PA5009 - Devising Applied Theatre

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What will I learn on this module?

Devising Applied Theatre is a core module for the Drama and Applied Theatre pathway. This module allows you to begin the process of building partnerships with organisations outside the university. In close collaboration with a client organisation, you will explore the role of the applied theatre practitioner in a very particular context. Concentrating on the needs of the chosen organisation, you will learn skills and understandings appropriate to their audience. You will further develop your ability to plan, research, make and evaluate your performance work. This will involve interrogating of a variety of performance styles and devising methodologies. This practice will be undertaken in dialogue with your tutors and with representatives of the client organisation, who will help you explore your relationship with the audience and the art form. You will be encouraged to investigate the relationship between the performer and the participant, the staged and the non-staged, and how the theatre making functions in spaces other than conventional theatres. The module will familiarise you with the work of some key practitioners and movements within the applied field, enabling you to appreciate how your individual experience relates to the wider cultural arena.
This module will require you to extend and consolidate the skills of the ensemble as introduced in year one, working with and for your peers in small company groups.

How will I learn on this module?

The lessons will be studio based and highly discursive. You will engage in a series of ‘masterclasses’ taught by academic staff with regular practical, industry specific, input from the client organisation. The teaching will focus on: Exploring forms and aesthetics of theatre making appropriate to the chosen audience, and familiarising yourself with the ethical, theoretical and educational concerns of your clients.

You will work in small company groups. This will necessitate you developing and adhering to policies of good working practice.
You will work from a brief designed by both your tutor and the client organisation. You will be encouraged to create and critique work on the basis of that brief. Lessons may also include watching and discussing examples of related professional work and visiting the venue and engaging with the working protocols of that organisation. There will be regular ‘show backs’ of your work-in-progress providing you with the opportunity to engage in discussions about your own work and that of your peers, which will further extending your skills of observation and your ability to articulate your ideas in relation to aesthetic choices.

The learning which takes place outside of the taught sessions, will be through tutor guided independent study.
A summative performance in a professional environment will enable test out what you have learned new community environments.
You will be expected to engage with specific reading materials, the module reading list and online resources

How will I be supported academically on this module?

This practice based module generates a high level of formative assessment from staff. The module is structured around regular show backs and critiques - processes which support your development as a deviser, and encourages you to further develop your critical vocabulary of theatre making. Small group tutorials will provide you with a supportive structure for peer and individual evaluation of the work in progress, as well as offering an environment for discussing how the work engages with the wider field of applied theatre.

You will be encouraged to use Office Hours to discuss with your tutors your reading and your individual development.

The primary assessment (50% of the mark) will be a group performance complemented by/integrated with an interactive session with the audience of a client group in a real life setting.
The other assessment is continual and individual (50%) This is evidenced by an evaluative essay which captures the students’ progress through the module.

Information and resources will be available to you on Blackboard and the ‘Reading List’ contains links to websites and online video material which can help you develop appropriate knowledge and understanding.

Written assessment feedback will be provided within 20 working days of summative assignment submission. Access to library facilities is available 24-7 all year round.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. To develop and challenge your knowledge and understandings of the theatre making techniques appropriate to a specific community audience

2. To analyse the philosophical, educational and political background to applied theatre practice, specifically in relation to your chosen client group

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. To create a piece of theatre which demonstrates an understanding of the needs of its audience

4. To evaluate your practice. Analysing its appropriateness for its client group, comparing it to the work of companies working professional in the field

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. To work in effective collaboration with both peers and client organisation, contributing to the cultural, social and regional community of Applied Theatre practice

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment
The laboratory based work enables a level of formative assessment.
Feedback discussions on work-in-progress towards the practical assessment will be take place during classes.

Summative Assessment
There are two summative assessment points:

Group Performance (50%)
The primary assessment will be a group performance complemented by/integrated with an interactive session with the audience of a client group in a real life setting. (MLOs 1, 2, 3,4,5)

Evaluative essay (50%)
The other assessment is continual and individual. This is evidenced by an evaluative essay which captures the students’ progress through the module. (MLOs1,2, 3,4 5)

Summative Feedback
Feedback on both assessment components tasks will be delivered via Blackboard (rubric and written comments) and will be received within 20 working days of the performance/ submission deadline.





Module abstract

Devising Applied Theatre provides you with your first opportunity to engage with organisations outside of the University environment. This module extends the knowledge you acquired in Introduction to Applied Theatre and allows you to apply it in the field in a practical way, thus deepening your understanding of the key concepts of applied theatre practice. Learning will be primarily through practical exploration. This will involve you visiting the external organisation and engaging in a theatre making process, interrogating performance styles and devising methodologies appropriate to those audiences. For the past 4 years we have collaborated with 7 Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, providing theatre pieces for their February half term programme. Students have explored the books of Judith Kerr, Jaqueline Wilson and JK Rowling. The module will increase the breadth and depth of your skills as a performer and performance-maker enhancing your employability within the performing arts.

Course info

UCAS Code W400

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

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