PERF06089 2019 Improvisation for Actors
A practical module that explores a range of processes and approaches to devising theatre for the stage and other contexts. Students will develop the skills to initiate, explore, develop and notate a devised show.
They will move from initial ideas to final product through a series of exploratory workshops.
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;
Understand the dramaturgical variables necessary for structuring a devised project.
Develop a new range of critical and communicative competencies
Know how to develop an ensemble capable of dynamically creating safe and active spaces for dialogue.
Know how to produce an imaginative and fully defined characterisation and performance.
Develop, through Michael Chekhov Technique, an architecture of performance with focus on Improvisation , Composition and Style
Understand through movement/dance that the body is the site of improvisation.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Principles of technique are embodied through theorised praxis. Classroom activity is supported by a range of reading materials.
Teaching takes place in a weekly workshop setting where the student is guided through a series of group and individual activities designed
to establish an ensemble of actors who can improvise effectively
One teaching strategy is to introduce the core concepts from the Michael Chekhov Technique of improvisation and composition
Students keep reflective journals of their activities.
Module Assessment Strategies
Devising project 60%
Classroom contribution and attendance 20%
Reflective journal 20%
A series of workshops designed to guide the student group through the stages of ensemble development leading to an activated group capable of imaginative responses to a variety of stimuli.
The work takes place in three distinct phases: Warm-ups--Bridge Activities---Activating Materials.
- Strong emphasis is placed on the acquisition of verbal and physical improvisational skill.
- The student(s) are encouraged to identify, anticipate and solve unfamiliar problems.
- The students are equipped with the skills to allow them to develop, notate and perform a devised piece of theatre from a set of initial stimuli (visual /aural or textual).
- Development of dramatic material from context appropriate games.
- Translate intellectual comprehension of situation/character into physical realisation.
Coursework & Assessment Breakdown
|Title||Type||Form||Percent||Week||Learning Outcomes Assessed|
|1||Performance Evaluation||Coursework Assessment||UNKNOWN||20 %||OnGoing||2,3,4,6|
|2||Written Report (Journal of reflective practice)||Coursework Assessment||UNKNOWN||20 %||OnGoing||1,2|
|3||Group Project||Coursework Assessment||UNKNOWN||60 %||End of Term||1,2,3,4,5,6|
Full Time Mode Workload
|Workshop/Seminar||Performance Space||Exploratory Workshop||3||Weekly||3.00|
Required & Recommended Book List
2006 The Improvisation Game
ISBN 1854596683 ISBN-13 9781854596680
1999 Impro for Storytellers Faber & Faber
ISBN 0571190995 ISBN-13 9780571190997
This book is an invaluable development of the work started in Johnstone's "Impro". Here he continues to provide hope to all teachers [whatever their subject] and all theatrical practitioners. In his inimitably jaunty, anecdotal style Keith Johnstone compiles a new testament to his Bible of storytelling wisdom. Whether it is his insights into what audiences want, or the simple release of what actors and writers tie themselves up in, this book is a lexicon of hope and joy
Johnstone, K. Impro:Improvisation and the Theatre. London: Routledge. 1987.
Oddey, A. Devising Theatre, a practical and theoretical handbook. London: Routledge. 1994.
Graham, S. & Hoggett, S. The Frantic Assembly book of devising theatre.London: Routledge. 2009.
Rohd, M. Theatre for Community Conflict and Dialogue (The hope is vital training manual). Heinemann Drama 1998
Johnstone, K. Impro for Storytellers. London: Faber&Faber. 1999.
Boal,A. Theatre of the Oppressed. Theatre community group 1993.
Boal, A. The Rainbow of desire. London:Routledge 1995.
Boal, A. Games for actors and non-actors. London:Routledge 1995.
Spolin, V. Improvisation for the Theatre. 3rd ed. Northwestern University Press.
Poulter, C. Playing the game. Macmillan 1987.