Module code: DAN2043

Module Overview

The module explores the role and function of dramaturgy for contemporary performance as well as the role of the dramaturg in the history and context of contemporary theatre and dance practice. Through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops the module examines core elements of dramatic 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 workshop 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

BIRCH Rachel (GSA)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: W542

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Seminar Hours: 33

Tutorial Hours: 22

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • What is Dramaturgy? Key Concepts

  • From Dramatic to Post-Dramatic: Dramaturgies of Text and Action

  • The Body & Dance/Theatre: Dramaturgies of Space, Time & Movement

  • Group Presentations on Project Proposals (all students in-class)

  • Improvisation & Kinetic Impulse

  • Possibilities of Space, Audience Engagement & Participation

  • Possibilities of Atmosphere & Aesthetic Impact

  • Politics & Context

  • Tech Sheet & Tutorials

  • Rehearsals, tutor-feedback & polishing; guidelines for your critical essay reflection

  • Independent Group Rehearsals & Tech Run

  • Performance

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Group Performance 60
Coursework Creative Portfolio (indicative word count 1500 words) 40

Alternative Assessment

Lecture Demonstration (10min) in the case where a student cannot do the group performance.

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:

  • Critical Reflection: Creative Portfolio (1500 words) (40%): critical reflection on group performance outlining dramaturgical concept including references and research based on the theoretical readings in the subject area

  • Group Performance (10 minutes) (60%): addressing specific dramaturgical outline, concept, or score

Formative assessment

Study Task (non-assessed) & Student-led Improvisations

  • Present your dramaturgical concept/ areas of interest in this sequence (in-class):

    • Action/Text

    • Body/Space/Movement

    • Atmosphere: Light, Sound, Costume, etc.


Formative assessment and feedback are provided on the ongoing documentation of the student’s creative process and learning (in-class; 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 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
002 Demonstrate evidence of research into historical, socio-political, cultural and aesthetic parameters relating to the chosen dramatic or devised text(s)/score(s) KC
003 Engage critically in practice with an excerpt of a dramatic/ devised text explored within a choreographic context in class CT
004 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

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 performance

  • Facilitates the interdisciplinary engagement with texts, scores and movement for different performance contexts

  • Encourage independent research across different disciplines and align previous knowledge of choreography and contemporary dance practice with more theatrically and text oriented devising strategies

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lecture/Seminar

  • 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

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: DAN2043

Other information

Under the three term structure that commences from academic year 2019/0 – this module’s delivery is year-long due to the teaching occurring in Teaching Blocks 2 and 3.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Dance BA (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long 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 2019/0 academic year.