PA7001 - Theatre & Performance Skills and Applications

What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will be introduced to a wide range of performance theories, ideas and skills pertinent to developing yourself as a 21st Century theatre maker and scholar. You will then put these into application through the creation of a fifteen minute assessed solo performance work and 1000 word contextualizing “program notes” document.

During this module you will develop and extend your scholarly knowledge and professional skills in and on performance; devising/making; project management; critical feedback and evaluation, and your critical thinking skills in the area of theatre and performance studies. The module will encourage you to develop your own performance theories and vocabulary, both in the styles and techniques you adopt in your making processes, but also in the language you adopt to articulate your own developing performance practice.

The skills, approaches, strategies, techniques and academic frameworks explored will be determined by the expertise and research specialisms of the academic staff and artists you encounter on the module. Approaches you can expect to engage in indicatively include: performance writing; body based performance practices; physical theatre; visual and immersive theatre; scenographic approaches, political theatre; documentary theatre; biography and autobiography.

Whilst there is an emphasis on practical exploration, the module is also concerned with the context and ideologies of varying kinds of performance systems. The module is alive to the way that systems operate in close relation to cultural processes. With this in mind, the module places a strong emphasis on ‘making’, ‘training’ and performance research as:

(i) a set of critical discourses;
(ii) a means of negotiation between performer, audience and wider social contexts;
(iii) a lifelong craft-practice that seeks to sustain the professional artist.

How will I learn on this module?

This is a practice-based module that engages you in a variety of performer/artist making and thinking processes designed to advance and build on your own processes to create an academic and professional ‘toolkit’ that will sustain you throughout your study and into the scholarly and professional arenas.

The module is taught through weekly skills and methods-based workshops given by your academic tutor/practitioners. Weekly seminar sessions support you to place the work encountered in a wider theoretical context and help you to articulate your own continued journey of professional and academic development.

Work on this module will be further supported by your ongoing attendance at a theatre and performance events at venues across the North East region including: Live Theatre, Northern Stage, ARC Stockton amongst others. Seeing live performance work enhances understandings of context for your own developing practice, and serves to broaden an awareness of the range of approaches that are available to you as a theatre maker and scholar.

Peer support and feedback is also an integral feature of this module. In both the workshops and seminars, you will be invited to offer critical feedback to peers through discussions and sharings of your individual developing practices.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

There will be opportunities to discuss and ‘show back’ work in development at various stages in the module. You will be offered formative feedback from your module tutor based on the work you share. Your tutor will also be available for subsequent follow up tutorials to provide you with more detailed feedback and to ensure that you are on track with all aspects of your work in the lead up towards your assessed performance.

Small group seminars will support you through the various stages of research and planning required for creating your solo performance work and writing your contextualizing “program notes”. Your tutor will also be available for additional tutorials to discuss all aspects of your project.

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

Relevant course materials will also be made available to you via the ELP.

All work carried out on this module is subject to Ethical Approval. With the support of your tutor, you will contribute to the Module Ethics Approval Form that the Module Tutor will submit for scrutiny by the Faculty Ethics Committee prior to you starting research on your project. You must gain ethical approval before you can begin working on your project.

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 the ability to create, rigorously prepare, and perform a substantial, professional solo performance work

2. Demonstrate a range of sophisticated performance skills that are appropriate to form and context

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on training and making processes in a broader socio-cultural and professional context.

4. Demonstrate the ability to contextualise the developing solo practice in an academic framework

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate an awareness and commitment to scholarly and professional development

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment %100:
Solo Performance work (duration c.15min) and a 1000 word contextualizing document:
Performance Practice: You will be individually assessed on the creation and performance of a 15-minute solo performance work. You will be expected to draw on the various strategies introduced on the module to support you in generating material for performance, triangulating these with your previous and developing artistic interests and your growing understanding of the larger historical, current and scholarly contexts of theatre and performance practices.
To accompany this you will submit a 1000 word “program note” document that answers three questions previously supplied by your lecturers. Indicative questions may be: 1. How has your performance practice developed over the course of the term and in making this work. 2. how does your work sit in the scholarly/professional field and 3. What do you intend the audience to take away from and/or experience through the presented practice.

Feedback for the summative assessments will be written on standard feedback sheets and will be made available within 20 working days of the final submission deadline.

Formative Assessment:

The emphasis in this module is on moving between practical ‘work-shopping’ and reflective dialogues about diverse techniques. Formative feedback is offered continually in the workshops and seminars: and you are encouraged to link practical explorations to the theoretical debates about theatre and performance evidenced in assigned readings.
Formative assessment therefore is an integral feature of this module. You will receive verbal formative feedback from your tutor in the form of a dialogue following ‘show-back’ sessions. Other students will be encouraged to participate and offer peer support feedback, creating a productive and supportive learning environment.
Additional formative feedback will be offered throughout the module through individual tutorials.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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