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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Guildford School of Acting Short Name: ACTM003
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: FENDER T Ms (GSA)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Autumn and Spring Terms
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Group and individual academic tutorials
Term 1:
Project logbook with research notes, rehearsal diary and annotated script          50%
Critical evaluation 3,000 words          50%


Term 2
Project logbook with research notes, rehearsal diary and annotated script          50%     
Critical evaluation 4 - 5,000 words    50%


Qualifying Condition(s) 
A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module 
Module Overview

Contextual Methodologies provides a forum for the research, preparation and contextual discussion that is essential to the practice of acting at an advanced level. 

The module begins with the research practices and processes regarding the theories and practices of character creation and text analysis, within an historical context.  Implications and resulting demands of style, genre and period are discussed and researched in tandem with texts used in the Contextual Practice module. 

Additionally, students will examine a range of theories developed by contemporary performance practitioners and related philosophies and practices.  Students will consider their own learning experiences and processes and will identify areas of personal interest they may pursue and develop in their professional career.

Guidance and tuition will be given on the upkeep of the student working journal, the creating of a rehearsal logbook including annotated scripts and the analytical and critically reflective written submissions that they will produce in the course of the training.

A good command of written English and effective IT skills.
Module Aims
• To apply academically rigorous research processes to practical rehearsal projects
• To research and integrate appropriate contextual and philosophical ideas to a practical performance project
• To develop a comprehensive understanding of the principal theories of contemporary actor training
• To critically reflect upon and document a personal learning process
Learning Outcomes
• The understanding of a range of critical theories and methodologies pertinent to the practice of acting
• The ability to articulate and critique practice in the context of appropriate physiological and theoretical understanding
• The ability to express the results of research in practical, embodied forms
• The ability to present the results of analytical and critically reflective processes in written format commensurate with the standards of postgraduate-level study
Module Content
Contextual Methodologies begins with contextual research processes that support the practical text project in the Contextual Practice module.  This is likely to be Chekhov or another early or mid 20th century writer and will require individual and group research projects and presentations. This will result in the production of a detailed project logbook containing evidence of contextual research, annotated script, character notes, rehearsal diary and will culminate in a critical evaluation of the entire process. 
Work in the second term focuses on individual research needed for the Heightened Text rehearsals process.
Study skills seminars will prepare students for this process of critical evaluation and also for the upkeep of a student working journal that documents their overall progress and learning on the course. 
Students will create a project logbook detailing research & practice in two different Heightened Text assignments plus an extended critical evaluation of both processes. 

Additionally, there are lectures, seminars and practical workshops on contemporary practitioners and theorists, that enhance and develop the students’ understanding of the chronological development of 20th century performance practices and theories. Students will investigate and research Stanislavski techniques and will consider the development as well as the rejection of such techniques by differing practitioners in the 20th century.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
Group seminars
Individual and group research projects
Group tutorials
Individual tutorials
Selected Texts/Journals

Required Reading
Aristotle, Poetics transl M. Heath (London: Penguin, 1996)
Artaud, A. The Theatre and its Double (New York: Grove Press, 1958)
Barker, H Arguments for a Theatre  (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997)
Bolton, Gillie, Reflective Practice (Paul Chapman Publishing, 2001)
Esslin, M. The Theatre of the Absurd (London: Penguin, 1961)
Hodge, Alison, ed. Twentieth Century Actor Training (London: Routledge, 2000)
Mamet, David,  True and False (London: Faber, 1998)

Recommended Reading
Artaud, A The Theatre of Cruelty, First and Second Manifestos trans M.C. Richards (1963)
Bachelard, G, The Poetics of Space, trans. Maria Jolas, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1994)
Berger, J. Ways of Seeing (London: Penguin, 1971)
Bermel, A Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty (London: Methuen, 2001)
Boal, A. Theatre of the Oppressed (New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1985)
Bogart, A. A Director Prepares (London: Routledge 2001)
Braun, E. Meyerhold: A Revolution in Theatre (London: Methuen, 1986)
Brecht, B & Willet, J (ed) Brecht on Theatre (Michigan: Eyre Methuen, 1964)
Brook, P, The Shifting Point (London: Methuen, 1989)
Drain, R. (ed) Twentieth Century Theatre: Sourcebook (Routledge, 1995)
Etchells, T Certain Fragments (London: Routledge, 1999)
Goorney, H. The Theatre Workshop Story (London: Methuen, 1981)
Huxley, M & Witts, N (ed) Twentieth Century Performance Reader (London: Routledge, 1997)
Kantor, T, A Journey Through Other Spaces: Essays and Manifestos, 1944-1990, ed. and trans. Michael Kobialka, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993)
Kershaw, B. The Politics of Performance (London: Routledge, 1992)
Littlewood, J Joan’s Book (London: Methuen, 1994)
Luckhurst, M. Dramaturgy (Cambridge University Press, 2006)
Magarshack, David. On the Art of the Stage (London: Faber, 2002)
Martin, C. Source Book of Feminist Theatre (London: Routledge, 1996)
McGrath, J, Theatres of the Left (London: Routledge, 1985)
Mitter, S. Systems of rehearsals: Stansislavski, Brecht, Grotowsci & Brook (London: Routledge, 1992)
Mitchell, K. The Director’s Craft: A Handbook for the Theatre (Oxford: Routledge, 2009)
Nietzsche, F. The Birth of Tragedy (London: Penguin, 2003)
Pavis, P. The Intercultural Performance Reader (London: Routledge,1996)
Pinter, H. Art, Truth and Politics: Nobel Lecture DVD
Richard, T. At work with Grotowski on Physical Action (London: Routledge, 1995)
Roberts, P & Stafford-Clark, M. Taking Stock: Theatre of Max Stafford-Clark (London: Nick Hern, 2007)
Saunders, G. ‘Love Me Or Kill’: Sarah Kane and the Theatre of Extremes  (Manchester: Manchester University Press,  Me
Schechner, R Performance Theory (London : Routledge, 2003)
Schechner, R. The Grotowski Sourcebook (London: Routledge, 1997)
Shaw, F, Goodman, L & de Gay, J (eds.) The Routledge Reader on Gender and Performance (London: Routledge, 1998)
Sierz, A. In-Yer-Face Theatre (London: Faber, 2001)

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