OverviewThis module explores the interconnectedness between academic research and professional practice in theatre and performance. Students explore research questions through work-based learning in the first half of the term. This can take the form of either a placement or shadowing with a venue or company, which the student has arranged in the first part of the course, potentially supported by Erasmus international placement funding for a placement in Europe. Alternatively, this work-based learning activity may be based on a less formalised, but still primary mode of research of a specific venue, company, or theatre practitioner, emphasising the first-hand generation of research material through direct observation, interviews, and analysis. Students may select, according to their own interests and specialisms within the vast field of European theatre, a company, venue or practitioner of their choice, and individually negotiate the terms and opportunities to carry out this study. The convenor of the module will provide support in this initial negotiation if needed, and will also offer students connections with the Department's network of professional theatre-makers. The convenor will also provide support throughout the placement where needed.
In the second half of the term this learning is deepened through lectures on professional practice. The module will be convened by one member of staff who will bring in external speakers as appropriate, allowing students to approach theatre as a profession and contextualise the notion of theatre industry. Topics covered in class will typically include basic theatre industry knowledge for emerging artists, such as theatre funding structures, fundraising strategies, writing grant applications, casting mechanisms, CV/personal statement writing, basic marketing, basic budgeting. The module will be assessed through a combination of practical tasks, such as a grant application or a project pitch, and a reflection on the placement or essay on the individual research.
This module appears in:
Contact hours: 42
Private study hours: 258
Total hours: 300
Method of assessment
Work-based Learning Plan, 1,000 words (20%)
Work-based Learning Report/Essay 4,000 words (40%)
Professional Portfolio 2,500 words (40%)
Barrett, Estelle and Bolt, Barbara, eds (2007), Practice as Research: Approaches to creative arts enquiry. London: I. B. Tauris.
Dean, Peter (2002), Production Management: Making Shows Happen - A Practical Guide. Marlborough: Crowood Press.
Freeman, John (2009), Blood Sweat and Theory: Research Through Practice in Performance. London: Libri.
Johns, Christopher (2004), Becoming a Reflective Practitioner. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Kershaw, Baz and Nicholson, Helen, eds (2011), Research Methods in Theatre and Performance. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Nelson, Robin (2013), Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Resistances. Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
O'Brien, Dave, (2014), Cultural Policy: Management, Value and Modernity in the Creative Arts. London; New York: Routledge.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Assess contextual frameworks of theatre production and performance, such as social environment, audience demographics, institutional structures, cultural policies, artistic ideologies;
2. Plan and conduct in a self-directed and independent way a critical investigation into professional practice that productively applies theories, concepts and discourses to advance the understanding of theatre-making;
3. Engage critically, practically and effectively with processes of production and performance, drawing on a range of research methodologies to support their investigation;
4. Evaluate discourses in the field of theatre studies and their relevance within, and application to, processes of production and performance;
5. Record, document and analyse performance practices and processes, thus generating and digesting primary source material.
6. Conceive and write professional project proposals, CVs, funding applications, promotional copy and any other material required to work as a theatre-maker in Britain