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Adaptations: Theories and Practices in Contemporary Performance


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Seda Ilter
  • Assessment: a 1500-word critical commentary (10%), a 2500-word essay (40%) and one creative project and 10-minute poster presentation (50%)

Module description

This module explores issues, theories and practices of adaptation primarily in contemporary theatre and performance in relation to other art forms such as radio, television, literature, film and new media technologies.

The module presents a multi-perspective view on different forms of adaptation in performance ranging from literary and intermedial adaptation to intercultural adaptation. You will engage with the key debates, theories and praxis of adaptations not only theoretically but also practically. To this end, the module structure provides both a study- and practice-based learning experience through lectures and workshops.

In the autumn term, you will explore the definitions, key debates and theories about the subject and engage with some of the common practices of adaptation in theatre and drama. In the spring term, you will investigate further forms and discussions ranging from intercultural to intermedial adaptations in theatre. You will then write a critical commentary analysing an example of an adapted piece.

You will be asked to see a few shows, on the condition that there is a production based on adaptation.

This module aims to:

  • introduce you to the theories and practices of adaptation in theatre and drama
  • offer insight into some of the important topics in adaptation studies and practices by exploring adaptations to theatre from other media forms such as film, radio, prose literature, and vice versa
  • enrich your knowledge of theatre and performance practice/studies through an interdisciplinary approach
  • explore a selection of key texts and works (eg playtexts, productions, films, short story, etc) and their adaptations
  • provide an opportunity for students to explore their ideas creatively and critically in workshops by presenting ideas and adapting selected material.

    Learning objectives

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:

    • critically and performatively engage with different aspects and examples of adaptation mainly in theatre and performance
    • understand the key debates in theatre and performance studies regarding adaptation
    • evaluate and analyse different modes of adaptations by looking into the socio-cultural context and aesthetics of the works
    • write a short critical commentary analysing an example of an adapted work and an essay responding to a given question
    • prepare a creative project on one of the forms/issues of adaptation discussed in the class
    • improve your ability to work independently as well as your presentational skills.