Theatre Practice I: Applied Drama (DRA3012)

StaffDr Erin Walcon - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesDRA1004 Acting and Not Acting and DRA2067 Staging the Text
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module aims: - To provide an opportunity for students to apply their drama skills within non-traditional theatre contexts - To create appropriate applications of drama in those contexts - To explore questions and issues raised by the expectations and demands of the role of the applied drama worker

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Develop an advanced understanding of the ways in which drama and theatre can be used to build dialogue with groups in the wider community, in particular with those who experience social exclusion.
  • 2. Develop an informed awareness of the issues involved in applied drama work and an appreciation of what it means to be responsive in this context.Gain a critical awareness of the skills necessary for effective facilitation in the field of applied drama.
  • 3. Gain a critical awareness of the skills necessary for effective facilitation in the field of applied drama.
  • 4. Demonstrate the ability to work creatively within a range of community settings and expectations.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. The ability to contribute research to small groups in effective presentations, to evaluate visual evidence and to develop advanced confidence in the ability to analyse, critique and manipulate complex material.
  • 6. To work effectively with others in small task-oriented groups and to initiate and sustain creative, analytic and interpretative work.
  • 7. The ability to explore theoretical concerns through practice, and vice versa, and to synthesise findings in practical and written tasks. The ability to interpret research into physical practice and vice versa.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. To develop advanced personal research skills using personal initiative; 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.
  • 9. To develop group cooperation skills, including the ability to give and receive constructive critical feedback, and to improve communication skills and advanced analytic abilities in discussions.
  • 10. The ability to 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.
  • 11. To demonstrate the ability to balance between self-direction and collaborative work; to adapt and design working methods for each new situation, self-management, collaborative working skills, problem solving, critical analysis and valuing own and others' ideas and beliefs.

Syllabus plan

Throughout the term sessions cover key Applied Drama skills and Applied Drama processes and structures. From week 1 students work as part of a small team on a Project. This Project is a series of assignments that include researching a community context, devising and facilitating an appropriate performance/drama workshop and implementing it in that community.

Additional tasks completed within the sessions provide an opportunity for developmental feedback. This includes a group book review and individual facilitation. Students work in small groups and cover between them 3 books relating to their project setting. The 2 hour book review includes a practical element bringing the theory to life and where appropriate demonstrating the practice the book addresses.

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 activities66Studio-based contact hours
Guided independent study33Fulfilment of set tasks: self-directed sessions
Guided independent study48Academic research: reading, writing reflective logbook, research related to projects
Guided independent study153Placement and Project facilitation: planning, preparation and execution of practical work in community settings

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Facilitation task15 minutes1,2,3,4Verbal feedback
Book review2 hours5,6,7,8,9,10,11Verbal 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
Presentation601 hourallwritten feedback
Portfolio403,500 words2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10,11written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PresentationPresentation or piece of written workallReferral/deferral period
PortfolioPortfolio2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10,11Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Baim, C. and Brookes, S and Mountford, A. (2002) The Geese Theatre Handbook: Drama with Offenders and People at Risk, Winchester: Waterside Press.

Cohen-Cruz, Schutzman (2006) A Boal Companion: Dialogues on theatre and cultural politics, Routledge.

Diamond, David (2007) Theatre for Living: the art and science of community based dialogue, Trafford Publishing.

Johnston, C. (1998) House of Games: Making Theatre from Everyday Life, London: Nick Hern Books.

Nicholson, H. (2005) Applied Drama, the gift of theatre, Palgrave.

Rohd, M. (1998) Theatre for Community, Conflict and Dialogue: The Hopeis Vital Training Manual, Heinemann.

Taylor, Philip (2003) Applied Theatre: Creative Transformative Encounters in the Community, Heinemann.

Thompson, James (2003) Applied Theatre: Bewilderment and Beyond, Peter Lang.

Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date

August 2012

Key words search

Applied Drama, Applied Theatre, 'At Risk' Youth, Facilitation