Module code: MUTM014

Module Overview

Research and Rehearsal provides a practical approach to historical and theoretical contexts in Musical Theatre. 

Seminars provide a forum for the research, preparation and contextual discussion that is essential to the practice of musical theatre at an advanced level.  These begin with research into the theories and practices of musical theatre within an historical context. A chronology of musical theatre is observed, from a starting-point of 19th century operetta up to the present day. Social and economic influences on the creation of musical theatre are researched and discussed, together with demands of style, genre and period, and the subsequent implications for the performer. Students will examine a range of historically significant work either by musical theatre practitioners (singers, dancers, actors) or creative artists (composers, writers, directors, choreographers) and their related philosophies and practices. 

Concurrently, this research will be applied, reflected upon and critiqued in the approach to the Rehearsal Project element which will focus on material that encourages, supports and develops disciplined ensemble practice. This title is drawn for the classic repertoire such as the musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein, which provides the student with an opportunity for contextual study. The module will engage with the specific disciplines of genre and style and will contain choreographic and musically challenging elements.  It will facilitate the development of a structured and effective rehearsal technique, underpinned by both practice-based and academic research.

Acting, vocal and physical skills will be integrated and applied in the rehearsal and performance of substantial selected excerpts. Students will also be expected to develop their sense of stagecraft and rehearsal discipline. Assessment will be based on individual contribution to process and the application of this in the performance of the assigned scenes

Finally, Students will consider their own learning experiences and processes and will identify areas of personal interest they may pursue and develop in their professional career. Guidance and tuition will be given on the creation of the student working journal, including any annotated scripts and the analytical and critically reflective written submissions that they will produce in the course of the training.     

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: W470

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

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Enrolment on Singing and Audition technique (MUTM015), Dance Techniques (MUTM020), Voice & Acting Technique (MUTM016).  

Module content


Research and Rehearsal begins with contextual research processes that will enable an advanced contextual awareness of practical work in Rehearsed Performance. 

The history and development of musical theatre is investigated in small group research projects and presentations. These presentations will require evidence of contextual research, including annotated scripts, character notes and, if appropriate, performance of excerpts to illustrate the research. These presentations and seminars will enhance and develop the students’ understanding of the chronological development of performance practices and theories.

The Rehearsal Project element will involve the utilisation of techniques acquired in the concurrent skills modules with regard to creating a credible ensemble performance in which the narrative can occur. The student will engage imaginatively with the chosen material, which will be selected to reflect the demographic of the particular student cohort.  One work will be drawn from seminal works in the musical theatre canon, with an emphasis on the historical context. A second work will focus particularly on acting challenges appropriate to musical Theatre.  Students will test out their preparation strategies in order to meet the challenges of appropriate performance energy and emotional availability.  Students will learn strategies to maximise the creative potential in working with others and will be inducted into the rigours of creative ensemble practice. 

Study skills seminars and individual academic tutorials will prepare students for the creation of a student working journal that documents their overall progress and learning on the course and the generation of a critical evaluation that ensures reflective practice. 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation PRESENTATION OF RESEARCH SEMINAR 30
Practical based assessment REHEARSAL PROCESS ASSESSMENT 40

Alternative Assessment

In the event of a student missing the Presentation of the Research Seminar, this must be presented at a later date. Other elements written submissions of a paper.

Assessment Strategy

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

Rigorous research practice and the integration of performance techniques to achieve a high level of performance in a piece of musical theatre.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Presentation of Research Seminar(s) – 30%

(Run weeks 4 – 10)

Student Activity Link to Learning Outcome(s)

Contextual Understanding          1,2,5

Understanding and Application of theory             1,2,5

Academic presentation                                 1,2,5

Research Depth                                1,2,5


Rehearsal Process Assessment – 40%

(Showing Week 11)

Student Activity Link to Learning Outcome(s)

Contextual Understanding          2,3,4

Understanding and Application of theory             2,3,4

Character analysis and understanding                    2,3,4

Integration of disciplines              2,3,4

Ensemble work                 2,3,4


Critical Evaluation of progress 2,500 words – 30%

(Submitted Week 13)

Student Activity Link to Learning Outcome(s)

Contextual Understanding          1,2,5

Understanding and Application of theory             1,2,5

Academic presentation                                 1,2,5

Research Depth                1,2,5


Formative assessment and feedback

The formative assessment is crucial to this module. Mirroring industry practice students are given detailed verbal feedback after and during rehearsal work. This helps students develop and react to notes given. Before public performance which constitutes the heart of the module students are given detailed notes in the rehearsal room. Students are also encouraged to keep a reflective journal which encourages their own reflective practice.

Student Activity Link to Learning Outcome(s)

Contextual Understanding          2,3,4

Understanding and Application of theory             2,3,4

Character analysis and understanding                    2,3,4

Integration of disciplines              2,3,4

Ensemble work                                 2,3,4

Academic presentation                                 1,2,5

Research Depth                1,2,

Module aims

  • To engage upon academically rigorous research processes that will support and positively influence practical rehearsal projects
  • To consider and develop the research methodologies necessary for a skilled musical theatre performance
  • To enable the necessary integration of appropriate vocal and physical skills to create a vibrant and articulate performance within a musical theatre context.
  • To inculcate a sophisticated understanding of the disciplines and rigours implied by committed ensemble practice
  • To critically reflect upon and document a personal learning process

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 A thorough grasp of the musical theatre heritage in an historical context and the ability to analyse a range of critical theories and methodologies pertinent to the practice of musical theatre KCPT
2 The ability to demonstrate and argue the results of research through the practical application of theory in performance KCPT
3 The application of integrated techniques in the creation of a believable, original and appropriate character within an ensemble project. KCPT
4 The ability to demonstrate and critique a professional level of ensemble practice KCPT
5 The ability to present the results of analytical and critically reflective processes in written format commensurate with the standards of postgraduate-level study KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 15

Seminar Hours: 23

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Group seminars

Rehearsal workshops

Group and Individual research sessions

Group and Individual tutorials

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 RESEARCH & REHEARSAL :

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Musical Theatre MA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Musical Theatre MFA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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.