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Current Trends in Theatre: New Writing, New Practices, New Contexts - TFT00032H

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Benjamin Poore
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

The module will allow you to engage with current trends in theatre by exploring a range of recent issues, new works and approaches to theatre-making, and by pursuing a short independent research project.

The module will be taught by department tutors, and include talks from special guests, each offering an exploration of a topic relating to their particular research interests. These could include, for example:

  • a particular writer or director, such as Polly Stenham, Simon Stephens, Laura Wade, Katie Mitchell, Simon McBurney or Declan Donnellan;

  • the practices of particular companies, such as Frantic Assembly, Forced Entertainment, Kneehigh, Shunt.;

  • artistic management and policies of a particular theatre building, such as York Theatre Royal, Northern Stage, West Yorkshire Playhouse or the Stephen Joseph Theatre;

  • approaches to developing new writing, such as The Royal Court Young Writers Programme, Old Vic New Voices, Bruntwood Playwriting Competition, Bush Green;

  • debates about Government subsidy for the arts, philanthropy, audience development and new funding structures.

Central to this module will be its sense of topicality. The teaching will react to events and examine their implications. You will be expected to be equally flexible, and the module will seek to encourage a keen awareness of the development of the contemporary theatre as it happens.


Professional requirements


Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

  • None

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

To extend the range of periods you study on the BA: Writing, Directing and Performance by analysing the immediately contemporary.

To bring to bear the historical, cultural and practical insights of the first two years of the degree programme on emerging theatrical trends.

To develop an understanding and awareness of new writing (processes of script development, new writing initiatives) new practices (such as rehearsal techniques, training methodologies, devising processes, technological interventions) and new contexts (such as the development of new audiences, theatre spaces, funding models, artistic policies and employment practices).

To investigate the relationship between these emerging trends and the contemporary political, cultural, social and artistic contexts in which these works are developed.

To develop the research skills to examine and pursue the implications of current and emerging debates within theatre.

Module learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module students are expected:

to possess the skills needed to critique, historicise and evaluate current and emerging trends in theatre-making

to be able to articulate and develop responses to current debates that surround the making of theatre

to demonstrate your ability to undertake a short independent research project into one of the key areas taught in the module.


Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Presentation of Research Work
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Students will have regular opportunities during the term to give formative presentations, either to the whole group or in smaller units, for both staff and peer feedback.


Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Presentation of Research Work
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written feedback on all assessments and reassessments, in line with the University's 20 working day marking policy.

Indicative reading

The reading list will vary annually on the basis of the particular topics explored in the module. It should be emphasised that students will be expected to undertake active research using a variety of methods. This might include theatre going, conducting interviews, consulting press and online critical responses, or even practical explorations where appropriate, in addition to the library's print and digital resources.

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.