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Dramaturgy - TFT00016C

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Benjamin Poore
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2022-23

Module summary

How do theatres select and prepare revivals of classic plays? In this module, you will work as dramaturgs, drawing on detailed research to make recommendations and present insights on programming revivals that would be of value to theatre companies and institutions.

Professional requirements


Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2021-22 to Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

to extend the training in close, performance-alert, analysis of playscripts from a range of periods begun with Introduction to Play Analysis in Term 1;

to introduce some methods for analysing the ways in which playwriting is shaped by the historical, cultural and material circumstances within which they have been created, including performance traditions and styles, theatre design and technologies, audience expectations, etc;

to begin to explore the issues involved in translating, say, a play written for the Globe stage c.1600 to one of TFTI's performance spaces today.

Module learning outcomes

An enhancement of students' existing analytical skills in exploring and elucidating the performance implications, potentialities and challenges of scripts from a range of different theatrical traditions and circumstances

An introduction to the technical and conceptual challenges involved in comprehending and mapping the manner in which the key plays studied reflect the shaping force of the performance traditions, design conventions, etc., of the periods in which they were written

An exploration of the issues and challenges involved in re-staging plays from different performance traditions in modern circumstances.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 50
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 50

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 50
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 50

Module feedback

Individual written and oral feedback on formative essay, plus discussion of general points in seminars. Oral feedback on formative presentations given throughout module.

Written feedback on summative, with oral feedback if requested/ required.

Indicative reading

Bentley, Eric (1965) The Life of the Drama. New York: Atheneum.

Edgar, David (2009) How Plays Work. London: Nick Hern.

Gaskill, William (2010) Words into Action: Finding the Life of the Play. London: Nick Hern.

Leach, Robert (2008) Theatre Studies: The Basics. Abingdon: Routledge.

Lennard, John and Luckhurst, Mary (2002) The Drama Handbook: A Guide to Reading Plays. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Luckhurst, Mary (2008) Dramaturgy: A Revolution in Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Miller, Jonathan (1986) Subsequent Performances. London: Faber.

Pfister, Manfred (1985) The Theory and Analysis of Drama. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Turner, Cathy and Behrndt, Synne (2007) Dramaturgy and Performance. Basingstoke: Palgrave

Macmillan.Wallis, Mick and Shepherd, Simon (1998) Studying Plays. London and New York: Arnold.

Waters, Steve (2010) The Secret Life of Plays. London: Nick Hern.

The core play texts will change from year to year; in 2015 they include Wilde Lady Windermere s Fan, Shaw Candida, Moliere Tartuffe, Marivaux The Constant Players & The Dispute, Goldoni A Servant For Two Masters, Bean One Man Two Guvnors

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.