THSTS308-19B (HAM)

Creating Theatre

30 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts
Theatre Studies and Dance


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Paper Description

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During this paper, you will experience a range of workshops in creative and performance practices which develop your ability to create performance material collaboratively and from a range of starting points other than traditional play scripts.

Students will work alongside the Paper Convenor and the Teaching Fellow to create the devised piece of theatre.

The principal aim of the paper is to provide you with the opportunity to engage with the practical exploration of the nature of theatrical production, in ways that advance your theoretical knowledge and understanding of contemporary approaches to the creative process. The overall purpose of the paper, therefore, is to create a practical production project that is informed by the exploratory theoretical study and contemporary contextualisation of devised performance. Through the practice of making theatre your theoretical understanding of performance is enhanced and refined to a specialised and sophisticated level.

This is an intensive procedure within a constricted time frame. By its nature the paper requires a collective and coordinated effort, and students must be prepared to work in close collaboration in both small and large groups.

Students will be expected to contribute to all aspects of the production process, including research, script-writing, group improvisation, costume and set design, procurement of stage and hand props, music performance, acting, publicity and marketing.

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Paper Structure

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Three public performances of this production will be staged in the Playhouse, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.

Performance Dates: 9th, 10th, 11th October 2019.

Students will need to be available for a Technical Rehearsals on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October (students should make sure they are available from 9am - 7pm), and available each evening the week beginning the 7th October for technical and dress rehearsals. Keep this time free, as it is an important part of the process. You will need to arrange time off in advance from any part-time employment and/or family commitments during this time. If you cannot organise this time off, it will affect your ability to complete the paper.

There will be an expectation to engage in occasional extra rehearsals out of scheduled class times as we get nearer to production week. Please bear this in mind when committing to this paper.

Viva examinations will be conducted in study week, after the performances, so attendance at University to attend this examination will be required the week beginning 14th October, 2019.

Practical Work:

Classes employ a mixture of discussion and practical exercises, as well as rehearsals when working to create the group’s performance. It is important to attend all classes, to come to class well prepared and be willing to participate fully in the practical work and discussions.

The practical workshops and rehearsals delivered as part of this paper will be physically active in nature, and it is therefore necessary to wear appropriate clothing that will allow freedom and ease of movement. Students will be required to work in bare feet.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • 1. Explain and evaluate key contemporary theoretical approaches to devising and creating theatre, in the light of personal participation in the production project, in both writing and in viva (an oral assessed discussion).
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 2. Apply appropriate methodologies to the recording, documentation and critical reflection on production processes, as demonstrated in the production journal and viva.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 3. Reflect critically upon contemporary practical and theoretical approaches to the theatrical production process in viva (an oral assessed discussion).
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 4. Utilise acquired insights into key contemporary dramatic production strategies and methodologies in an ensemble practical production process.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 5. Demonstrate how to use the voice and body as fundamental aspects of creating performance in the context of a group performance.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 6. Describe and discuss, in light of personal experiential learning, a range of theatre devising strategies and methodologies relevant to the public production.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 7. Interrogate and synthesise practical strategies in the rehearsal, staging and presentation, or the design, of devised work.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 8. Utilise acquired insights into key contemporary dramatic production strategies and methodologies in an ensemble practical production process.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • 9. Investigate, rehearse or design, and realise an ensemble project for public live performance, applying appropriate skills and techniques, and demonstrating independent and autonomous learning.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Practical Training Mark
2. Practical Mark - Creative input and process
3. Practical Mark - Performance
4. Production Research Portfolio
18 Oct 2019
4:00 PM
5. Viva
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Recommended Readings

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Recommended Reading List:

There are no set texts prescribed for this Paper but students are expected to make close reference to the texts in the following list. All these listed texts are available in the University Library, and will be placed on Course Reserve:

Bicat, T & Baldwin, C (eds) (2002) Devised and Collaborative Theatre: A Practical Guide. Ramsbury. Crowood Press.

Britton, J (2013) Encountering Ensemble. London. Bloomsbury Methuen.

Callery, D (2001) Through the Body. London: Nick Hern Books.

Dennis, A (2002) The Articulate Body: The Physical Training of the Actor. London: Nick Hern Books.

Etchells, T. (1999) Certain Fragments, London. Routledge.

Graham, S and Hoggart, S (eds) (2009) The Frantic Assemble Book of Devising Theatre. London.Routledge.

Heddon, D & Milling, J (2006) Devising Performance: A critical history. Hampshire. Palgrave Macmillian.

Hodge, A (2010) Actor Training. 2nd edition. London: Routledge.

Lecoq, J. (2000) The Moving Body; Teaching Creative Theatre. London. Methuen Publishing Limited.

Lecoq, J (2006) The Theatre of Movement and Gesture. London. Routledge.

Marshall, L. (2001) The Body Speaks. London. Methuen Publishing Ltd.

Mermikides, A and Smart, J (eds) (2010) Devising in Process. Hampshire. Palgrave Macmillian.

Murray, S and Keefe, J. (2007) Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge.

Murray, S and Keefe, J. (2007) Physical Theatres: A Critical Reader. London: Routledge.

Oddey, A (1994) Devising Theatre: A Practical and Theoretical Handbook. Oxon. Routledge.

Tufnell, M and Crickmay, C. (1993) Body, Space, Image. London: Routledge.

Zarrilli, P.B. (2002) Acting (Re)Considered: a Theoretical and Practical Guide. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.

Zarrilli, P.B (2009) Psychophysical Acting:An Intercultural Approach After Stanislavsky. London. Routledge.

Zinder, D. (2002) Body, Voice, Imagination: A training for the actor. London: Routledge.

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Online Support

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There is an online Moodle presence for this course. Moodle can be accessed via iWaikato. Lecture presentations, tutorial exercises, assignment details, important dates and the paper outline are all available from this site.

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The paper involves 6 hours a week of contact teaching time, and will require approximately another 12 hours a week of independent study time to complete preparation for classes, undertake research, plan and participate in rehearsals and to complete the assessments for the paper.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite papers: At least 30 points at 100 or above in Theatre Studies, or with the programme Convenor's approval.




Restricted papers: THST308

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