Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Contemporary Theatre and Performance

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Theatre Studies

DESCRIPTION The study-unit will examine some of the theatre and performance practices operating today and the multi-level contexts (historical, theoretical, praxis, socio-economic) which inform and are informed by them. Students will be encouraged to follow the work of contemporary performance practitioners (including theatre-makers, performance artists, contemporary dance, and digital performance), to see their work (performance, work demonstrations, workshops) and attend events or view audio-visual material where practitioners speak about their work.

The main sources analysed in the study-unit will be books, other texts, and audio-visual material published or issued by practitioners, including website information and any other data which may be circulated to mailing lists. It will also be possible to follow the work of performance practitioners in Malta after consultation with the lecturer. Students will be expected to attend at least three contemporary performance pieces (classified as 'fieldwork') during the study-unit.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit will expose students to the practical and ideological considerations that characterise contemporary performance practices. It will enable students to analyse and discuss contemporary aesthetic practices and their socio-political implications and applications.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

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

- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of contemporary performance practices operating today and their links with twentieth-century innovations;
- Demonstrate specialist knowledge of theatre cultures from the late 1960s onwards;
- Articulate an understanding of the relationship between the theatre of the early twenty-first century and the current economic and political climate which produced and produces it.

2. Skills:

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

- Compile an artistic portfolio on a contemporary performance practice suitable for job and funding applications;
- Illustrate communication and presentational skills, in debate, discussion, and writing;
- Demonstrate skills in autonomous and team work.

Main Text/s:

- D. Heddon and J. Milling eds, Devising Performance: A Critical Introduction (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2006)
- A. Hodge, Actor Training, second edition (London: Routledge, 2010)
- J. Kelleher and N. Ridout eds, Contemporary Theatres in Europe: A Critical Companion (London: Routledge, 2006)
- H-T. Lehmann, Postdramatic Theatre (London: Routledge 2006)
- P. Auslander, Presence and Resistance: Postmodernism and Cultural Politics in Contemporary American Performance (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994).

Supplementary readings:

- S. Murray and J. Keefe eds, Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction (London: Routledge 2007)
- D. Rebellato, Theatre & Globalization (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2009)
- R. Schechner, Performance Theory, revised edition (New York: Methuen, 1988)
- W. Staniewski, Hidden Territories: The Theatre of Gardzienice (London: Routledge, 2004)
- P. Zarrilli ed, Acting Re-Consdered: A Theoretical & Practical Guide, second edition (London, Routledge, 2002).

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Fieldwork

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 50%
Presentation SEM2 No 50%

LECTURER/S Vicki Ann Cremona

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.