Verbatim Theatre and Contemporary Scene Study

The details
East 15 Acting School
Southend Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
13 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W496 Acting and Community Theatre

Module description

The first part of this first year acting module provides students with the challenge of researching real life events through a dramatic format and through recreating short scenes. With their Director students may work on a piece of already scripted 'verbatim' theatre or my develop their own piece using materials such as transcripts, newspaper articles, testimonials, interviews which are edited, arranged or recontextualised to form a dramatic presentation, in which actors take on the characters of the real individual whose words are being used.

In the second part of the module students will work in groups to study scenes from a contemporary play, learning how to divide a scene into units of action, how to discover objectives for a character and use the text to discover information – about the play, its themes and characters. You will workshop scenes in your groups, practising your learning from the early part of the course. By the end of this block of work you will be able to find a character's through line and recreate work achieved during the rehearsal process.

Module aims

To provide students with opportunities to:
- Work on material that demands truthful and in-depth investigation
- Apply detailed and accurate research methods
- Put acting methods and theory to use in acting a piece of text.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module you will be able to demonstrate:
- Professional potential: range, focus, presence in verbatim theatre and contemporary scenes
- Commitment: energy, positive attitude, personal contribution to the group
- Creative inventiveness: fresh responses, spontaneity in a range of experiences taken from real life and from texts
- Flexibility & sensitivity to change: responsiveness to others and to direction in verbatim theatre and contemporary scenes
- 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
- Research skills: in-depth interviews, objective observation, selection of appropriate material, accurate documentation.

Module information

Module Content
- Using research and imagination to create the world of the play
- Character analysis
- Understanding characters' objectives
- Breaking down plays into 'units of action'
- Finding a character's through line
- Rehearsal processes
- Recreating rehearsed work

Learning and teaching methods

- Students work with tutors in group practical classes. - Learning also takes place in workshops and rehearsals. - Oral formative assessment and tutor feedback. - Written formative assessment and tutor feedback in written reports - Improvisation and group discussion.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Practical   Continuous Assessment     

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Ms Ainslie Masterton, email: amast@essex.ac.uk.
Ainslie Masterton
East 15 Acting School Gateway Building Elmer Approach Southend-on-Sea SS1 1LW



External examiner

Dr Kerrie Vanessa Schaefer
The University of Exeter
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
East 15 Acting School

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