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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PECI5408M Writing for Contemporary Theatre and Performance

30 creditsClass Size: 28

Module manager: Dr Adam Strickson

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Module replaces

PEI5403M Writing for Theatre and Radio

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module gives a practice-based experience of theatre and performance writing while encouraging peer group co-operation and criticism. It gives an insight into a wide range of potential approaches to writing for contemporary theatre and performance including dramatic scriptwriting, writing for devised performance, writing for live art, solo and popular performance, and writing in the context interactive, immersive and participatory performance. Students are expected to read widely in theatre and performance texts, to engage with a range of live and recorded theatre events so that they are familiar with the context in which they are writing.


To identify the distinctive characteristics of contemporary writing for theatre and performance - and write with competence in a relevant chosen form.

Feel confident in using a range of skills relevant to contemporary theatre and performance writing.

Engage creatively and critically with the theory and practice of writing for theatre and performance.

Learning outcomes
1. To acquire a sophisticated critical and contextual understanding of the technical and imaginative requirements for professional creative writing in the context of contemporary theatre and performance
2. To develop an ability to analyse and critique theatre and performance texts
3. To acquire a detailed critical understanding of contemporary work in these genres
4. To develop a nuanced understanding of the professional context for theatre and performance writing


Indicative Content:

The theory and practice of performance writing in relation to live theatre and performance.

The place of written texts in contemporary theatre and performance.

Styles, genres and conventions in writing for theatre and performance.

Classical dramatic narratives and experimental alternatives for theatre and performance writing.

Writing in the context of theatre and performance as relational art forms.
Character, language, form and theme.

Skills in editing and redrafting work in response to tutorial and peer criticism

Responding critically to live theatre and performance in a diverse range of styles as a stimulus for creative work.

The dramatic text in production, including the devised production.

The stage space: architecture and possibilities.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent Learning13.003.00
Private study hours274.00
Total Contact hours26.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

In addition to their writing, students are required to read and reflect on contemporary scripts (80 hours). They are expected to experience live theatre performances, particularly those involving new writing (5 hours), and watch video documentations of live performance (20 hours). They are required to extend their knowledge of relevant critical studies (80 hours), and to plan and write their own scripts (80 hours). They are expected to collaborate in small groups to discuss and practically explore their writing (9 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Informal reading of treatments and first five minutes of scripts.
Group tutorials, where two other students and the tutor have read the above.
1st draft available for informal tutor advice and peer advice.
Individual tutorials.
Script drafts in action/rehearsed reading prior to final drafting.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Practical30-40 minute script for theatre or performance (approx 5,000-6000 words), supported by a 1000-1500 word critical framing statement.100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 13:18:26


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