Performance Practices - DRAM8670

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 30 (15) Jayne Thompson checkmark-circle


This module is one of four co-requisite modules which form the MA Theatre Making. The term 'performance practices' includes a diversity of styles and approaches that extend and interrogate the boundaries between theatre forms – such as devising, directing, physical theatre, performance art, applied theatre and so on. Performance Practices I gives students the opportunity to develop advanced theatre making skills by combining techniques, processes and practices from several specialist areas of performance, reflecting the contemporary need and trend to work across genres. Students do so by responding to a range of creative commissions that also introduce them to the possibilities of the local arts scene, in preparation for Professional Practices II in Spring term. At the centre of the course is a commitment to exploring the complexity of relationships between performer, space and audience. Students work in groups, developing their skills and interests in theatre making throughout the term, and are assessed on group or individual projects, and a reflective essay. Topics covered (these are negotiated with the students in accordance with their interests) might include: place and space; site specific performance; working with found materials; object theatre; Auto/biography; the body as material and site; image based theatre; working with text; devising techniques; directing techniques; approaches to applied theatre. This programme of work is supported with workshops delivered by professional practitioners.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 96
Private study hours: 204
Total hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main Assessment Methods:

Practical performance, 15-20 min (60%)
Reflective Essay, 3,000 words (40%)

Reassessment methods:
100% Coursework

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Auslander, Philip (1999), Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture, London: Routledge,
Govan, Emma, Helen Nicholson, Katie Normington (2007), Making a Performance: Devising Histories and Contemporary Practices. London: Routledge.
Lehmann, Hans-Thies (2006), Postdramatic Theatre. London: Routledge,
Radosavljevic, Duska (2013), Theatre-Making: Interplay Between Text and Performance in the 21st Century. Baskingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Shepherd, Simon (2012), Direction: Readings in Theatre Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Prentki, Tim and Preston, Sheila, eds (2009), The Applied Theatre Reader. London: Routledge.

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. deploy advanced skills in the creation of new performance and performance art (to include techniques associated with, for example, performance art, directing, devising, physical theatre, puppet and object theatre and applied theatre);
2. demonstrate an ability to create original and innovative performance from a variety of stimuli and sources in a range of contexts using appropriate techniques, structures and methodologies to develop those performances;
3. plan appropriate creative processes including warm-up exercises and devising techniques drawing on the work of a variety of key practitioners;
4. use technical apparatus and associated resources necessary to realise the demands of production in live performance safely and effectively, including knowledge of risk assessment procedures;
5. demonstrate a critical awareness of the current discourses of and around contemporary performance and theatre making practices and demonstrate an ability to contextualise their work within these debates;
6. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the relationships between performers, space and audience in contemporary performance;

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

1. deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
2. demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
3. continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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