Module code: ACTM022

Module Overview


Contextual Practice enables students to develop and apply techniques to practical rehearsal work on one or more examples of heightened text. The module will engage with the specific disciplines of genre and style and will be delivered via committed ensemble practice.


Rehearsal projects will develop the acquisition of a structured and effective rehearsal technique, underpinned by both practice-based and academic research. Students will learn how to analyse and interrogate dramatic text and to identify, evaluate and process character information and objectives within non-naturalistic genres. They will integrate vocal and physical skills during exposure to the disciplines and opportunities of non-naturalistic space and direct address.


The module also provides a forum for the research, preparation and contextual discussion that is essential to the practice of acting at an advanced level.  By actively researching theories, practices and processes regarding character creation and verse/text analysis, within a historical context, the implications of expression and resulting demands of style, genre and period are discussed and researched in tandem with the texts used in rehearsal.


Students may examine a range of theories developed by a range of performance practitioners.  This module and its bibliography may be adapted to reflect the interests of the current cohort. 


Guidance and tuition will be given on the creation of the student working journal, the rehearsal logbook including annotated scripts.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

BESSELL Jacquelyn (GSA)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: W410

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

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

  Co-requisite modules: Semester 1 modules: Industry Practice 1; Voice and Movement; Acting 1.

Module content


Indicative content includes:

  • work on one or more examples of heightened and/or non-naturalistic text, developing the students’ exposure to and subsequent understanding of the differing technical demands of style and genre.

  • work on classical or contemporary texts which may include such examples as Shakespeare, the Greeks, Racine, Jacobean or more contemporary writers such as Williams, Beckett, Shepard or Kane. This enables the

  • integration of vocal and physical techniques addressed in Semester 1 modules, supported by the contextual research.

  • There will be a showing of this work to an invited audience.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Shakespeare 50
Practical based assessment Classical Text Devised Project 50

Alternative Assessment

Should a student be unable to participate in the rehearsal project(s) an alternative performance project will be identified or developed, to which the same learning outcomes and assessments can be applied.

Assessment Strategy

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

1. Analyse and embody complex performance text(s). (C, P)
2. Apply psycho-physical acting techniques, textual analysis and contextual research in a rehearsal context. (C,K,P)
3. Adapt physical and vocal techniques in accordance with period, context, style and genre. (C,K,P)

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Assessment of work in class and performance in rehearsal projects (2 x 50%)
- these address 1, 2 and 3, above. These will be assessed in week 7 and week 14 of Semester 1

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Continuous feedback during rehearsals in class from the instructor

  • Student Working Journal- this will be formatively assessed at the mid-semester point.

Module aims

  • To provide experience of acting in one or more heightened or non-naturalistic text(s).
  • To apply psycho-physical acting techniques, textual analysis and contextual research to one or more rehearsed performance projects
  • To enable the necessary integration of appropriate vocal and physical skills to create a vibrant and articulate performance within a non-naturalistic genre
  • To reflect critically upon and document a personal learning process

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Analyse and embody complex performance text(s). CP
002 Apply psycho-physical acting techniques, textual analysis and contextual research in a rehearsal context KCP
003 Adapt physical and vocal techniques in accordance with period, context, style and genre KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 126

Independent Study Hours: 24

Methods of Teaching / Learning


The learning and teaching methods include:

Rehearsal workshops

Group and Individual structured improvisations


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 CONTEXTUAL PRACTICE 1 :

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 2020/1 academic year.