TP4003 - Performance Explorations

What will I learn on this module?

Through an exploration of current performance making strategies and approaches you will begin to develop an understanding of yourself as an individual artist within the theatrical ensemble, learning techniques, skills and processes of the performer-creator. You will experience and develop an understanding of the potential for the physical body onstage and a growing awareness and expanding knowledge of the artistic possibilities of both text and movement. You will gain a greater knowledge of your own body and develop processes to support both physical expressiveness and safe physical practice.

This module will also offer an introduction to the working processes of staging performance practice. You will be introduced to these processes through staff-led practical workshops on the different methods and techniques of staging. This is inclusive of approaches to directing, dramaturgy, scenography, and choreography, along with the techniques associated with stage management, digital tech, leading rehearsals, and design processes. The overall aim is to familiarise you with different production roles and prepare you for taking a lead in staging your own performances while at Northumbria and beyond.

How will I learn on this module?

Through a series of workshops, you will take part in practical exercises to explore and research the methods of some key 21st Century theatre practitioners, including ensemble performance makers, cabaret artists, improvisers, contemporary choreographers and writers. You will then work in both small and large ensemble groups to develop what you learn from these different areas of expertise. Through these processes you will generate and shape your own theatrical material, which you will present in a final 'symposium' style demonstration of work and processes. Alongside these workshops you will have focussed readings and presentations on the practices, their underlying theories and their origins and you will undertake independent study and research resulting in a critical reflection on your practice presentation.

Since part of the purpose of the module is to embed you in the community of practice you have joined, you will encounter a wide range of learning methods and part of the module process will be discovering how to get best from these different learning approaches. You will be engaged in practical workshops exploring a range of different staging practices from the outset of the module, alongside presentations, readings and demonstrations. You will be asked to experiment with different means of working; including directing workshops, using technology, applied theatre facilitation, and creative task-orientated exercises. Group project supervision sessions will consider questions of collaborative working; exploring, for example, how we work together respectfully and inclusively.

In addition to the academic support you will receive from tutors, you will also be supported technically to realise your project through regular drop in sessions and meetings with the technicians designated to support the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be encouraged on this module to explore techniques which will take you out of your comfort zone, and to apply the various skills and techniques that you acquire through the workshops to your own making process. This process will be supported by your designated tutor, from whom you will receive regular verbal formative feedback in taught classes. Your tutor will then continue to offer you advice and support in the development of your own devised performance material through tutorials and prearranged show back points.

Through the taught sessions, tutors will engage you in exercises that will support and enrich your understanding of ensemble practices to best prepare you for the process of working collaboratively with peers. You will be encouraged to offer supportive and constructive peer feedback as you develop your performance material for assessment. Tutors will advise you on additional readings and resources that will help you critically reflect on your process and contextualise your practice in preparation for assessment. Showing of assessment work-in-progress will offer you additional opportunity to engage in discussion of your own work and that of your peers further extending your skills of observation and ability to articulate your ideas in relation to aesthetic choices.

Beyond this, the module will make use of an e-Reading List, linking you to core readings, websites and online video material which can help you develop appropriate knowledge and understanding. Using the virtual learning environment, Blackboard, you will have access to module information and resources 24/7. Where appropriate sessions may be recorded and uploaded to Blackboard for future consultation. Furthermore, access to technologies appropriate to the module (e.g. sound recorders, video cameras, portable microphones, I-pads etc) will be facilitated the TRC and the technical team.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
? 1. Demonstrate and apply knowledge of devising strategies and techniques in the realisation of an ensemble performance
? 2. Be able to demonstrate a growing understanding of contemporary staging practices

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
? 3. Demonstrate that you can make imaginative, considered and informed choices in the creation of performance, and to articulate reflections demonstrating knowledge, understanding and self-awareness
? 4. Demonstrate a developing ability to apply staging practices in support of an intellectual investigation

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
? 5. Demonstrate a sound attitude to personal conduct and be able to collaborate effectively in ensemble practice
? 6. Show awareness of the ethical responsibilities of making work for public presentation

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment:
As a group, you will present a short work-in-progress section from your rehearsals for staff to offer feedback and commentary. This is in addition to the ongoing feedback provided throughout the module.

Summative Assessment:
Performance Project (70%)
Final Performance (MLOs 1, 2, 5, 6)
Staged as part of a mini symposium, you will present a group performance (c. 25mins) that embodies an understanding of the techniques and performative ideas explored on the module.

Critically reflective viva (30%)
Group Viva (MLO 2,3, 4)
As a group, you will respond to questions from staff on your creative and technical decisions (c. 10 minutes). This will also be used to evidence your own input and role in the performance.





Module abstract

This module tackles the nitty-gritty of performance making; it is designed to help you identify, develop, and grow your own abilities as a theatre and performance maker. Through an exploration of contemporary performance making strategies and approaches, you will begin to develop an understanding of yourself as an individual artist within the theatrical ensemble. Working with internationally renowned tutors in practical workshops you will explore the techniques, skills and processes of the performer-creator: this is an opportunity to grow your awareness and knowledge of performance and text, movement, body, physical expressiveness and safe practice. This is inclusive of approaches to directing, dramaturgy, scenography, and choreography, along with the techniques associated with stage management, digital tech, leading rehearsals, and design processes. This dynamic and exciting module culminates in a collective sharing of performance practices for tutors and peers.

Course info

UCAS Code W405

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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