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IE924-30 The Role of Story in Drama & Theatre Education

Department Education Studies

Level Taught Postgraduate Level

Module leader Cheryl Cane

Credit value 30

Module duration 10 weeks

Assessment 100% coursework

Study location University of Warwick main campus, Coventry


The new revised MA in Drama and Theatre Education offers teachers in both primary and secondary phases of education a rigorous and relevant course of training and academic study in the theory and practice of drama and theatre education. The course is flexibly designed to respond to and develop the professional needs of both home and overseas students. The course is built upon the research and teaching strengths of the course team who have a national and international reputation for their publications and teaching in the field of drama and theatre education.

This module, The Role of Story in Drama and Theatre Education, connects closely with the module Drama and Theatre Studies in Theory and Practice. Due to its emphasis on practical theatre making, it requires the students to put into practice the theories on culture and semiotics covered in this module and to consider closely how meanings are made and communicated through drama. It connects, too, with the Drama and Literacy module with its stress on stories as conveyors of cultural and moral values.

Principle Module Aims and Outcomes
  • To consider the role of story and narrative structure in contemporary and historical performance traditions.
  • To examine the didactic and pedagogic claims of storytelling in performance and in schools.
  • To understand and apply a range of theoretical lenses to the analysis of narrative, performance and culture including critical theory, post-colonial and post-Freudian positions.
  • To understand how issues of gender and cultural values impinge upon the dramatisation of myth, folk and fairy tales.
  • To develop a performance piece based on a traditional story for a target audience of young people, demonstrating the dramatic skills and conceptual understanding necessary to produce successful and sensitive storytelling as theatre.
  • Session 1 - Discuss the sources and versions of traditional tales - Examine the gendered voice of written and oral folk narratives. Explore how voice and image suggest meaning in dramatic narrative.
  • Session 2 - Discuss psychoanalytical and socio-historical theories of folk and fairy tales. Examine the different choices open to the actor-narrator and how they influence meaning.
  • Session 3 - Explore Stanislavskian approaches to devising theatre from myth. Examine an example of the dramatic potential and complex human meanings that can be drawn from the subtext of myth.
  • Session 4 - Discuss the structure and significance of heroic quest tales. Watch and analyse video footage of Theatre Alibi‚Äôs approach to Storytelling as Theatre.
  • Session 5 - Work in groups on performance approaches to a selected story. Experiment with and evaluate theories explored so far as they relate to the practice of storytelling as theatre.
  • Session 6 - Consider post-colonial uses of story in performance. Explore some issues relating to representation in stories from non-western cultures. Experiment with non-naturalistic props to create symbolic meanings.
  • Sessions 7 - 9 - Devising process for assessed practical.
  • Session 10 - Performance and Assessment.
Study time
Type Required
Seminars 10 sessions of 3 hours (10%)
Other activity 5 hours (2%)
Private study 265 hours (88%)
Total 300 hours
  Weighting Study time
2500 word essay 50%  
Assessed Performance (15 minutes) equivalent to 2500 words 50%