Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Tradition and Transmission in Performance

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Theatre Studies

DESCRIPTION The study-unit focuses on concepts and modes involved in the transmission of theatre and performance practices, including: (1) transmission of embodied practices; (2) intercultural transmission; (3) recurring practices; (4) the processing of tradition against claims of authenticity.

Students will be encouraged to apply these conceptual frames to a research area of their choice. Fieldwork will be carried out in relation to this area of research, and its results will be presented in the form of an assignment. Students will also be introduced to contemporary theories on 'tradition' and 'transmission' from the fields of Theatre and Performance, which will be augmented by relevant theories on the 'transfer of knowledge' from the field of Knowledge Management.

Study-unit Aims:

- To provide insights into the tensions between historical performance traditions and contemporary practices, using Stanislavski's system as a case-study;
- To problematise issues of 'transmission' beyond simplistic (i) linear processes and (ii) claims of authenticity;
- To theorise about transmission from the fields of theatre, performance, and knowledge management;
- To encourage students to engage in their studies in a synoptic manner.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

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

- Discuss in a critical and knowledgeable way the mechanics involved in the creation of theatre and performance traditions;
- Evaluate in writing different modes and paths involved in the transmission of theatre and performance practices;
- Use theoretical frameworks emerging from the fields of Theatre, Performance, and Knowledge Management;
- Evaluate Stanislavski's system as an acting tradition;
- Speak and write in an informed manner on the various aspects of Stanislavski's work.

2. Skills:

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

- Draw cross-reference lines across different contexts;
- Apply theoretical and conceptual frameworks to a concrete fieldwork reality;
- Carry out fieldwork that involves collection of data, interviews, etc.;
- Reflect analytically, in written form, on the processes undertaken;
- Carry out research using the appropriate research methodologies.

Main Text/s:

- J. Pitches, ed., The Russians in Britain: British Theatre and the Russian Tradition of Actor Training (London: Routledge, 2012)
- K. Stanislavski, trans. J. Benedetti, My Life in Art (London: Routledge, 2008)
- J. Pitches, Science and the Stanislavski Tradition of Acting (New York: Routledge 2006)
- S. M. Carnicke, Stanislavsky in Focus, second edition (London: Routledge, 2009)
- N. Savarese, Eurasian Theatre (Holstebro, Malta, Wroclaw: Icarus Publishing Enterprise, 2010).

Supplementary readings:

- M. Schino, Alchemists of the Stage. Theatre Laboratories in Europe (Holstebro, Malta, Wroclaw: Icarus Publishing Enterprise, 2009)
- J. Grotowski, Reply to Stanislavsky, TDR: The Drama Review, 2008, Vol.52(2), 31-39
- N. Savarese, Nostalgia, in A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The Secret Art of the Performer, second edition (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 185-90.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Venue: Gateway Studio (On Campus)

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Fieldwork

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (30 Minutes) SEM1 No 50%
Examination (1 Hour) SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Martina Rizzo
Stefan Aquilina

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 description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.