Module
descriptions

for BA (Hons) Acting & Global Theatre

First year modules

Roots of Theatre and Performance

This module fosters an understanding of theatre as a particular kind of performance practice. It examines the origins of theatre (in myth and theory) in different historical contexts across the world. This is an investigation of the different impulses for the creation of theatre as a distinct art form. This module aims to provide students with flexible means of analysis and vocabularies for understanding the range of theatre practices that will be encountered during the three years of the degree program.

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. This class will free the student of inhibition and promote impulse, individual creativity and group complicity.

Global Perspectives

This 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. Global Perspectives aims to increase self-awareness and prepares students for their subsequent studies by familiarising them with the resources available to meet their lifelong learning needs.

Core Skills for Learning and Research

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

Creating a Character

This module explores a range of techniques and approach to textual analysis relevant to the creation of a character. It seeks to enable students to interrogate the creation of character through research and practical experiment. Workshops explore how different theatrical practitioners may use different approaches to character creation and why this is the case. For this semester, the principal focus is upon acting techniques from the realist traditions.

The Actor as Instrument

The primary focus of the module is storytelling, and the performer using their body and voice to communicate a narrative. This can be achieved through various modes, including but not limited to communication of texts through spoken word. It might also include wholly physical narratives, use of voice for sound rather than speech, making use of rhythm, aural textures etc.

Media Technology for the Screen

Today’s acting possibilities occur both on stage and on screen. Increasingly, theatre and performance use media technology in the form of video filming, digital sound recording, and audio, video and picture editing software. Whether acting for the camera or creating one’s own video elements for production, students need to acquire the autonomous skills which will enhance their creative and professional potential, equipping them not only with the basic skills of filming and bring to fruition specific short productions.

Second year modules

Mapping World Performance

This module considers culturally diverse theatre and performance traditions from a comparative perspective. It investigates how and why and how these forms have developed in response to differing social, political and cultural factors. Particular forms will be investigated, including the dramaturgy, structures and the aesthetic concepts that inform them. Similarities, differences and historical, social or cultural links between theatrical forms and performance cultures will also be examined. The mapping that develops through these investigations may or may not coincide with current national political boundaries and should help the student understand the breadth of ideas about what constitutes theatre and performance in different regions of the world.

Actor, Image and Stage

The imaginary worlds created by scenography are performing partners for the actor. This module interrogates the roles of stage design and theatre technology as key compositional elements of performance, and as a semiotic system decoded by an audience. It provides an introduction to the history, development, and practices of scenography for culturally-diverse performance practice.

Acting for the Camera

The aims of this module are to introduce students to the skills and techniques necessary to work both in the front of the camera and in a sound recording booth in a variety of different genres. An enormous part of a working performer’s creative life can be spent in television, film, and corporate film work, and it is essential that students acquire an understanding of the basic techniques needed to work in a world increasingly dominated by the large & small screen. In addition, they will explore how film and video can be used as part of staging in the contemporary theatre.

Study Period Abroad and Portfolio 

Students will either go on study period abroad with one of our established partners around the world or go to Vancouver Film School on study period abroad.The Vancouver Film School option extends the opportunity to students to study at a specialist partner that focuses on film and acting.

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.

Third year modules

World Theatre: Global and Local

This module expands the student’s understanding of theatre as an international phenomenon through examining the interrelationship between global and local. At its heart is a comparative approach, which interrogates terms such as ‘multicultural,’ ‘intercultural,’ and ‘cross-cultural.’ It recognises that while theatre can be a specific and localised practice, it can be shared across cultures and interacts with other practices, creating new performance forms.

Shakespeare in Performance

Shakespeare offers the actor the ultimate of challenges, to engage vocally, physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, on a higher level than is generally required in modern texts and acting styles. A module exploring Shakespeare in Performance allows for a drawing together of the many strands of the course both practical and analytical. If a Shakespeare production chooses to transpose the play to a different historical or cultural setting as a way of highlighting an aspect of the ‘Universal Human Condition’, one key question has to also be addressed: “How do I make Shakespeare’s language of Elizabethan or Jacobean England speak to me, the actor and to my audience?”

Creating a Performance

Working under the guidance of a director, the module engages students in both research and practical rehearsals, through which they will create a theatrically engaging ensemble performance. Students will explore how a performance is structured, learn about production protocols and technical disciplines with the technical director, issues of audience communication, 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.

Major Performance Project

This module enables the student to consolidate knowledge and skills from previous modules and test the student’s skills, enterprise, judgment and maturity. Here the two objectives are rehearsal and performance of a fully-realised theatrical production, demonstrating advanced and highly-refined ensemble performance, technical and interpersonal skills. The performance project will reflect the ethos of the degree, continuing to employ a global perspective either in choice of performance material and/or approaches to the work.