IE924-30 The Role of Story in Drama & Theatre Education
The new revised MA in Drama and Theatre Education offers teachers in both primary and secondary phases of education a rigorous and relevant course of training and academic study in the theory and practice of drama and theatre education. The course is flexibly designed to respond to and develop the professional needs of both home and overseas students. The course is built upon the research and teaching strengths of the course team who have a national and international reputation for their publications and teaching in the field of drama and theatre education.
This module, The Role of Story in Drama and Theatre Education, connects closely with the module Drama and Theatre Studies in Theory and Practice. Due to its emphasis on practical theatre making, it requires the students to put into practice the theories on culture and semiotics covered in this module and to consider closely how meanings are made and communicated through drama. It connects, too, with the Drama and Literacy module with its stress on stories as conveyors of cultural and moral values.
- To consider the role of story and narrative structure in contemporary and historical performance traditions
- To examine the didactic and pedagogic claims of storytelling in performance and in schools
- To understand and apply a range of theoretical lenses to the analysis of narrative, performance and culture including critical theory, post-colonial and post-Freudian positions
- To develop a performance piece based on a traditional story for a target audience of young people.
This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.
Session 1 · Discuss the sources and versions of traditional tales; · Examine the gendered voice of written and oral folk narratives; · Explore how voice and image suggest meaning in dramatic narrative.
- Discuss psychoanalytical and socio-historical theories of folk
and fairy tales;
- Examine the different choices open to the actor-narrator and
how they influence meaning;
- Explore Stanislavskian approaches to devising theatre from
- Examine an example of the dramatic potential and complex
human meanings that can be drawn from the subtext of myth;
- Discuss the structure and significance of heroic quest tales.
- Watch and analyse video footage of Theatre Alibi’s approach to
Storytelling as Theatre.
- Work in groups on performance approaches to a selected story;
- Experiment with and evaluate theories explored so far as they
relate to the practice of storytelling as theatre
- Consider post-colonial uses of story in performance
- Explore some issues relating to representation in stories from
- Experiment with non-naturalistic props to create symbolic
Weeks 7 - 9
- Devising process for assessed practical
Performance and Assessment
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- understand the theories and practices of contemporary and historical performers and performance traditions which use storytelling as the basis of their dramatic art;
- understand how issues of gender and cultural values impinge upon the dramatization of myth, folk and fairy tales;
- Demonstrate good oral and communication skills
- Work co-operatively in a task related group situation
- analyse stories from the contemporary and historical oral traditions of various cultures in the light of narrative theories that examine their potential meanings
- critically analyse dramatic performances of stories in the light of psychoanalytical and socio-historical theories of storytelling.
- demonstrate the dramatic skills and conceptual understanding necessary to produce successful and sensitive storytelling as theatre;
- understand the importance of storytelling and related activities in the classroom
Indicative reading list
Alfreds, M., (1979)* A shared experience: the Actor as Storyteller,
Dartington College of the Arts.
Benjamin, W. (1969) Illuminations Shocken (cf Chapter entitled The Storyteller)
Bettelheim, B. (1976) The Uses of Enchantment, Penguin.
Bharucha, R. (1993) Theatre and the World, Routledge
Brecht, B. (1968) The Street Scene in Theory of the Modern Stage,
(Ed. Bentley, E.), Penguin.
Brennemann, L. (1991) Once Upon a Time: A Storytelling Handbook, Nelson Hall.
Campbell, J. (1949) The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Princeton Univ Press (Chapter 1).
Cassady, M. (1990) Storytelling Step by Step, Resource Publications.
Tatar, M. (1992) Off with their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood, Princeton University Press.
Tatar, M. (ed.) (1999) The Classic Fairy Tales, Norton Critical Edition.
Warner, M. (1994) From the Beast to the Blonde, Viking.
Warner, M. (1993) Managing Monsters, Virago
Warner, M. (2003) Signs and Wonders, Chatto and Windus
Zipes, J. (1983) Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion, Routledge.
Zipes, J. (2000) The Great Fairy Tale Tradition,Norton Critical Edition.
Subject specific skills
Students should demonstrate a critical understanding of :
- the underlying values, theories and concepts relevant to storytelling theatre in education
- the role of story and narrative structure in contemporary and historical performance traditions
- the didactic and pedagogic claims of storytelling in performance and in schools
Students should demonstrate an ability to:
- apply a range of theoretical lenses to the analysis and performance of stories emerging from the oral tradition
- develop a performance piece based on a traditional story for a target audience of young people.
- constructively critique theories and practice of storytelling theatre including self-reflection on performance.
- Active listening - Analysis and decision making · Attitudes and aptitudes for work · Cognitive flexibility · Communication skills · Complex problem solving · Confidence · Coordinating with others · Creativity · Critical thinking · Emotional intelligence · language learning · Initiative and also follow instructions · Intellectual ability · Cultural awareness · Interpersonal and communication · Literacy · Motivation, tenacity, commitment · Negotiation · Performance skills · Personal development skills · Persuading/influencing · Planning and organisational skills · Problem solving · Reasoning · Self-management/resilience · Team working
|Seminars||10 sessions of 3 hours (10%)|
|Other activity||5 hours (2%)|
|Private study||265 hours (88%)|
Private study description
Independent study hours include background reading, completing reading/other tasks in preparation for timetabled teaching sessions, undertaking research using the library resources, follow-up reading work, working on individual and group projects, the completion of formative and summative assignments, revision.
Other activity description
Additional time for rehearsal - Approx 5 hours
No further costs have been identified for this module.
You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.
Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.
Assessment group A1
|2500 word essay||50%|
Assessed performance (15 minutes) equivalent to 2500 words
Feedback on assessment
Written feedback on assignment submitted through Tabula
This module is Core for:
- Year 1 of TIES-X3BA Postgraduate Taught Drama Education and English Language Teaching
This module is Core optional for:
TIEA-X30C Postgraduate Taught Drama and Theatre Education
- Year 1 of X3C2 Drama and Theatre Education by Dissertation
- Year 1 of X3C3 Drama and Theatre Education by Portfolio Route
This module is Optional for:
TIEA-X31L Postgraduate Taught Educational Innovation
- Year 1 of XL03 Educational Innovation with Specialism in Business
- Year 1 of XL05 Educational Innovation with Specialism in Drama
- Year 1 of XL06 Educational Innovation with Specialism in English
- Year 1 of XL08 Educational Innovation with Specialism in History
- Year 2 of XL04 Educational Innovation with Specialism in Childhood
- Year 2 of XL05 Educational Innovation with Specialism in Drama
- Year 2 of XL12 Educational Innovation with Specialism in Foreign Language Teaching
- Year 2 of XL08 Educational Innovation with Specialism in History
- Year 2 of XL09 Educational Innovation with Specialism in Leadership
- Year 3 of XL04 Educational Innovation with Specialism in Childhood
- Year 3 of XL05 Educational Innovation with Specialism in Drama
- Year 3 of XL08 Educational Innovation with Specialism in History
- Year 5 of X31L Educational Innovation
TIEA-X31M Postgraduate Taught Educational Leadership and Management
- Year 1 of X3M3 Educational Leadership and Management by Professional Route (SSAT)
- Year 1 of X3M5 Educational Leadership and Management by Professional Route (School Networks)
- Year 1 of X3M4 Educational Leadership and Management by Professional Route (UCST)
- Year 1 of TIEA-X30A Postgraduate Taught Educational Studies