Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Theories of Performance 1: Concepts

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Theatre Studies

DESCRIPTION The study-unit introduces students to a number of conceptual frameworks necessary for the analysis of theatre and performance. These concepts include: body, actor/performer-audience, space, time, text and semiology, politics, and 'everyday life'. Different meanings of these concepts will be debated from a contemporary rather than historical point of view, with reference to contemporary theoreticians from the fields of theatre and performance, such as Patrice Pavis, Richard Schechner, and Andreas Kotte. Students will relate these concepts to two performances which they will be asked to attend.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to familiarise students with the conceptual tools necessary for a sharper analysis of performance. It aims to do so by facilitating semiotic, ideological, pragmatic, and ethical reflection. The unit will consist primarily of lectures and seminar presentations, where discussion by students is encouraged. The unit will also prepare students for further theoretical discussion and application present in other study-units, especially THS2103 Theories of Performance 2: Critical Perspectives.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Show understanding of various theatre and performance concepts discussed, separately and in combination with one another;
- Critique conceptual material arising from the lectures and presentations;
- Apply concepts to analyse theatre and performance situations;
- Comment academically on theatre performances in a way that goes beyond the traditional review.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Apply theoretical concepts to analyse practical situations;
- Identify and use appropriate research methodologies;
- Demonstrate communication and presentational skills in writing, debate, and peer presentations;
- Demonstration group skills by devising and presenting a joint-presentation.

Main Text/s:

- J. Pitches and S. Popat, eds. Performance Perspectives (Hampshire: Palgrave, 2011)
- A. Kotte, Studying Theatre: Phenomena, Structures and Functions (New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, 2011)
- R. Schechner, Performance Studies: An Introduction (London: Routledge, 2002)
- P. Allain and J. Harvie, The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance (Oxon: Routledge, 2006).

Supplementary readings:

- P. Pavis, Dictionary of the Theatre: terms, concepts, and analysis, trans. by C. Schantz (Toronto: University of Toronto, 1998).

Other readings will be suggested throughout the study-unit.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Seminar & Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (30 Minutes) SEM1 No 40%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Stefan Aquilina

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.