Physical Theatre: Ensemble Devising - DR664

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
View Timetable
6 30 (15)







The module explores ‘physical theatre’ as a complex and rich term which describes works focusing on the primacy of the body in performance rather than text or character. It will focus on how Physical Theatre practitioners have deployed compositional techniques, and the principals that underlie such work. It differs from Physical Theatre 1 in focussing less on training for performance and much more on composition and different possibilities of structuring Physical Performance, using space, sound, movement, rhythm and the body.
Students will conduct in-depth investigations into the relationship between training and performance and devising techniques and compositional approaches through weekly practical workshops.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 72
Private study hours: 228
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Performance (60%)
Written Portfolio (3000 words) (40%)

Indicative reading

• Bogart, A. and Landau, T. (2005) The Viewpoints Book, Theatre Communications Group
• Goodridge, J. (2009) Rhythm and Timing of Movement in Performance, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
• Graham, S. and Hoggett, S (2009) The Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre, Routledge
• Heddon, D. and Milling. J (2006) Devising and Performance, Palgrave Macmillan
• Murray, S and Keefe,J. (2007) Physical Theatres: a Critical Introduction, Routledge
• Pavis, P (2003) Analyzing Performance: Theater, Dance and Film, University of Michigan Press, 2003
• Zarrilli, Phillip (ed.). (2002) Acting (Re)considered, Routledge, 2nd edition

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- Acquire developed knowledge of safe and appropriate ways to work physically and from physical starting points
- Develop creativity and conceptual confidence in using the body and voice and other material elements of staging in performance.
- Study innovative approaches to theatrical composition through physicality, with a particular focus on rhythm, movement, space, sound and the body.
- Produce a portfolio and accompanying visual material that uses information from a variety of theoretical and historical sources to reflect on a personal, creative process.
- Develop further insight into the relationship between training and performance through theoretical research and the practical experience of creating group performances
- Develop a strong understanding of the theoretical and historical context from which Physical Theatre emerged in the twentieth century and how it has developed into the 21st Century
- Develop the ability to understand the complexity of the term 'physical theatre' in writing and discussion.

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