Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Time and Space of Performance (ENLI10421)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the generation and reading of meaning in live performance, with a primary, but not exclusive, focus on live theatre and the relationship between written and performance text(s). The course combines a series of guest masterclasses with staff-led seminars in an approach which is a confluence of phenomenological and theoretical exploration of current theory and practice.
Course description The aim of this course is to encourage a discussion about, and a practical, phenomenological exploration of, issues and theories concerning the generation and reading of meaning in live performance. The course has a primary, but not exclusive, focus on live theatre and the relationship between written and performance text(s). The course combines a series of guest masterclasses with staff-led seminars in an approach which is a confluence of phenomenological and theoretical exploration of current theory and practice.

The course explores the processes by which a play text becomes a performance text, how meaning is generated in theatrical performance, and what sorts of critical and theoretical modes might be helpful in writing critically about performance. It will develop students' knowledge of the modes, genres and technical constituents of dramatic performance, with specific regard to a number of the key movements, theories and practices that have shaped modern and contemporary performance. By the end of the course students should be able to analyse the constituents of a dramatic performance and reflect upon the critical accounts of performance theory produced by others and themselves.

Topics to be covered in seminars may include: the semiotics of live performance; audience reception theory; theories of representation of gender, class, race and sexuality in live performance; aspects of live performance such as set, sound and lighting design, the role of the director and/or actor; advance signs and signals of performance; the body and voice in performance; historical modes and conventions of live performance.

The course is assessed by two pieces of written work: one essay to be completed during term-time and one to be written during the exam period. Preparation for seminars will take the form of a combination of workshops, autonomous learning group tasks and individual readings of the theoretical texts and prerecording performances, along with directed secondary reading. Seminars themselves will involve practical exercises, group discussion, and reporting back on preparatory individual/ALG work. There will be four guest master classes by leading UK theatre industry professionals.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016) AND English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  11
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 40% 2,500 word coursework essay

60% 3,000 word final essay
Feedback Written feedback will be provided on each assignment, and additional verbal feedback will be available from the course organizer and guest artists during workshop exploration.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse and critically reflect upon live performance texts using recognised methods of performance analysis, through a developing knowledge of the semiotics of live performance and how meaning is generated in live performance.
  2. Be aware of and be able to critically reflect upon current issues related to the making and reading of live performance and how this affects the making and reading of meaning on live performance, through an experiential, phenomenological series of workshops, as well as theoretical seminars.
  3. Apply critically reflective approaches to directing and design practice in making and writing about their own concepts for performance, developed through a series of master classes with leading professional theatre artists.
  4. Apply critical skills developed through the course to write original, analytical arguments about how meaning is made in performance as a live event taking place in real space and real time.
Reading List

Aston, Elaine & Savona, George . Theatre as Sign-System: a Semiotics of Text and Performance, Routledge, 1991.

Further Reading:

Leach, R. Theatre Studies: The Basics, Routledge, 2008
Counsell, C. & Wolfe, L. Performance Analysis: An Introductory Coursebook, Routledge, 2001.
Leacroft, Richard & Leacroft, Helen. Theatre and Playhouse: An Illustrated Survey of Theatre Building from Ancient Greece to the Present Day, Methuen, 1984.
Elam, Keir. The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama, Routledge , 2002.
Carlson, Marvin. Places of Performance: Semiotics of Theatre Architecture, Cornell Fortier, M. Theory/Theatre: An Introduction. Routledge, 2002.
Allain, P. & Harvie, J. The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance, Routledge, 2005.
Schechner, R. Performance Studies: An Introduction,. Routledge, 2006
Bial, H. ed. The Performance Studies Reader, Routledge, 2002.
Graham, S. & Hoggett, S. The Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre, Routledge, 2009.
Carlson, Marvin. Performance: A Critical Introduction (second edition), Routledge, 2003.
Mitchell, Katie. The Director's Craft: A handbook for the theatre,. Routledge, 2008.
Shevtsova, M & Innes, C. Directors/Directing: Conversations on Theatre, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Collins, J & Nisbet, A. Theatre and Performance Design: A Reader in Scenography. Routledge (2010).

White, Gareth, Audience participation in theatre aesthetics of the invitation, Palgrave Macmillan; 2013

ShapeBennett, Susan, Theatre audiences : a theory of production and reception, London : Routledge ,1997

Freshwater, Helen, Theatre & Audience, Palgrave Macmillan, (2009)

Strong, Judith. Theatre Buidlings: A design guide, Routledge, (2010)

Rozik, Eli. Generating Theatre Meaning: a Theory and Methodology of Performance Analysis / Eli Rozik. Brighton: Sussex Academic, 2010. Print

N.B. Students will be provided with a list of live performances and recording of live performances to choose from to complete their performance analysis assignment.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding: students will have had the opportunity to demonstrate their detailed knowledge of some of the key issues relating to the generation and reading of meaning in live performance.

Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding: in their work for class discussion and formal assessment tasks, students will have been able to practice the application of these concepts in their construction of arguments about the course material.

Generic Cognitive Skills: through group work and completing assessed essays, students will have practiced identifying, designing, conceptualising and analysing complex problems and issues germane to the discipline.

Communication: through participating in these tasks students will also have demonstrated the ability to communicate ideas and information about specialised topics in the discipline to an informed audience of their peers and subject specialists.

Autonomy and Working with Others: students will also have shown the capacity to work autonomously and in small groups on designated tasks, develop new thinking with their peers, and take responsibility for the reporting, analysis and defence of these ideas to a larger group.
KeywordsPerformance; Drama; Theatre Studies
Course organiserMs Nicola McCartney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3629
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information