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Writing for Theatre and Performance

Module Code: TH219
Module Name: Writing for Theatre and Performance
Module Credits: 30

The goal of this module is to introduce students to different dramaturgical approaches and creative processes embodied in a range of textual forms–from traditional dramatic writing to performance scenarios. The main purposes of the module are to enable students to develop their practical and creative skills in playwriting and also their critical skills in exploring the strategies and processes involved in their own work and that of notable practitioners.

Through a combination of writing workshops, critical seminars, and discussions students will be exposed both to traditional dramaturgical thinking rooted in cause and effect logic and to nonlinear writing based on principles of montage, association and intuition. Constituent elements of the dramatic text such as action, character, dialogue, space and ways in which they function within different dramatic structures will be explored simultaneously with more experimental and interdisciplinary approaches to playwriting rooted in visual art and popular culture. The relationship between the playwright and the context within which she/he writes will also be taken into account. The module aims to expose students to different techniques and strategies of the playwriting craft, while at the same time encouraging them to toy with “dramaturgical rules” in search for their individual voices as writers.

The module will assist students in: 1) producing a playwriting portfolio, that will include both short exercise pieces and the final project—a fully developed play or performance scenario; 2) examining critical concepts and practice in playwriting and performance writing; 3) understanding through practice and discussion the specific aspects involved in the creative process of writing for stage; 4) conceptualising the student’s own practice as writers in relation to other playwrights/ performance writers’ works, creative approaches, and within a wider socio-political context.

Learning Outcomes: By the end of this module students will be able to: understand the specific nature of writing for theatre and performance and to demonstrate a practical and critical knowledge of playwriting and performance writing in terms of subject and medium, selection of material, dramaturgical techniques and strategies, genre and form, constituent aspects of dramatic text including structure, action, character, dialogue, and space, as well as knowledge of representative examples by notable playwrights/ performance writers.

Class Location and Time (Terms 1 & 2 plus presentation in Term 3)

Friday 14.30 - 17.30

Department Timetables

Assessment

20% - Practical Assesment (Week 10, Fall Term)

30% - Practice-based Portfolio 1 [LINK FOR ESUBMISSION]

30% - Practice-based Portfolio 2 [LINK FOR ESUBMISSION]

20% - Critical Review [LINK FOR ESUBMISSION]

Full Assessment Criteria
Departmental Assessment Deadlines