Comedia Dell' Arte and Improvised Theatre

The details
East 15 Acting School
East15 (Loughton) Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 22 April 2024
Friday 28 June 2024
21 April 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W441 Acting and Contemporary Theatre

Module description

This first year BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre module takes place in Term Three and is a unique and defining element of the East 15 Acting and contemporary Theatre training.

It provides students with opportunities to work and experiment in an environment that demands spontaneity and immediate response to events. It also provides an in-depth familiarity with improvised theatre both in its historical context and its contemporary practices. Students will develop the performance mental, intellectual and physical skills necessary
to engage with their audiences.

You will learn how to create a highly entertaining piece of theatre that is also spontaneous and therefore highly unpredictable in theatrical terms. As well as producing self-authored performance material, you may create musical or sound composition and original choreography in your work. The module is placed at the very end of the first year of study in order to prepare you for Year Two.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To consolidate methods in improvisation and characterisation

  • To familiarise students with Comedia Dell’Arte and masked work

  • To familiarise students with contemporary improvised theatre

  • To widen students’ understanding of the role of Comedia Dell’Arte in current forms of improvised and devised theatre

  • To deepen students’ understanding of human behaviour and roles in life

  • To reinforce students’ ability to work creatively as part of an ensemble

  • To develop students’ ability to adapt promptly and spontaneously without pre-empting outcomes

  • To develop students’ ability to adapt promptly and spontaneously without the guides of pre-existing script

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Practical engagement: range, focus and presence in improvised work

  • Commitment; energy, positive attitude, personal creative contribution

  • Creative response to task and opportunity

  • Flexibility and sensitivity to change; responsiveness to others and to direction

  • Ensemble acting; adaptability, generosity, awareness of relationships

  • Objective self-assessment; awareness of own strengths and weaknesses as an actor, ability to accept criticism and act upon it

  • Application of research to practice

  • Textual comprehension; understanding of link between traditional theatre forms and contemporary practice

  • Creative repetition; concentration, synthesis of technique, individuality, consistency.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Students work in small group practical classes
  • Student will experience an in-depth form of improvised theatre such as Comedia Dell’Arte and Theatre Sports
  • Student will experience an in-depth form of outdoor theatre
  • Learning also takes place in lectures, workshops and presentations
  • Independent research
  • At the end of the project students will receive verbal tutor feedback in a group session
  • Students will also be given individual report cards at the end of Term Three containing formative feedback and written comments.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Continuous Assessment     

Additional coursework information

Continuous assessment through observation of contribution to rehearsal and performance. Rehearsal and final performance are assessed holistically.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mr Uri Roodner, email: uroodn@essex.ac.uk.
Uri Roodner and staff
East 15 Acting School



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
East 15 Acting School

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