Digital Theatrecrafts (DRA2061B)

StaffMr Jon Primrose - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Pre-requisitesDRA1004 Acting and Not Acting
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The aim of this module is to offer students an exploration of the technical crafts which support performance, focusing on lighting, sound, AV and stage management. Its constant aim is to test the student's understanding of theory through practice by demonstrating relevant techniques in practice, and by observing and discussing professional work which stretches the limits of entertainment technology.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate the use of specialist sound studio equipment to make a variety of kinds of recording, and the ability to edit and mix audio material from a range of sources to a high standard.
  • 2. Engage with a range of practitioners, some of whom you'll meet on theatre visits, and discuss their role in technical theatre.
  • 3. Use software and hardware solutions to process and edit video material and output it in various ways appropriate to the needs of performance.
  • 4. Demonstrate through practical work the ability to carry out a basic stage lighting design using appropriate industry-standard terminology and techniques, and to current health & safety standards.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Relate to others in theatrical processes and performances and to work effectively with others in small task-orientated groups and to initiate and sustain creative, analytic and interpretative work within strict time limits.
  • 6. Solve a number of specific technical problems and apply that understanding to performance work.
  • 7. Utilise research tools effectively and to translate theory into practice.
  • 8. Apply library and IT skills in independent additional research

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Collaborate in various groups and group sizes, to learn elements of teamwork and presentation, to negotiate and manage conflict when appropriate and to demonstrate leadership skills when appropriate.
  • 10. Think laterally and demonstrate originality in problem-solving, to express and communicate creative ideas and images, and the ability to initiate and sustain creative work, both group and solo.
  • 11. Develop advanced personal research skills using personal initiative.
  • 12. To set personal objectives that are linked to a sense of challenge and extending boundaries and to identify and evaluate personal learning strategies that are self-critical as much as self-reflective.

Syllabus plan

Section 1: Introduction, Safety, Introduction to Sound, In-depth sound studio. Introduce radio play assignment.

Section 2: Sound in practice, scripts, dramaturgy; work on radio play, submission of radio play.

Section 3: Introduction to lighting, In-depth lighting, lighting design introduction, lighting practicals.

Section 4: Lighting design practice, London trip; Work on Research & Performance: Consolidation, video projection design, further research topics, preparation for final portfolio & lighting design.

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 Teaching Activities3 x 2.5h per week for 10 weeks = 75 hoursTaught workshop / seminar / discussion / lecture in specialist Drama studio space
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities3Practical lighting design exercise
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities14Providing technical support to DRA1012 production projects
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities6London theatre trip & backstage tours (not compulsory)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities0.52 x 15 mins tutorials
Guided independent study16Working alone in recording studio
Guided independent study100Reading/revision/preparation for practicals
Guided independent study85.5Radio play research & writing, and portfolio research/writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Lighting design practical (group)4 hours4, 5, 6, 9, 10Verbal feedback
Video2 hours3, 5, 6, 9, 10Verbal feedback

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
Practical radio play402mins30secs radio play1,5,6,7,8,10,12verbal and written feedback
Portfolio60 3,000 words2,3,4,6,7,10,11,12written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Practical radio playPractical radio play1,5,6,7,8,10,12Referral/deferral period
PortfolioLighting design task2,3,4,6,7,10,11,12Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Set texts:
S.Palmer, Essential Guide to Stage Management, Lighting and Sound: Hodder & Stoughton, 2000

Recommended reading:

D.Bond, Stage Management, A Gentle Art, London: Routledge, 1998

The Event Safety Guide: Health & Safety Executive, 1999

N.Fraser, Lighting and Sound, Oxford: Phaidon, 1988

C.Hannam, Health and safety management in the live music and events industry, London: Entertainment Technology Press, 2004

F.Reid, The Stage Lighting Handbook, London: A & C Black, 1992

J.Steinmeyer, Hiding the Elephant, London: William Heinemann Ltd, 2004

G.Thompson, Safety in Live Performance, Boston: Focal Press, 1993

G.Walne, Sound for the Theatre, London: A & C Black, 1990

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

A range of DVDs are available to borrow from the technical office which cover case studies discussed during the module, along with examples of performances

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Technical theatre, stage lighting, sound design, drama technology, entertainment technology, Audio-Visual, lighting design