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Political Theatre Project - TFT00023I

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

Module summary

Following on from the introduction to a range of political theatre methodologies, theories and traditions that you receive in the Political Theatres module, this module puts some of the key concepts into practice as you work with published plays or found sources as material for a political production. In groups of c.20 students, you will research, plan, rehearse, and perform a short political script  based on either published or found material (approximate performance time 30 minutes), which will be set by the module convenor. The lectures and workshop/seminars will be led by the module tutor(s) and will focus on putting your political agenda at the heart of your theatre-making practice. They will introduce you to examples from some of the most innovative and influential political plays to explore the key areas that you need to consider, such as ethical issues, structural considerations and questions of aesthetics and style. The reflective essay allows you to analyse how your group put your politics at the heart of your process and performance.

*Students will lose 3 marks per workshop, seminar or practical session missed for this module.

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

  • to research a political event or theme, provided by the module convenor, and to research, plan, rehearse and stage a new 30 minute political play from scratch;
  • to learn and put into practice the creative methods and protocols of research, rehearsal and performance to a high standard under pressure of a deadline;
  • stage the finished work to an appropriate standard of performance, design, production and front-of-house, with all areas informed by the research conducted into the theme of the play, and always foregrounding the work's political theme/aims/form/content;
  • to develop your ability to reflect on your work and to analyse some of the challenges of the process by contextualising your work against published literature on the subject.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be expected:

  • to have developed an understanding of the ethical, political and practical challenges of making, producing and staging a political production;
  • to have acquired informed knowledge about professional creative and production processes;
  • to have staged a high-quality piece of political theatre on time and on budget which has been thoroughly researched, carefully written / devised / directed and effectively staged.


Task Length % of module mark
2500 Word Essay
N/A 60
30 minute Group Performance
N/A 40

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
2500 Word Essay
N/A 60
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
20 minute Viva
N/A 40

Module feedback

Students will receive written feedback on all assessments and reassessments.

Indicative reading

A full reading list will be provided in advance of the start of the module.


Aston, Elaine. (1999) Feminist Theatre Practice: A Handbook. London: Routledge.

Barnett, David. (2014) Brecht in Practice. London: Bloomsbury.

Cantrell, Tom. (2013) Acting in Documentary Theatre. Houndsmills: Palgrave.

Case, Sue-Ellen. (1990) Performing Feminisms. Maryland Johns Hopkins University Press.

Fall, Nadia. (2013) Home. London: Nick Hern Books.

Favorini, Attilio (ed.) (1995) Voicings: Ten Plays from the Documentary Theater. Hopewell, N.J: Ecco.

Fischer-Lichte, Erika. (2005) Theatre, Sacrifice, Ritual: Exploring Forms of Political Theatre. London: Routledge.

Forsyth, Alison and Megson, Chris (eds.) (2009) Get Real: Documentary Theatre Past and Present. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Haedicke, Susan, et al. (2009) Political Performances: Theory and Practice. London: Rodopi.

Hammond, Will and Steward, Dan (eds.) (2008). Verbatim, Verbatim: Contemporary Documentary Theatre. London: Oberon.

Heddon, Deirdre. (2007) Autobiography and Performance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Jurs-Munby, Karen, et al. (2013) Postdramatic Theatre and the Political. London: Bloomsbury Methuen.

Kelleher, Joe. (2009) Theatre & Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Martin, Carol. (2012) Theatre of the Real. Houndsmills: Palgrave.

Martin, Carol (ed.). (2010) The Dramaturgy of the Real on the World Stage. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Patterson, Michael. (2006) Strategies of Political Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ridout, Nicholas. (2009) Theatre & Ethics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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.