Programme Coordinator | Prof Anton Krueger

Candidates are required to select five papers in consultation with the Head of Department. Paper 1 and 2 are compulsory. A student must choose a further THREE papers, in any combination, from those offered in any given year.

Group A | 100 | Theory
Paper 1 | Performance Studies

Course Coordinator: Prof. Anton Krueger
Lecturers | Prof. Gary Gordon, Prof. Alex Sutherland, Prof. Juanita Praeg, Dr Heike Gehring and Ms Dee Mohoto, as well as visiting guest lecturers where applicable.

This course highlights and interrogates a wide range of modalities of performance: on stage, on site, and in the world at large. It presents a selection of critical, cultural and performative theories, applying them to works made by a diverse range of practitioners, while  encouraging a curiosity about ways in which performance has become interwoven with every human society. The course culminates in an individually supervised research paper.
Paper 2 | Dramatic Literature

Course Coordinator: Prof. Anton Krueger

This course introduces students to the work of a wide range of contemporary playwrights. Students are supervised in their presentation of seminars, going on to develop research essays. In this way the course hopes to replicate the process of text-based scholarship in the humanities: abstract / conference / article.

Group B | 50:50 | Practice : Theory
Paper 3 | Applied Theatre

Course Coordinator: Ms Lalu Mokuku

Performances are – or at least can be – model utopian societies.  Workshops are ways to destroy ignorance; rehearsals are ways to creatively relate to others not by submerging or ignoring differences but by exploring differences as the group devises a generous common way forward; performances can hold up to public view the outcome of such research (Richard Schechner, 2014:49).

This course aims to introduce students to the theoretical and practical applications of drama and theatre as education, conscientisation, change and development. Applied Theatre as an umbrella term embraces a varied range of approaches, including the drama-in-education and theatre –in-education methodologies, Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, community theatre, drama-therapy, and Theatre for Development (TfD).  Fundamental to all these approaches is the notion of audience as participant in creating and influencing dramatic action and meaning.  Students will explore aspects of these approaches as a way of developing their own theatre making, performance, and facilitation skills specific to a socially engaged, inclusive, collaborative and democratic theatre praxis. We will also analyse key debates regarding the positioning of Applied Theatre within wider artistic practices globally and locally.

Theoretical background will be coupled with opportunities to apply various methods and approaches to the applications of drama and theatre to non-traditional spaces and communities. This is achieved through theoretical and practical research opportunities to study theatre in a range of dynamic and challenging settings, from theatre in prisons to theatre in education. It offers students the chance to develop their own practical work and skills, and apply these to projects of their choice.
Paper 4 | Directing

Course Coordinator: Ms Janet Buckland

Note: This paper counts as TWO papers.

This paper affirms the work of the theatre director as a creative artist rather than merely an interpreter of literary texts. The course challenges the perception of the director as one who "stages" the playwright's vision. The aim of the course is to equip students with the abilities to select appropriate and stimulating resource material, research and develop this material into an arresting theatrical concept; direct a performance that not only realizes this theatrical concept but engages the audience in a sophisticated demonstration of all the elements of performance craft and theatre technique; organise, co-coordinate and manage performance to the level of a professionally performed event.

Paper 5 | Choreography

Course Coordinator: Prof. Juanita Praeg

This study of contemporary choreographic practice immerses the aspiring dance artist into a range of conceptual, creative and technical experiences applicable to the education of a choreographer. The course is devised as a creative LABORATORY investigating a personal choreographic practice within a contemporary arts context. Coursework includes a number of termly choreographic projects and culminates in the production of a fully realised dance work.

Students undertake progressive weekly workloads engaging with choreographic matters such as movement research and physical metaphor, contemporaneity and thematic content, choreology and the strands of the medium, and related case studies in contemporary choreography. Research Practice also examines artistic disruptions in current choreography, interdisciplinarity and distillation, the triadic perspective of performer, choreographer and spectator, and constructive models for making an integrated and charged choreographic event.  A creative, challenging and varied matrix of learning experiences underpins this study of contemporary choreography. These investigations provide a rigorous, creative and interactive space for experimentation and discussion towards an evolving choreographic practice.

Paper 6 | Physical Performance

Course Coordinator: Mr Alan Parker

Course Facilitators: Prof Gary Gordon, Prof Juanita Praeg and Mr Alan Parker

This paper is aimed at encouraging independent and innovative thinking with regards to the performer as theatre maker. It affirms the position of contemporary performance as an art form that seeks ways to transcend traditional notions of performance. The course provides a structure for the incorporation and transcendence of traditional forms of theatre, inviting experimentation of a variety of performance practices in relation to issues of contemporary relevance. The course aims to provide a learning environment that encourages independent thought, creativity and craftsmanship through workshops, seminars, self-directed exercises and practicals. It attempts to foster an opportunity for the discovery and development of a personal signature in the art of contemporary theatre making. Seminars will complement practice sessions through exploration of the social, cultural, and theoretical context of specific practical exercises.
Group C | 70:30 | Practice : Theory
Paper 7 | Acting

Course Coordinator: Dr Heike Gehring

This course aims to provide students with diverse approaches to actor training. Each term will provide a different approach to understanding the acting craft, and theoretical seminars aim to complement practical explorations as a means of understanding what social, cultural, and theoretical context informs each performance approach.

Along with this, a vision of a contemporary actor is imagined who is multi-skilled, able to deal with the demands of conventional acting situations including textual interpretation, creation and clear delivery of character, tone and mood of the world of the play, while at the same time an actor who is focused outwardly toward the ensemble and the world in, and for which, the work is being created. This will be pursued through practical engagement with a variety of theatre styles and a strong focus on the need for consistent and committed vocal and physical training and a growing understanding of the creative power of the ensemble. Work will involve the analysis, research and rehearsal and performance of “set pieces” either based on theatre texts or other source material culminating in term-end showings and ultimately to the creation of a program of diverse acting styles.
Paper 8 | Performance, Design, and Scenography

Course Coordinator: Ms Illka Louw

This paper promotes the integral and creative role of the designer in the process of theatrical realisation. The practical investigation of style, light, space, and body transformation is paralleled with research and theoretical enquiry into design methodologies and contemporary trends.
Paper 9 | Creative Writing for the Theatre

Course Coordinator: Prof. Anton Krueger

This course encourages the student’s original creativity and stimulates the discovery and expression of their personal voce. Students explore their own preferences in terms of genre, style, characterisation, mood, narrative structure and thematic concerns. They will not only be given an opportunity to develop their own original writing, but they are also encouraged to reflect on the nature of writing itself. The course culminates in a number of short, original theatrical texts, as well as a research essay on the intersection of performance and textuality.

Updated 28-02-18 SM

Last Modified: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 14:26:52 SAST