FT1ITH-Introduction to Theatre

Module Provider: Film, Theatre and TV
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Mr Matt Mcfrederick

Email: m.mcfrederick@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module is designed to provide a dynamic introduction to the University-level critical and historical study of theatre and performance. It introduces students to the ways in which meaning is produced and interpreted in theatre and performance, focusing on a series of case study performances and dramatic texts considered in their cultural and historical contexts, which include examples of contemporary theatre practice and examples from the history of theatre practice.

This module aims to familiarise students with a range of critical and interpretative tools for the close analysis of theatre texts and performances; to enhance their understanding of the ways that meaning is produced and organised in plays and performances; to enable them to recognise mainstream theatrical conventions, and to describe them in appropriate terms; to enable them to recognise departures from mainstream convention, and to understand these systematically, and describe them in appropriate terms; to extend their understanding of the specificities of theatre texts and performances.Texts and performances studied will mainly begin from from the late nineteenth centuryto the contemporary concentrating on the historical and cultural contexts in which these texts and performances were produced and the stylistic and performative nature of these works.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
•demonstrate skills of close analysis appropriate to the study of theatre and performance;
•demonstrate through close analysis an understanding of the ways in which meaning is produced in theatre texts and performance;
•use their knowledge of central conventions of theatre, and their interrelationship, in order to make informed comparative judgements and to develop clearly argued interpretations;
•articulate in written work a critical understanding of the institutions and contexts of theatre and performance from the late nineteenth century to the present.

Additional outcomes:
The module plays a significant role in the continuing development of other skills and competencies which are central to the course. It is expected that the level of skills and competencies achieved in the following will be appropriate to the level of study: oral communication and argument in group situations; deployment of research using printed and electronic resources; critical analysis and coherent argument; undertaking self-directed, independent work; presentation of written work using IT; identifying and addressing problems in the analysis of theatre.

Outline content:
The first part of the module is concerned with methods for critical analysis of theatre. It provides an introduction to methods of textual and performance analysis in theatre. Working with play texts and theatre performances, the module develops approaches to the close analysis of theatrical performance. The module introduces a critical vocabulary for theatre as well as more specific terms and approaches to the medium. The second part of the module explores some of the problems of historical and contextual study in theatre. It examines some of the forms and institutions of theatre in theatre and performance from the late nineteenth century to the present can be understood.

Global context:
The module examines a number of case studies from world drama from the end of the nineteenth century to the present, charting international developments including different countries' responses to modernism.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module employs a wide variety of teaching and learning methods: lectures, seminars, exams, essays of different lengths, set readings, assessed presentations, one-to-one tutorials, screenings, and field trips. There is a charge for theatre trips. These are compulsory and will take place throughout the module as a necessary part of the teaching. The majority of these trips will take place in London, but trips in the past have involved visits to Oxford and Bristol.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 9 9
Seminars 9 9
Supervised time in studio/workshop 18 18
External visits 3 3
Guided independent study 61 61
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Oral assessment and presentation 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Students complete two coursework assignments of 2,000 words each or equivalent and an examination. One assignment may be in the form of a presentation, possibly including accompanying documentation.

Formative assessment methods:
- work which provides opportunities to improve performance (e.g. through feedback provided) but which does not necessarily always contribute towards the overall module mark:

Students will undertake one formative assessment designed to develop their skills of argument and critical thinking.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission of failed coursework.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 23 October 2017

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