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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Literature, Languages and Cultures

Undergraduate Course: COL @ The Lyceum: An Introduction to Theatre (LLLG07114)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryWhat does it take to be a civic theatre in 21st Century Scotland? This course offers the opportunity to explore the workings of one of Scotland's leading building-based producing theatres. Through a mixture of lectures, talks, tours and practical workshops, students will learn about modern theatre programming and production.
Course description Using a range of teaching methods including formal lectures, tutor-led seminars, group discussions and practical workshops, students will explore key aspects and elements of planning a theatre season, and the everyday activities involved in theatre creation.
Certain aspects of the course will relate directly to the current season of plays and, as such, some elements of the course will be subject to variation year on year.

General introduction to the Theatre:
Overview of different types of theatre models, i.e. producing, receiving, touring; roles and responsibilities of those who work in/for a theatre; life-cycle of a show from conception to final night.

Why and how plays are chosen, how does an Artistic Director program a season? Gender balance considerations of cast and creatives, political and social aims.
Students will be asked to review previous seasons, and consider why each play was chosen .

Set, Lighting and Costume:
Introduction to the roles of set, lighting and costume designer, introduction to design terminology, techniques, tools etc.
As a piece of formative assessment, students will have the opportunity to develop their own mood board for a play which should include a consideration of the colour palette, style of furniture, lighting, and costume.

Marketing / Communications / Audience development:
Role and responsibilities of the marketing and communications team - how do they create a design brief? Students will compare and contrast the marketing of the same play in different venues and engage in discussion relating to audience demographics.
As a piece of formative assessment, students will have the opportunity to write a marketing design brief or a press release, for a show.

Warehouse visit:
Students will tour the theatre's set design and costume warehouse and gain insight in to the creative and practical methods and techniques relating to set, prop, and costume design and manufacture.

Backstage tour:
Students will experience a backstage tour of the Lyceum building and discuss the building's history. Students will be asked to discuss the building in relation to the practical staging of plays, such as the challenges a proscenium arch presents when staging modern plays.

The approach of Director:
An overview of a director's role, and methods such as naturalistic/non-naturalistic; discussion of key historic figures of theatre including playwrights and directors; exploration of different types of theatre staging (e.g. proscenium arch, in the round, thrust, and site specific).
Students will read closely selected scenes from plays and discuss, from a director's point of view, the setting and staging considerations.

Creative Learning:
Overview and discussion about the role and importance of outreach and engagement. Students will explore ideas for engaging new audiences and consider the barriers to theatre attendance.
As a formative assessment, students will be given the opportunity to design the brief for a creative learning event.

Stage Management:
Introduction to stage directions, how to create a 'prompt book' and consideration of its purpose; an examination of the role of stage management throughout the process; overview of props sourcing.

Students will learn in a supportive, small group setting, and care will be taken to ensure all students are encouraged to participate actively.

Students will be expected to take part in lectures, group activities and practical workshops throughout the course.

Attainment of the learning outcomes will be evident through participation in the workshops and class discussions and, if working towards credit, will be evidenced in the final assessment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  16
Course Start Lifelong Learning - Session 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students wishing to gain a credit for this module will create a Portfolio based upon the weekly tasks that accompany classes. Students will use the portfolio to explore a play/selected scenes of their choice, presenting their approach to at least two of the following elements of theatre:

Set/costume designs

Directorial approach


Creative learning activities

Staging of scene


The Portfolio can be presented in a format (e.g. paper format, mood-board, annotated script, model) as decided by the student and in consultation with the tutor. Example portfolios will be provided during the course. Students can choose to either submit a 1000 word reflection or provide a 10 minute presentation on their portfolio.

Portfolio 65%, Reflection OR Presentation 35%
Feedback Detailed written feedback will be provided via Learn for each element of assessment.
Students will have opportunity throughout the course to submit formative tasks, all of which can be developed further to be included in the Portfolio.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate awareness of the considerations, decisions, and challenges associated with the artistic direction and programming of a working theatre;
  2. Analyse and respond creatively to scripts, theatre practices and methodologies, constructing and communicating arguments using recognised terminology both orally and in writing;
  3. Compare, contrast explore a range of production skills by considering aspects such as set design, costume, marketing, staging and casting when creating a show.
  4. Collate and present ideas clearly and creatively.
Reading List
In addition to set plays, which will be dependent on the Lyceum's season, the following resources are recommended:

Performance and Civic Engagement / edited by Ananda Breed, Tim Prentki.
Ananda Breed; Tim Prentki
Cham : Springer International Publishing : Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan ; 2018
Theatre, Performance and Change / edited by Stephani Etheridge Woodson, Tamara Underiner.
Stephani Etheridge Woodson; Tamara Underiner
Cham : Springer International Publishing : Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan ; 2018
The twentieth-century performance reader / edited by Michael Huxley and Noel Witts.
Michael Huxley 1949-; Noel Witts 1937-
London : Routledge ; 2002
Shakespeare and Conceptual Blending Cognition, Creativity, Criticism / by Michael Booth.
Michael. Booth
Cham : Springer International Publishing : Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan ; 2017
Anti-War Theatre After Brecht Dialectical Aesthetics in the Twenty-First Century / by Lara Stevens.
Lara. Stevens SpringerLink (Online service)
London : Palgrave Macmillan UK ; 2016
Empathy as Dialogue in Theatre and Performance / by Lindsay B. Cummings.
Lindsay B. Cummings SpringerLink (Online service)
London : Palgrave Macmillan UK ; 2016
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Analytical and close-reading skills
Communication skills, both written and verbal
Course organiserMr Douglas Dougan
Course secretaryMs Kameliya Skerleva
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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