Staging The Text (DRA2067)

StaffDr Kara Reilly - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Duration of Module Term 2: 6 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to give you the opportunity to engage in depth with the works of a particular playwright or period of dramatic writing through studying historical concepts and dramaturgical approaches and by staging selected excerpts independently and in small groups. 

The module will familiarise you with a range of strategies to address the transformation from page to stage, both conceptually and practically, and in a range of roles as directors, actors, facilitators, collaborators and dramaturges.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand, reflect on and practically explore different approaches to staging text of a playwright or group of playwrights
  • 2. Engage in close dramaturgical analysis and creative conceptualisation of text-based theatre practice
  • 3. Explore and negotiate different roles in the process of transforming, adapting and interpreting a dramatic text for the stage

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Relate to others in theatrical processes and performances; work effectively with others in small task-orientated groups and initiate and sustain creative, analytic and interpretative work within strict time limits and basic technical competence
  • 5. Utilise research tools effectively and translate theory into practice
  • 6. Engage critically and analytically with physical discipline; develop thoughtful creative processes and understanding of physicality in performance

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Develop group cooperation skills, including the ability to give and receive constructive critical feedback and improve communication skills and analytic abilities in discussions
  • 8. Express and communicate creative ideas and images; develop the ability to initiate and sustain creative work, both group and solo
  • 9. Collaborate in various groups and group sizes; learn elements of teamwork and presentation

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Lectures on script analysis and key skills for understanding dramatic texts, introduction, historical context, approaches to the writer(s) in question
  • Technical introduction and basic training
  • Work-in-progress showings
  • Independent Rehearsals (with weekly supervision)
  • Final Performance

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching30A combination of staff-led lectures, and supervised rehearsals that will include analysis, tasks and discussion
Guided Independent Study230Rehearsal and preparation for performance
Guided Independent Study40Reading and individual preparation for final examination and individual viva

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Work-in-progress showing 10 minutes, including a ‘scratch’ scene or sample of performance, to indicate the approach to the dramaturgical and performance tasks.1-9Oral feedback from the teaching team and peers

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Process into performance 70continuous assessment including a 15-25 minute performance or a portfolio of 3000 words (or equivalent) 1-9Written feedback
Individual viva3012 minutes (approx.)1-9Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group performance or portfolioPortfolio (3000 words or equivalent)1-9Referral/Deferral period
Individual vivaViva1-9Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Barba, Eugenio (2009). On Directing: Burning the House. New York, Routledge.
  • Bogart, Anne (2001). A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theatre. London, Routledge.
  • Bradby, David (1988) Directors' theatre . Basingstoke: Macmillan.
  • Edgar, David (2008) How plays work : the theory and practice of playwriting . London: Hern, 2008
  • Fuchs, Eleanor (2004). "EF's Visit to a Small Planet: Some Questions to Ask a Play." Theater 34(2): 5-9.
  • Lennard, John (2002) The drama handbook: a guide to reading plays . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Luckhurst, Mary (2006) Dramaturgy: a revolution in theatre . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Meisel, Martin(2007) How plays work: reading and performance . Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Merlin, Bella (2010) Acting: the basics . London: Routledge.
  • Pfister, Manfred (1991) The Theory and Analysis of Drama. Cambridge: CUP.
  • Turner, Cathy and Synne Behrndt (2008) Dramaturgy and performance . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Waters, Steve (2010). The Secret Life of Plays. London, Nick Hern Books.

Specific reading for each year’s playwright(s) will be indicated via ELE before the start of the module.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Exeter Digital Archive

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

dramaturgy, staging, theatre