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Module Outlines 2020/21




MODULES
2nd YEAR 3rd YEAR
TH248 30 Inter-Performance
TH205 30 Theatre in the Community
TH235 30 Wired
TH249 30 You, The Performer: presence and affect
TH210 15 Audience Development & Marketing (AUT)
TH222 15 African Theatre in Context (AUT)
TH2xx 15 Politics & Performance: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (AUT)
TH250 15 Post-war British Theatre & Social Abjection (AUT)
TH226 15 20th Century Irish Theatre (SPR)
TH251 15 Theatre & the Creative Industries (SPR)
TH252 15 Placement (Creative Arts & Cultural Industries) (SPR)
TH245 15 Immersive (SUM)
TH329 30 Research Dissertation
TH342 30 Practice-based Research Project
TH319 30 Approaches to Theatre History & Historiography
TH332 30 Performing Gender & Sexuality
TH343 30 Applying Theatre: Histories, Geographies, Practices
TH343 15 Applying Theatre: Histories, Geographies, Practices (AUT)
TH326 15 Dramaturgy (AUT)
TH334 15 Love: Performance, Theory & Criticism (AUT)
TH345 15 Audience Development & Marketing (AUT)
TH3xx 15 Acting in Character (AUT)
TH337 15 The Author Dies Hard (SPR) TUE 1230-1430 G53
TH340 15 Theatre & the Creative Industries (SPR)
TH339 15 Placement (Creative Arts & Cultural Industries) (SPR)






TH248-30 - INTER-PERFORMANCE (SINGLE HONOURS CORE)

Bear with us

TERMS: AUTUMN & SPRING
CLASS: MON 1100-1300 G56
TUTORS: Ian Farnell & Tim White
ASSESSMENT
25% - Portfolio
50% - Practical Exam
25% - Critical Review

Outline:

To follow

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TH205 30 Theatre in the Community

TERMS: AUTUMN, SPRING & SUMMER
CLASS: FRI 0900-1300 G53
TUTORS: Saul Hewish
ASSESSMENT
25% - Practical Exam
50% - Practical Exam
25% - Critical Review

Outline:
Principal aims
The Theatre in the Community module provides an exploration of theoretical and practical strategies that are currently in evidence within contemporary community theatre practice, and looks in detail at the role of the ‘drama facilitator’. The work ranges through theoretical studies of the key political or social philosophies that have informed community theatre practice. This stage of the module includes a particular emphasis on how theories of criminology have informed theatre work with offenders. It continues through an examination of practical strategies which encompass games and exercises for use with community groups. Within this there is reference to group dynamics, community contexts and the primary objectives achievable within practice of this kind. The module leads towards the devising of a performance and workshop which will take place in a community context, normally a prison, within the West Midlands area.

Principal learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students should be able to:

1) Lead a practice-based exploration of themes or ideas within a community context, working with, for example, young people, older people or prisoners.

2) Lead a process of play or project devising appropriate for a community context.

3) Undertake independent research-based investigation to inform written and practical work.

4) Communicate what they have learnt orally and in writing.

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TH235 30 Wired

 

TERMS: AUTUMN & SPRING
CLASS: THUS 1400-1800 G31 & G55
TUTORS: Tim White & John Costello
ASSESSMENT
30% - First Video
70% - Final Video

Outline:
If Wired did what it said on the tin there’d be more electricians in the world. Instead, it is a practical video-making module, run over two terms. Taught by myself, Tim White, with feedback and support from John Costello and technical sessions assisted by Ian O’Donoghue and Issa James, it is wholly assessed by group practical submissions, the first, worth 30%, responding to a provided provocation and realised in pre-assigned groups, will be introduced in a few moments by John, whilst the second, comprising 70%, is made with a grouping of your choosing, its theme and format determined by the group in a proposal that is further developed in feedback sessions. Previous videos have included dramatic work, documentary, animation and a virtual reality submission.

Over the module there are a series of practical sessions, primarily in the first term, where we will cover pre-production strategies, how to shape a narrative, use of the Canon C200 cameras and working with light and sound. Equipment is booked from the pool of kit we share with Film and TV and students are encouraged to adopt strong organisational skills to maximise their use of the resources required. The module has access to fast shared storage space on which to store the large files generated in shooting and which facilitates working on any edit machine. We have six seats of Adobe Creative Cloud and instruction is given on the use of Premiere Pro for Editing, After Effects for Motion Graphics and Audition for audio work.
No prior experience is assumed or expected, though if you’ve been making videos for years then that becomes a contribution towards the group, sitting alongside the commitment and creativity you would expect from others.
We assess the work according to the following criteria. For the first film
a) technical proficiency in shooting and editing the work – if we can’t hear the dialogue or see what you are trying to show us then we have a problem
b) interpretation of the source material – John will give an overview of this in a moment
c) strength of the screened work – the piece stands or falls by what you leave on the screen.
For the final project the criteria are broadly similar
a) technical proficiency in shooting and editing the work
b) strength of the proposal and development over the project
c) strength of the screened work
d) contribution to the group
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Two perennial ones are:
Can I use my own camera and/or editing software?
We do not insist that you use the Canon C200 or Premiere Pro but these are the tools for which we provide instruction to the whole group and to which the whole group has access. Past instances have made us wary of having a gatekeeper being the single point of failure in a group exercise.
How long does my video need to be?
There are multiple reasons why we set an assignment rather than a duration, not least so that the former takes precedence over the latter. We have always stepped back from being overly prescriptive in terms of expected length - size of group, nature of project (eg animation vs documentary) and other variables all conspire to make the imposition of a fixed duration caveated with exceptions. Having said that, five minutes would in most cases be a lower guideline and 10 minutes at the upper end. We have had good 15 minute submissions that would have been great 10 minute submissions and, whilst we wouldn't assume that anyone is incapable of sustaining a piece longer than 10 minutes, they also have to sustain a whole raft of other modules so a reasonable upper limit is as much to constrain the evident enthusiasm we often see and ensure that it is sprinkled equally across all other assignments.

And now over to John to introduce the first project. Once class lists have been determined we will be circulating source materials and further guidelines.

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TH249 30 You, The Performer: presence and affect

TERMS: AUTUMN & SPRING
CLASS: MON 1500-1800 G53
TUTORS: Natalie Diddams
ASSESSMENT:

40% - a 4000-word critical review
60% - four performance pieces (15% each)

Outline:

The module addresses what it is to be (and prepare to be) a performer in diverse settings. It has two main through-lines: 1) an examination of presence, and the particular work of the performer to inhabit and animate the moment; and 2) an examination of ways in which performers relate to audience members and spectators. The module is taught mainly through four blocks of workshops, each addressing a particular technique-based approach to performance. In each block, three taught workshops are followed by a fourth class in which you will share small compositions geared around a particular technique. Workshops include contextual study of the approaches in question, and short seminars address key conceptual issues and theoretical perspectives on presence, affect and the (inter)actions of performance. You will also be encouraged to watch performances live and on video that connect with the topics of the module.

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TH210 15 Audience Development & Marketing (AUT)

Bear with us

TERMS: AUTUMN
CLASS: WED 1000-1200 G56
TUTORS: Caroline Griffin
ASSESSMENT
50% - ASSESSED SEMINAR PRESENTATION
50% - ESSAY

Outline:
This module will provide an overview of the theory and practice of strategic marketing and audience development for the arts, with a special emphasis on practical application. Over the course of the module we will look at general marketing theory, the use of market intelligence and data and the special challenges of marketing creative products. There will be an emphasis on exploring the concept of audience development as it is understood in the arts. We will also look at different organisational approaches to being audience focused, and associated implications for programming, resource management, internal communications and business planning. Other specific areas to be covered will include creating marketing materials, using social media, budgeting and evaluating marketing activity.

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TH222 15 African Theatre in Context (AUT)

 

TERMS: AUTUMN
CLASS: TUE 1330-1530 G56
TUTORS: Yvette Hutchison
ASSESSMENT
50% - Essay (2500 words]

50% - 1.5 Hour Written Examination (May/June), revision in first weeks of term 2

Outline:

Africa is a continent of great diversity, with over 2000 languages, and even more cultures practiced. We live in an increasingly multicultural, mobile world, where people have different approaches to telling stories, making theatre, and even in what they think theatre is or should do. In this module I hope to engage you with a wide range of African approaches to storytelling, historic and cultural frames of reference, and ways of being in the world.

We will explore different cultural contexts of in North, West, East and Southern African and the specific forms and styles of theatre from these areas that are dominant on the continent. We will look at how these forms impact audience engagement with ideas and consider how understanding the context can support reading a text from Africa from another cultural perspective. For example, we will think about the fact that African drama is always about ideas more than characters; and that actors are clearly playing with roles, in the sense of having fun or experimenting with them, as opposed to playing a role, changes what an audience expects of theatre. Finally, we will think about how these perspectives work to keep renewing theatre.

We begin by considering how African playwrights from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Egypt have used theatre to respond to many issues. Given the diversity of languages, we will analyse the role of the body and physical theatre in critiquing colonialism and neo-colonialism; in facilitating political and ideological debate, exploring the relationship between theatre, history and memory; and negotiating gender issues specific to the continent.

Throughout we will use seminar discussion and practical exercises – written, oral, choral, physical - to explore the breadth of theatre in Africa and suggest ways in which you can translate some of these African approaches to your own work.

Key texts:

Banham, Martin & Plastow, Jane (eds.) 1999. Contemporary African Plays. Methuen.

Hutchison, Yvette & Amy Jephta (eds.) 2019. Contemporary Plays by African Women. Methuen.

Jeyifo, Biodun (ed.) 2002. Modern African Drama. NY & London: Norton & Company.

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TH2xx 15 Politics & Performance: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (AUT)

TERM: AUTUMN
CLASS: THU 1600-1800 G53
TUTORS: Julia Peetz
ASSESSMENT
25% - Group Presentation
75% - Final Essay

Outline:
This module investigates the relationship between performance and contemporary politics, both institutional and oppositional. Introducing students to the interdisciplinary field of politics and performance research, which is a particular strength of the University of Warwick, the module aims to prepare student to engage critically and analytically from different conceptual perspectives in analysing performances in and of politics. Students will explore performances of parliaments, politicians, pressure groups, and protestors through group work, simulation games, presentations, and written analysis. Thinking through the significance and applicability of concepts like performance, performativity, theatricality, ritual, and embodiment beyond theatre settings, students will gain a deeper understanding of key concepts in Theatre and Performance Studies.

The behaviour of politicians and the rituals and procedures of both the institutional structures of democratic politics (like governments, parliaments, and courts) and forms of political activism (from lobbying to protest demonstrations, riots, and terrorist acts) are often described as ‘theatre-like’ in that they appear to be stage-managed, performed, and directed at audiences. Does this mean that there is something ‘special’ about the relationship between politics and theatre? What does it mean to interpret contemporary politics through the lens of performance? The module will explore different ways in which theatre/performance and politics have been linked by introducing students to interdisciplinary scholarship developed in theatre/performance studies, philosophy, and political science.

The module will explore:

- Performances by politicians and political institutions as well as their potential function in democratic politics. Questions include: Do politicians’ performances distract from policy or do they play an important role in the political process? What is the relationship between such performances and the concept of political representation?

- Different forms of political activism, their aims, and strategies: ranging from political pressure groups to theatrical and avant-garde activism. Questions include: How do forms of activism proceed performatively and theatrically? How do their aims align with their strategies?

- The contested relationship between politics and theatre. Different perspectives on the political potential and efficacy of theatre and performance art will be examined. Questions include: If politics is theatrical, is the theatre then uniquely placed to speak back to institutional politics? What happens to forms of activism when they are represented on the theatre stage?

For the final essay (75% of the mark for the module), students will have the opportunity to choose a topic and an approach that interests them, and to develop their essay plans in a 1-1 discussion with the module leader before writing the essay.

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TH250 15 Post-war British Theatre & Social Abjection (AUT)

TERM: AUTUMN
CLASS: THU 1030-1300 G56
TUTORS: Nadine Holdsworth
ASSESSMENT
40% - a 2000-word (or equivalent) project-based assessment
60% - a 3000-word essay

Outline:

This module will address the theatrical treatment of issues that have been at the heart of the British nation in the twenty-first century and subject to widespread public debate, media campaigns, political controversy and legislation: migration, Gypsies and Travellers, riots, homelessness and the north/south divide. As such, the module will address many of the pressing issues that are informing contemporary political debate about how the nation, national life and national citizenship are currently conceived, imagined and represented – whether that be current debates on migration; discussions on the ‘north/south divide’ activated by plans for a Northern Powerhouse and heightened regional powers; concerns about what the London riots of 2011 meant socially and politically; or the widespread debates around the presence of Gypsies and Travellers within communities epitomised by the response to scenes of mass eviction witnessed at Dale Farm in Essex in 2011. The module is concerned with questioning how and why playwrights, theatre-makers and performance companies have engaged with and responded to these issues as forms of political intervention and commentary. However, where appropriate, I am also keen to take a longer historical perspective in order to argue that many twenty-first century anxieties have their origins in an earlier post-war period and can be traced to legacies of empire, colonialism, post-war reconstruction and long-standing concerns with class, regionalism and race in Britain.

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TH226 15 20th Century Irish Theatre (SPR)

TERMS: PRING
CLASS: TUE 1200-1400 G56
TUTORS: Wallace McDowell
ASSESSMENT
40% - Portfolio (2x1000 words)
60% - Essay (3000 words)

Outline:

The module will engage with how the Irish stage reflected and refracted the building of a new nation in the
20th Century.

Aims

The module will investigate:

• How ‘Irishness’ was depicted in a range of plays and performances in the 20th Century

• How the staging of Irish plays are affected by concepts such as landscape, memory, history and myth

• How the Irish theatre reflected the formation of an Irish nation and was used to both rehearse and critique Ireland after the English

• How Irish playwrights have used major historical events to reflect on contemporary events

• How Irish plays and performances have engaged with the wider international world

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

• demonstrate an understanding of the role played by theatre and performance in the production of a range of Irish identities

• use theoretical tools and conceptual ideas to enhance performance analysis and creative research

• conduct background research (written and visual) on the world of 20th century Irish theatre and performance

• demonstrate an understanding of the continuing role of theatre and performancein the contemporary theatre and in the performance of lived experience in terms of what it means to be Irish in the 21st century

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TH251 15 Theatre & the Creative Industries (SPR)

TERMS: SPRING
CLASS: TUE 1500-1800
TUTORS: David Coates
ASSESSMENT
40% - In the News or In the Spotlight: A Case Study

60% - Industry Project

Outline:
This module is delivered by Theatre and Performance Studies, in partnership with Warwick Arts Centre. It aims to give you a broad understanding of the theatre industry in the UK today, occasionally looking beyond to the wider eco-system of international theatre and performance festivals and international touring.

The module aims to introduce you to principles, practices and practicalities in running arts venues; conceiving programmes of work for venues or festivals; ‘making it’ as a new company or artist; marketing and audience development; commissioning and producing new work; funding the arts, the Arts Council and its priorities; and creative learning, education and outreach.

Through this module you’ll become familiar with a wide-range of venues, organisations, companies, artists and individuals working in the UK today, understanding what each is best-known for. Your understanding will be enhanced through a series of weekly assessed presentations presented by yourself and your peers. These presentations will also engage you with current issues within the industry, encouraging you to have your finger on the pulse of trends and debates, such as: the future of the arts in Europe after Brexit; diversity and ‘relevance’; climate change and sustainability; and performing online and digital theatre.

Weekly sessions will be led by the convenor, often alongside industry professionals in-person or online, allowing you to understand each topic first-hand and to develop your professional network. These industry experts will include producers, directors, company managers, festival programmers and so on, enabling you to see the breadth of roles that make theatre happen and to open your eyes to possible career options within the industry. Thus, the module aims to help you to locate possible places for your future self within the industry’s ecology. Each industry professional will talk to you about their area of work, as well as setting in-class problem-based tasks, to provide an opportunity for you to try out authentic activities from the workplace.

The module aims to engage you with industry-focussed readings and conversations, such as policy documents (Arts Council; Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), venue and company strategies and annual reports, industry news publications (The Stage and Arts Professional), through Devoted and Disgruntled, and on Twitter.

ASSESSMENT DETAILS

40% - In the News or In the Spotlight: A Case Study
You’ll work in a pair or a small group to present for 10 minutes in-class on either a topic that is ‘In the News’ that is relevant to the module or an ‘In the Spotlight’ case study. The presentation should be delivered as if for a professional industry audience, which you may wish to specify (for example, as if being presented to a room of programmers or funders).

‘In the News’ could relate to a story in the national or industry press about an issue or incident that has taken place recently or a significant announcement: a new show/ a new venue/ a new artistic director etc. The presentation should capture the issue at hand and refer to authoritative voices in the industry relating to that subject. You should understand the issue, have a perspective on it and provide an industry context to it (such as the venue it relates to etc). You should use the case study to present your own stance on the issue or incident and perhaps propose ways forward, if relevant.

‘In the Spotlight’ puts a spotlight on a recent show, an individual, or an organisation within the industry. You should consider why you’re spotlighting this and emphasise why you believe it’s important for your audience to know about this. You should refer to industry texts – perhaps reviews or newspaper articles. You should think about how whatever you have spotlighted influences the industry, your own practice or both.

60% - Industry Project
You should produce a personal project relating to an area of the industry that you’d like to explore further. This could be a funding application, such as for a creative learning project; a concept or business plan for a new festival, venue or theatre company; an outline of a programme for a festival or a venue; a new strategy for Front of House and Operations for a venue; an application to be a part of a festival or City of Culture; a marketing campaign for a specific show; a national or international tour plan for a show etc. This should be approximately 3500 words, or equivalent, as the format and mode of presentation might differ. If you’re in your final year, you’ll also need to provide a 300-word executive summary of the project.

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TH252 15 Placement (Creative Arts & Cultural Industries) (SPR)

TERMS: SPRING
CLASS: TBC - SLOT HELD WED 1200-1300 G56
TUTORS: Caroline Griffin
ASSESSMENT
100% - Portfolio

Outline:

The module will enable students to gain valuable experience in a professional context and setting. It will enable an understanding of the pressures, requirements, workflow and practices of a specific activity or set of activities within a professional arts/culture setting; and an understanding of the wider operation and activity of the artist/company/organisation in question. It will entail the completion of specific work, identified in advance, within the placement; and thereby an understanding of how such work sits within wider contexts and can be carried out to good effect. It will allow for focused work on a project of immediate personal interest; and enable students to understand how they can interface with other professionals in the creative industries to the benefit of their personal development and career trajectory.

Placements will be undertaken within the terms of the University’s guidance concerning placement learning: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/dar/quality/categories/placementlearning

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TH245 15 Immersive (SUM)

TERMS: SUMMER
CLASS: MON 1000-1700
TUTORS: Tim White
ASSESSMENT
50% - Practical Exam
50% - Critical Review

Outline:
Immersive practices saturate our culture, from the global phenomenon of Punchdrunk's shows, the virtual environments that envelop our sensoria, the retail encounters that blend expense with experience, the games that confine and confound us in escape rooms or pervade our daily lives. There's no shortage of references to water in these forms, acknowledging the term's derivation from the act of plunging into liquid and, though as vital to us as the air we breathe, we do not readily envelop ourselves in the aqueous, maintaining instead a respectful distance, just as we sit at a remove from much theatre, evaluating and assessing.

From the visions of Artaud, the Futurist banquets, the spaces of Environmental Theatre and Installation Art, the freedoms of Happenings and other antecedents we begin by considering an aesthetics of Immersive Theatre alongside a range of recent examples. Next, acknowledging that the immersive is not simply an over-abundance of phenomena but, as Jean Arthur Rimbaud has it, “a systematic derangement of the senses”, we augment our understanding of the public senses of sight and hearing with those attuned to more intimate encounters - touch, taste and smell (as well a few more that - and the possibilities and limitations of utilising these within performance.

As the potential to error-check what we are encountering against a stable reality is often denied in immersive practices - suspended, we cannot know where we stand - the following session takes a technological turn, interrogating the notion of mixed reality through consideration of different blendings of the virtual and that, which perhaps only by juxtaposition we might nominate 'the real'.

There then follows a moment of reflection, a stepping back, in which the politics of extending or accepting an invitation to forego critical distance is explored; do immersive practices expose us to ethical dilemmas, leave us vulnerable to exploitation and manipulation.

The concluding taught session is games day, imposing the predetermined or emergent bounds of games and play on situations fictitious or real, or some amalgam of both. Finite and infinite games, pervasive games and the harnessing of play are refracted across a multitude of environments, sometimes flitting between virtual and real spaces.

Running parallel with the taught sessions are workshops that explore the themes and introduce students to practices and digital tools that they might use in realisation of the first assessment, worth 50% of the mark. Following submission of a proposal and the ensuing feedback, you will develop and subsequently present a work that is informed by the immersive practices and ideas explored on the module. This breadth of forms - theatre work, installation, sound piece, virtual environment, site responsive work - is such that responses might well range from solo works through to larger groups though the scope of the work would be expected to scale with the size of the group. The extended period of development is such that you are encouraged to make ambitious use of the resources at your disposal and to set the terms of the presentation - the studios are provided as a resource but should not necessarily predetermine the nature or location of your presentation.

The final assessment, again worth 50%, comprises a critical review of 2500 words that includes a brief account of the work your notion of immersive and how this is expressed in the presentation, your role in the realisation of presentation and the ways by which it might be further developed.

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TH329 30 Research Dissertation

TERMS: AUTUMN & SPRING
CLASS: MON 1400-1600 G52+G55
TUTORS: Wallace McDowell (module overall); individual supervisor by arrangement
ASSESSMENT
25% - Portfolio
50% - Practical Exam
25% - Critical Review

Outline:

The Research Dissertation module is an Optional Core module for Third Year single-honours Theatre & Performance Studies (TPS) students, who must choose between this module and the Practice-based Research Project module. Students studying joint-honours programmes with Theatre Studies are not required to take this module but can apply to do so as long as 1) they are not doing a similar research-based module in their home department and 2) their chosen research topic is clearly relevant to TPS. Anyone taking the module must be supervised by a member of TPS academic staff.

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TH342 30 Practice-based Research Project

TERMS: AUTUMN, SPRING & SUMMER
CLASS: MON 1400-1600 G52+G55 (selected weeks only)
TUTORS: Anna Harpin & Lucy Amsden
ASSESSMENT:
60% - Practical Project (by agreement; group mark, unless solo)
40% - Critical Review (3,000 words; individual mark)

Outline:

The Practice-based Research Project module is an Optional Core module for Third Year single-honours Theatre & Performance Studies (TPS) students, who must choose between this module and the Research Dissertation module. Students studying joint-honours programmes with Theatre Studies are not required to take this module but can apply to do so as long as 1) they are not doing a similar research-based module in their home department and 2) their chosen research topic is clearly relevant to TPS. Anyone taking the module must be supervised by a member of TPS academic staff.

This module provides an opportunity for an extended and independent research-based project in the field of theatre and performance. It entails in-depth development of work through practice-based research, resulting in a consolidated performance/practical output and critical review. Unless otherwise agreed, the performances/practical outputs will be presented in a festival of work at Warwick Arts Centre in the Summer Term.

The module enables you to develop your work through phases, supported by structured class activities, workshops, supervision meetings and independent research using appropriate methods of enquiry and project development. The schedule includes work-in-progress practical presentations that are designed to elaborate on the principles of the research and aid in the development of the final work for assessment.

The module enables you to use modes of practice as the primary research method. The practical work can take several forms, including (but not limited to) live performance, performance installation, site-specific performance, video work, multi-media work, the writing of a play, curatorial work (including recording what has happened in the past or organizing an exhibition), historical performance reconstruction, space and/or costume design, organizing and running participatory workshops, and video documentaries.

You will usually work in groups of between two and five members, though it is possible under some circumstances to undertake a solo project. Each project is allocated a supervisor and the nature of the work must be such that it can be appropriately supervised by a member of staff in the TPS Department. Practical processes must be informed by clear research imperatives and based on practice-as-research and theoretical/conceptual principles. Projects should make apparent the context of the research, the research methodologies involved, and the research questions being posed.

The module features primarily independent work on the part of the group/individual. Each project is allocated a supervisor. The allocated number of contact/supervision hours between the group/individual and the supervisor is SIX hours during the academic year. The module also has a schedule of supportive activities, published at the start of the respective academic year. Attendance at classes is mandatory. Development and rehearsal time is scheduled in studio spaces for the use of groups/individuals to develop their projects.

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TH319 30 Approaches to Theatre History & Historiography

TERMS: AUTUMN & SPRING
CLASS: TUE 1000-1200 G56
TUTORS: David Coates
ASSESSMENT
40% - Writing a Local Theatre History
30% - Presenting Theatre History
30% - Critical Review

Outline:

Might you be a part of the next generation of theatre historians? If so, this module is for you. You’ll get hands-on with theatre history and will be given the tools to locate original sources in archives, to analyse them, to critique existing theatre histories and to write new ones. You’ll consider the (sometimes unique) problems that historians writing about theatre and performance may face and will develop strategies to overcome these issues in the writing and presentation of your own theatre histories.

The module begins on familiar territory - revisiting issues of archives from your first year and analysing different types of sources used in the researching and writing of theatre histories. This will include a trip to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford upon Avon (which will likely take place on a Friday). In the first term you’ll consider other historiographical problems experienced in the writing of theatre history. We’ll think about how theatre history has been ordered and organised; how certain histories have dominated others and the theatre canon has been constructed; how we might research and write about ‘sticky’ topics such as acting styles and audiences; how we might write hidden histories – such as those of minority groups or the LGBT+ community. We’ll also analyse different forms of writing, such as theatre biography and autobiography, and we’ll consider the ethical implications of writing different theatre histories.

In term two we’ll think about how theatre history is presented and consumed in the twenty-first century. This will include a trip to London part-subsidised by the Department, which will cost you approximately £20-£25. It involves a visit to The Globe, a guided tour of the V&A Theatre and Performance Galleries and a walking tour of London’s West End. Your experiences on this trip will feed into discussions in various of term two’s topics, including theatre and performance reconstruction and the curation of theatre histories in museum and gallery spaces. We’ll also look at the digital humanities and how this new relatively new discipline has enabled theatre historians to do and present research in a different way. Finally, we’ll get on our feet to see how history and theatre history are used in contemporary performance, taking Dylan Townley and Sam Plumb’s Fanny and Stella (Camden People’s Theatre) as a case in point.

Additional Assessment Info

40% - Writing a Local Theatre History

You will research and write a history (or part of a history) of a specific theatre venue, company or person, or a given period in their history. The work should demonstrate some original archival research and might also include oral history. This work should be 3500 words in length. This work can be presented in a number of formats: as a website or webpage, in guidebook-style, as a feature for a magazine or newspaper, or simply as the written copy for a book or biography. It is important to identify the format in a short abstract at the start of the work (additional 100 words), so that the marker can understand the context and intended reader.


30% - Presenting Theatre History

In this project you will create a piece of work that presents theatre history to a contemporary audience. You may choose to:

· curate an exhibition (approx. 20 items with accompanying text) or produce an exhibition proposal.

· perform a theatrical reconstruction or produce a pitch for a theatrical reconstruction project.

· present a short scene from a play in which you demonstrate research on a historical acting style.

· design a digital humanities project and pitch it to the group.

· devise a piece of contemporary theatre which engages with theatre history.

· give a lecture/ demonstration on a particular history that you have researched.

· design an education pack

· create a documentary video.

· or more!

You can work alone or in small groups. The work should demonstrate some original research. Presentations, performances and demonstrations should be approximately 10-15 minutes. The presentations will be timetabled for a full day in the summer term with additional time allocated for preparation. The way that you present this piece should demonstrate a sound understanding of historiographical principles and methods.


30% - Critical Review

The historiographical underpinning of your ‘Presenting Theatre History’ project should be explained in your accompanying critical review of 2500 words


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TH332 30 Performing Gender & Sexuality

TERMS: AUTUMN & SPRING
CLASS: THU 1330-1530 G56
TUTORS: Wallace McDowell
ASSESSMENT

20% - Portfolio
30% - Essay
50% - Project-based assessment

Outline:

We look at a range of plays, performances and documentaries to examine ow the performance of gender and sexuality have historically and continue to play out in terms of our identities. The module engages with feminism, queer theory and masculinity studies to explore ranges of thinking in both academia and contemporary discourse. What is a woman? What is a man? How does my sexuality determine who I am? What is power and who has it? Who can speak for whom?

The module engages with these ideas and may others. Given that we look at notions of power disparities between genders and sexualities. Some of the material is challenging. Bear this is mind before choosing the module. Having said that, in my experience, many students have welcomed the opportunity to have some of these issues aired.

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TH343 30 Applying Theatre: Histories, Geographies, Practices


TERM: AUTUMN & SPRING
CLASS: THU 1000-1300 G55
TUTORS: Bobby Smith
ASSESSMENT
50% - Portfolio (3 elements)
50% - Applied Theatre Project

Outline:

Exploring the histories of applied theatre and the varied geographical contexts in which practice occurs, in the autumn term this module will introduce you to some of the ways in which theatre is applied to meet a range of objectives which may pertain to global development, education, health and wellbeing, and more. In the spring term, you will then move beyond these initial explorations to plan and implement your own applied theatre project.

The contexts and practices of applied theatre are continually shifting, therefore in this module you will engage with both the fluidity of practice and the dominant and emergent debates that are shaping research and practice, including the ethics of intervention, sustainability and issues around instrumentalising theatre to achieve social and educative outcomes.

You will engage in ongoing personal reflection throughout the module, considering how the theories and projects engaged with could shape your future work in the field. We will learn together through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical workshops, where our focus will be on the interplay between theory and practice.

Your learning will be consolidated through the assessment methods. In the autumn term you will need to produce a reflective portfolio (50% of the overall mark). Your portfolio will need to contain three elements:

- Reflections on sessions you have participated in - Analysis of a case study

- A written project pitch

In the spring term you will be supported to work in groups to develop and deliver an applied theatre project. This could take a range of forms – for example, you could devise a piece of Theatre in Education, develop a workshop for a school, work within a particular community context to devise a performance with a group, create a training session that utilises applied theatre methodologies.

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TH343 15 Applying Theatre: Histories, Geographies, Practices (AUT)

TERM: AUTUMN
CLASS: THU 1000-1300 G55
TUTORS: Bobby Smith
ASSESSMENT
100% - Portfolio (3 elements)

Outline:

Exploring the histories of applied theatre and the varied geographical contexts in which practice occurs, this module aims to introduce you to some of the ways in which theatre is applied to meet a range of objectives which may pertain to global development, education, health and wellbeing, and more.

The contexts and practices of applied theatre are continually shifting, therefore in this module you will engage with both the fluidity of practice and the dominant and emergent debates that are shaping research and practice, including the ethics of intervention, sustainability and issues around instrumentalising theatre to achieve social and educative outcomes.

You will engage in ongoing personal reflection throughout the module, considering how the theories and projects engaged with could shape your future work in the field. We will learn together through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical workshops, where our focus will be on the interplay between theory and practice.

Your learning will be consolidated through the assessment method - a reflective portfolio. Your portfolio will need to contain three elements:

- Reflections on sessions you have participated in - Analysis of a case study A written project pitch

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TH326 15 Dramaturgy (AUT)

TERM: AUTUMN
CLASS: THU 1600-1800
TUTORS: Susan Haedicke
ASSESSMENT
100% - Project-based Assessment

Outline:

Debra Cardona-DePeahul, Dramaturg at Classical Theatre of Harlem, exclaims:

‘A dramaturg has the opportunity (and the absolute pleasure) of looking at a story for the theater from conception, through production, and even reflect upon it after the production is done, and present all those facets to the world. How cool is that?’

 

But, what is dramaturgy?

DRAMATURGY in not easy to define, but to begin to answer the question, maybe we can turn to the words of professional dramaturgs:

Dramaturgy is the action through which meaning is created by the recognition and arrangement of patterns. — Katalin Trencsényi

Dramaturgy is always concerned with the conversion of feeling into knowledge and vice versa. It is the twilight zone between art and science. Dramaturgy involves everything, is to be found in everything, and is hard to pin down. — Marianne Van Kerkhoven

Dramaturgy is the exploration of stories and how they are told in the theater. — Brian Quirt

Hmmm. These definitions aren’t very helpful, are they? Perhaps we should ask: what does a dramaturg do?

A hint from Chekhov —

Nina: Your play’s hard to act, there are no living people in it.

Treplev: Living people! We should show life neither as it is nor as it ought to be, but as we see it in our dreams.

Nina: There’s not much action, it’s just a lot of speeches. I think a play really needs a love interest. (The Seagull)

Chekhov’s characters poignantly argue about key aspects of dramaturgical analysis: form, content, action, character and theme. How do we transform a play on the page into a script for the stage? What is the background research needed to enrich the performance? How do we shape a story for live performance through a range of theatrical languages including words, movement, sound, site, imagery and multi-media? And how do we communicate insights from the production team’s research and critical analysis to the audience? We will explore how the dramaturg can help theatre practitioners answer these questions of dramaturgical analysis.

So specifically what will we do in Dramaturgy?

In this hands-on class, we will practice being a dramaturg. We will learn how to communicate an understanding of the play in its context both within the production process and for audiences. We will experiment with many of the tasks that a dramaturg does through formative assessments and in-class presentations using writing, research, critical analysis, art, and imagination as well as through the summative assessment based on skills practiced throughout the term. And we will become accomplished in critiquing dramaturgical work.

In particular, we will improve our skills in:

  1. analysis and exploration of play text (dramatic structure, character, language, theme, etc.)
  2. background dramaturgical research on the special world of the play (historical, socio-political, religious, economic context)
  3. writing for production teams and for audiences (diagrammatic scene breakdowns, character webs, image boards, study guides and more)

Dramaturgy will focus on six plays by American playwrights of color.

ASSESSMENT:

Dramaturgical Project: Study Guide 100%

This project-based assessment takes the form of a Study Guide (or Educational Packet) for British university students on ONE contemporary American play (plays to be determined later). The Study Guide will consist of text, diagrams, and images, and it must have a coherent focus and visual layout. You may work alone or with one other student. If you work alone, the Study Guide should be the equivalent of 4,500 words plus images. If you work in a pair, the Study Guide should be 9,000 words, plus images.

The Study Guide will have the following sections:

Ø Front cover with visual image/collage, title of play and author

Ø Table of contents (and page numbers).

Ø Brief plot summary

Ø Author biography focusing on biographical information particularly relevant to the play

Ø Play analysis in written and visual forms. The Play Analysis consists of the following parts:

§ Analysis of dramatic structure (textual or diagrammatic)

§ Character breakdown/description. (Diagrammatic character web or written character descriptions), plus 5-7 images if necessary. Be sure to include any necessary historical or mythic information, if applicable.

§ Themes/ideas (text summarizing key themes and one image board with description)

Ø Background dramaturgical research on the socio-political, historical, ethical, religious, economic, mythical and/or metaphoric world of the play The background dramaturgical research can also include:

§ Glossary of unfamiliar terms with 5-7 images (if applicable).

§ Excerpts from primary sources (if applicable).

Ø Questions and activities for students.

 

SUPPLEMENTAL READING:

Books

Londré, Felicia Hardison. 2006. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy.

University of Southern Illinois Press.

Luckhurst, Mary. 2009. Dramaturgy: A Revolution in Theatre. Cambridge University

Press.

Jonas, Susan, Goeff Proehl, and Michael Lupu. 1996. Dramaturgy in American

Theater: A Source Book. Wadsworth Publishing Co, Inc.

Romanska, Magda, ed. (2016) The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy. Routledge.

Turner, Cathy and Synne Behrndt. 2016. Dramaturgy and Performance. 2nd ed. Red

Globe Press.

Trencsényi, Katalin (2015) Dramaturgy in the Making: A User’s Guide for Theatre

Practitioners. Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

Trencsényi, Katalin and Bernadette Cochrane (2014) New Dramaturgies:

International Perspectives on Theory and Practice. Bloomsbury Methuen

Drama.

 

Journals:

Contemporary Theatre Review 20.2 May 2010. ‘New Dramaturgies’.

Performance Research 14. 3. 2009. ‘On Dramaturgy’.

Theatre Topics 13.1. March 2003. ‘Dramaturgy Special Issue’.

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TH334 15 Love: Performance, Theory & Criticism (AUT)

TERM: AUTUMN
CLASS: TUE 1400-1600 G53 (seminar) & 1600-1800 G56 (film screenings/workshops/rehearsals)
TUTORS: Milija Gluhovic
ASSESSMENT
50% - Essay
50% - Performance Exam

Outline:
Love remains an ever intriguing and complex emotion. Representations of love have been idealised, romanticised and formalised as part of theatre and performance tradition over centuries. In recent years love has also become visible (again) as a contested theoretical problem and political issue. The module addresses the “love question” as an open and exciting interdisciplinary field – one that traverses the arts, the humanities and the sciences. Studying closely a number of contemporary plays, performances and films from Europe and beyond we will ask questions such as: What is love? Why/how is love interesting now? Can we study love historically? What does it mean about love that its expressions tend to be so conventional, so bound up in institutions like marriage and family, property relations, and stock phrases and plots? How can we re-envision love so that it creates different kinds of intimately social (rather than intimate vs. social) bonds that embrace difference (vs. sameness) and are transformative of the self? Finally, what does love bring to the study of theatre and performance? How do performances of love in theatre or cinema deconstruct or confirm its social and political coding? How do theatre and performance recreate and subvert social scenarios of love? The topics to be covered will range from ethics and politics of love, gendered interests in love, to love as a force in radical transformations of society.

The module aims to explore this new, wide-ranging interest in love by looking into the ways in which the twentieth and twenty-first century artists have dealt with the subject of love as material for their work (e.g. Ibsen, Strindberg, Pinter, Fosse, Martinic, Haneke), while investigating a wide range of theories that explore changing ideologies, representations and practices related to the subject (Freud, Butler, Halperin, Berlant, Carson, and others).

Illustrative list of artworks studied on the module (subject to change):

Plays and performances:

August Strindberg, Miss Julie, trans. by Michael Meyer (London: Methuen, 2006).

Harold Pinter, Betrayal (Bloomsbury, [1978] 2014). [E-book]

Henrik Ibsen, The Wild Duck, a new adaptation by Robert Icke (London: Oberon Books, 2018).

Bashar Murkus, The Year of Snow, Trans. Katharine Halls (Haifa, Khashabi Theatre, 2015). [play script to be provided by the instructor]

Duncan Macmillan, Lungs (London: Oberon Books, 2011).

Dries Verhoeven’s performance Wanna Play? (Love in the time of Grindr), 2014. See: http://driesverhoeven.com/en/project/wanna-play/

Fosse, Jon. Nightsongs, 1998.

Ivor Martinic, My Son Just Walks a Bit Slower, 2016 (an unpublished play script, provided by the instructor)

Films:

Luca Guadagnino’s film Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Robin Campillo’s 120 BPM (beats per minute)

Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)

How I Felt When I Saw That Girl (Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, 2019), a Bollywood film directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar

Michael Haneke, The Piano Teacher (2001).

Liliana Cavani’s The Night Porter (1974)

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TH345 15 Audience Development & Marketing WED (AUT)

TERMS: AUTUMN
CLASS: WED 1000-1200 G56
TUTORS: Caroline Griffin
ASSESSMENT
50% - ASSESSED SEMINAR PRESENTATION
50% - ESSAY (+ABSTRACT)

Outline:
This module will provide an overview of the theory and practice of strategic marketing and audience development for the arts, with a special emphasis on practical application. Over the course of the module we will look at general marketing theory, the use of market intelligence and data and the special challenges of marketing creative products. There will be an emphasis on exploring the concept of audience development as it is understood in the arts. We will also look at different organisational approaches to being audience focused, and associated implications for programming, resource management, internal communications and business planning. Other specific areas to be covered will include creating marketing materials, using social media, budgeting and evaluating marketing activity.

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TH3xx 15 Acting in Character (AUT)

TERMS: AUTUMN
CLASS: MON 1000-1300 G55
TUTORS: Natalie Diddams
ASSESSMENT
40% - a 2000-word Actor's Handbook
60% - presentation of two monologues

Outline
This module explores a range of considerations to do with creating and presenting a character in dramatic performance. It is taught in the Autumn Term. You will study selected approaches to understanding and developing character in performance; explore and apply these in a workshop setting; prepare your own character-based performance for presentation through monologues; and develop your own actor's handbook of key findings, techniques and tasks geared to your own interests and development as a performer. The module will help you to gain confidence and capability for onward acting projects, and will have wider benefits in terms of your understanding of dramatic texts, constructions of character, and approaches to performance; and your confidence as a performer.

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TH337 15 The Author Dies Hard (SPR)

TERMS: SPRING
CLASS: TUE 1230-1430 G53
TUTORS: Silvija Jestrovic
ASSESSMENT

50% Portfolio
50% Practical Exam

Outline:

In 1968, the year of revolt, theorist Roland Barthes famously proclaimed the ‘Death of the Author.’ He has put to rest the notion of the author as originator/ God and placed the reader central stage. This module takes Barthes’s provocation as a point of departure to explore authorial presence and absence on various levels of text and performance from its aesthetic aspects to its political dimensions. Text, as well as performance, consists of multiple writings and potential embodiments, ‘issuing from several cultures and entering into a dialogues with one another, into parody, into contestation; but there is only one place where this multiplicity is collected, united, and in this place is not the author […], but the reader’(Barthes). The aim of this module is to investigate how ‘the reader’ (as also the spectator/participant) constructs ‘the author’? Why is the construction of an ‘author’ in the reception process, and even within some participatory forms, important? How is the author constructed through imaginaries and re-imaginings, over-writings and mutations, repetitions and archiving, fictionalisations and theatricalisations? How is the authorial figure fashioned and constructed through self-referentiality and dramatic irony? How does the figure of the author appear as an intertextual and intertheatrical reference? How is the author/predecessor ghosted within texts and various kinds of performance practices?

The return to the question ‘Who is/was an author?’ is also to understand the multiple possibilities and limitations of the term along the lines of gender, ethnicity, class, and politics—not so much of authorship—but of the author as an accountable figure both self-fashioned and shaped through public imagination:

• How does the proclamation of the death of the author decentre those subjects that have historically never occupied the centre, who have historically been marginalised?

• What are the ethical implications of authorial presence/ absence?

• What/ where is authorial accountability if the subjectivity of the author is irrelevant?

• How do different kinds of authorial deaths destabilise the political dimensions of this concept (i.e. censorship, erasure)?

In order to grapple with these questions we will look at a range of works from Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of the Author and Tim Crouch’s controversial play The Author to postcolonial works such as Amie Cesare’s A Tempest that speak back to the canonical author; from Marina Carr’s biographical play about Chekhov 16 Possible Glimpses to Dead Centre’s deconstructive Chekhov’s First Play and Polly Teal’s feminist intervention in her play Bronte; from Marina Abramovic’s exploration of presence in the performance piece The Artist is Present to absence and censorship in the performances of artist/activists such as Wei Wei.

Our questions will be approached through a combination of close text/performance analysis, critical theory, discussion as well as practical workshop. In our learning approach, as well as in the assessment, we will combine written/discursive academic work ( e.g. the portfolio) and creative practice ( e.g. the performance exam)as a research tool and as a means of responding to some of the issues that will be raised in the module.

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TH340 15 Theatre & the Creative Industries (SPR)

TERMS: SPRING

CLASS: TUE 1500-1800
TUTORS: David Coates
ASSESSMENT
40% - In the News or In the Spotlight: A Case Study

60% - Industry Project

Outline:
This module is delivered by Theatre and Performance Studies, in partnership with Warwick Arts Centre. It aims to give you a broad understanding of the theatre industry in the UK today, occasionally looking beyond to the wider eco-system of international theatre and performance festivals and international touring.

The module aims to introduce you to principles, practices and practicalities in running arts venues; conceiving programmes of work for venues or festivals; ‘making it’ as a new company or artist; marketing and audience development; commissioning and producing new work; funding the arts, the Arts Council and its priorities; and creative learning, education and outreach.

Through this module you’ll become familiar with a wide-range of venues, organisations, companies, artists and individuals working in the UK today, understanding what each is best-known for. Your understanding will be enhanced through a series of weekly assessed presentations presented by yourself and your peers. These presentations will also engage you with current issues within the industry, encouraging you to have your finger on the pulse of trends and debates, such as: the future of the arts in Europe after Brexit; diversity and ‘relevance’; climate change and sustainability; and performing online and digital theatre.

Weekly sessions will be led by the convenor, often alongside industry professionals in-person or online, allowing you to understand each topic first-hand and to develop your professional network. These industry experts will include producers, directors, company managers, festival programmers and so on, enabling you to see the breadth of roles that make theatre happen and to open your eyes to possible career options within the industry. Thus, the module aims to help you to locate possible places for your future self within the industry’s ecology. Each industry professional will talk to you about their area of work, as well as setting in-class problem-based tasks, to provide an opportunity for you to try out authentic activities from the workplace.

The module aims to engage you with industry-focussed readings and conversations, such as policy documents (Arts Council; Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), venue and company strategies and annual reports, industry news publications (The Stage and Arts Professional), through Devoted and Disgruntled, and on Twitter.

ASSESSMENT DETAILS

40% - In the News or In the Spotlight: A Case Study

You’ll work in a pair or a small group to present for 10 minutes in-class on either a topic that is ‘In the News’ that is relevant to the module or an ‘In the Spotlight’ case study. The presentation should be delivered as if for a professional industry audience, which you may wish to specify (for example, as if being presented to a room of programmers or funders).

‘In the News’ could relate to a story in the national or industry press about an issue or incident that has taken place recently or a significant announcement: a new show/ a new venue/ a new artistic director etc. The presentation should capture the issue at hand and refer to authoritative voices in the industry relating to that subject. You should understand the issue, have a perspective on it and provide an industry context to it (such as the venue it relates to etc). You should use the case study to present your own stance on the issue or incident and perhaps propose ways forward, if relevant.

‘In the Spotlight’ puts a spotlight on a recent show, an individual, or an organisation within the industry. You should consider why you’re spotlighting this and emphasise why you believe it’s important for your audience to know about this. You should refer to industry texts – perhaps reviews or newspaper articles. You should think about how whatever you have spotlighted influences the industry, your own practice or both.

60% - Industry Project

You should produce a personal project relating to an area of the industry that you’d like to explore further. This could be a funding application, such as for a creative learning project; a concept or business plan for a new festival, venue or theatre company; an outline of a programme for a festival or a venue; a new strategy for Front of House and Operations for a venue; an application to be a part of a festival or City of Culture; a marketing campaign for a specific show; a national or international tour plan for a show etc. This should be approximately 3500 words, or equivalent, as the format and mode of presentation might differ. If you’re in your final year, you’ll also need to provide a 300-word executive summary of the project.

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TH339 15 Placement (Creative Arts & Cultural Industries) (SPR)

TERMS: SPRING
CLASS: TBC - SLOT HELD WED 1200-1300 G56
TUTORS: Caroline Griffin
ASSESSMENT
100% - Portfolio

Outline:

The module will enable students to gain valuable experience in a professional context and setting. It will enable an understanding of the pressures, requirements, workflow and practices of a specific activity or set of activities within a professional arts/culture setting; and an understanding of the wider operation and activity of the artist/company/organisation in question. It will entail the completion of specific work, identified in advance, within the placement; and thereby an understanding of how such work sits within wider contexts and can be carried out to good effect. It will allow for focused work on a project of immediate personal interest; and enable students to understand how they can interface with other professionals in the creative industries to the benefit of their personal development and career trajectory.

Placements will be undertaken within the terms of the University’s guidance concerning placement learning: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/dar/quality/categories/placementlearning

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