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TH244 - Tragedy in Performance: Conventions | Discourses | Dramaturgies

Module Code: TH244
Module Name: Tragedy in Performance: Conventions | Discourses | Dramaturgies

Module Credits: 30

Module Description

Tragedy has helped to define theatre, performance and cultural expression for over two thousand years. How is this, and what does it mean to us today?The module introduces you to classical Greek/Roman and Elizabethan/Jacobean tragedy, and asks you to develop your own work (both in scholarship and performance practice) in response. It explores the performance conventions of both periods, and key ideas and principles as played out in selected dramas. It examines relevant writings by scholars and practitioners. You will explore responses to the tragedy of both periods in modern and contemporary theatre/performance plays and productions, and develop your own performance that adopts, adapts or in some way responds to tragedy as a mode. In support of this, the module engages with specific processes of conceiving, structuring and presenting performance. Throughout, the module explores the lasting significance of tragedy, and examines relations between performance conventions, textual and cultural discourse and particular dramaturgical approaches and solutions.

Learning Outcomes


By the end of the module you should be able to

  • Demonstrate knowledge of specific features of tragedy as exemplified in classical Greek, Roman, Elizabethan and Jacobean periods and specific texts.
  • Elucidate key principles of tragedy as a mode of performance.
  • Understand ways in which tragedy has variously persisted, changed, and been adopted and adapted by different writers and practitioners.
  • Understand ways in which theatrical conventions, modes of discourse and dramaturgical principles interrelate in performance texts and productions.
  • Evidence understanding of the trajectory and milestones of an exploratory performance production process.
  • Demonstrate embodied knowledge of aspects of tragic performance.


By the end of the module you should be able to

  • Undertake close reading of historical dramatic texts, and close analysis of historical performance and production as extrapolated from textual and other evidence.
  • Undertake focused research involving secondary sources, marshalling findings in order to develop specific critical accounts.
  • Compare texts across historical periods and diverse cultural contexts.
  • Present information and analysis at varying lengths, in both written and verbal form.
  • Conceive and create performance material in relation to specific frameworks and points of reference.
  • Bring performance work to fruition for presentation to an audience.


By the end of the module you should be able to

  • Work collaboratively with colleagues to share and develop knowledge, and create and present new performance.
  • Identify, manage and deliver on tasks of varying degrees of magnitude.
  • Think laterally to develop analysis across diverse kinds of knowledge-base, and problem-solve in relation to specific challenges.
  • Time-manage and organise in order to achieve specific outcomes within designated periods.
  • Demonstrate skills in communication and personal interaction.
  • Take a reasonable and proportional view of tasks and activities in relation to aims and contexts.

Class Time and Location

MON 1300-1600 G53


15% Seminar contributions
35% Essay (3,500 words) [LINK FOR ESUBMISSION]
50% Practice-based Portfolio [LINK FOR ESUBMISSION]