Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

The Role of the Director in Devised Performance THEATRE4068

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will examine the director's role within contemporary devising, with a focus on the tension between collective theatre-making and the necessary yet problematic role of the director within this. In order to contextualise this focus it will also look at the emergence of the director/auteur and the creative actor, postwar political theatres, the histories of collaboration, and theoretical discourses of text and authorship.


1 x 3hr seminars per week over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Theatre Studies and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available in MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Theatre Studies, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Essay (3,500 words) - 75%

Oral Presentation (20 minutes) - 25%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course aims to:


■ develop the students' understanding of key issues regarding the role of the director in contemporary devised performance.

■ explore the context(s) and histories from which the director figure and the form of devising have emerged.

■ examine post structural theories and their relevance to contemporary theatre practices.

■ develop effective skills for students to formulate complex thesis statements and research questions.

■ enhance confidence and ability to discourse, both orally and in writing, on devised theatre practices with independent critical and informed judgment.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ understanding of the complexities and contradictions of role of the director in devised performance.

■ explain and assess the histories and practices of devised performance and the rise of the director in modern theatre.

■ apply theoretical ideas to the practice of theatre.

■ present ideas critically, clearly and coherently in an academic essay, developing well-structured arguments, and observing the disciplines of referencing, footnoting and bibliography.

■ produce a presentation on a chosen subject within the parameters of the course that stimulates group discussion and facilitates and encourages further study

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.