Theatre Studies MA

The Activist Stage THEATRE4071

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • 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

Short Description

This course explores the relationships between performance and activism, drawing on practices within the field of applied performance - including documentary theatre, verbatim practices, street protest and participatory forums - to examine the techniques and intentions of contemporary art which claims a political imperative.


10 sessions of 3 hours duration.

Excluded Courses






1 X Presentation/Workshop Facilitation 30%

1 X 3500 Word Research Essay 70%

Essay length is consistent with maximum word count for essays in all Honours level options in Theatre Studies, as approved during transition to 30-credit structure.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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

This course aims to:

■ introduce students to some of the major practices and practitioners within the field of applied and social/political performance, and the critical discourses which surround that work;

■ examine the relationship between dramaturgical form and political intention within specific, material contexts of performance making;

■ develop multidisciplinary analytic and research skills for students to examine, assess and begin to develop new works of applied performance.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Identify and analyze the relationships between particular performance conventions and specific social or political intentions, as responses to contemporary political debates and as the evolution of historic performance traditions;

■ Describe and compare the role of the audience within different kinds of applied or political performance practice, and articulate the ethical implications of particular forms of participation and interaction;

■ Demonstrate an ability to produce a research-driven essay and presentation that examines the significance of form and process within social/political performance, drawing on examples of local and international practice to propose avenues for further development or experimentation.

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.