Undergraduate Modules

Drama and Performance Studies offers the following core modules at the undergraduate level:

DRAM101: Drama and Performance Studies: An Introduction

This module is an introduction to the three streams of study in the Drama and Performance Studies programme: Applied Theatre Studies, Theatre Studies, and Dance Studies.  As part of laying a foundation for an understanding of Drama and Performance studies and its different specialisations, students are introduced to these key areas through notions of ‘culture’ and ‘context’.  Practical aspects of the course include the creation of group performance projects and physical theatre.

DRAM102: Theatre: Origins and Forms

This module builds on the three streams of study introduced in DRAM101.  It focuses on the origins of theatre in the North and South as a way in to engaging with different performance forms in relation to context.  Students are introduced to theatre in the Southern Africa, which includes ritual, orality and storytelling.  As the quintessential Northern example, students will engage with the origins of Greek theatre.  Practical components build on the theoretical study in the form of projects on storytelling, Greek messenger speeches and a ‘ritual’ dance drama.

DRAM201: Introduction to Applied Theatre

This module introduces students to an understanding of Applied Theatre (AT).  It follows four themes: definitions and debates of AT, Theatre for social change in South Africa, Theatre of the oppressed and Locations of Applied Theatre.  These include theatre in educational setting and Prison Theatre.  The course has clear synergies between theory and practice with students being given opportunity to create short participatory plays to be staged on campus as well as to learn through action in workshops.

DRAM205: Contemporary Dance Theatre, Physical Performance and the Politics of the Body

This course is broken up into three sections that negotiate the politics of physical performance and dance both from a local and African perspective and from a global perspective.  Section one explores the politics of the body in performance from Artaud, Grotowski, and the 20th century modernist impulse to find ‘new ways’ of thinking about theatre and performance, to the emergence of physical theatre both locally and globally.  The second section examines key debates around, and practitioners of, African contemporary dance in South Africa and Africa.  Section three engages 20th century modernism and dance in Europe and America, culminating in a dance drama based on Rudolph Laban’s ideas and philosophies.

DRAM301: Theatre from Realism to Modernity

This module constitutes the core Theatre Studies module and will introduce students to the key theorists and practitioners of the late 19th and early 20th century theatre.  They will engage critically with textual and theatre studies in Europe, America and South Africa, and investigate key realist and modernist innovators, as well as experiencing the practical application of the theoretical paradigms.

DRAM302: Elective

This module offers learners the opportunity to develop critical awareness of the theories pertaining to particular specializations, and demonstrate a level of practical expertise within that specialization.  The content of the module covers theoretical and practical engagement in the following areas of specialization (normally 3 options per semester):  Acting OR Acting for the Camera OR Design OR Directing OR Drama-in-Education OR Popular Participatory Theatre OR Scriptwriting OR Uses of Theatre.

(Offering of specific Electives is at the discretion of programme and is dependent on availability of staff and number of registered students.)

DRAM304: Drama and Film Confront Postmodernity

This module aims to develop in learners an advanced critical and analytic competence in the engagement with late 20th and early 21st century performing and visual arts in relation to theory and text.  This is also negotiated by expanding the boundaries of what has, historically, been considered “theatre” and “performance”, to include contemporary performative arenas such as performance art and site-specific performance. Attention is also placed on postcolonial theorising as it relates to both contemporary African, Indian and the local South African performance landscapes.

DRAM305: Elective

This module offers learners the opportunity to develop critical awareness of the theories pertaining to particular specializations, and demonstrate a level of practical expertise within that specialization.  The content of the module covers theoretical and practical engagement in the following areas of specialization (normally 3 options per semester):  Acting OR Acting for the Camera OR Design OR Directing OR Drama-in-Education OR Popular Participatory Theatre OR Scriptwriting OR Uses of Theatre.

(Offering of specific Electives is at the discretion of programme and is dependent on availability of staff and number of registered students.)

In addition, the following modules are available to students:

DRAM 203/303: Production

This module (offered at level 2 and level 3) enables learners to experience practically the research into, and staging of, a professional production.  The module covers working on a production as actor/researcher, director, stage manager/technician, publicist, administrator or designer.

[NOTE: THIS MODULE IS NOT BEING OFFERED IN 2015]

DRAM 270/370: Special Topics

This module (offered at level 2 and level 3) involves the exploration of new areas and themes emerging in the discipline or arising from research of current or visiting members of the teaching staff.

[NOTE: THIS MODULE IS NOT BEING OFFERED IN 2015]

Structure of the Drama and Performance Studies major:

Semester OneSemester Two
DRAM101 Drama & Performance Studies 101 (16C)DRAM102 Drama & Performance Studies 102 (16C)
DRAM201 Drama & Performance Studies 201 (16C)DRAM205 Drama & Performance Studies 205 (16C)
DRAM301 Drama & Performance Studies 301 (16C)DRAM304 Drama & Performance Studies 304 (16C)
ANDAND
DRAM302 Drama & Performance Studies 302: Elective (16C)DRAM305 Drama & Performance Studies 305: Elective (16C)