Contextual Studies II

The details
East 15 Acting School
Southend Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
12 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W412 Acting and Stage Combat

Module description

Term One, Two and Three - Health and Safety
This course, which runs throughout the year, is predominantly taught through tutorials and feedback on written assignments. You will receive a number of tutorials to discuss the creation of specific risk assessments and forms of evaluation - you will then apply this knowledge to most of the other units throughout the year. As a development from Year One, there will be a wider scope of practices that you must analyse from a Health & Safety viewpoint. You will go into greater detail in evaluating different performance environments and applying acquired knowledge to safely prepare for and carry out physical work. There will also be a greater degree of research in the Health and Safety assignments. You will be actively applying the theories and scenarios that you research in all units of the degree.

Term One - History of Fights
In this unit you will study the history of combat in theatre and film. As you view and document performances from the past century, you will continue to develop your research skills. These skills will be combined with your growing knowledge of stage combat, as you will also be asked to analyse choreographic logic, film techniques, commitment to character, text and movement, and an actor's ability to 'sell a fight'. The unit will develop alternative research methods, as you will be called upon to resource films, film scripts, interviews and, when possible, notes from a director and/or a fight director.

To widen knowledge of the history of combat performance
To encourage students to explore different periods, styles and methods of presenting combat performance
To give the students a sense of the social, philosophical and cultural background to conflicts and their presentation in performance media
To develop skills so that they can express themselves objectively, either in oral or written form

Term Two - 20th Century Performance
This course will introduce you to some of the major theories and practitioners of the 20th century. It is designed to take you past the theories of Stanislavski and explore other contemporary forms of theatre and staging. The guiding aims are to widen your knowledge of a range of theatre styles and further develop your analytical skills. By studying various theatrical movements, you will be more prepared to analyse any number of forms of contemporary performances. This will involve creative thinking, decision-making and clearly expressing self-formulated views. You will come away from the ability to apply a wide range of theories to performance practices.

To widen students knowledge about contemporary developments in theatre
To examine key theoretical and contextual issues and debates
To develop critical analysis and reflection
To develop an understanding between performance and cultural theory

Module aims

The aims of the module are to develop:
ability to work to professional safety standards.
understanding of the effects of injury and violence on the body.
ability to evaluate information or present records clearly and coherently.

Module learning outcomes

History of Fights on Film
Ability to:
- Produce a range of research materials collected for use in presenting written and verbal analysis
- Understand different theories, methods and styles of presenting acted combat for the screen
- Analyse and present a detailed analysis of a filmed scene

20th Century Performance
Ability to:
- Demonstrate competence and confidence in presenting information and academic conventions.
- Demonstrate understanding of contemporary theatre practice
- Demonstrate skills in critical analysis and reflection
- Identify the key theoretical movements of twentieth century theatre practice

Module information

- History of Fights on Film (Weighting 70%)
The students will be asked to give a presentation of their evaluation of filmed fight sequences in a group seminar format, with a record of research undertaken and materials collected in relation to the unit and a written outline of their presentation.
- 20th Century Theatre (Weighting 30%)
Students are assessed through:
o one presentation with accompanying written documentation
o the Personal Record of Analysis and Reflection

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures, Seminars, Presentations, Tutorials, Research.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   History of Fights on Film    70% 
Coursework   20th Century Theatre    30% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Chris Main, email: cmain@essex.ac.uk.
Chris Main, Zois Pigadas
For further information please email cmain@essex.ac.uk



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

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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