Module code: THE1023

Module Overview

This module, along with its co-requisite (THE1024), introduces students to techniques and practices of performing in a text-based theatre production under supervision. The module will consist of seminars, practical workshops/rehearsals, discussions, and independent work wherein students will explore text(s) in both theory and practice as material to work with as both a scholar and a performer. The term ‘text’ carries multiple connotations here: the module will focus considerable attention on the play text, but will also consider other forms of writing for and about theatre and performance, and how to build on these considerations as both a scholar and a performer. The module thus introduces approaches to practice and performance from a critically-informed perspective to inform future performance projects (specifically serving as preparation for the performance work to be undertaken in its co-requisite module, THE1024), while also encouraging independent creativity and initiative.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

WAGNER Matthew (GSA)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W400

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 45

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Co-Requisite: THE 1024 Theatre Project: Practice and Performance

Module content

In this module, students will examine one or more texts for theatre in a series of practical workshops and seminar discussions, focusing on the roles of text and character in theory and practice. As such, primary content will be comprised of the relevant text(s) alongside relevant theoretical resources and scholarship, which will be used in exploring a critically-informed approach to performance and performing.

The module may include sessions on:

  • Specific actor training methodologies

  • Character research and preparation

  • Improvisations that are rooted in the text but not contained by it.

  • Independent research of theatrical genres, style and presentation

  • The poetic/heightened theatrical text (e.g., Shakespeare, Classical Greece)

  • The realistic theatrical text (e.g., Chekhov, Glaspell)

  • The expressionistic/absurdist theatrical text (e.g., Toller, Artaud, Beckett)

  • The postmodern/devised performance text (e.g., Müller, Churchill, Frantic Assembly)

  • The adapted theatrical text (performance created from literature, poetry, song)

In preparing for THE1024 Theatre Project: Practice and Performance in Semester 2, students will be encouraged and helped to draw connections between critical and practical enquiry.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT (1500 WORDS) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of particular text(s)/character(s) from a creative standpoint, evidencing both a theoretical and a practical/creative grasp of the module’s learning outcomes.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of a 1500-word written assignment. Indicatively, the written assignment might take the form of a character analysis comprised of (1) a critical reflection on a character’s role in the assigned text, and (2) a first-person description of an event or the character’s thought process on a given day.

The best submissions will be those that identify a relevant focus, and allow each section to inform one another as explicitly as possible – i.e. those that evidence the influence of research on their creative writing.

The formative assessment will enable students to receive timely feedback from their tutor, as well as peer-to-peer feedback, on an outline akin to their intended written assignment, to ensure that the summative assessment reaches its full potential. 

Module aims

  • Introduce students to critical questions about the roles of text and character in the making of theatre and performance
  • Enable students to apply such questions to the theory and practice of theatre and performance
  • Introduce students to productive tools for reflective self-analysis, particularly with respect to creative work

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
001 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of both theoretical and practical approaches to the roles of text and character in theatre and performance KC
002 Approach text and character as a critically-aware and informed scholar and performer KCT
003 Produce in writing a creative investigation into the roles of text and character in theatre and performance CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 33

Independent Study Hours: 117

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide students with hands-on, critically-informed experience in the preparation of role(s) for performance.

The learning and teaching methods may include:

  • Seminars and class discussion

  • Workshops

  • Master classes

  • Tutored rehearsals (as a group or individually)

  • Independent rehearsals (as a group or individually)

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.