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2nd Year Outlines 2015-6

30 CAT Modules

Theatre in the Community - Convenor Saul Hewish - Friday 0900-1300 G53
The Theatre in the Community module provides an exploration of theoretical and practical strategies that are currently in evidence within contemporary community theatre practice. 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 project which will take place in a community context. In the final part of the module, the students get to plan, devise and perform a performance or series of workshops within a community context in the Coventry or Staffordshire area.
25% - Practice-based assessment
25% - Critical Review (2500 words)
50% - Practical examination

Writing for Performance - Convenor - Silvija Jestrovic - Tuesday 1000-1300 G52
Autumn: Silvija Jestrovic. Spring: Richard Shannon
The goal of this module is to introduce students to different dramaturgical approaches and creative processes embodied in a range of textual forms–from traditional dramatic writing to performance scenarios. The main purposes of the module are to enable students to develop their practical and creative skills in playwriting and also their critical skills in exploring the strategies and processes involved in their own work and that of notable practitioners.

Through a combination of writing workshops, critical seminars, and discussions students will be exposed both to traditional dramaturgical thinking rooted in cause and effect logic and to nonlinear writing based on principles of montage, association and intuition. Constituent elements of the dramatic text such as action, character, dialogue, space and ways in which they function within different dramatic structures will be explored simultaneously with more experimental and interdisciplinary approaches to playwriting rooted in visual art and popular culture. The relationship between the playwright and the context within which she/he writes will also be taken into account.
25% - Practical Exam
25% - Portfolio
50% - Practical Exam

Marketing - Convenor - Caroline Griffin - Wednesday 1100-1300 G55
This module will provide an overview of the theory and practice of strategic marketing and audience development for theatre, with a special emphasis on practical application. Over the course of module we will look at general marketing theory, the special challenges of marketing creative products and the use of market intelligence and data. We will also look at different organisational approaches to being audience focused, and associated implications for programming, resource management, internal communications and organisational structures. Other specific areas to be covered will include marketing events on tour, festival marketing, using social media and audience research.
The taught section of the module focuses on general marketing theory as it applies to arts organisations, specifically theatres and theatre companies. We will start by looking at the role of marketing in arts organisations, moving on to marketing as a strategic management tool. Later we will move onto the tactical marketing tools in common use in arts organisations, including social media. At the end of the course we will cover the role of the marketer and how contracting effects marketing activity and planning. The last two taught sessions will include case studies and sample marketing plans (both strategic and campaign), in preparation for the project that students will undertake from February.

After the taught portion of the course, students will be required to work on a specific project within an existing arts organisation, using them as a case study for an audience-focused or marketing project. This will be assessed against specific criteria and will be shared with the organisation with a view to it being of practical use to them. A written assignment of the project will comprise 50% of the overall mark.
25% Essay (2500 words)
25% Seminar Presentation
50% Written Assignment 5000 words

Live Art and Performance - Convenor Nicolas Whybrow - Friday 1330-1630 G53
What does it mean to bleed in front of an audience? Or to invite spectators to do to your exposed body whatever they may desire? Can a performance last a whole year? Or eighteen years? And what are the implications of walking around Chicago with a transparent polythene bag over your head? Questions, questions. Which reminds me: did I tell you about the 24-hour durational performance based entirely on one red-nosed performer asking another random and bizarre questions?

Drawing on a range of international artists, solo performers and companies as examples, this module considers the enormously varied practices of contemporary live art and performance from five main points of view:
• differing explorations of time, taking into account such factors as durational time, repetition, chance, failure and real time events.
• the uses and dynamics of space, including questions around site-specificity, situation and context, public and private space, and displacement.
• the utilisation of bodies as sites of experimentation and/or expression.
• the re-evaluation and implementation of text in contemporary practices.
• the changing role of spectatorship in contemporary performance.

The module proceeds under ‘laboratory’ circumstances. Alongside seminars, essay writing and workshops (including some run by professional practitioners), students are involved in sustained and intensive practical group work focusing on, and experimenting with, the dynamics of live performance. The module component takes its lead from the immediate practices of artists, performers and companies, and the following is a pool from which a selection will be singled out for particular attention during the course of the term: Marina Abramovic, Tehching Hsieh, Francis Alÿs, Sophie Calle, Lone Twin, Ontroerend Goed, Gob Squad, Forced Entertainment, the Wooster Group, Pina Bausch, Franko B, Tomoko Takahashi, Mark Dion, Roman Ondák, Tino Sehgal, Martin Creed, Antony Gormley, Adrian Howells and Richard Dedominici.
25% Essay (2500 words)
50% Practice-based exam
25% Critical Review

Mad, Bad, and Sad: Madness and Cultural Representation - Convenor Anna Harpin Tuesday 1600-1800 G52
This module will examine artistic works that have sought to represent and communicate non-normative psychological experiences. Through close analysis of key plays, films, and texts we will interrogate the nature and limits of artistic representation. At stake within discussions of ‘madness’ and ‘mental illness’ are myriad questions about the nature of reality, the coding of social norms, and even what it means to be human and to have a (good?) life. The module will explore history and politics of psychiatry and mental health care alongside a broad range of cultural objects in order to better understand the meanings of madness. This course will be comprised of weekly seminars.
50% Presentation
50% Essay

Wired - Convenor Tim White Monday 1400-1800 Edit Suite/G53
Twice the length, twice the content, Wired returns to sprawl over two terms. The module draws on the practical skills of students and augments them with the competencies required to produce a video. With the longer format, assessment is divided into a short video created dutring the first term and a more substantive piece that is shown at the end of the Spring Term. Alongside a scriptwriting mentor, students will conceive and develop a video project that constitutes the final assessment. The module is based in the department’s edit suite and includes instruction in use of camcorders and training in video editing using Adobe Premiere Pro. Instruction is also provided in audio editing and motion graphics and compositing using After Effects. Works have previously embraced stop-frame animation and multimedia installations and students are encouraged to engage creatively with the possibilities afforded by the moving image. This is an option choice that does demand considerable commitment beyond the allotted course hours. Please note that the video projects will be group works in order to acommodate as many students as is practicable. Last year's submissions can be found here:
30% Practical Exam 1
70% Practical Exam 2


Audio-Visual Avant-Gardes - Convenor Michael Pigott Monday 0900-1300 G53
This module explores the historical relationship between avant-garde artistic practice and audio-visual technologies such as: film, video, photography, amplified sound and phonography. It will allow you to engage conceptually with a range of forms, movements and practices, and to examine the persistent currents of interaction and exchange between avant-garde and popular cultures. During the module we will encounter ‘expanded cinema’, video art, intermedial performances, live video feeds, installation art, experimental film, interruptions on broadcast TV, and outdoor projections in urban space. You will also work in a small group to research, re-create and experiment with a key work or practice covered during the term, culminating in an unassessed performance/installation/presentation toward the end of the module, that can form the basis of your essay.
50% Essay (2500 words)
50% Exam 1.5 hours

Theatre in the African Context - Convenor Yvette Hutchison Thursday 1300-1500 G52
The aim of this module is to trace the diversity of theme and form of theatre in Africa in the post-colonial context. It will particularly focus on the influences on the development and changes (social, political and economic) that have affected the development of theatre in Africa. It will look at a diversity of cultural and linguistic contexts (North, West, East and Southern African), where necessary looking at plays in translation. In seminars I aim to introduce you to the diversity of theme and form of theatre in post-colonial Africa. We will look at the role of story-telling, enactment and ritual theatre, theatrical responses to colonialism; and the specific issues related to gender in Africa. We will consider work from many countries, sometimes in translation. We also try to include a workshop to enable you to physically experience performance concepts we discuss.
50% - Essay (2500 words)
50% - Written exam (1.5 hours)

Pantomime, Culture & Ideology - Convenor Jim Davis Tuesday 1330-1530 G52
This module option will commence with a discussion of pantomime today. We will then look at the origins of the British pantomime tradition in the commedia del arte, the development of English pantomime in the eighteenth century, Regency pantomime (when the clown, Grimaldi, became prominent), and Victorian pantomime, when the modern form we know today began to emerge from music hall, melodrama and burlesque. Finally, we will return to the twentieth-twenty-first centuries. A particular emphasis of this option will be on pantomime’s social, cultural and ideological functions and on its treatment of issues such as race, gender and class. A workshop on pantomime by a professional pantomime dame will take place towards the end of the module and the last seminar of the module will be devoted to practical presentations on pantomime
Essay (3000 words) 60%
Project Work/Presentation (1000 word report) 20%
Portfolio 20%

20th Century Irish Theatre - Convenor Wallace McDowell Thursday 1530-1730 G52
This module examines the following:
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
Beginning at the beginning of the 20th Century with the foundation of the Abbey Theatre, the module looks at how nationhood was rehearsed, imagined and critiqued through a range of plays by playwrights such as Yeats, Synge, O’Casey, Murphy, Friel, McGuiness, Carr, Reid and Mitchell. Working from Christopher Murray’s idea of Irish Theatre as being ‘mirror up to nation’ and Benedict Anderson’s concept of ‘Imagined Community’, the module traces the relationship between the Irish stage and the ever-changing Irish socio-political landscape.
40% Portfolio (2x1000 words)
60% Essay 3000 words

Post-war British Theatre and Social Abjection - Convenor Nadine Holdsworth Thursday 1000-1200 G56
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 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 heightened by presence of UKIP; discussions on the ‘north/south divide’ activated by plans for HS2 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 prompted by the 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.

The module will highlight the ways in which theatrical practice has contributed to national debate by creating alternatives to dominant narratives and images of stigmatization evident in political campaigns, media discourse and popular debate. This approach functions in recognition of Jacques Rancière’s call to generate moments of dissensus in the perceptual and aesthetic field, ‘a fresh sphere of visibility’, which effectively serves to question the logics of othering, marginalization and social abjection. Hence, the module will explore how theatre and theatricality has played a part in reframing events through its storying of issues as a way to trouble reductive perceptual framing and to insert a counter-mediation in the public sphere. As such, the module will address a range of different theatrical contexts and forms from large-scale plays for major theatres, to smaller-scale community pieces that encompass various styles including musicals, dance theatre, verbatim and monologues.

Works to be studied include: John Arden’s Live Like Pigs (1958), Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem (2011), Andrea Dunbar’s Rita, Sue and Bob too (1982), Jim Cartwright’s Road (1986), David Greig’s Glasgow Girls (2011), Trevor Griffith’s Oi for England (1982), Vivienne Franzmann’s Mogadishu (2008), Lee Hall’s The Pitmen Painters (2007), Bryony Lavery’s Goliath (1997), Gillian Slovo’s The Riots (2011) and Alecky Blythe’s Little Revolution (2014)
40% Project-based assessment
60% Essay (3000 words)

Independent Project - Convenor Tim White - Meetings arranged with appointed supervisor
This module offers an opportunity for students to pursue a piece of independent or group work that develops a particular line of investigation. The open brief would enable students to embark on theatre research, practice-based, creative writing, curatorial, design, video, technical or web-projects with supervision from a member of staff. At the point of choosing options, student(s) would submit an idea for a project that outlined aims, research questions and outputs. Staff would review these proposals and allocate a supervisor if the project was feasible and appropriate for honours level study.

100% - Essay (5000 words)
70% - Project-based assessment
30% - Critical Review (1500 words)


South African Theatre - Convenor Yvette Hutchison Thursday 1330-1530 G56
The aim of this module is to trace South African Theatre from pre-colonial performance by indigenous peoples, through the process of colonisation, urbanisation, and Apartheid, to the post-Apartheid period. It will particularly focus on how the socio-historic and economic changes have affected the development of theatre in South Africa. In seminars we will look at play-texts and visual material where possible, to trace these developments and their effects on artists’ and theatrical forms that have developed.
50% - Essay (2500 words)
50% - Written exam (1.5 hours)

Nineteenth Century Melodrama Convenor Jim Davis Tuesday 1330-1530 G52
Melodrama was one of the most popular forms of entertainment ever. Once dismissed as a meaningless example of mass culture, it has increasingly attracted critical attention in recent years. This course explores the genre, paying attention to the diversity of nineteenth-century melodrama, its changing role in society and its theatrical realization. Commencing with Gothic melodramas such as Frankenstein the module will also consider melodrama as a form of social protest, its representation of women, its increasing obsession with spectacle and its gradual absorption into film and television. The last session of the module will be devoted to class presentations based around melodrama.
Essay (3000 words) 60%
Project Work/Presentation (1000 word report) 20%
Portfolio 20%

Performing Online - Convenor Tim White Wednesday 1100-1330 Edit Suite/G52
What freedoms do we relinquish for the opportunity to participate in social networks online? How much of ourselves do we upload and what is the relationship between our online self and that which remains offline? What are the possibilities and dangers of virtual worlds? This module looks at the interventions of theatre practitioners and artists who consider these questions as well as interrogating posthuman and cyborg futures, culminating in small group projects that explore what it means to perform online.

50% - Project-based assessment
50% - Essay

Religion, Secularity and Affect in the Modern World - Convenor Milija Gluhovic Monday 1130-1330 G56
This inter-disciplinary course explores the ways in which theatre, performance and film intervene into debates about religion, secularity, and affect in the modern world. Even a cursory look at recent world events such as the storm over the sex abuse scandals within the Catholic Church, the ire over the Danish cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, the demolition of the Babri mosque in India by right-wing Hindu groups, the hijab (heardscarf) controversy in Europe, the protests within the Sikh community in Birmingham around Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s play Behzti (2004) exposes the fragility of claims of a secular public sphere.

The increasing public contestations of the secular ideal mobilize passionate performances through claims and counter-claims that confirm the importance of religion in public life. Our increasingly globalized world has not rendered religion irrelevant but rather ever more powerful. How do we understand this seeming paradox? What do we mean by “secular”? How has the category of “secular” been historically constructed in opposition to religion? What role does religion play in the shaping of national identity? Why is our increasingly globalized world confronted with the concurrent rise in religious extremism? How are progressive sexual politics in Western democracies instrumentalised to discriminate against religious minorities? We will consider how a variety of artists and scholars tackle these questions.
10% Assessed Seminar Presentation
40% Essay (2000 words)
50% 1.5 hr exam

Dramaturgy - Convenor Susan Haedicke Thursday 0930-1230 G52
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. (Chekhov, The Seagull)
Chekhov’s characters poignantly argue about key aspects of dramaturgy: form, content, action and character. In this practice-based module, you will explore how dramaturgy helps theatre practitioners answer these questions of form, content, action and character. You will learn and experience what a dramaturg does primarily through creative practice using writing, research, art, and imagination as you develop storyboards, image boards, rhythm analyses, actors’ packets, programme essays, study guides, and background research presented in written text, images, music, and more. You will interrogate the connection between the dramatic text and the live performance and will explore different methods of performance analysis that can result in various possible interpretations and page-to-stage approaches. You will work on various dramaturgical techniques in and out of class that will receive oral feedback in class and are structured to be preparation for the practice-based portfolio entries.

30% Practice-based Portfolio
70% Project-based Assessment

Independent Project - Convenor Tim White - Meetings arranged with appointed supervisor
This module offers an opportunity for students to pursue a piece of independent or group work that develops a particular line of investigation. The open brief would enable students to embark on theatre research, practice-based, creative writing, curatorial, design, video, technical or web-projects with supervision from a member of staff. At the point of choosing options, student(s) would submit an idea for a project that outlined aims, research questions and outputs. Staff would review these proposals and allocate a supervisor if the project was feasible and appropriate for honours level study.
100% - Essay (5000 words)
70% - Project-based assessment
30% - Critical Review (1500 words)


2nd Year


Forms Deadline
4pm Friday Wk 2
(1st May 2015)

2nd Year Single Honours
2nd Year English & Theatre
2nd Year other Joint Students

3rd Year


IRO Briefing document

Forms Deadline
4pm Friday Wk 2
(1st May 2015)

3rd Year Single Honours
3rd Year English & Theatre
3rd Year other joint students

External Students

If you are not taking a Theatre Studies Single/Joint degree you can still apply for a selection of our modules. All students, including those from Film wishing to take Wired should use the form below to see the modules we offer as External options (please note that places are limited and first choice is assigned to Theatre Single/Joint Honours Theatre students.

Form Deadline
4pm Friday Wk 2
(1st May 2015)

External Form

External Modules

If you wish to take modules in another department (single honours students can take up to 30 CATS per year externally) you should make contact with the department concerned and determine whether this is possible, whether the module clashes with others you have chosen in Theatre and also discuss suitability with your Personal Tutor.

As there is no centralised list of modules avaialble we will publish links here to those that have been sent to us but you should contact other departments for full information: