Year

2023

Credit points

10

Prerequisites

10 cp from 200-level unit in Drama

Unit rationale, description and aim

Producing plays and devising new theatre is the cornerstone of the study of drama and all dramatic artists, whether teachers, practitioners or any other Arts workers, should be able to participate and make valuable contributions to a theatre performance. In this capstone unit students will integrate what they have learnt throughout the major to develop a theatre performance. Students will be responsible for managing the performance in terms of its staging, design, advertising, administration, costume, lighting, make-up and sound in standard or online audio/visual format. The aim of the unit is to showcase students’ ability to apply appropriate creative techniques to the development of theatrical experience, culminating in a performance suitable for public release. 

Learning outcomes

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

LO1 - Demonstrate skills and knowledge of the practices, languages, forms, materials, technologies and techniques used in Drama and Theatre to convey complex meanings to an audience via the effective and expressive use of the body and voice in space (GA1, GA3, GA7)

LO2 - Critically analyse and evaluate cultural, social, political, aesthetic and ethical issues surrounding Drama and Theatre by integrating the skills and knowledge that you have developed through your major to create the concept for a performance, masterclass or online audio/visual format (GA5, GA7, GA10) 

LO3 - Develop, research and evaluate ideas, concepts and processes through creative, critical and reflective thinking and use these skills to show how research can be used to enhance a performance (GA5, GA7, GA10)

LO4 - Apply skills and knowledge acquired through the drama major to solve complex, real-world problems, autonomously and in team settings, in the development, planning and production of the theatre-creation process (GA5, GA10).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

Content

Topics may include:

  • Applying the theoretical and methodological tools learned throughout the drama major to a new performance context. 
  • Contemporary theatre theory and practice.  
  • Knowledge of stagecraft including performer training.
  • How to manipulate dramatic languages to convey complex meanings to an audience via the effective and expressive use of the body and voice in space
  • Practical work culminating in a theatrical performance which gives students the opportunity to put their theoretical understanding of drama into practice.
  • Creating a performance based on a thorough understanding of a text or devising a new work.
  • Research methodologies for theatre and performance. 
  • The role of the dramaturg within the process of creating a performance.
  • Practice-as-research.
  • Creating performance for diverse audiences.
  • The development of appropriate professional skills of a creative arts practitioner.
  • Approaches to rehearsal room practice and the development of a harmonious and creative working space.
  • Or
  • Online rehearsal techniques. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

As a 300-level unit within the field of Drama, this unit allows students to demonstrate your expertise in the discipline. It provides opportunities to demonstrate skills and knowledge of the practices, languages, forms, materials, technologies and techniques in Drama. Students will be expected to work independently and will have the opportunity to show leadership and creativity throughout the process of developing your project. This unit embraces active learning strategies which will help students to engage with theatre making. Students will explore fields such as acting, directing, set design and construction, sound and lighting, costume and makeup, and publicity. Students will have the opportunity to extend and polish the practical skills and discipline knowledge that they acquired during your 200-level study of drama. 

This unit will be taught through synchronous classes and/or through some mixed- mode or online teaching. Students may attend lectures face-to-face and/or by accessing online recordings in order to ensure broad and ongoing access for all students to the key concepts and principles relevant to body and voice in the context of theatre production. Formal lectures will present key theories and model research and analysis skills appropriate for the study of body and voice in the discipline of drama. Online learning materials will include guided readings and synchronous and/or asynchronous discussions of key primary and secondary texts. Workshops will be synchronous to enable students to experiment with the practical aspects of this course and engage with other learners. These workshops will encourage students to engage with actor training theories, play texts and the associated performance styles. 

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 to provide a variety of tasks to develop and measure the different learning outcomes of the unit. They have been structured to ensure that students are developing advanced knowledge and skills in the academic study of performance. Each drama unit extends students’ knowledge and skills in the discipline through the study of different genres, texts, theatrical periods and practitioners. 

This is a 300-level drama unit and students are expected to demonstrate the capacity for self-motivated and independent learning in researching, critically analysing and communicating key issues in historical and contemporary drama and theatre. 

The assessment detailed below is designed to suit either the multi-mode or face-to-face teaching of this unit. 

The Hurdle Requirement will help students to develop a professional approach to the development of a performance. As this unit requires a performance to be created, there will be extensive collaborative work. Students must attend at least 80% of all rehearsal sessions or synchronous workshops that develop an online performance so that they do not disadvantage other students within the group and they give themselves the best opportunity to fulfil the specified learning outcomes. 

The Research Task will provide students with a chance to interpret, communicate and present ideas, problems and arguments that are relevant to a production within a formal context. There will also be the potential opportunity for students to reflect on the essentiality of theatre as a portal for social, cultural and ethical exchange. 

The Dramaturgical Task will allow students to develop, research and evaluate ideas, concepts and processes through creative, critical and reflective thinking and practice. It will also give them the opportunity to display sophisticated dramaturgical research skills that may be helpful for the development of their performance. 

The Performance Task provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate their sophisticated skills and knowledge of the practices, languages, forms, materials, technologies and techniques in Drama. They will also have the chance to manage the production process and develop their own performance practice. The final performance will allow them to showcase their abilities to manipulate dramatic languages to convey complex meanings to an audience and to show effective and expressive use of the body and voice. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Hurdle Requirement

Compulsory attendance for at least 80% of all rehearsals. or synchronous workshops that develop an online performance (as specified by the lecturer) 

Pass/Fail

LO1,LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA5, GA7, GA10

Research Task

The key purpose of the Research Task will be for the students to undertake research that will demonstrate their awareness of the relationship between the written text and its theatrical potential.

25%

LO1

GA1, GA3,  GA7

Dramaturgical Task

The key purpose of the Dramaturgical Task will be to prepare a sophisticated dramaturgical project that will be usefully employed within the context of a performance.

35%

LO1, LO2

GA1, GA3, GA5, GA7, GA10

Performance Task

The purpose of the Performance Task is for students to help to create a performance that showcases their advanced understanding of the elements of dramatic performance. A third year performance standard suggests a highly developed engagement with dramatic languages and a performance which is articulated with significant stylistic flair. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge of the practices, languages, forms, materials, technologies and techniques in the Creative and Performing Arts discipline.

40%

LO2, LO3, LO4

GA5, GA7, GA10

Representative texts and references

Bailey, Diane. Stage Management and Production. New York: Rosen Pub. 2010. 

Eckersall, Peter, et al. New Media Dramaturgy: Performance, Media and New-Materialism. 2017. 

Heddon, Deirdre, and Jane Milling. Devising Performance: A Critical History. Revised ed., 2016. 

Holloway, John. Illustrated Theatre Production Guide. 3rd ed., 2014. 

Innes, Christopher, and Maria. Shevtsova. The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Directing. Cambridge University Press, 2013. 

Jones, Ellen E., et al. A Practical Guide to Greener Theatre: Introduce Sustainability into Your Productions. 2014. 

Marowitz, Charles. How to Stage a Play, Make a Fortune, Win a Tony, and Become a Theatrical Icon. 1st Limelight ed., Limelight Editions, 2005. 

Pallin, Gail. Stage Management: The Essential Handbook. London: Nick Hern Books, 2010 

Rimmer, Matthew, ed. Indigenous Intellectual Property: A Handbook of Contemporary Research. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015. 

Romanska, Magda. The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy. 2015. 

Wilson, Edwin, and Alvin. Goldfarb. Theatre: The Lively Art. Ninth ed., 2016.

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