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Rachel and Amy Project

TH129 - Introduction to Women in British Theatre History


School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies

Module Convenor: Amy Morgan and Rachel Tanner

A Journey to Equality: an exploration of the historiographical documentation of women in the development of the theatre


“The recorded history of the European Theatre covers some twenty five hundred years, but only during the last three hundred and eighty have women been allowed any official part in its development”

“Historians and critics have consistently leapt over the nineteenth century and sometimes the entire eighteenth century too, forgetting all the generations between Aphra Behn and Caryl Churchill, with a nod to Edwardian suffragists.”

In light of the comments above, this module will encourage all students to consider the concept of historical truths, by conducting an intensive enquiry into issues of representation, perception and omission in regards to the documentation of women in theatre history.

The module will:

• Enlighten students to the theories of feminist ideology in reference to reading and understanding history

• Encourage a more balanced approach to the methods of pedagogy surrounding theatre history

• Investigate the impact and outcomes of the presence of a male-dominated canon in relation to theatre

• Examine how socio-cultural norms and expectations have impacted on the documentation of women in theatre history

Students will achieve these outcomes through:

• Close reading of autobiographical and biographical writing, theoretical discussions and primary and secondary sources

• Practically and theoretically engaging with the works of female playwrights through various time periods

• Seminar discussion, academic posters, presentations, staged readings, and portfolio pieces


There will be weekly 90-minute lectures and 90-minute seminars in the spring term.

Lecture: Mon 1500-1630 (SO.21)

Seminar A: Wed 0930-1100 (G52)

Seminar B: Wed 1130-1300 (G52)

Seminar C: Fri 1130-1300 (G53)

Seminar D: Fri 13.30-1500 (G52)