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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: THE2003 Module Title: RADICAL ACTION
Module Provider: Dance,Film & Theatre Short Name: THE2003
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: ANDREWS S Dr (Dnc Flm Thtr)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability
Semester 2.
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)


1 x 2000 word essay




1 x Presentation




Module Overview

This module will focus on radical theatre by playwrights, directors and theatre-makers in both and the world.  It will identify significant practitioners from the twentieth century and emerging practices of the twenty-first century.   The module will address a series of issues that are raised by these practices, which may include individual, community and state power; class, race and gender identity; celebration and protest; individual and institution; environmental politics; immigration; conflict; human rights; and theatre as debating chamber.


Module Aims
  • To consider theatre performance (both historical and contemporary) as radical action, both in terms of the form of theatre itself and in terms of the operation and interpretation of theatre in wider culture(s) (a, b, d)


  • To introduce students to the political significance of theatre in terms of ideological perspectives (b, d)


  • To enable students to use informed and relevant critical vocabularies and research methods (e, g).


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:



  • Identify theoretical and methodological developments in theatre as a form that relates to changing historical and political contexts (a, b)


  • Apply theoretically-informed approaches to the analysis of theatre in culture, with awareness of key historical, political and/or aesthetic perspectives (b, d, e, f)


  • Conduct research with a range of tools and across a range of resources to produce informed and clearly-communicated academic argument (a, e)


Module Content
  • Texts for the module will reflect a breadth of theatre forms and techniques and will be considered  that might be defined as radical (A3, B2, B3).  Texts may include:



Twentieth Century Practitioners (and their work/use in the present):


    • Brecht’s Epic Theatre


    • Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed


    • Welfare State International


    • Bread and Puppet Theatre


    • The Living Theatre


    • Theatre for Education/Liberation


    • Shenge, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (1975)



Twenty-first Century, Practitioners:


    • Verbatim Theatre


      • David Hare, Stuff Happens (2004), Gethsemene (2008)


      • The Laramie Project (2000)


    • Tony Kushner, Angels in


    • Tim Miller (various)


    • Harris, Fall (2008)


    • Adam Brace, Stovepipe (2009)



  • The module will introduce a series of theatre texts (written/performance) in terms of the ways in which they can be considered radical.  In so doing it will provide an understanding of the aesthetics and politics of theatre and a particular way of seeing theatre as an artistic form in society (A1, A2, B1)



  • The module will provide access to a range of sources that might inform analysis of texts, together with opportunities for discussion and debate of their suitability for analysing theatre texts (written and performed) (C2, D1, D2, D3, D4).


Methods of Teaching/Learning



Selected Texts/Journals

Required reading:



Huxley, M and N Witts , eds. 2002. The Twentieth Century Performance Reader. London : Routledge.



Recommended Reading: Artaud, Milling, Huxley and Witts, Kellher and , Kershaw radical, Gade, (Artaud 1993; Gade and Jerslev 2005; Huxley and Witts 2002; Kershaw 1999; Milling and Ley 2001)(Arts Council of England, 2000; Auslander, 2000; Butler, 1990; Carey, 2006; Fischer-Lichte, 1997; Heathfield, 2004; Heddon and Milling, 2006; Innes, 2002; Kennedy, 2009; McGrath, 1981; Mudford, 2000; Sierz, 2000; Walton and McDonald, 2002)


Arts Council of England, Towards 2010: new times, new challenges for the arts. London: Arts Council of England, 2000.


Auslander, P, Presence and Resistance: Postmodernism and Cultural Politics in Contemporary American Performance. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000.


Butler, J, Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory. In: Sue-Ellen Case ed., Performing Feminisms: Feminist Critical Theory and Theatre, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1990. Pp. 270-282.


Carey, J, What good are the arts? Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.


Fischer-Lichte, E, The Show and the Gaze of Theatre: A European Perspective. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1997.


Heathfield, A, Live Art and Performance. London: Tate, 2004.


Heddon, D and Milling, J, Devising Performance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.


Innes, C, Modern British Drama: The Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.


Kennedy, D, The Spectator and the Spectacle: Audiences in Modernity and Postmodernity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.


McGrath, J, A good night out : popular theatre : audience, class, and form. London: Eyre Methuen, 1981.


Mudford, P, Making theatre : from text to performance. London ; New Brunswick, NJ: Athlone Press, 2000.


Sierz, A, In-Yer-Face Theatre: British Drama Today. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 2000.


Walton, J M and McDonald, M, eds. 2002. Six Greek Tragedies. London: Methuen.



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