Making Performance 1 - DRAM3380

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 4 30 (15) Angie Varakis-Martin checkmark-circle


This is a module about the implications of Peter Brook's idea that anything can be seen as 'an act of theatre’. Students will be invited to see beyond their own default assumptions about theatre, and introduced to a diverse range of methods of devising their own performances. In practical workshops, they will learn about professional practice, warming up, performance skills, and collaborative group work; and will explore the possibilities of creating performance from a range of starting points, including (for example), space, body, voice, text, or character. This practical exploration will sit alongside an introduction to related aspects of history and theory. In seminars, students will be introduced to such concepts as theatre spaces, traditional play texts, non-traditional theatre texts, historical approaches to characterisation (e.g. Stanislavski, Mike Leigh), physical approaches to acting (e.g. Grotowski, Lecoq), and the different models for engaging an audience (e.g. Brecht, Boal). The experience will be enhanced by 4 ‘Theatre Forums’ within which students experience a short piece of performance by Theatre Companies/Performers who have emerged from the department, followed by an ‘open discussion forum, situating the work within the world of performance, and the influence that their university learning had in relation to their current practice. Students will be assessed by a short in-class performance and an essay. This module (together with Making Performance 2) will offer a solid foundation for all modules in years two and three which involve creative performance work.


Contact hours

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

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods;

Performance (40%)
Essay (2000 words) (40%)
Seminar Contribution (20%).

Reassessment methods;
Like for Like.

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Allain, Paul and Jen Harvie (2006), The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance, London: Routledge
Allen, Tony (2002), Attitude: Wanna Make Something Of It?, Glastonbury: Gothic Image
Artaud, Antonin (1993), Theatre and its Double, London: Calder
Baugh, Christopher (2005), Theatre, Performance and Technology, Basingstoke: Palgrave
Bradwell, Mike (2010), The Reluctant Escapologist, London, Nick Hern
Brook, Peter (1990), The Empty Space, London: Penguin
Double, Oliver (2007), 'Punk Rock as Popular Theatre', New Theatre Quarterly, Vol. 23 No, 1
Johnstone, Keith (2007), Impro: Improvisation and Theatre, London: Methuen
McGrath, John (1996), A Good Night Out: Popular Theatre: Audience, Class and Form, London: Nick Hern
Pickering, Kenneth and Mark Woolgar (2009), Theatre Studies, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Re-evaluate and question their default understanding of what theatre is, and understand diverse and varied approaches to making performances.
2 Devise performances from a range of starting points, for example, space, body, voice, text, character, etc.
3 Work creatively and collaboratively in small groups, to create, rehearse and perform material.
4 Demonstrate a range of performing and creative skills.
5 Read and analyse dramatic texts for theatre, understanding their specific theatrical quality.
6 Identify and 'read' a range of theatrical texts beyond the traditional play script.
7 Understanding of some of the central practices and theories of twentieth century performance.
8 Articulate ideas, concepts and propositions about theatre and the processes of making it in writing, supported by experience and research

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Work with others, collaboratively, utilising a variety of team structures and working methods, and understanding group dynamics and handling interpersonal issues.
2 Develop and pursue creative projects within specified resource constrains of time, space and/or budget, thus developing problem solving skills.
3 Manage workloads to meet deadlines, and sustain focus for extended periods working on independent creative projects, developing autonomy and self management.
4 Apply critical and creative skills in diverse forms of discourse and media.
5 Communicate effectively coherent arguments and propositions in writing.
6 Reflect on their own learning and development


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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