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Special Study: Cyber Text: Drama in the Digital Era

  • Module code: DA6014
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 6
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

Cyber Text is a special-study option module for Level 6 Drama and may be taken by both single honours and joint honours students. Building on knowledge and skills acquired at Level 5, particularly in the modules Devising in Context and Shakespeare Yesterday/Today/Tomorrow, the module is designed to enable students to develop advanced knowledge and understanding of the dramaturgical potential of digital technologies. It examines key practical and theoretical perspectives on the role of text in performance and the modes of dramaturgy in cyber culture. There will be a particular focus on staging Shakespeare’s dramas through intermedial dramaturgy that will take into consideration the dramaturgical complexity of his plays and the iconic status of the playwright. The students will be involved in the making of digital dramaturgy by working with dramatic and non-dramatic texts and using simple devices for sound and image recording and projection. In this process, the students will apply the methodology of Practice as Research (PaR), which means that they will address a clearly articulated research inquiry through the combination of practical and theoretical approaches, such as workshops, rehearsals, critical reflection and theoretical contextualization.

Aims

 

  • enable students to reflect critically on different relationships between text and theatre, in particular in the twenty-first century approaches to Shakespeare
  • enhance the students’ understanding of the role of digital media in performance and the theories of intermediality
  • advance the development of students’ dramaturgical skills
  • assist students with the development of skills in applying digital technologies in performance

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • a sophisticated understanding of diverse relationships between text and performance and different approaches to dramaturgy in the 21st century
  • the ability to analyse and evaluate the role of digital technologies in contemporary performance, using a range of appropriate methods and theoretical perspectives
  • the ability to apply digital technologies in dramaturgy, following a Practice as Research approach
  • the ability to present, challenge and defend ideas effectively (Key Skills: Communication)
  • the ability to critically evaluate information and use it appropriately (Key Skills: Research and Information Literacy)
  • the ability to reflect on both creative process and product (Key Skill: Self Awareness)

Curriculum content

  • roles of text in performance and relationships between drama and theatre, with a particular focus on Shakespeare, for example, looking at the work of William Worthen (2010)
  • modes of dramaturgy in the 21st century, in the UK and Continental Europe
  • theories of intermediality and intermedial dramaturgy (e.g. Chapple and Kattenbelt 2010; Bay-Cheng et al. 2006)
  • overview of intermedial dramaturgy in staging Shakespeare’s dramas, in Anglophone and non-Anglophone productions
  • methodology of Practice as Research, (e.g. Nelson 2014)
  • Practice as Research exploration of digital dramaturgy through workshops and rehearsals
  • reflection on the potential of digital media to create new patterns of dramaturgy as well as on social and cultural implications of new media

Teaching and learning strategy

The module will be taught in a series of two-hour seminars that will combine theory and practice. The sessions will introduce concepts and principles of text in performance, dramaturgy, intermedial theory and practice, as well as PaR. In Teaching Block One, students will work in groups on a PaR project. In Teaching Block Two, they will write an essay to reflect on that experience and the notion of cyber text more generally. The elements of documentation and reflection will be interwoven into the whole module.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures/seminars/workshops 32
Guided independent study Individual independent study 112
Guided independent study Group independent study 156
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Assessment for this module comprises two formative and two summative elements. The first formative assessment is a group presentation of a PaR Rationale (5-8 min), delivered in the middle of of TB1. The presentation will establish the research context, the research inquiry and the methods of practical work on the project, which the students will develop in groups, combining theoretical and practical modes of work within the methodology of PaR. The first summative assessment is a 20-25 minute group presentation early in TB2, worth 60% of the mark, in which the students present their findings from PaR projects, in response to their research inquiry.

In TB2, the students will write an essay, in which they will reflect on the experience of PaR and digital dramaturgies more widely. In the middle of TB2, they will submit an essay plan of 500-750 words as a formative assessment, and in the examination period they will submit a 3000-word essay, worth 40% of the overall mark for the module.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) a sophisticated understanding of possible relationships between text and theatre and different approaches to dramaturgy in the 21st century Formatively, through a group rationale and an individual essay plan; summatively, through a group presentation and an essay
2) the ability to analyse and evaluate the role of digital technologies in contemporary performance, using a range of appropriate methods and theoretical perspectives Formatively, through a group rationale and an individual essay plan; summatively, through a group presentation and an essay
3) the ability to apply digital technologies in dramaturgy, following Practice as Research approach Summatively, through a group presentation
4) the ability to present, challenge and defend ideas effectively (Key Skills: Communication) Formatively, through a group rationale and an individual essay plan; summatively, through a group presentation and an essay
5) the ability to critically evaluate information and use it appropriately (Key Skills: Research and Information Literacy) Formatively, through a group rationale and an individual essay plan; summatively, through a group presentation and an essay
6) the ability to reflect on both creative process and product (Key Skill: Self Awareness) Summatively, through a group presentation and an essay

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Essay 40
PRC Group Presentation 60
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Bay-Cheng, S., A. Lavender, Ch. Kattenbelt, and R. Nelson, eds. (2010) Mapping Intermediality in Performance. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Nelson, R., ed. (2013) Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bibliography recommended reading

Chapple, F., and Ch. Kattenbelt, eds. (2006) Intermediality in Theatre and Performance. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi.

Felton-Dansky, M. and J. Gallagher-Ross, eds. Digital Dramaturgies (2012). Special Issue of Theater (42: 2).

Lavender, A. (2001) Hamlet in Pieces: Shakespeare Revisited by Peter Brook, Robert Lepage and Robert Wilson. New York: Continuum.

Marranca, B. (2009) “Mediaturgy: Conversation with Marianne Weems.” International Journal of Arts and Technology. Vol. 2, No. 3: 173-186.

Mancewicz, A. (2014) Intermedial Shakespeares on European Stages. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Mermikides, A. and J. Smart, eds. (2010) Devising in Process. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Radosavljevic, D. (2013) Theatre-Making: Interplay Between Text and Performance in the 21st Century. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Romanska, M., ed. (2015) The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy. New York: Routledge.

Trencsényi, K. (2015) Dramaturgy in the Making: A User's Guide for Theatre Practitioners. London and New York: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

Trencsényi, K. and B. Cochrane (2014) New Dramaturgy: International Perspectives on Theory and Practice. London and New York: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

Turner, C. and S. Behrndt (2008) Dramaturgy and Performance. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Worthen, W. B. (2010) Drama: Between Poetry and Performance. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

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