Poor Theatre: At Work on Grotowski

The details
East 15 Acting School
Southend Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
31 March 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W494 Acting and Physical Theatre

Module description

This first year module for the BA Physical Theatre contains an exploration of the mental-physical-emotional approach to performance developed by Jerzy Grotowski and his followers. The module covers intensive physical and self-developmental work and serves as the groundwork for the more physically 'risky' techniques in the second year of the course. The module primarily serve s to lay an ethical foundation for the how, when, why and which of technique through exploring specific periods of Grotowski's training.

Rather than treat this work as a 'museum' of Grotowski's work, the work of the module is to take a piece of text and through the training seek to:
a) Use the corporal and plastique training as a point of departure into seeking out psycho-physical blockages
b) Compare the work of Grotowski and some of his predecessors e.g. Stanislavski.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:
To develop an understanding of the work of Grotowski.
To compare the work of Grotowski and that of his successors.
To guide the student in the creation of an original performance based on the work of Grotowski.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student should be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of Grotowski's approach to physical theatre through performance.
- Objectively analyse personal performance.
- Create performance which manipulate the actor-audience relationship.

Module information

Continuous assessment through classwork, rehearsal and studio performance 100%
Compliance with the Professional Code of Conduct

Learning and teaching methods

Practical classes, independent study, seminar, rehearsal.


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

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Practical   Continuous Assessment     

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 James Sutherland, email: jsuth@essex.ac.uk.
James Sutherland
For further information please email tinaw



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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