FTMTF-Theatre Programming and Theatre Festivals

Module Provider: Film, Theatre and TV
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Anna Mcmullan

Email: a.e.mcmullan@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This is a team-taught module, drawing both on representatives from the industry and expertise in FTT. Through a dynamic combination of seminars, workshops and group projects, the module will equip students with advanced knowledge of modes of programming a range of film / theatre / arts venues at local and national level, as well as the organizational challenges of running such festivals. While the first section of the module covers a range of issues relating to film and to theatre and arts festivals, in collaboration with film colleagues [FTMFF] the second part of the module allows for specialisation, with students undertaking specific sessions and assessments in either film or theatre / arts festivals. The ‘festivalisation’ of theatre events is a significant feature of the contemporary theatre and performance landscape, and we will examine issues and models of the funding, programming, organisation and dissemination of such festivals in the theatre strand.


The aims of this module are:

  • To equip students advanced knowledge of programming a range of theatre / arts venues at local and national level,

  • To equip students with in-depth knowledge of advertising strategies and the funding mechanisms and structures particular to theatre / arts festivals; ?

  • To offer a critical insight into the kinds of theatre / performance that tends to be included and promoted at major international theatre festivals such as the annual Theatertreffen in Berlin

  • Through practical projects, to equip students with fundamental skills for becoming theatre / festival programmers and / or organisers; 

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of this module, students will: ?

  • Have an in-depth understanding of the programming structures of specific film / theatre / arts venues

  • Have a critical understanding of the organisational challenges and skills needed to deliver a film / theatre / arts festival

  • Have an in-depth knowledge of the funding structures and mechanisms of film / theatre / arts festivals?

  • Have a comprehensive understanding of the kinds of theatre / performance that tends to be included and promoted at major international theatre festivals such as the annual Theatertreffen in Berlin

  • Have a critical understanding of the historical contexts and development of theatre / arts festivalisation

  • Be able to develop practical projects in theatre / arts festival programming; ?

Additional outcomes:

  • The module will serve as a useful complement to other modules taught in the MA Creative Enterprise; ?

  • It will provide students with critical view of the mainstream and alternative markets for theatre and performance that can be accessed via festivals; ?

  • It will provide them with the necessary skills for finding employment in the sector. 

Outline content:

Weeks 1-5 of the module will incorporate sessions from FTMFF on film festivals and programming, with additional sessions on the history and concept of ‘festivalisation’ in relation to theatre and arts programming and introduction to particular case studies of theatre / arts festivals, and  international festivals and co-production in a festival context and case study.

Weeks 7-10 would be theatre / arts specific and would include:

Week 7: workshop: funding and marketing 

Week 8: organising and programming a festival 

Week 9: local / experimental / community theatre / arts festivals

Week 10:  Presentation of group projects [potential festival programme etc]

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This is a team-taught module drawing from academic and industry-based expertise. There will be a combination of theoretical, historical and practical seminars and workshops addressing the main issues in the history and development of theatre and arts festivals worldwide. Students will be active participants throughout, being the main drive in the conception and execution of the group project and written portfolio. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 14
Supervised time in studio/workshop 4
External visits 10
Guided independent study 172
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 40
Portfolio 60

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

A 2000 word case study of a Theatre / Arts Festival and a 4000 word portfolio of an aspect or aspects of the organisation, funding, programming and marketing of theatre / arts festivals. 

Formative assessment methods:

Each student will give non-assessed presentations on their case studies and portfolios. 

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of failed coursework by 1 September. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 3 May 2018


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