Applied and Political Theatres

The details
East 15 Acting School
Southend Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
31 March 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W495 World Performance

Module description

This module engages students in the study of performance practitioners and forms (e.g. Boal, Brecht, Ancient Greek theatre, Agit-Prop, Worker's Theatre, Feminist Theatre, etc) which have an intended application beyond the entertainment of paying audiences by professional practitioners. The module includes an overview of such practice, and case studies of three such practitioners or forms.

Module aims

The aims of the modue are:
To engage critically and analytically with a range of applied performance forms
To raise awareness of the function of performance as a tool for social conformity, community identity or socio-political change, as well as aesthetic endeavour or entertainment
To undertake a substantial independent research project
To allow students to work collaboratively in creating a piece of applied theatre for a specific audience

Module learning outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate:
An understanding of several forms of applied and political theatre, and their relationships to their original cultural contexts
An ability to investigate, and to offer a critical and analytical account of, one major practitioner or form in the area
The ability to present complex information both orally and in writing so that it is clear, structured, accurate, and engaging
Project planning skills (including negotiation and communication skills) to realise a piece of group collaborative performance with minimal input from tutors
Performance and/or camera and video editing skills sufficient to create and/or make a record of a piece of Applied performance
The ability to articulate their ideas and research findings spontaneously

Module information

Module Outline

1. Overview: Theatre and Society
A survey of forms of theatre and performance that refuse to be, or seek to be more than, entertainment and have agendas beyond the aesthetic.

2. Practical examinations may be derived from the following:
- Compulsory Theatre - For example: Ancient Greek theatre festivals, Passion Plays or initiation rituals, in which the performance is an essential event in the life of the community that produces it.
- Engaged Practitioners - For example: Bertolt Brecht, Joan Littlewood, etc. in which practitioners stage for an audience material with an explicitly radical socio-political content.
- Audience engagement - For example Boal's Forum Theatre, Invisible Theatre, or Theatre of the Oppressed, Worker's Theatre, 1960s 'Happenings,' which rely for their effect on the active involvement and participation of the spectator.

3. Creating Performance:
Under the direction and supervision of a professional practitioner, students will research, develop and devise a piece of original work on a theme developed in collaboration with the director.

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching Methods: 1 x 2-hour lecture per week; 1 x 2-hour workshop per week.


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   Reflective Essay    20% 
Practical   Continuous Assessment    30% 
Practical   Performance    50% 

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
For further information please email tinaw



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 2 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
East 15 Acting School

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