Theatre and Performance Studies

Theatre and Performance Studies

PRFM1601 Performance: Process and Collaboration

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x1hr lecture/week, 1x2hr seminar/week Assessment: 1x1000wd Essay (25%), 1x1000wd workshop description (25%), 1x1000wd rehearsal rationale (25%),1x1500wd group documentation (25%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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.
PRFM1602 Dangerous Performances

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2x1hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week Assessment: 1x1000wd Essay (20%), 1x1000wd Group Exercise (25%), 1x1000wd (20min) Class Presentation (25%), 1x1500wd Final Essay (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Performance has been long associated with risk, in the popular imagination, among performers, writers and theorists. From breathless narratives of courageous actors taking on risky roles, to the extremes of performance art, contemporary performance and political action, this unit will explore and understand performance pushed to the limits.
PRFM2601 Being There: Theories of Performance

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Summer Late Classes: 2x1hr lectures/week, 1x1hr 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%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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 and Interpretation

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2,Summer Early Classes: 1x1hr lecture/week, 1x2hr 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 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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.
PRFM2603 Between Impro and Text: Making Performance

This unit of study is not available in 2017

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Paul Dwyer Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x1-hr lecture/week, 1x2-hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points from subject areas listed in Table A Prohibitions: PRFM3005 or PRFM3014 or PRFM3016 Assessment: 1x500wd equivalent group performance/workshop presentation (20%), 1x1500wd individual workshop report (40%), 1x2500wd essay (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
"Some performances seem firmly text-based (a David Williamson play; the libretto/score of a Wagnerian opera). Others involve more or less spontaneous ""composition-in-performance"" (Commedia dell' Arte, Theatresports, ""free jazz""). Yet, whatever the form, performance is always the thing you get when skilled artisans ""assume a responsibility to an audience and to tradition as they understand it"" (Dell Hymes). In this unit, we analyse the interactions between literary and primarily oral traditions of performance, questioning assumptions about the historical primacy of texts."
PRFM2604 Sociology of Theatre

This unit of study is not available in 2017

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x3hr 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 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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.
PRFM2605 Rehearsing Shakespeare

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x1hr lecture/week, 1x2hr workshop/week Prerequisites: 12 credit points from Performance Studies units Assessment: 1x1500wd Analytical Rehearsal Log (30%), 3x In Class Scene-work (equiv to 500wd) (20%), 1x2500wd Essay (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
How did actors in Shakespeare's time rehearse a play? In this unit students will explore rehearsal in the Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre: from part playing, cueing and exploring the relationship between voice and gesture through to the general rehearsal. Students will have the opportunity to workshop selected scenes from plays by Shakespeare or his contemporaries in order to understand how a Renaissance English actor embodied his part.
PRFM2606 Ritual, Play and Performance

This unit of study is not available in 2017

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x1hr lecture/week, 1x2hr workshop/week Prerequisites: 12 credit points in Performance Studies units Assessment: 1x750wd Reading Task (15%), 1x750wd Research Proposal (15%), 1xTutorial Presentation (1000wd equiv) (20%), 1x2000wd Essay (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Setting out from a distinction between special events and everyday life, this unit investigates fundamental kinds of performative events, including play, ritual, work and carnival, developing an understanding of culture as performance. Students will learn and apply theoretical approaches to a range of contemporary case studies.
PRFM3602 Performance Histories

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x3-hr seminar/week Prerequisites: (PRFM2601 and PRFM2602) or (PRFM2001 and PRFM2002) Assessment: 1x group presentation, 1x1000wd essay, 1x3000wd essay Practical field work: Group projects, researching a history of an Australian performing arts company, institution or individual, will be conducted at State Library of NSW. Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit of study reflects on the issues and methods that constitute theatre history and its relationship to Performance Studies. We will consider the source materials on which histories of performance are based and some of the genres of historical scholarship that are useful for such historians. We will also study how descriptions and theorisations of creative practices from the past are influential in the work of contemporary theatre and performance practitioners.
Textbooks
Selected readings available through the University Copy Centre
PRFM3603 Playing Politics

This unit of study is not available in 2017

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x3hr 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%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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

This unit of study is not available in 2017

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week, 1x1hr workshop/week Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 Prohibitions: PRFM3021 Assessment: 1x1000wd Essay (40%), 1x3500wd Essay (60%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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

This unit of study is not available in 2017

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr 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%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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.
PRFM3607 Production Strategies for Performance

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week for seven weeks, 1x4hr workshop/week for seven weeks Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 Assessment: 1x20min WHS simulation (350wd equiv) (10%), 1x40min Technical Installation Test (650wd equiv)(20%), 1x2000wd Production Analysis (30%), 1x30min Production Design Presentation (500wd equiv) (20%), 1x1000wd Production Design Rationale (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit offers an introduction to theatre lighting, sound design and audiovisual projection. Through practical workshops and site visits, students will develop some basic technical skills as well as an understanding of the creative contribution that production personnel can bring to the realisation of performance concepts.
PRFM3611 Dramaturgy

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Summer Main Classes: 1x3hr seminar/week Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 Prohibitions: PRFM3010 Assessment: 1x500wd performance analysis (20%), 1x1500wd group project (30%), 1x2500wd script assessment (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x3hr seminar/week Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 Assessment: 1x3000wd Essay (60%), 1x1500wd tutorial workbook (30%), preparation for seminar discussions (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x3hr 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) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 3x2hr seminars/week in Semester 1 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. Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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 Contemporary Performance) 4. a research methods seminar (formative assessment only) and auditing of the departmental postgraduate/staff research seminar. For more information, contact the Honours coordinator.
PRFM4012 Performance Studies Honours B

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: PRFM4011 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Refer to PRFM4011
PRFM4013 Performance Studies Honours C

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: PRFM4012 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Refer to PRFM4011
PRFM4014 Performance Studies Honours D

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: PRFM4013 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Refer to PRFM4011