PA7001 - Theatre & Performance Skills and Applications

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will be introduced to a wide range of performance skills pertinent to developing yourself as a 21st Century theatre maker. You will then put these into application through the creation of a short assessed solo performance work supported by a Position Paper.

During this module you will develop and extend your skills in performance; devising/making; project management; professional development; self-marketing; critical feedback and evaluation. The module will encourage you to develop your own performance vocabulary, both in the styles and techniques you adopt in your making processes, but also in the language you adopt to articulate your own developing performance practice.

The skills, approaches, strategies and techniques explored will be determined by the expertise and specialisms of the academic staff and professional guest artists you encounter on the module. Approaches you can expect to engage in include: performance writing; body based performance practices; physical theatre; visual and immersive theatre; political theatre; documentary theatre; biography and autobiography.

Whilst there is an emphasis on practical exploration, the module is also concerned with the context and ideologies of varying kinds of performer training systems. The module is alive to the way that systems operate in close relation to cultural processes. With this in mind, the module places a strong emphasis on ‘making’ and ‘training’ as:

(i) a set of critical discourses;
(ii) a means of negotiation between performer, audience and wider social contexts;
(iii) a lifelong craft-practice that seeks to sustain the professional artist.

How will I learn on this module?

This is a practice-based module that engages you in a variety of performer/artist training processes designed to equip you with an advanced ‘toolkit’ of methods that will sustain you throughout your study and into the professional arena.

The module is taught through weekly skills-based workshops/masterclasses taught by academic tutor/practitioners as well as professional guest artists. Additional seminars with tutors and visiting artists support you to place the practical work encountered in a wider theoretical context and help you to articulate your own continued journey of professional development.

Work on this module is further supported by attendance at a plethora of theatre and performance events at venues across the North East region including: Live Theatre, Northern Stage, ARC Stockton amongst others. Seeing live performance work enhances understandings of context for your own developing practice, and serves to broaden an awareness of the range of approaches that are available to you as a theatre maker.

Peer support and feedback is also an integral feature of this module. In both the workshops and seminars you will be invited to offer critical feedback to peers through discussions and sharings of your individual developing practices.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

There will be opportunities to discuss and ‘show back’ work in development at various stages in the module. You will be offered formative feedback from your module tutor based on the work you share. Your tutor will also be available for subsequent follow up tutorials to provide you with more detailed feedback and to ensure that you are on track with all aspects of your practical work in the lead up towards your assessed performance.

Small group seminars will support you through the various stages of research and planning required for creating your solo performance work and writing your Position Paper. Your tutor will also be available for additional tutorials to discuss all aspects of your project.

In addition to the academic support you will receive from tutors, you will also be supported technically to realise your performance through regular drop in sessions, meetings and scheduled workshops with professional technicians designated to support the module.

Relevant course materials will also be made available to you via the ELP.

All work carried out on this module is subject to Ethical Approval. With the support of your tutor, you will contribute to the Module Ethics Approval Form that the Module Tutor will submit for scrutiny by the Faculty Ethics Committee prior to you starting research on your project. You must gain ethical approval before you can begin working on your project.

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: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Demonstrate the ability to create, rigorously prepare, and perform a substantial, professional solo performance work

2. Demonstrate a range of sophisticated performance skills that are appropriate to form and context

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on training and making processes in a broader socio-cultural and professional context.

4. Demonstrate the ability to contextualise the developing solo practice in an academic framework


Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate an awareness and commitment to self-marketing and professional development

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment:

There are two summative Assessment points on the module:
1) Practice: You will be individually assessed on the creation and performance of a 10 minute solo performance work. You will be expected to draw on the various strategies introduced on the module to support you in generating material for performance. This assessment point serves as an opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of the requirements of industry and the skills involved when working independently to produce, research, plan, and deliver a fully realised rehearsed performance work. This makes up 70% of the overall module mark. (1,2,5)

2) Writing: You will be assessed on the creation of a 2000 word Position Paper, which is supported by a formatively assessed detailed log.
These documents encourage you to place your practice and choice of training system in a theoretical context, and also in the framework of vocational commitment to a chosen art form.
This written document serves as an opportunity to contextualise and critically reflect on your developing practice. This assignment makes up 30% of the overall module mark. (3,4,5)

Feedback for the summative assessments will be written on standard feedback sheets and will be made available within 20 working days of the final submission deadline.


Formative Assessment:

The emphasis in this module is on moving between practical ‘work-shopping’ and reflective dialogues about diverse techniques. Formative feedback is offered continually in the workshops and seminars: and you are encouraged to link practical explorations to the kinds of debates about training evidenced in assigned readings.
Formative assessment therefore is an integral feature of this module. You will receive verbal formative feedback from your tutor in the form of a dialogue following ‘show-back’ sessions. Other students will be encouraged to participate and offer peer support feedback, creating a productive and supportive learning environment.
Additional formative feedback will be offered throughout the module through individual tutorials to support both your developing practical work and to develop your critical writing skills towards the completion of your Position Paper.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will be introduced to a wide range of performance skills pertinent to developing yourself as a 21st Century theatre maker. You will then put these into application through the creation of a short assessed solo performance work supported by a Position Paper.

During this module you will develop and extend your skills in performance; devising/making; project management; professional development; self-marketing; critical feedback and evaluation. The module will encourage you to develop your own performance vocabulary, both in the styles and techniques you adopt in your making processes, but also in the language you adopt to articulate your own developing performance practice.

The skills, approaches, strategies and techniques explored will be determined by the expertise and specialisms of the academic staff and professional guest artists you encounter on the module. Approaches you can expect to engage in include: performance writing; body based performance practices; physical theatre; visual and immersive theatre; political theatre; documentary theatre; biography and autobiography.

Whilst there is an emphasis on practical exploration, the module is also concerned with the context and ideologies of varying kinds of performer training systems. The module is alive to the way that systems operate in close relation to cultural processes. With this in mind, the module places a strong emphasis on ‘making’ and ‘training’ as:

(i) a set of critical discourses;
(ii) a means of negotiation between performer, audience and wider social contexts;
(iii) a lifelong craft-practice that seeks to sustain the professional artist.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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