Ensemble Devising and Performance - DR880

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
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7 45 (22.5) DR R Mitchell







This spring term module is aimed at developing advanced skills in the composition, rehearsal, and performance of an ensemble theatre piece. Students will work collaboratively to: identify a starting point, generate physical and vocal scores, and construct and act a performance score. The module will be complemented by the spring workshop and seminar sessions of DR891 Physical and Vocal Training for Actors which focus on collaborative training techniques.
Students will document the ongoing group work as an integral part of the compositional process; they will comment and reflect on their work as collaborative artists involved in an autonomous practice.
Students will demonstrate their learning towards the end of term by an Ensemble Performance Presentation. This will be accompanied by the DR891 Ensemble Technical Presentation which will take the form of a lecture-demonstration on the subject of the training processes that influenced their Ensemble Performance. In this way, students will be encouraged to link training process with artistic result.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Supervised Rehearsals: 36
Private Study Hours: 264
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

• 60% Ensemble Performance Presentation (approx. 40 minutes)

• 40% Performance Portfolio (to include a repository of the creative and dramaturgical process, and a 4,000 word post-event evaluative critique of the whole process)

Indicative reading

Barba, Eugenio, and Nicola Savarese, eds., A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The Secret Art of the Performer, second edition, London: Routledge 2006
Britton, John, ed., Encountering Ensemble, London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2013
Govan, Emma, Nicholson, Helen and Normington, Katie, Making a Performance: Devising Histories and Contemporary Practices, London: Routledge 2007
Bogart, Annd and Landau, Tina, The Viewpoints Book, New York: Theatre Communications Group 2005

Graham, Scott, and Steven Hoggart, eds., The Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre, London: Routledge 2009
Murray, Simon, and John Keefe, eds. Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction, London: Routledge 2007

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Demonstrate essential skills in the autonomous and independent composition of a collaborative performance process, with particular emphasis on the generation of physical and vocal scores, as well as on its dramaturgical and directorial dimensions
- Demonstrate knowledge about various contexts (historical, ethical, and terminological) that characterise ensemble composition and performance
- Demonstrate essential skills in a rehearsal process that links training with collaborative composition and performance
- Demonstrate skills in the documentation of an artistic work as an integral part of the compositional and performance process
- Demonstrate current discourses of and around ensemble performance and the contextualisation of their own work within these contexts
- Demonstrate skills to reflect on their own performance practice, demonstrating how this relates to relevant contexts and theories [informed by the forefront of professional discipline]

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