Bader International Study Centre


at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.



at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.

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DRAM 181/6.0 - Introduction to Current Theatre: Body, Stage, Spectator

Instructor: Dr. John Keefe


A 2-semester unit intended be an introduction to the elements that make up the whole work of theatre. Thus we will look at both the theory & practice of theatre and the ways these interact in the theatrical production through the modes of dramatic text, acting, staging, and the spectator.The course is structured as a learning arc with materials being used and examined within and across the two semesters.Teaching approaches are based on ‘inquiry-based learning’ whereby studies are driven by lecture-seminar sessions, questions, critical exchange, guided and self-directed research and ongoing evaluation and assessments via discussion and coursework.The student will be expected to develop research & study skills, analytical skills, a basic awareness of the practice of theatre and how it is made.The unit will draw on a number of British and other play-texts, plus theatre visits and use of visual material.As well as enhancing further studies with a view to an eventual career in theatre-drama, the course will open perspectives on other aspects of theatre that can be taken into the study and application of politics and ethics in theory and practice through the challenges and dilemmas posed by the course topics.


Classes will include practice (exercises in body and voice, text work, stage awareness), textual analysis, discussion of texts/field trips/theory, playwriting, technical production, audience awareness.These will culminate in a series of short presentations in the first semester, and a large scale group production in the second semester. There will be a number of specific class trips to complement the BISC events programme.


Studio clothing: stage ‘blacks’ or other plain, dark sweatpants or dance pants plus top (avoid jeans, combats, leotards); black dance shoes or similar soft footwear (avoid trainers for indoor work)


This class reflects the nature of theatre as a collaboration; attendance at every class is essential to maintain the group dynamic-continuity and is compulsory.


Fall: Group seminar presentation, Small group production, Topic essay, Individual development (including engagement and attendance

Winter: Whole group production, Topic essay and Workbook, Individual development (including engagement and attendance)