Theatre Studies MA

Performing Character THEATRE4085

  • 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 will introduce students to a range of acting strategies that can be applied to the performance of character in twentieth and twenty first century theatre texts. It will be taught via workshops that will focus on performing character within structures selected from naturalism, Brechtian theatre, absurdism, contemporary realism and the postdramatic.


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

Excluded Courses

THEATRE4006 Directing

THEATRE4016 Writing for Performance




Individual performance of a character assessed as a discrete element of an ensemble text extract (3-4 students per group, approximately 15 minutes per extract) - 60%

Critical Analysis 2,500 words - 40%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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:

■ increase students' awareness and understanding of different acting theories and strategies

■ introduce students to practical approaches to performing character

■ equip students with the skills and techniques required to develop and execute their ideas

■ encourage students to thoughtfully select and apply different approaches to acting in relation to the required aesthetic of the work

■ encourage students to develop a critically informed approach to the process and analysis of acting

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ reflect critically on acting theories and strategies

■ apply acting skills and techniques in the realisation of a role

■ contribute to the competent staging of an extract of text within an ensemble

■ select appropriate acting choices to serve a particular aesthetic of performance

■ analyse and interpret their own performance in the context of wider theories of acting

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.