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TH205 - Theatre in the Community - 2014-15

School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies

TH205 Theatre in the Community

Theatre in the Community provides students with a grounding in the contexts, objectives and strategies of drama and theatre in community settings. In particular there is a special emphasis on work in criminal justice and social agency settings that draws on the extensive practical experience of the module tutor. Students will develop skills in workshop planning, facilitation, behaviour management, and devising for specific contexts. The module also includes an opportunity for students to research a range of professional community theatre organisations as well understanding how political and social policies have informed such work. The module examines the relationship between ‘process’ and ‘product’, the ethics of participatory practice, and offers strategies to help with creating projects that are honest and have integrity. The work in terms 1 & 2 is designed to help prepare students for a major practical project which takes place during term 3 under supervision. Within this participants will work in small groups to plan, devise and present a performance and workshop to a prison audience* Responsibility for the content of the practical project lies with the students although you will receive support throughout the devising process.

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

• Lead a practice-based exploration of themes or ideas within a community context, working with, for example, young people or offenders.

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

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

• Communicate what they have learnt orally and in writing.


The course is assessed by two practical exams and one critical review. The breakdown of assessment is as follows:

25% Practical Exam (Week 8, Term 2). You will co-facilitate a short workshop with your peers.
50% Practical Exam (Week 4/5, Term 3). You will devise and present an original performance for a community context, and facilitate a workshop to support the performance.
25% Critical Review. (Week 6 Term 3) A 2500 word review of your performance and workshop in which you critique your own work.


*The exact setting cannot be guaranteed at the time of writing as there are a considerable number of factors that may mitigate against a visit. In the past, students have visited a range of prisons in the West Midlands region. In the event that a prison venue is not possible, the focus will be on work within a social agency setting in the community.

Saul Hewish Saul at actingout dot co dot uk
Technical support: Ian O'Donoghue

Class Times:
Friday 0900-1300 - G52

Assessment [50% examined]

Practical Examination 1 25%

Practical Examination 2 50%

Critical Review (2500 words) 25%

Further Info
Reading List
Generic Assessment Criteria for Practice
Assessment Criteria/Titles
Assessment Deadlines
Attendance List