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Current Trends in Theatre: New Writing, New Practices, New Contexts (Year 3) - TFT00071H

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Benjamin Poore
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • 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


Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • Acquaint students with an in-depth knowledge of immediate contemporary developments in theatre, and with advanced tools for analysing latest theatre developments.
  • Develop an advanced 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).
  • Investigate in-depth the relationship between these emerging trends and the contemporary political, cultural, social and artistic contexts in which these works are developed.
  • Develop the advanced 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 the skills needed to critique, historicise and evaluate current and emerging trends in theatre-making
  • Demonstrate a deep analytical understanding of the key debates that surround the contemporary making of theatre
  • Articulate and develop in-depth responses to current debates that surround the making of theatre
  • Demonstrate your ability to i8nnovate in a short independent research project into one of the key areas taught in the module.


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.

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.