Performance Studies

Performance Studies

PRFM1601 Performance: Process and Collaboration

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Ian Maxwell Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x1-hr lecture/week, 1x2-hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x1000wd essay (25%), 1x1000wd workshop description (25%), 1x1000wd rehearsal rationale (25%),1x1500wd group documentation (25%)
This unit introduces performance studies through a guided rehearsal of a play [in 2014 Brecht's 'The Measures Taken']. Students learn to reflect upon and analyse performance-making processes, debating, testing and documenting decision-making as they work. They will be introduced to theoretical, methodological and historical approaches in performance studies: embodiment theory; the relationship between thinking, knowing and doing; dramaturgical processes; how "performance" extends beyond drama and theatre. No theatre-making experience required; students will not be assessed on their acting.
PRFM2601 Being There: Theories of Performance

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Glen McGillivray Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2x1-hr lectures/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points from subject areas listed in Table A Prohibitions: PRFM2001 Assessment: 1x500wd summary of key theoretical text (10%), 8x250wd learning reflections (40%), 1x2000wd essay (50%)
What is performance, and how can we understand what it is that performance does? This unit of study will introduce students to the study of performance, and the particular problems associated with approaching a phenomenon that is often ephemeral, experiential in nature, and frequently shrouded in mystery. Students will learn key theoretical and methodological approaches to the study and practice of a range of performance genres, including, but not limited to theatre and other artistic practices.
PRFM2602 Performance: Production & Interpretation

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Paul Dwyer (Sem 2), Mr Christopher Hay (Summer Session) Session: Semester 2,Summer Late,Summer Main Classes: 1x1-hr lecture/week, 1x2-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points from subject areas listed in Table A Prohibitions: PRFM2002 Assessment: 1x750wd semiotic analysis of a theater performance poster/flyer (20%), 1x1250wd tutorial paper (30%), 1x2500wd performance analysis essay with reflective commentary on methodology (50%) Practical field work: Students will undertake some workshop exercises in their tutorials and will attend professional theatre productions outside class times
How do the members of an audience make meaning from their experience of theatrical performance? How (and to what extent) can theatre-makers guide this process through the use of text, movement, spatial design, costuming, lighting, sound and other production elements? In this unit of study, students will attend events at a number of Sydney theatres and develop a critical language for analysing live performance. Practical workshops will also provide an introduction to theatre production techniques.
PRFM2604 Sociology of Theatre

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Ian Maxwell Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x3-hr seminar/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points from subject areas listed in Table A Prohibitions: PRFM3012 Assessment: 1x1500wd take-home exercise (25%), 1x500wd equivalent group presentation (10%), 1x1500wd portfolio (40%), 1x1000wd literature summary (25%) Practical field work: Fieldwork
Theatre and performance as artistic practices are not autonomous: they take place in a complex cultural field, the effects of which necessarily influence and shape the practice itself. In this unit of study, we will develop an understanding of the field of theatrical production in contemporary Australia, both theoretically, using the sociological theory of Pierre Bourdieu, and practically, as we create our own, viable, performing arts company. Areas to be covered include production management, budgeting and programming.
PRFM3603 Playing Politics

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Paul Dwyer Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x3-hr seminar/week Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 Prohibitions: PRFM3015, PRFM3026 Assessment: 1x500wd equivalent tutorial and reading tasks (10%), 1x2000wd essay (50%), 1x2000wd contribution towards a group research dossier (40%)
Many theatre practitioners and performance artists have sought to make their work an explicit cultural intervention into movements of social and political change. Here we will critique in detail, and to some extent explore practically, the strategies adopted by a number of key artists and companies, both past and present: from Brecht to Boal, from 'community theatre' to 'contemporary performance'. We will also consider the way protest actions and, indeed, mainstream processes of parliamentary democracy appear to have become increasingly theatricalised.
PRFM3604 Embodied Histories

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Amanda Card Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2-hr seminar/week, 1x1-hr workshop/week Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 Prohibitions: PRFM3021 Assessment: 1x1000wd essay (40%), 1x3500wd essay (60%)
Can we investigate and understand historical moments and social movements through a study of dancing bodies? In this unit we will be looking at popular dance practices in western cultures over time. From the Charleston, the Lindy and Jive, through musical comedy and jazz, to gogo, disco and hip hop we will develop an understanding of the relationship between movement, music, time and place. This will be done through a combination of observation and practical participation. No previous dance training is required.
PRFM3606 Approaches to Acting

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Glen McGillivray Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr workshop/week Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 Prohibitions: PRFM3022 Assessment: 1x3000wd essay (50%), 1x500wd equivalent group presentation (20%), 5x100wd interlocutions (15%), 1x500wd formative literature summary (15%)
All approaches to acting are grounded in implicit theories about the human self: to Stanislavsky, for example, the self is a repository of memories; while for Meyerhold, the self is a biomechanical resource. We will survey - and experiment with - a range of theories of acting, from Quintilian to Method, Zeami to Suzuki, uncovering the assumptions about human being underlying each. The unit involves a workshop component, although no experience is necessary: you will not be assessed on your acting ability.
PRFM3611 Dramaturgy

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Laura Ginters Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x3-hr seminar/week Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 Prohibitions: PRFM3010 Assessment: 1x500wd performance analysis (20%), 1x1500wd group project (30%), 1x2500wd script assessment (50%)
What is a dramaturg? How do you read a play? Write a non-text based performance? Prepare a production of a classic play? This unit of study will investigate the various roles of the dramaturg, focusing on new play dramaturgy, background research for historical texts, translation and the role of the dramaturg as co-creator in non-text-based work. This unit will include practical exercises in analysing and workshopping a new Australian play or text for performance.
PRFM3961 Rehearsal Studies

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Laura Ginters Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x3-hr seminar/week Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 Assessment: 1x3000wd essay (60%), 1x1500wd tutorial workbook (30%), preparation for seminar discussions (10%)
Note: This unit is available as a designated 'Advanced' unit for students who are already enrolled in the BA (Advanced) degree program.
Rehearsal is typically off-limits to outsiders but the exceptional creativity of performance-makers in this 'hidden world' makes it a compelling focus of performance research. This unit examines accounts of rehearsal by playwrights, actors, directors, journalists and academics, as well as video recordings, prompt books and other rehearsal documentation. We will also approach the study of rehearsal through ethnographic theory, reading key texts on participant-observation fieldwork and trying out these methods through small-scale practical exercises.
PRFM3962 Inside Rehearsal

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Amanda Card Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x3-hr seminar for six weeks over the first half of second semester Prerequisites: PRFM3961 Assessment: 1x500wd formative assessment and writing plan for casebook (20%), 1x4000wd casebook (80%) Practical field work: Fieldwork practicum: the equivalent of five full days attending rehearsals, typically scheduled during the last week of July vacation and/or week one of second semester (check with department during first semester for precise dates)
Note: This unit is available as a designated 'Advanced' unit for students who are already enrolled in the BA (Advanced) degree program.
Over five days, students attend the rehearsals of a company of professional artists-in-residence at the department's Rex Cramphorn Studio, observing and documenting the skills and intuition that go into crafting those magic moments an audience will later encounter in performance. In the seminars following these observations, students will explore ways of interpreting their experience, deepening the principles of ethnographic research learned in PRFM3961, and developing a casebook which analyses aspects of the "culture" underpinning the creative work of rehearsals.
PRFM4011 Performance Studies Honours A

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Laura Ginters Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 3x2-hr seminars/week in Semester 1 Prerequisites: Credit results in (PRFM3961 and PRFM3962) or (PRFM3901 and PRFM3902) and Credit average in a further 36 senior credit points from Performance Studies Assessment: 1x12000-15000wd thesis (33.5%), 1x12000-15000wd casebook (based on participant-observation fieldwork) (33.5%), 2 seminars x 4500wds of written work or its equivalent per seminar (33%) Practical field work: Workshops and placement in a theatre company to observe a creative process in progress; group supervision meeting.
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
The Honours program in Performance Studies consists of:
1. a 12000-15000 word thesis written under the supervision of a member of the academic staff
2. a 12000-15000 word casebook based on fieldwork observations of the training/rehearsal/preparation processes involved in a genre of cultural performance
3. two assessable coursework seminars - 4500 words each (Critical Theory and Performance and Emobodiment)
4. a research methods seminar (formative assessment only) and auditing of the departmental postgraduate/staff research seminar.
For more information, contact Dr Laura Ginters.
PRFM4012 Performance Studies Honours B

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Laura Ginters Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: PRFM4011
Refer to PRFM4011
PRFM4013 Performance Studies Honours C

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Laura Ginters Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: PRFM4012
Refer to PRFM4011
PRFM4014 Performance Studies Honours D

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Laura Ginters Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: PRFM4013
Refer to PRFM4011