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Current Trends in Theatre: New Writing, New Practices, New Contexts (BCI 2) - TFT00039I

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Ollie Jones
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

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

BCI students will have a short additional reading list and an additional seminar to bridge between Y1 BCI Study and this optional module.(whenever taken)

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

To acquaint students with immediately contemporary. trends in theatre, and the tools for analysing latest theatrical developments.

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 you will be able to:

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

Understand and analyse some of the key current debates that surround the making of theatre

Demonstrate an ability to undertake a short independent research project into one of the key areas taught in the module and then present your results

Relate a theoretical engagement with contemporary theatre to basic performance and audience strategies.


Task Length % of module mark
Current Theatre and Industrial Context
N/A 70
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Presentation of research work
N/A 30

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
Current Theatre and Industrial Context
N/A 70
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Presentation of research work
N/A 30

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.