Performance and Interpretation (DRA2064)

StaffDr Michael Pearce - Convenor
Dr Bryan Brown - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to introduce the student to a variety of approaches to defining performances and art-forms and the analysis and interpretation of their significance. By its reliance on cuttingedge research by a selection of staff, it will introduce students to the concept of research in the performing arts.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand and examine the terms in which different art forms and kinds of performance may be defined and understood
  • 2. Develop a sense of different methodologies applied by researchers in assessing the significance of performances
  • 3. Demonstrate an ability to discuss these terms and methodologies orally and in writing

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. To initiate and sustain analytic and interpretative work within strict time limits and basic technical competence.
  • 5. To contribute research to small groups in effective presentations, to evaluate visual evidence and analyse, critique and manipulate complex material
  • 6. Utilize research tools effectively
  • 7. Apply library and IT skills in independent additional research

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Develop personal research skills using personal initiative; to set personal objectives and to identify and evaluate personal learning strategies
  • 9. Develop group cooperation skills, including the ability to give and receive constructive critical feedback and to improve communication skills and analytic abilities in discussions

Syllabus plan

This module combines research-led teaching from staff in four contributions of two lectures with an overview provided by the course convenor in two lectures. Each contribution will be in two parts, the first lecture concentrating on the definition of a variety of performance, the second on methodologies of its analysis and interpretation. In both instances, reference will be made to a research context of wider publication and alternative modes of analysis provided by the staff researcher.

Lectures will be linked closely to seminars, at which small groups will offer summary presentations under supervision by a tutor. Students will write a critical portfolio assessing a number of readings of the theories and contexts, and a transcript of one of their seminar presentations, and will submit one extended and researched essay on a chosen field selected from the lectures.


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 activities2211 x 2-hour lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities1111 x 1 hour seminars
Guided independent study 256preparation for lectures and seminars; preparation for group presentations; individual research

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft of part of one critical analysisUp to 500 words1-7, 9Written

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
Critical Portfolio, consisting of critical reviews of two academic texts discussed on the module401,500 words1-4, 6-8written and oral
Essay502,000 words1-4, 6-8written feedback
Seminar participation10continuous1,2,3,5,9verbal

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Critical portfolioCritical portfolio1-4, 6-8Referral/deferral period
EssayEssay1-4, 6-8Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:


S.Di Benedetto (2010) The Provocation of the Senses in Contemporary Theatre New York: Routledge

H.Gilbert (1996) Postcolonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics London: Routledge

T.Postlewait (2009) The Cambridge Companion to Theatre Historiography, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

S.Riley and L.Hunter (2009) Mapping Landscapes for Performance as Research New York: Palgrave

E.Striff (2003) Performance Studies, Basingstoke: Palgrave


ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages


Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

On-line Learning pack for each pair of lectures.

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

performance, interpretation, methodology