PERF06042 2013 Physical Theatre

General Details

Full Title
Physical Theatre
Transcript Title
Physical Theatre
N/A %
Subject Area
PERF - 0215 Performing Arts
COMP - Computing & Creative Practices
06 - Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2013 - Full Academic Year 2013-14
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Rhona Trench
Programme Membership
SG_APERF_H08 201300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Performing Arts SG_APERF_H08 201300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Performing Arts SG_APERA_B07 201700 Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts (Acting) SG_APERF_H08 999996 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Performing Arts SG_APERF_B07 201700 Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts (Acting) SG_APERF_H08 999996 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Performing Arts SG_APERF_H08 201300 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Performing Arts SG_APERF_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Performing Arts SG_APERA_B07 201900 Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts (Acting)

Physical Theatre introduces students to the physical work of the actor and the world of professional, specialised actor training.  Predominately practical in nature, it challenges the student to adopt the body as their sole means of expression thereby heightening awareness of the need to train the body and regard it as a powerful and under-utilised tool of the contemporary actor.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


use the body as a mode of expression and a starting point toward its mastery in performance


develop physical control in physical performance through such techniques as rhythm, body articulation, flexibility, strength, co-ordination, balance, discipline, playfulness, spontaneity, precision and imagination


experience a style of theatre that places the actor as the central point for theatrical creation where the primary focus is physical rather than textual


Understand the importance of the physicality of the actor in the creation of visual, metaphorical theatre


work as an ensemble, creating both solo and group compositions


understand the professionalism and dedication required of the professional actor


identify the roots of physical theatre and its place in the world of theatre

Indicative Syllabus

What is Physical Theatre?

Where did the term Physical Theatre originate? What are the limitations of the term?

Twentieth Century Masters such as Decroux, Meyerhold and Grotowski will be explored in an effort to learn how their actor training systems have shaped our theatrical heritage.

Decroux's corporeal mime used as a physical reference point for other training systems; their aims, processes and the discipline required in any specialised training.

Professionalism and training as an on-going feature of an acting career.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Group Project Composition Coursework Assessment UNKNOWN 40 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
2 Individual Project Log Book Coursework Assessment UNKNOWN 40 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
3 Individual Project Written Assignment Coursework Assessment UNKNOWN 20 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Supervision Performance Space Workshops and tutorials 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Decroux, E. (trans. Piper, M.) Words on Mime, (California: Pomona College Theatre Dept. 1985)

Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction by Simon Murray and John Keefe, (London: Routledge, 2007)

Physical Theatres: A Critical Reader by Simon Murray and John Keefe, (London: Routledge, 2007)

Bicat, Tina and Baldwin, Chris (eds.), Devised and Collaborative Theatre: A Practical Guide,  (Wiltshire: Crowood Press, 2002)

Callery,Dymphna, Through the Body: A Practical Guide to Physical Theatre, (London:Nick Hern books, 2001)

Murray, Simon, Jacques LeCoq, (London: Routledge, 2003)

Mackey, Sally (ed.), Practical Theatre: A Post-16 Response, (London: Routledge, 1997)

Braun, Edward, Meyerhold on Theatre , (University of Iowa Press, 1998)

Kumiega, Jennifer, The Theatre of Grotowski, (London: Metheun, 1985)

Richards, Thomas, At Work with Grotowski on Physical Actions, (London: Routledge 1995)

Dennis, Anne, The Articulate Body: The Physical Training of the Actor, (UK: Nick Hern, 2002)

Artaud, A. (trans. Corti V) The theatre and its double,  (London: Calder. 1993)

Barba, E. Savarese, N. (trans. Fowler, R.) A dictionary of theatre anthropology: the secret art of the performer, (London: New York) Published for the Centre for Performance Research, (London: Routledge. 1991)

Craig, E. G. (ed. Walton J.) Craig on Theatre,  (London: Eyre Methuen. 1983)

Grotowski, J. Towards a poor theatre, (London: Methuen. 1991)

Hodge, A. Twentieth century actor training,  (London: Routledge, 2000)

Huxley, M. Witts, N. Twentieth-Century Performance Reader, (London: Routledge. 1996)

Leabhart, T (ed.) Mime Journal Series, (California: Pomona College Theatre Dept. 1974)

Wlodek, S. (trans. ed. Braun, E) Meyerhold on theatre, (London: Eyre Methuen.1978)

Zarrilli, P. Acting (re)considered: theories and practices, (London: Routledge, 1995)


Other Resources