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Histories and Politics of Theatre-Making - TFT00035C

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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: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module offers you the opportunity to study theatre history in a range of periods and settings. You will explore the politics of how theatre is made, organised,and received. You will examine how canons are formed and questioned, and how cultural and political values are attached to theatrical performance.

Professional requirements


Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

This module aims:

  • to introduce you to a range of works for theatre from different periods, genres and parts of the world
  • to compare theatre-making practices in different places and times
  • to understand and analyse different economies of prestige that operate in the reception, historicisation and canonisation of plays, performances and writers
  • to recognise and articulate the interaction between theatre-making and its cultural and political contexts.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you are expected to:

  • articulate the historical contexts in which certain plays and theatrical performance styles arose
  • account for the interaction between sociopolitical forces that shape historical context and stage representation
  • analyse the processes by which some works are deemed 'canonical' and convey the value of looking beyond the canon
  • effectively communicate and present their ideas in essay form.

Module content

In the module, you will examine theatre-making in a number of historical periods (3-5) in chronological order, to trace paths of development through time.

For each period, you will analyse a selection of canonical and non-canonical scripts, as well as theatre history textbooks about the period. You will focus on the ways that society and theatre mutually constitute each other, and ways that both are represented in present-day theatre historiography.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive written feedback in line with standard University turnaround times.

On the formative essay, you will receive individual written and oral feedback, plus discussion of general points in seminars.
On the summative esay, you will receive written feedback, with oral feedback if requested.

Indicative reading

Cochrane, C. and Robinson, J. (eds). (2019). The Methuen Drama Handbook of Theatre History and Historiography.

Kelly, K. E. (ed). (1996). Modern Drama by Women, 1880s-1930s: An International Anthology.

Luckhurst, M. et al. (2006). Dramaturgy: A Revolution in Theatre.

Nellhaus, T. (ed).(2016). Theatre Histories: An Introduction.

Zarhy-Levo, Y. (2008). The Making of Theatrical Reputations: Studies from the Modern London Theatre.

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.