Module code: CPDM002

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Lecture Hours: 33

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment DRAMATURGICAL RESEARCH PACK 60

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

This module introduces you to dramaturgy as a cornerstone of drama, theatre and performance. It considers dramaturgy as a research practice that involves specific textual, historical and archival analysis; and as a creative practice that considers the aesthetic principles, design dynamics and formal structure of a piece of performance.


Dramaturgy is the study of context and the technical considerations of the writing and/or structural components of theatrical piece, such as character journey, plot, structure and rhythm. This module is designed to enable you to understand the concepts, theories and practices of dramaturgy, the scope of the role of the dramaturg in production and the application of dramaturgy to a project.


The Module considers major theorists such as Aristotle and Gotthold Lessing along with a consideration of those who have developed dramaturgy for specific genres such as De Vuyst and Robert McKee. It studies the structure of storytelling and the application of storytelling theories from different performance genres. It addresses different models of dramaturgical work in Europe and North America, and the role of the Production Dramaturg along with the dramaturgical work of other members of the creative and production team. It involves you in dramaturgical work on or alongside one or more production projects. You will create dramaturgical materials specific to a project; where appropriate this may include a pre- or post-show discussion amplifying your findings as presented in the Dramaturgical Research Pack.

Module aims

Consider and develop an understanding of dramaturgical theory and practice within the context of genre

Develop a research methodology for contextual understanding of a piece of drama, and make sophisticated judgements in the selection of appropriate materials.

Apply dramaturgical theory in a practical environment with a sophisticated understanding of genre.

Present the results of dramaturgical investigations in a professionally appropriate way and commensurate with postgraduate study

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Evidence a sophisticated understanding of dramaturgical theories and practices in relation to genre. KCPT
Apply dramaturgical theory in practice to evaluate works.    KCPT
Demonstrate, argue and justify the results of research through the practical application of theory. KCPT
Present the results of analytical and critically reflective processes in written format commensurate with the standards of postgraduate-level study KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

This module is taught using formal lectures, small group tutorials and practical workshops. A theoretical understanding acquired during lectures is then applied in seminar and workshop scenarios facilitating a practical understanding. Whilst the lectures are designed for students from different pathways, some of the seminars and group tutorials are pathway-specific and designed to facilitate a disciplinary understanding.

Theory of Dramaturgy: lectures on the works of Aristotle, Lessing etc and their specific works.

Dramaturgy of Genre: seminars and Group tutorials designed for pathway-specific classes such as the work of Lehmen Engel for the Musical Theatre Creation Pathway.

Storytelling and Structure: lectures on the work of Joseph Campbell and the major theories of storytelling at the beginning of the 21st century.

Production Dramaturgy: these classes consider the ways in which dramaturgies are practiced in different territories, such as the differences between the American and European models.

Audiences and Reception Theory: we address the idea that audiences do not passively absorb information but are involved consciously and unconsciously in interpreting a dramatic work based on individual morals, experiences and personality.

Presentation and associated skills.

Methods of Teaching / Learning


Group seminars


Observation of production process

Group and Individual research sessions

Group and Individual tutorials

Assessment Strategy

Reading list

Reading list for DRAMATURGY : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/cpdm002

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Practices and Direction (Directing) MA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Creative Practices and Direction (Musical Theatre Creation) MA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.