Module
descriptions

for BA (Hons) Acting & Global Theatre with Integrated Foundation

Foundation Level Modules

Acting 1: Acting Fundamentals

An introduction to techniques suitable for acting in the realist tradition and for the creation of character. These will include psychological truth, subtext, and researching and developing a theatrical character. Students will engage in scene study and techniques practice.

Audition Preparation: The Modern Monologue

This module focuses on the selection, preparation, and performance of modern monologues suitable for drama school or university auditions. Working closely with the tutor, students develop the skills to explore and develop a unique personal portrait of their skills as a performer. The course will conclude with a mock audition.

Improvisation: Creative Collaborations

Workshop-based explorations in the building blocks of theatre-making: spontaneity, imagination, blocking and accepting, status games, narrative, characterisation and situation. Games and exercises will help to build an ensemble, and give students the basic tools to create their own performance work.

Introduction to Voice and Movement

A systematic and practical investigation of basic vocal and physical skills for performance. Students develop core competencies in vocal production, physical awareness and expressivity.

Acting 2: Scene Study

Building on the previous term’s work on contemporary realism, this module enables students to develop scene work skills including rehearsal techniques, creating and staging a character and principles of staging and blocking.

Audition Preparation: The Classical Monologue

An introduction to techniques for performing classical text, such as verse-speaking, scansion, scene analysis of Shakespeare and other classical playwrights. This will include the selection, preparation, and performance of classical monologues suitable for drama school or university auditions.

Developing Voice and Movement

Building upon the voice and movement skills from the previous semester, this module focuses upon the application of vocal and physical skills for differing types of theatrical forms, including Shakespeare and classical text.

Stages and Styles

This module will provide the students with a foundation to understand and investigate plays and production styles from different periods (for example, Classical Greece, Medieval England and the Elizabethan and Jacobean stages). In preparing for rehearsal, an actor needs to know how to approach plays from specific historical periods; this enables the actor to understand the world of the writer and therefore world from which the characters emerge. 

Degree Level Modules

Core Learning and Research Skills

This module serves to introduce students to the core
study skills required to work effectively as active learners throughout the programme. It
helps students to assess their range of skills range and to identify those capacities that need
further development.

Creating a Character

A skilled actor knows how essential it is to be versatile and adept in responding to the requirements of script, director and designer. This module enables you to acquire a range of strategies for researching and creating a dramatic role. It is comparative in its approach to the creation of character, taking into account the theatrical function of character and representation in different theatrical cultures. Where appropriate, the techniques explored relate to the Artist’s Residency section of World Stages 2. You are encouraged to explore a selected character in depth and to build a repertoire of character-creation skills for more advanced production work.

Ensemble Techniques

This module is made up of three classes: movement, voice and ensemble acting. It explores processes and techniques to discover vocal and physical skills and ensemble practices. In movement class, students will work on their own physicality; it introduces principles and techniques to encourage dynamic use of the body for a range of performance styles. In the voice class, students will explore processes and techniques to achieve core competencies in vocal production, vocal health and oral interpretation of dramatic texts. In the ensemble practice class, students will work on fundamental acting and collaborative techniques. 

Global Perspectives

This is a University-wide common module, which facilitates interpersonal, intercultural and cross-disciplinary learning. The module introduces a range of ideas and ways of thinking based around the University’s values, reflected in its learning outcomes. It encourages students to interact with the broader University community, both socially and academically, asking them to cross the physical and intellectual borders of their degree programmes. 

Media Technology for the Screen

Today’s creative world is built around the use and exploitation of media technology in the form of video filming, digital sound recording, and audio, video and picture editing software. Pictures and images are often more powerful and effective than words, and the best and most effective visual pitches are almost always those presented via a screen with skilled use of filming and editing techniques. This module will develop your skills and confidence in using multi-media technology.

The Actor as Instrument

Central to the actor’s craft is an awareness of the inter-dependence of the body and the voice in creating memorable performances. This module provides a systematic and developmental training which encourages your holistic development as an actor. You will explore vocal expressivity, resonance and range in tandem with physical techniques for exploring character and dramatic roles. Workshops, practical exercises, scene work, and tutorials will help you to develop enhanced performance skills.

World Stages: Root of Performance

In order to make informed choices as a theatre-maker, the actor must be aware of the wide range of dramatic literature and theatrical practices, as well as their social, cultural and political contexts. This module, the first of a trio, explores the origins of theatre and its development within selected world cultures, genres and historical periods. An Artist Residency by a visiting theatre-maker offers an intensive study of a related theme or topic.

Acting for the Camera

Film, television and time-based media offer different acting challenges from the theatre. This module introduces specific concepts and techniques for acting for the camera, such as film script analysis in preparing for a role, studio protocols, working with the camera and in studio. You will gain a basic understanding of acting for the camera through lectures, exercises and projects in a film studio environment. This module builds on the acting, voice and movement skills developed in earlier modules, and augments the skills and techniques acquired in Media Technology for the Screen.

Actor, Image and Stage

The imaginary worlds created by designers are performing partners for the actor. This module offers an introduction to the history, development, and practices of stage design and theatre technology. Through the study of key scenographic practitioners, you will gain skills in analysing performance and the function of design elements. Practical explorations encourage you to explore the dynamic interaction between actor and stage in creating an exciting visual and aural text. Through a combination of lecture-demonstrations, workshops, guest practitioners and field trips, you will examine the design process from concept to performance.

Study Abroad Essay and Portfolio

Through the writing of a critically and analytically informed essay, you will reflect upon your study abroad experience and its contribution to your personal and creative development.

World Stages: Mapping Performance

This module, the second of a trio, expands your understanding of world stages through a comparative study of theatre traditions, theories and practices, analysing the influence of different theatrical cultures upon each other. It introduces critical concepts such as genre, form, performance conventions and theatrical styles. Lectures are enhanced by exploratory workshops. An Artist Residency by a visiting theatre-maker offers an intensive study of a related theme or topic.

Creating a Performance

This module consolidates the skills you have acquired so far through working on a fully realised, small-scale production for a public audience. The module is designed to apply and refine your skills in acting, theatre-making, and post-production reflection. Working under the guidance of a director, you will explore how a play is structured, how it should communicate with the audience, rehearsal strategies, and, above all, creative collaboration between actors, designers and director.

Professional Seminar

This module enables students to explore potential pathways for careers or further study. It encourages to reflect upon their current skills and knowledge from previous modules. Within this process, students will be asked to engage in critical self-reflection and honing
transferable skills for entering the workforce.

Shakespeare in Performance

One of the greatest challenges – and joys – for the modern actor is the work of Shakespeare. This module will help you to develop the discipline and focus to approach these complex texts with confidence and spontaneity. You will acquire core skills in verse-speaking, understanding of poetic text and approaches to character specific to classical text. The module emphasises practical exploration of the concepts and techniques studied.

World Stages: Performace Global/Local

This module expands your understanding of theatre as an international phenomenon through examining the inter-relationship between global and local. At its heart is a comparative and intercultural approach, which recognises theatre can be a specific and localised practice as well as a global and multinational phenomenon. Through case studies and practical exploration, you will be encouraged to develop a critical awareness of how hybridity, post-colonialism, transnationalism, and postmodernism have promoted ‘theatre beyond borders.’ An Artist Residency by a visiting theatre-maker offers students an intensive study of a related theme or topic.

Major Performance Project 

As preparation for your Major Project, your will engage in all aspects of the pre-rehearsal process, including script analysis, contextual study, considerations of audience reception, development of the production concept, production planning, casting, publicity and marketing. Each stage of the process will build upon the critical and analytical skills gained in previous modules.