Module code: DAN2032

Module Overview

The module explores the role and function of dramaturgy within choreography as well as the role of the dramaturg in the history and context of contemporary theatre and international performance culture. Through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops the module examines core elements of the dramatic play text or devised text/score such as dialogue, character, body, voice, rhythm, structure, etc. The module focuses in particular on the dynamic relationship between text, movement and space. Undertaking several dramaturgical explorations students engage with a variety of textual as well as non-textual stimuli for choreography and performance work specific to chosen historical, cultural and aesthetic contexts and examples.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: W542

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Devising score: the performance text

  • Stage directions and their implications (for body, language, space, action, etc…)

  • Speech as action and the effect / affect of speech on the audience

  • Mapping space through text (fictional space, real space ...)

  • Textual/theatrical signs and sign systems (semiotics)

  • Exploring the roles of dramaturgy and dramaturg in dance history

  • Examining examples of writers, directors and companies by studying their innovative (post) dramatic dramaturgies, scenographies, uses of text and acting/performance styles

  • Discussing selected performance examples with reference to the disciplines (choreography, theatre, creative and critical writing) utilised and the kinds of connections between them

  • Undertaking practical work in the role of dramaturg with a selected particular emphasis.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY (2000 WORDS) 50

Alternative Assessment

Creative Portfolio (2000 words)

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

·         Historical and theoretical understanding of dramaturgy and the role of the dramaturg for performance, dance and devising

·         Knowledge and skills to facilitate text- and/or movement based strategies for devising dance, theatre and performance

·         Independent group work towards performance

·         Theoretical reflection and critical analysis of the creative process

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Group Performance (10 minutes) (50%): addressing specific dramaturgical outline, concept, or score (Week 12)

·         Critical Reflection: Essay (2000 words) (50%): critical reflection on group performance outlining dramaturgical concept including references and research based on the theoretical readings in the subject area (Week 14)

Assessment Deadlines:

Week 12 & 14

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative assessment and feedback are provided on the ongoing documentation of the student’s creative process and learning (SurreyLearn)

Module aims

  • This module aims to introduce students to the main aspects of dramaturgical analysis relevant to texts and scores for choreography and devising to encourage students to critically consider the impact of their creative decisions in relation to movement and body-led practices (including dance theatre, installation and site responsive work).

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Analyze the basic components of the dramaturgical composition of a text within a choreographic production KCP
002 Identify and explore ways of embodying the text by combining textual analysis with movement analysis and practical exploration CP
003 Demonstrate a theoretical and/or practical understanding of the role and functions of the dramaturg with reference to significant International companies/artists, theatre and performance practices and trends KCP
004 Demonstrate evidence of research into historical, socio-political, cultural and aesthetic parameters relating to the chosen playtext or devised text(s)/score(s) KC
005 Engage critically in practice with an excerpt of a dramatic/ devised text explored within a choreographic context in class CT
006 Engage critically in practice with an excerpt of a dramatic/devised text studied on the module and articulate their findings in a performative choreographic group presentation CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 22

Independent Study Hours: 84

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Provide students with an understanding of dramaturgy and the multifaceted role of the dramaturg in contemporary theatre and dance

  • As an optional module the learning and teaching strategy facilitates the interdisciplinary engagement with texts, scores and movement for different performance contexts

  • Students are encouraged to undertake independent research across different disciplines and align their previous knowledge of choreography and contemporary dance practice with more theatrically oriented devising strategies

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Workshop (2 hours x 11 weeks):


                Practical assignments

                Task-based group activities.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for DRAMATURGY: DEVISING FOR DANCE, THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/dan2032

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Dance BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Dance with Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.