The Actor's Body: Intercultural Theories and Practices (DRA3076)

StaffProfessor Rebecca Loukes - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module aims to:

  • Explore, understand and historicise selected intercultural (Western and non-western) theories, paradigms, and practices, of actor/performer training and performance
  • Develop the ability to sustain independent research and enquiry in relation to focused research questions

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Articulate selected aspects of the history, principles, and theories/paradigms of actor training, performance process, and aesthetics verbally, through practice and in writing
  • 2. Articulate selected western and non-western principles, concepts, structures, and aesthetics of performance verbally, through practice and in writing.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Utilise research tools and to translate theory into practice to a high level
  • 4. Apply a wide range of library and IT skills in detailed independent research
  • 5. 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. Engage critically and analytically with physical discipline; the development of thoughtful creative processes, understanding of physicalisation in performance and the capacity to articulate that understanding in appropriate ways
  • 7. Engage critically and analytically from different theoretic perspectives, 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. 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. 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. Develop advanced confidence in performance skills and public presentation, in a variety of situations and/or with a variety of audiences, both of dramatic practice and researched material
  • 11. 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
  • 12. 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

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

  • Historical overview of western performance and training, including an introduction to key concerns of the course before examining existing models of interculturalism and globalisation in performance.
  • The first uses of the term psychophysical in western acting terminology in key practitioners (from dance and theatre) in the twentieth century.
  • Body-mind paradigms of non-western performer training and acting, and the aesthetic principles informing these traditions.
  • We then explore how key contemporary practitioners, companies, or traditions/movements have employed and utilised particular psychophysical strategies in relation to their own performance practice as actors, performers, directors, choreographers and/or performance-makers.

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
Guided independent study267Preparation
Scheduled learning and teaching33Each weekly session will be run as a combination of staff-led lecture/seminar and workshop in order to provide a regular balance of theory and practice

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation5-10 minutes1-12Oral
Module blogWeekly entries1-4, 6-8Oral

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
Presentation5040 mins1-12Written feedback
Essay503000 words1-4, 6-8Written 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 work1-12Referral/Deferral period
EssayEssay1-4, 6-8Referral/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

  • Roach, Joseph (1993) The Player's Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
  • Hodge, Ali (2000) Twentieth Century Actor Training, London: Routledge.
  • Zarrilli, Phillip (ed.) (2002) Acting (Re)Considered, (2nd ed.) London: Routledge.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE –

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Material from Exeter Digital Archives

Available as distance learning?


Last revision date


Key words search

acting, physical theatre, body, intercultural