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Performing Texts


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Professor Fintan Walsh
  • Assessment: a 10-minute presentation (40%) and 4000-word essay (60%)

Module description

In what ways is text performative, and how can text be developed to make contemporary performance? You will explore these questions, alongside Birkbeck’s world-leading academics and industry-leading theatre-makers, in seminars and studio-based workshops. You will develop skills in writing about/for performance, textual and performance analysis, theoretical and historical inquiry, and performance-making and documentation, experimenting with the possibilities of performing all kinds of text. Throughout, your work will attend to the dynamic relationship between practice and theory, and lead to the creation of new writing and a presentation.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • have skills in textual analysis and performance-making
  • understand how texts perform as literary entities and in live performance
  • be able to demonstrate how texts can be written, generated, adapted and shaped for performance, individually, collaboratively and with dramaturgical support
  • be able to demonstrate the relationship between different forms of text and performance, e.g. dramatic texts, other forms of creative writing, historical documents, critical and theoretical texts
  • be able to explain how the meanings produced by text and/in performance vary across different forms, time periods, cultures and sites
  • be able to communicate understanding through text, visual, sonic, performance-based media etc.