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Writing into Performance - TFT00042M

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Ms. Bridget Foreman
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module summary

This module investigates the analysis and interpretation of playscripts for the purposes of learning how to write your own play. This involves a complex blend of scholarly knowledge, imaginative vision and technical know-how. Students analyse, explore practically and write in response to a range of texts in the process of developing a script for performance.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2018-19

Module aims

to investigate the structures and dynamics of a range of key play-texts;

to enable students to understand key principles of writing for the medium of performance;

to explore the complex relationships between scripts and performances;

to enable students understand and be able successfully to manipulate the structures, subtexts, and performative dynamics of stage dialogue;

to enable students to write dramaturgically coherent and inventive scripts.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

Students should:

have a clear understanding of key principles underpinning the structuring of texts for performance;

be able competently to employ a range of approaches to writing a scene;

be able to contextualise and critically to reflect upon their writing;

have begun to develop a distinctive writer's voice;

be able to plan and create coherent, dynamic and complex scripts for performance.

Academic and graduate skills

Students should:

be able to analyse and evaluate the work of others' and identify in it targets for their own practice;

have developed the capacity to work collaboratively to develop their work;

be able to evaluate the appropriateness of a range of approaches to the resolution of key challenges;

have developed the capacity critically to reflect upon, evaluate and re-frame their own and each others' work;

be able to give and receive challenging feedback positively and constructively.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Maximum of 6 weeks

Indicative reading

Ayckbourn, A. (2002) The Crafty Art of Playmaking, Faber and Faber.

Ball, David. (1983) Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Pays, Southern Illinois University Press.

Billington, M. (2007) State of the Nation, Faber and Faber.

Davis, R. (1998) Writing Dialogue for Scripts: Effective Dialogue for Film, TV, Radio and Stage, A&C Black Ltd.

Edgar, D. (1999) State of Play: Playwrights on Playwriting, London: Faber and Faber.

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

Egri, L. (2007) The Art of Dramatic Writing, Wildside Press.

Heddon, D. (2006) Devising Performance: A Critical History, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mamet, D. (2002) Three Uses of the Knife, London: Methuen.

McKee, R. (1999) Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, Methuen.

Mermikedes, A. & Smart, J. (2010) Devising in Process, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Oddey, A. (1994) Devising theatre: A Practical and Theoretical Handbook, London: Routledge.

Reballato, D. (2013) Modern British Playwriting 2000s: Voices, Documents New Interpretations, London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Singleton, J. and Luckhurst, M. (2000) The Creative Writing Handbook, Palgrave.

Smiley, S. (2005) Playwriting: The Structure of Action, Yale University Press.

Stephenson, H. & Langdridge, N. (1997) Rage and Reason: Women Playwrights on Playwriting, Methuen: London.

Vogler, C. (2007) The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions.

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

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.

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