negative Epistemology: Performance Apophatics. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Dean, David., et al. History, Memory, Performance. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Fischer-Lichte, Erika, et al. The Routledge Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies. Routledge, 2014.

Halse, Carly, et al. Staging Social Justice: Collaborating to Create Activist Theatre. SIU Press, 2013.

Harris, Anne, and Holman Jones, Stacy. Writing for Performance. Sense Publishers, 2016.

Kapadia, Parmita. Native Shakespeares: Indigenous Appropriations on a Global Stage. Routledge, 2016.

Leeker, Martina, et al. Performing the Digital: Performance Studies and Performances in Digital Cultures. Transcript Verlag, 2017.

Lopez, Jeremy. The Arden Introduction to Reading Shakespeare. The Arden Shakespeare, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019.

Schechner, Richard, and Brady, Sara. Performance Studies An Introduction. 3rd ed., Taylor and Francis, 2013.

Varney, Denise, et al. Theatre and Performance in the Asia-Pacific: Regional Modernities in the Global Era. Springer, 2013.

Wiltshire, Kim. Writing for Theatre: Creative and Critical Approaches. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.


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