Module code: TDL3003

Module Overview

Students will be expected to demonstrate their appreciation and understanding of how American playwrights and theatre practitioners have addressed political/social ideologies from the early 20th century to the present day. Students will be expected to consider theatrical pieces within their contemporary historical, social and political context.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: W471

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

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Students will take this module alongside the following modules:

  • Theories of Performance TDL3001
  • Contemporary Actor Training TDL3002
  • Musical Theatre TDL3004

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Home-based study on the module material and required purchase texts.

  • Seminar sessions amounting to two days at GSA to include writing skills, personal tutorials and target setting and an introduction to the study of selected American theatre texts in performance.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY: 2500 WORDS 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the following through their formal written summative submission, in addition to their engagement with the formative assessment, module content and associated activities

• Demonstrate an awareness of how American theatre has responded to and been shaped by historical, social and political theories and movements (K)
• Appreciate a variety of unbiased critical approaches (C)
• Apply various unbiased critical approaches (P)
• Formulate and communicate objective responses (T)

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
• 2,500 word essay in response to a set question/task

Formative assessment and feedback
Formative Assessment consists of an outline plan for the summative assignment in the students own choice of form, which may include, but is not restricted to an essay plan, poster, PowerPoint or equivalent software presentation, podcast. Informal formative feedback from tutors will be provided by, but is not restricted to, the virtual learning environment, email exchange, personal tutorials in person or via Skype, or equivalent software.
Ongoing informal formative feedback from the tutor is facilitated by, but not restricted

Module aims

  • Introduce and examine the American Dream in relation to American theatre.
  • Explore how American theatre has responded to and been shaped by historical, social and political theories and movements.
  • Examine how playwrights from different decades have commented on the American Dream.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
1 Demonstrate an awareness of how American theatre has responded to and been shaped by historical, social and political theories and movements. K
2 Communicate an awareness of the techniques theatre practitioners use to respond to a political climate, idea or situation. C
3 Analyse a performance text for social and political meanings, subtexts and metaphors and objectively discuss its success as a function of political theatre. P
4 Formulate and communicate objective responses T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 135

Seminar Hours: 3.6

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Actively engage distance learners with core concepts through a range of learning and teaching strategies.

  • Enable the distance learner to access core concepts studied and apply these to selected American performance texts.

  • Allow the distance learner to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the core concepts through the structured exploration of performance possibilities of selected American texts.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Study based on module content and associated activities via the virtual learning environment (60 hours).

  • Seminar weekend (15 hours).

  • Tutor guided distance learning/independent study based on required purchase texts and online Library resources (75 hours).

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


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.