Improvised Living History

The details
East 15 Acting School
East15 (Loughton) Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 22 April 2024
Friday 28 June 2024
31 March 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W411 Acting,
BA W83A Acting (International)

Module description

For their work on this project students will research the experiences of a society of people living in a set period of time and specific location. Each student adopts the personality of another person arising from their research, aiming to create a character firmly based on research and evidence. A scenario is devised that will enable all the characters to combine in a particular location and to interact with each other.

You will put into practice your ability to use research and improvisation to create truthful characters. The project will allow you to progress from this to the more advanced discipline required to sustain character over an extended length of time. The project is also designed to reinforce students' understanding of the process of ensemble work. By the end of the course you will be able to demonstrate the ability to extend and refine your acting with increasing depth and detail.

Module aims

1. To consolidate research methods and their importance in improvisation and character relationships
2. To deepen students’ understanding of human behaviour and roles in life
3. To reinforce students’ ability to work creatively as part of an ensemble
4, To provide opportunities for characters to live in the moment
5. To allow characters to adapt promptly and spontaneously without pre-empting outcomes

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module you will be able to demonstrate:
1. Professional potential: range, focus and presence in improvised work
2. Commitment: energy, positive attitude, personal contribution in the recreation of a living history project
3. Creative Inventiveness: fresh responses, spontaneity in a range of experiences
4. Flexibility & Sensitivity to Change: responsiveness to others and to direction
5. Ensemble Acting: adaptability, generosity, awareness of relationships
6. Objective self-assessment: awareness of own strengths and weaknesses as an actor, ability to accept criticism and act upon it
7. Research Skills: in-depth interviews, objective observation, selection of appropriate material, accurate documentation
8. Application of research to practice
9. Textual Comprehension: understanding and interpreting language and plot
10. Creative Repetition: concentration, synthesis of technique, individuality, appropriate connection, consistency

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

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 as well as formative, written feedback.


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     

Additional coursework information

Continuous assessment through observation of contribution to coursework.

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
Ms Gerry McAlpine, email: gmcalp@essex.ac.uk.
Mr Zois Pigadas, email: zpigadas@essex.ac.uk.
Mr Philip Weaver, email: prweaver@essex.ac.uk.
Gerry McAlpine and staff
East 15 Acting School Hatfields Campus Rectory Lane Loughton, IG10 3RY



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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