Physical Theatre: Ensemble Devising - DRAM6640

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 6 30 (15) Roanna Mitchell checkmark-circle


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.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 66
Private study hours: 234
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Performance (60%)
Written Portfolio (3,000 words) (40%)

Reassessment methods:
Like for Like

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

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

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

1 Acquire developed knowledge of safe and appropriate ways to work physically and from physical starting points
2 Develop creativity and conceptual confidence in using a variety of methods and other material elements of staging in performance.
3 Study innovative approaches to theatrical composition through physicality, with a particular focus on rhythm, movement, space, sound and the body.
4 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.
5 Develop further insight into the relationship between training and performance through theoretical research and the practical experience of creating group performances
6 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
7 Develop the ability to understand the complexity of the term 'physical theatre' in writing and discussion.

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

1 Undertake autonomous and independent working practices, exercising initiative and personal responsibility.
2 Demonstrate a range of communication skills through writing, discussion and practice-based work.
3 Work in a group collaboratively, utilising team structures and working methods to create a performance
4 Identify health and safety and ethical issues and undertake risk assessments
5 Reflect on personal learning, identifying strategies for revisions and development
6 Undertake independent research
7 Present coherent arguments verbally and in writing.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 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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