Theatre and Performance Studies

Unit outlines will be available through Find a unit outline two weeks before the first day of teaching for 1000-level and 5000-level units, or one week before the first day of teaching for all other units.
 

Theatre and Performance Studies

Major

A major in Theatre and Performance Studies requires 48 credit points from this table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 6 credit points of 3000-level core units
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level selective units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level Interdisciplinary Project units

Minor

A minor in Theatre and Performance Studies requires 36 credit points from this table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level selective units

1000-level units of study

Core
PRFM1601 Making Theatre: The work of the director

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x1hr lecture/week, 1x2hr workshop/week Assessment: 1x1000wd scene plan (25%), 1x1000wd workshop description and analysis (25%), 1x1500wd per student group work documentation (25%), 1x1000wd analysis of rehearsal process (25%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
What is involved in creating a work of theatre? This unit introduces students to the craft of directing theatre, both through a study of the historical emergence of the director and the practices involved, and participation in practical workshops in which key skills, involving creative leadership and collaboration, are developed and put to work. Students will then reflect upon this work, applying theoretical and methodological approaches in theatre and performance studies, including embodiment theory, ethnography, and dramaturgy. No theatre-making experience is required.
PRFM1602 Dangerous Performances

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2x1hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial-workshop/week Assessment: 1x1000wd short essay (20%), 1x Group Exercise (1000wd per student) (25%), 1x1000wd Class Presentation (1000wd per student) (25%), 1x1500wd Final Essay (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Performance has long been associated with risk: in the popular imagination, among performers, writers and theorists. From breathless narratives of courageous actors taking on risky roles, to the extremes of performance art, contemporary performance and political action, you will explore and understand performance pushed to the limits.

2000-level units of study

Core
PRFM2601 Being There: Theories of Performance

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x1hr lectures/week, 1x2hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 credit points at 1000 level in Theatre and Performance Studies Prohibitions: PRFM2001 Assessment: Short responses to set readings (1200wd total)(30%), 1x800wd research proposal (20%), 1x2500wd research essay (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
What if all the world really is a stage? In this unit, you will learn key theories and conceptual tools for analysing the broad spectrum of performance events that lie beyond what is conventionally associated with the term 'theatre'. You will conduct original research, focusing on how performance (re)constitutes identity and (re)forms a culture.
PRFM2602 Performance: Production and Interpretation

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x1hr lecture/week, 1x2hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 credit points at 1000 level in Theatre and Performance Studies Prohibitions: PRFM2002 Assessment: 1x600wd short response to performance (10%), 1x1200wd tutorial paper (30%), 1x500wd raw notes (10%), 1x2200wd performance analysis essay (50%) Practical field work: Students will undertake some workshop exercises in their tutorials and will attend professional theatre productions outside class times Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
How do we make meaning from our experience of text, movement, spatial design, costuming, lighting, sound and other elements of theatrical performance? Through practical workshops and theatre excursions, you will learn some basic production techniques and develop a critical language for analysing live performance.

3000-level units of study

Core
PRFM3961 Rehearsal Studies

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x3hr seminar/week Prerequisites: 12 credit points at 2000 level in Theatre and Performance Studies Assessment: 5x400wd draft journal entries (10%), 1x2000wd final journal (rework of 5 x draft journal entries) (30%), 1x2500wd essay (60%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The 'hidden world' of rehearsal is typically off-limits to outsiders but the exceptional creativity of performance-makers makes it a compelling focus for research. Approaching the study of rehearsal through ethnographic theory, you will read and apply key texts on participant-observation fieldwork to rehearsal observation and workshop exercises.
Selective
PRFM3602 Performance Histories

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x3hr seminar/week Prerequisites: 12 credit points at 2000 level in Theatre and Performance Studies Assessment: 1x group presentation, 1x1000wd essay, 1x3000wd essay Practical field work: Group projects researching a history of an Australian performing arts company institution or individual will be conducted at State Library of NSW Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit of study reflects on the issues and methods that constitute theatre history and its relationship to Performance Studies. We will consider the source materials on which histories of performance are based and some of the genres of historical scholarship that are useful for such historians. We will also study how descriptions and theorisations of creative practices from the past are influential in the work of contemporary theatre and performance practitioners.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
PRFM3603 Playing Politics

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x3hr seminar/week Prerequisites: 12 credit points at 2000 level in Theatre and Performance Studies Prohibitions: PRFM3026 or PRFM3015 Assessment: 1x1000wd response to set readings (20%), 1x1500wd contribution to group research (30%), 1x2000wd essay (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
We'll be exploring how performing artists make 'political' work but also how political processes themselves, from election campaigns to street protests, are becoming increasingly theatricalised. The unit involves practical workshops, analysis of performances and closely supervised group research.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
PRFM3604 Embodied Histories

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week, 1x1hr workshop/week Prerequisites: 12 credit points at 2000 level in Theatre and Performance Studies Prohibitions: PRFM3021 Assessment: 1x1000wd Essay (40%), 1x3500wd Essay (60%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Can we investigate and understand historical moments and social movements through a study of dancing bodies? In this unit we will be looking at popular dance practices in western cultures over time. From the Charleston, the Lindy and Jive, through musical comedy and jazz, to gogo, disco and hip hop we will develop an understanding of the relationship between movement, music, time and place. This will be done through a combination of observation and practical participation. No previous dance training is required.
PRFM3606 Approaches to Acting

This unit of study is not available in 2021

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr workshop/week Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 or 12 credit points at 2000 level in Theatre and Performance Studies Prohibitions: PRFM3022 Assessment: 1x3000wd Essay (40%), 1x500wd equivalent group presentation (20%), 5x100wd online interlocutions (20%), 1x500wd reading summary (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
In this unit you will survey a range of acting practices from the seventeenth century to the present, and interrogate their truth claims in order to reveal the social, cultural and historical contingency of each approach. The unit invites you to examine how these different approaches to acting have been influenced by implicit theories of the human self.
PRFM3607 Production Strategies for Performance

This unit of study is not available in 2021

Credit points: 6 Session: Intensive February Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week for seven weeks, 1x4hr workshop/week for seven weeks Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 Assessment: 1x20min WHS simulation (350wd equiv) (10%), 1x40min Technical Installation Test (650wd equiv)(20%), 1x2000wd Production Analysis (30%), 1x30min Production Design Presentation (500wd equiv) (20%), 1x1000wd Production Design Rationale (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit offers an introduction to theatre lighting, sound design and audiovisual projection. Through practical workshops and site visits, students will develop some basic technical skills as well as an understanding of the creative contribution that production personnel can bring to the realisation of performance concepts.
PRFM3611 Dramaturgy

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x3hr seminar/week Prerequisites: PRFM2601 and PRFM2602 or 12 credit points at 2000 level in Theatre and Performance Studies Prohibitions: PRFM3010 Assessment: 1x500wd performance analysis (20%), 1x1500wd group project (30%), 1x2500wd script assessment (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
What is a dramaturg? How do you read a play? Write a non-text based performance? Prepare a production of a classic play? This unit of study will investigate the various roles of the dramaturg, focusing on new play dramaturgy, background research for historical texts, translation and the role of the dramaturg as co-creator in non-text-based work. This unit will include practical exercises in analysing and workshopping a new Australian play or text for performance.
PRFM3621 Ritual, Play and Performance

This unit of study is not available in 2021

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2hr seminar/week Prerequisites: 12 credit points at 2000 level in Theatre and Performance Studies or (PRFM2601 and PRFM2602) Prohibitions: PRFM2606 Assessment: 1x 1000wd Research proposal (15%), 1x 1000wd Book review (15%), 1x 1000wd equivalent Presentation (20%), 1x 3000wd Ethnographic essay (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Setting out from a distinction between special events and everyday life, you will investigate fundamental kinds of performative events, including play, ritual, work and carnival, developing an understanding of culture as performance. You will learn and apply ethnographic approaches to a range of contemporary case studies.
PRFM3622 Sociology of Theatre

This unit of study is not available in 2021

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x3hr seminar/week Prerequisites: 12 credit points at 2000 level in Theatre and Performance Studies Prohibitions: PRFM3012 or PRFM2604 Assessment: 1x1500wd Final essay (30%), 1x1500wd per student Group portfolio (35%), 1x500wd equivalent per student Group presentation (10%), 1x1000wd Literature summary (25%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Art is created in a complex cultural field, the effects of which influence and shape the work itself. This unit develops an understanding of theatrical production in Australia, using Bourdieu's sociological theory, and practically, as students create viable performing arts companies, covering production management, budgeting and programming.
CHNS3651 Chinese Drama and Theatre

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2x1hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: 12 credit points at 1000 level in Chinese Studies or 12 credit points at 1000 level in Asian Studies or 12 credit points at 1000 level in ICLS Assessment: Tutorial participation (10%), 1x500wd equivalent oral presentation (20%), 2x2000wd equivalent 1 hr in-class test (30%), 1x2000wd essay (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The unit studies key aspects of Chinese performance art and performance literature. It explores the development of Chinese theatre from ritual to ritual drama to literary drama and examines how ritual-theatrical elements are integrated into musical drama, the dominant form of Chinese theatre known as xiqu as represented by Kun opera and Beijing opera.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units

Interdisciplinary project unit of study

If you are completing two majors and both of your majors are from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, please select the Interdisciplinary Impact unit of study for your first major, and the Industry and Community Project unit of study for your second major.
If you are completing two majors but only one of your majors is from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, please select the Interdisciplinary Impact unit of study for that major.
If you are completing one major only and that major is from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, please select the Interdisciplinary Impact unit of study for your major.
PRFM3999 Interdisciplinary Impact

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Intensive December,Semester 1,Semester 2 Prerequisites: Completion of at least 90 credit points Prohibitions: Interdisciplinary Impact in another major Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Interdisciplinarity is a key skill in fostering agility in life and work. This unit provides learning experiences that build students' skills, knowledge and understanding of the application of their disciplinary background to interdisciplinary contexts. In this unit, students will work in teams and develop interdisciplinarity skills through problem-based learning projects responding to 'real world problems'.
PRFM3998 Industry and Community Project

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Session: Intensive February,Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prerequisites: 72 credit points Corequisites: Interdisciplinary Impact in any major. Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This interdisciplinary unit provides students with the opportunity to address complex problems identified by industry, community, and government organisations, and gain valuable experience in working across disciplinary boundaries. In collaboration with a major industry partner and an academic lead, students integrate their academic skills and knowledge by working in teams with students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds. This experience allows students to research, analyse and present solutions to a real¿world problem, and to build on their interpersonal and transferable skills by engaging with and learning from industry experts and presenting their ideas and solutions to the industry partner.