Theatre Studies - Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο Κύπρου - Open University of Cyprus
Monday, 14 February 2022 12:13

THES701B: Postgraduate Thesis ΙΙ

Thesis Purpose and Objectives

The aim of the graduate thesis is the writing of a piece of scientific scholarship between 12.000-15.000 words in a field relevant to the study direction chosen by the student.

The topic of the thesis must be original, therefore cover a verified gap in the relevant scholarship and research, and/or present and analyse new research data (from archival or other primary sources; from experimental/quantitative/qualitative research etc.) and/or reconsider existing research data through a new theoretical/methodological lens.

Methodology must comply with the general methodological trends identified in research into this specific area (analysis of sources/texts, experimental, quantitative/qualitative research, field research, intervention in the classroom etc.)

Selection of topic and methodology must ensure the significance of research, namely its contribution to theoretical bibliography and/or to the resolution of methodological issues and/or to practical applications.

Learning Outcomes

In completing the MA thesis, students will:

  • Conduct a critical overview of bibliography that is relevant to the topic of the thesis
  • Identify and formulate the basic research questions pertaining to the investigated topic which the thesis will endeavour to answer
  • Point out and justify the necessity and significance of research as well as its contribution to the cognitive field in which the graduate thesis falls
  • Identify, understand and apply the designated methodology which can also be an eclectic admixture of various methods, if applicable
  • Use articulate academic discourse that draws on the required bibliographical documentation to formulate the questions, course of research, applied methodology and research findings
Monday, 14 February 2022 12:12

THES701A: Postgraduate Thesis Ι

Thesis Purpose and Objectives

The aim of the graduate thesis is the writing of a piece of scientific scholarship between 12.000-15.000 words in a field relevant to the study direction chosen by the student.

The topic of the thesis must be original, therefore cover a verified gap in the relevant scholarship and research, and/or present and analyse new research data (from archival or other primary sources; from experimental/quantitative/qualitative research etc.) and/or reconsider existing research data through a new theoretical/methodological lens.

Methodology must comply with the general methodological trends identified in research into this specific area (analysis of sources/texts, experimental, quantitative/qualitative research, field research, intervention in the classroom etc.)

Selection of topic and methodology must ensure the significance of research, namely its contribution to theoretical bibliography and/or to the resolution of methodological issues and/or to practical applications.

Learning Outcomes

In completing the MA thesis, students will:

  • Conduct a critical overview of bibliography that is relevant to the topic of the thesis
  • Identify and formulate the basic research questions pertaining to the investigated topic which the thesis will endeavour to answer
  • Point out and justify the necessity and significance of research as well as its contribution to the cognitive field in which the graduate thesis falls
  • Identify, understand and apply the designated methodology which can also be an eclectic admixture of various methods, if applicable
  • Use articulate academic discourse that draws on the required bibliographical documentation to formulate the questions, course of research, applied methodology and research findings

Module Purpose and Objectives

In this module of specialization, students will come into contact with basic axes of theatrical practice within the directorial and acting context in order to become familiarized with the constitutive elements of a performance. By introducing students to concepts that permeate contemporary performance par excellence, THESP 623 treads beyond the description of the historical and aesthetic framework onto proposals for practical application of the factors impacting directly on the work of director and actor on the stage. THESP 623 investigates topics pertaining to the directorial and acting crafts, probing into techniques for the interpretation and conception of the scenic world, techniques of dramatic analysis, guiding actors and putting together an entire performance.

After successfully completing this module, students will be in a position to:

  • Understand the basic axes of the directing creative process (selection-preparation, casting, organization of production, rehearsals, collaboration with scenic designer, costume designer, choreographer, lighting designer, dramaturg etc.)
  • Make an in-depth analysis of a dramatic text, identifying dramatic particularities and staging possibilities
  • Conceive a script in an interpretive manner, visualizing it and scrutinizing the staging process (point-of-view, selection of collaborators, basic methods of dramatic analysis and rehearsal, adjustment of scenic space)
  • Set forth proposals for directing a play in a given scenic space, employing tools of scenic composition and documenting their choices
  • Know the essentials of the actor’s craft and the particularities-power dynamics of the actor-director collaboration, but also the collaboration between director and playwright during the process of interpretation
  • Actively participate in the process of preparing for a performance, contributing as an actor if required
  • Function as spectator-critic, with a lucid perception of the director’s intended reception of the performance and its basic semantic references

Module Content

  • Direction: Inspiration-Guidance (Sidiropoulou, Directions 5-6, 11-22)
  • Direction as Inspiration
  • The Necessity of Guidance

 

  • Direction: Organization – Collaboration – Production
  • Drafting a theatrical production: the givens
  • “So, you have to prepare a play?” (Descrochers, Playing Director: 11-25)
  • “Examining the theatre space” (Condee, Theatrical Space: 1-8).
  • Study Guide for the unit “Organization – Collaboration – Production”.
  • Love and Meaningfulness (Sidiropoulou, Directions 6-11)

 

  • Directorial Vision
  • Preparation stages: before rehearsals
  • “Styling the play” (Cohen and Harrop, Creative Play Direction: 219-269)
  • Study Guide for “Directorial Vision”

 

  • Director and Text(uality): Elements of dramatic analysis (Sidiropoulou, Directions 85-128)
  • “Given Circumstances” (Ηοdge, Play Directing: 17-23)
  • “Creative Text Analysis” (Braun, Theatre Directing: 137-155)
  • Study Guide for the unit “Director and Text(uality)”
  • Director and Text: Elements of dramatic analysis

 

  • Director and Rehearsal: Rehearsing and improvisation techniques
  • “Improvisation” (Cohen and Harrop, Creative Play Directing: 204-211)
  • “Scene Practice” (Hodge, Play Directing: 164-169)
  • “Rehearsing” (Hodge, Play Directing: 174-180)
  • Study Guide for the unit “Director and Rehearsal”

 

  • The stage space and its interpretation

 

  • Set and costume design for the theatre
  • Study Guide for “Set and costume design for the theatre”
  • “Director and Stage” (Sidiropoulou, Directions for Directing, 129-146)

 

  • Director and Audience: Reception and Interaction.
  • The director as lone spectator.
  •  “The Director uses semiotics” (Whitmore, Directing Postmodern Theatre: 14-30)
  • “Audience Systems” (Whitmore, Directing Postmodern Theatre: 51-57; 60-63).
  • Study Guide for the unit “Director and Audience”

 

  • Director and Actor: the convention of collaboration
  • Director-actor: a relationship of trust and freedom
  • “Directing Actors” (Cohen and Harrop, Creative Play Direction: 169-175)
  • “Structuring the Scene” (Rees, Between Director and Actor: 11-35)
  • “Giving Notes” (Rees, Between Director and Actor: 1-6)
  • Study Guide for “Director and Actor”
  • “Director and Actor” (Sidiropoulou, Directions for Directing: 165-201)

 

  • From theory to practice 1: Directing the play The Lady from the Sea by H. Ibsen.
  • The Lady from the Sea. H. Ibsen. (Greek transl. Margarita Melberg)
  • Instructions to aspiring directors / Case Study
  • Scenic Composition
  • Emphasis

 

  • From theory to practice 2: Directing Uncle Vanya by Α. Checkhov (Greek transl. Antig. Philopopoulou)
  • Uncle Vanya. Α. Checkhov (Greek transl. Antig. Philopopoulou)
  • “Sources” exercise
  • Creating the play’s world
  • Working with artistic contributors

 

  • From theory to practice: Exercises for Building a Character 1. Creating a role in Realist theatre
  • Death of a Salesman. Α. Miller. (Greek trans. Errikos Belies)
  • Units-Objectives-Actions: applied to the script of Death of a Salesman by A. Miller.
  • “Εxperimenting for Creative Characterization” (Dezseran, The Student Actor’s Handbook: 88-105)

 

  • From theory to practice: Interpreting The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. Approaching a role through Poetic Realism.
  • The Glass Menagerie by Τ. Williams (Greek transl. Maria Pavlou)
  • Instructions to aspiring actors/ Case study on the roles of Laura, Amanda and Τοm
  • “Analyzing a Scene” (Practical Handbook for the Actor, 19-39)

Module Purpose and Objectives

The content of this module includes the multifarious forms of theatre and drama in education, either as an autonomous discipline or as teaching methodology for other courses and themes across all stages of education. Adding to this the double character of theatre, as text and as performance, as artistic expression and educational/pedagogical good, as cultural phenomenon and teaching method, then it is readily inferred that the concept “Theatre in Education” requires a multilateral approach. The practical applications of the discipline in the classroom as well as its research dimensions constitute fundamental objectives of this unit, enabling students to undertake original research.

After successfully completing this module, students are expected to:

  • Fully appreciate the educational/pedagogical character of the theatre
  • Know the core concepts, topics and content of various parameters of research into theatre/drama in education
  • Know the major dramatists for children and young people
  • Review a theatrical performance (especially for underage spectators) and apply theoretical knowledge to school reality
  • Understand the particularities of individual forms of theatrical expression (role play, happening, dramatization) and know how to use them correctly
  • Realize the particularity of the “Special Didactics” of drama and put it into use during their professional activities
  • Investigate the pedagogical role undertaken by the theatre and point out the ways in which a writing workshop and an original intertextual composition can be created if required
  • Foreground the role of theatre as teaching methodology but also as artful creation across the spectrum of education
  • Choose the appropriate types of research based on research targets and objectives
  • Plan and create courses on theatre-in-education and theatrical performances across all educational stages

Module Content

  • Programmes in theatre pedagogy
  • Theatre pedagogy Group
  • Theatre in Schools
  • Artists in Schools
  • Implementation of programmes in theatre pedagogy across all educational stages
  • Understanding all stages and techniques for implementing programmes in theatre pedagogy
  • Understanding types and methods of evaluation
  • Applying evaluation techniques in drama
  • Evaluating learning
  • Evaluating for learning
  • Evaluation phase for actions/courses on theatre/drama in education
  • Arts of speech as an expression of Theatre in Education
  • Storytelling
  • Theatrical recitation and stage reading
  • Creative writing workshop
  • Techniques and codes of transcribing narrative text to dramatic text
  • The process of adapting a play
  • Intertextuality and intertextual composition
  • Adapting a play by Aristophanes on a case-by-case basis for primary/secondary education students
  • Creating an intertextual composition centered around a school celebration
  • Keeping track of drama for children and youth
  • Applying drama techniques and conventions
  • Exercises in playwrighting
  • Clarification of contemporary trends and techniques for theatre and performance
  • Applying exercises in playwrighting and creative writing with the use of digital technologies
  • Applying playwrighting and creative writing techniques in the context of courses on theatre-in-education and putting together a performance
  • Applying forms and techniques of drama/theatre in primary and secondary education
  • Understanding the specific age needs of participants and the significance of the appropriate selection of drama/theatre form according to each educational stage
  • Theatre/drama as a tool of social intervention
  • Forum theatre
  • Critical analysis of the concept of transformation, enhancement and change through the social forms of theatre in education
  • Connecting programmes on theatre pedagogy to the theatre as a tool for social intervention
  • Studying theatre pedagogy approaches, recommended for honing the skills of active citizens
  • Understanding the concept of citizenship
  • Critically connecting the honing of active citizen skills to theatre/drama in education
  • Collective theatre and collectivity: theory and applications
  • Employing educational theatre/drama techniques in teaching language, literature or a second foreign language
  • Applying educational theatre/drama on the education of students as socially and politically literate individuals
  • Being aware of the various selection options for which type of play is to be staged (original, adaptation, dramatized, intertextuality)
  • Understanding and practical use of the concept of the grand spectacle
  • Understanding the necessity of collaboration between teachers of different expertise (theatrologist, musician, visual artist, gymnast) in delivering an aesthetically appealing result
  • Assimilating the fusion of arts and technologies in the composite concept of the grand-spectacle performance
  • Understanding which forms of theatre-in-education operate autonomously as theatrical actions in schools or become incorporated within a school performance or event (g. Video art, Visual art installation, Shadow theatre, Puppet theatre, Pantomime, Happening etc.)
  • Critical formulation of questions on educational practices and alternative suggestions for upgrading them
  • Knowledge of the basic methodologies applied to educational research, mostly those that can be used by instructors themselves (without requiring the participation of large research groups)
  • Action research
  • Case-study
  • Composing and creating integrated questionnaires and/or interviews
  • Understanding the supplementary relationship between research with an overview of bibliography and research through applied practice with statistical extensions
  • Assimilation of basic research tools and methods for recording research data
  • Familiarization with data import and storage
  • Codification and categorization of data
  • Content analysis
  • Interpretation of results
  • Descriptive research
  • Experimental research
  • Investigative studies
  • Pedagogical experimental intervention
  • Biographical study
  • Autobiographical study
  • Understanding basic ethical issues arising in most research programmes
  • Research ethics, validity and reliability
  • Understanding the significance of comprehensively designed research and of proper research writing
  • Being able to articulately designate the central problem and lucidly formulate investigative research questions/hypotheses
Monday, 14 February 2022 12:10

THES621: Classical Receptions in Drama

Module Purpose and Objectives

In this module, students will become acquainted with the reception (or survival) of ancient drama in modern years. Emphasis is placed on various ways in which modern and contemporary literature (primarily dramatic literature) hosts, receives and converses with the great figures and myths of ancient Greek drama and, secondarily, Roman drama.

This module focuses on the thorough study of twelve literary works (mostly plays of the 20th and early 21st c.) which pronouncedly engage in intertextual dialogue with the theatre of antiquity.

Module Content

  • M. Pontikas’ play LaiusMurderer and the Crows
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of M. Pontikas’ play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with the myth of the Labdacids
  • Analyzing the problematic underlying substance of articulate speech as shown in Pontikas’ play
  • I. Kambanellis’ play Thebes Byway
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of M. Pontikas’ play and offering a documented analysis
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with the myth of the Labdacids
  • Description and interpretation of the function of comical or trivial elements in Kambanellis’ play
  • H. von Kleist’s play The Broken Jug
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of von Kleist’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with the myth of the Labdacids
  • Analyzing the problematic underlying substance of rational thought as shown in von Kleist’s play, and identifying elements of social satire and denouncement
  • Acquaintance with the basic aspects of Atreid myth, especially in its tragic versions
  • I. Kambanellis’ plays Letters to Orestes and The Supper
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Kambanellis’ two plays and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the plays’ intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth
  • Basic information about the American Civil War, as mirrored in Eugene O’Neill’s trilogy Mourning Becomes Electra
  • Eugene O’Neill’s trilogy Mourning Becomes Electra
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of O’Neill’s play and offering a documented analysis of it, foregrounding its constitutive elements (Homecoming, The Hunted, The Haunted)
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth
  • Understanding the core principles of the philosophical current of Existentialism, particularly in its French version (Sartre, Camus)
  • Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Les Mouches
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Sartre’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth
  • Identifying, in Sartre’s play, the main points that correlate with Existentialist philosophy as well as with the historical context within which the play had been written and performed (German occupation, Vichy Regime)
  • T.S. Eliot’s play Family Reunion
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of O’Neill’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth
  • Identifying, in the play, elements of modernist writing and engagement with the writer’s Christian faith
  • Jean Giraudoux’s play Electra
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Giraudoux’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth
  • Identifying, in the play, elements of modernist writing and engagement with the Epicurean philosophy but also with the historical context of the time (rise of Nazism and fascism)
  • Discussing the intertextual relations of Giraudoux’s play with Atreid myth and particularly with Sophocles’ and Euripides’ Electra
  • Pavlos Matesis’ play The Roar
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Matesis’ play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth in the context of the aesthetics of parody
  • Discussing the intertextual relations of Matesis’ play with Atreid myth and particularly with Sophocles’ and Euripides’ Electra
  • Identifying elements of parody, satire, irony and deconstruction of the tragic myth
  • Marguerite Yourcenar’s Electra or The Fall of the Masks
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Yourcenar’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s intertextual relations (including main convergences and divergences) with Atreid myth in the context of the play’s modernist, revisionist perspective
  • Discussing the intertextual relations of Yourcenar’s play with Atreid myth and particularly with Sophocles’ and Euripides’ Electra
  • Knowledge and understanding of basic information about Roman drama, theatrical spaces, tragedy and comedy during the period of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire
  • Seneca’s Phaedra
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Seneca’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s main convergences with and divergences from the myth of Hippolytus and Phaedra, as demonstrated in Euripides
  • Racine’s Phèdre
  • Understanding the dramatic composition of Racine’s play and offering a documented analysis of it
  • Identifying the play’s main convergences with and divergences from the myth of Hippolytus and Phaedra, as demonstrated in Euripides and Seneca

Module Purpose and Objectives

In this module, students become familiarized with the main axes of stagecraft which will afford them the opportunity to perceive and use the text-performance polarity in a creative, unbiased manner. THESP 613 opens by foregrounding a historical-aesthetic framework of contemporary performance production, then focuses on the core principles that define the work of directors and actors in conjunction with tools for text analysis, interpretation and scenic expression, as well as with the initial stage of choosing the play and collaborators down to the opening night, but also in the course of a theatrical production.

After successfully completing this module, students are expected to:

  • Cite landmarks in the 20th c. history of theatre directing internationally
  • Know the most important trends in the contemporary directing landscape in the West and be familiar with the work, artistic style but also the emblematic techniques of important directors and stagecraft theorists (Craig, Meyerhold, Reinhardt, Αrtaud, Brecht, Beckett, Brook, Wilson, Mnouchkine, Le Compte, etc.)
  • Identify and make judgements about various acting approaches
  • Recognize essential elements of actor training and major acting systems (Stanislavski, Meyerhold, Grotowski )
  • Actively participate in the process of preparing a show, contributing as actors if required
  • Analyze a dramatic character but also interpret the motives and actions of characters on stage through a personal point of view
  • Understand the significance and function of necessary acting components such as observation, concentration, imagination, interpretation
  • Handle basic improvisation exercises
  • Report contemporary trends in the area of performing arts to the extent that they define the directing and acting process (e.g. devised theatre, melodrama, cyber-performance)

Module Content

  • Introduction to the World of Directing
  • Acting Currents Stanislavski and his heritage.
  • Action
  • Imagination
  • Action in the Stanislavski System
  • Imagination in the Stanislavski System
  • Concentration of Attention
  • Creating a Role: Building a Character
  • Concentration of attention in the Stanislavski System
  • Creating a Role: Building a Character in the evolution of the Stanislavski System
  • Units and Objectives
  • Faith and a Sense of Truth
  • Units and Objectives in the Stanislavski System
  • Faith and a Sense of Truth in the Stanislavski System
  • Communion
  • Emotion Memory in the Stanislavski System
  • Communion in the Stanislavski System
  • Directing: Main Definitions: Interpretation-conception
  • Interpretative Pyramid and the Director as orchestrator of the production
  • Pioneers of the 20th c.: Appia and Meyerhold
  • Artaud and directing
  • Acting currents 2: Challenging Psychological Theatre/antirealism
  • Brecht
  • Alienation
  • “The street scene”
  • Antirealism in the Theatre: German Expressionism, Bauhaus, Futurism, Dada and Surrealism.
  • The street scene as a basic paradigm for Epic Theatre.
  • Brecht’s instructions to actors
  • Acting currents Actors, Physicality and Transcendence
  • Peter Brook: “Transparency and the invisible network”
  • “Towards a Poor Theatre” (Grotowski)
  • The Actor’s Technique (Grotowski)
  • The dynamics of formulating the actor according to Brook
  • The essence of Theatre according to Grotowski
  • The Actor’s Technique in terms of its objectives and mediums
  • The innovative character of the Poor Theatre
  • Directing in the 21st c.: “The director as author of the play script”
  • The aesthetics of the multi-media
  • “Theatre and high technology” (Patsalides)
  • New trends in contemporary performance

 

 

Module Purpose and Objectives

This module focuses on theatre theories and elements that have impacted on theatre/drama in education and on how they connect to Social and Education Sciences. The unit offers an analysis of concepts and parameters of theatre and education in their mutual correlations and multifarious combinations with which they appear in schools and in society. More specifically, the analysis zooms in on theories and practices on performance, narration, ritual, play, acting codes, curricula on the arts in education, the pedagogical framework of theatre-in-education, the history of theatre/drama in education, predominant forms, techniques and approaches to theatre/drama.

After successfully completing this module, students will be expected to:

  • Appreciate the pedagogical character of theatre
  • Know the core concepts, topics and the content of different parameters of Theatre in Education
  • Have a thorough knowledge of the relations between theatre and pedagogy and the ways in which these relations are demonstrated
  • Understand the particularities of the separate forms of theatrical expression (role play, ritual, educational drama etc.) and put them to good use
  • Know drama and theatre techniques so as to teach and apply them
  • Be familiar with basic acting codes and conventions in order to incorporate them in their teaching
  • Understand the educational framework that hosts theatre/drama-in- education through the equivalent analytical and/or interdisciplinary programme of study
  • Know the history of theatre/drama in education and be able to correlate theatrical, pedagogical and educational parameters
  • Understand the importance of the sociological dimension and function of theatre
  • Acknowledge the reception of a theatrical performance as a cultural good aimed at consumers

Module Content

  • Distinguish between the concepts of theatre, show, performance
  • Dimensions and aspects of the concept “Theatre”
  • Correlation of the history of theatre to the dramatic genres of each era
  • Action scenarios and creative writing/playwriting
  • Consumer commodity
  • Audience-actors relation depending on the dramatic genre
  • The influence of theatre on theatre-in-education
  • Understanding and assimilating the concepts of “story-myth-narration” in theory and in practice.
  • Analyzing and scrutinizing storytelling and its relation to theatre-in-education
  • Foregrounding history as a basic structure for the exploration, narration and dramatization of any form of speech
  • Techniques of narrating and exploring stories/tales
  • Story-narration in professional theatre
  • Story-narration in theatre/drama in education
  • Role play and improvisation
  • Personal skills
  • Canon and theatrical convention
  • Play and symbolic play
  • Techniques for cultivating children’s creativity
  • Techniques for the socialization of children through participation in the theatre group
  • New usages of play in the educational process
  • Historical context and forms of theatre-in-education pivoting on natural or symbolic play
  • From play to theatre through the history of theatre-in-education
  • Anthropological approaches to ritual
  • Theatre, transformation and ritual
  • Ritual in theatre and in everyday life
  • Reception of theories on rituals in theatre-in-education
  • Community, participation and performance
  • Applications of ritual in theatre practice in schools
  • Theatre, ritual and performance
  • Application of Stanislavski’s system in theatre-in-education 
  • The Mantle of the Expert
  • Given circumstances
  • The magic “if”
  • Role play
  • Improvisation
  • Cultivation of empathy by incarnating different personalities and characters
  • Experiential participation in situations and new experiences
  • Experiential actions to connect the theory of Stanislavski’s system to pedagogical theatre action
  • Alienation (distancing effect) techniques
  • Gestus
  • Cultivation of the students’ critical thinking
  • Utilization of theatrical techniques that have emerged through the Brechtian body of work
  • Theoretical connections and parallel fruitful combinations of educational activities and applications
  • Montage
  • Understanding the connection between the school’s broader curriculum to the discipline of theatre/drama
  • Multifarious approaches to theatre/drama in education
  • Educational codes of collection and integration
  • Framing and classification
  • Curriculum and hidden curriculum
  • Zone of proximal development
  • Discovery/inquiry-based learning
  • Transformative teaching model
  • Access or excellence
  • Imagination and creativity
  • Practical application of the students’ national educational agenda vis-à-vis the discipline of educational theatre/drama with philosophical and theoretical approaches to the arts as educational frameworks and tools
  • Introduction to the basic theoretical approaches of curricula in the field of arts and theatre-in-education
  • Understanding, evaluation and critical analysis of various approaches that have defined the evolution of theatre/drama in education
  • Connection of the school reality to contemporary pedagogical theatre techniques
  • Evaluation of the place of theatre/drama in education based on the current educational framework
  • Drama for social and personal development
  • Process drama
  • Drama for learning
  • Applied drama
  • Understanding the different approaches and concepts that make up theatre/drama in education
  • “Integrated approach”
  • Approach to conventions/techniques
  • Creation of theatrical framework
  • Plot development
  • Reflection
  • Evaluation of activities and targets pertaining both to experience and content and to theatricality and the performance
  • Understanding and assimilating the necessary skills and knowledge to teach theatre/drama
  • Clarification of the roles and tasks of the theatre pedagogue
  • Animator, coordinator, facilitator, director, dramaturg etc.
  • The concept of theatre animation and how it can be applied  
  • Role of the animator/facilitator
  • Pedagogical results of animation
  • Sociology of the theatre
  • Theatre reviews
  • Reception of theatrical performance
  • Theatre marketing
  • Manipulation of the public opinion
  • Evaluation of spectacle-promoting techniques and clarification of the elements that make up the spectator’s final image of the theatrical performance
  • Theatre of the Oppressed                                   
  • Forum Theatre   
  • Spectator-actor
  • Spect-actor
  • Joker
  • Critical assessment of Brook’s and Boal’s work on theatre-in-education
  • Investigation of theatrical techniques drawn from Brook’s and Boal’s work that are deemed appropriate for theatre/drama in education
Monday, 14 February 2022 12:07

THES611: Reception Theory

Module Purpose and Objectives

In this module, students will become acquainted with theoretical texts on the reception of literature and drama.

Reading will focus on texts written by literary theorists, enabling the investigation of theoretical issues that pertain to the study of the reception of literary works.

By reception we mean the various ways in which readers and/or writers engage in intertextual dialogue with earlier texts, either re-inscribing or adapting or modifying them.

After successfully completing this module, students will be expected to:

  • Be familiar with the origin and development of the branch known as “reception studies”
  • Understand the major theoretical parameters that define the study of the reception of literary texts
  • Know the basics of the history and prehistory of reception theory
  • Understand and assess reception theory as a reinscription of the history of literature
  • Understand and evaluate the significance of the reception or survival of ancient drama in contemporary times

Module Content

  • Reception theory: history and prehistory
  • Reception theory as re-inscription of literary history
  • The significance of the study of reception
  • Basic theoretical parameters defining the study of the reception of literary texts
  • Basic parameters of the reception of ancient drama in contemporary literature, dramaturgy and stagecraft
  • The significance of the study of performance reception
  • The significance of translation as part of reception history
  • The body of the actor, theatrical imitation (mimesis) and visual reception
  • Theatre as a medium for the imaginary institutionalization and visualization of political demands and changes
  • Major forerunners of Reception Theory
  • Russian Formalism as forerunner of reception theory
  • Basic theoretical principles of Russian Formalism
  • Basic conceptual tools of Russian Formalism (defamiliarization, technique etc.)
  • The term “literary evolution” in Russian Formalism
  • Basic theoretical principles of Roman Ingarden’s Phenomenology
  • Ingarden as precursor to reception theory
  • Schematization, indeterminacy and concretization
  • Basic theoretical principles of Czech Structuralism
  • Czech Structuralists (particularly Jan Mukařovský and Felix Vodićka) as precursors to reception theory
  • Requirements, parameters and key concepts of Hermeneutics: Hans-Georg Gadamer
  • The importance of Gadamer as precursor to reception theory
  • Challenging the “scientific method”
  • Hermeneutical prejudice, horizon of understanding: their importance to the formulation of reception theory
  • Requirements, parameters and key concepts of Reception Theory as formulated by Hans Robert Jauss
  • Aesthetics of reception, horizon of expectations
  • The significance of defamiliarization (inherited from Russian Formalism) to Jauss’ reception theory
  • Reception theory as, partly, a conjunction of the vital elements of Marxism and Formalism
  • Aesthetics of reception as a new way of setting up and studying the history of literature
  • Horizon of expectations, fusion of (past and present) horizons
  • Relation between literature and history according to Jauss
  • Theodor Adorno, “aesthetics of negativity” and Jauss’ criticism
  • Aesthetic pleasure (according to Jauss) and the pleasure of the text (according to Barthes): similarities and differences
  • Jauss’ three modes of aesthetic pleasure: poiesis, aesthesis, catharsis.
  • Poiesis as the productive side of the aesthetic experience
  • Aesthesis as the receptive side of the aesthetic experience
  • Catharsis as the communicative side of the aesthetic experience
  • The five patterns of interaction proposed by Jauss (associative identification, admiring identification, sympathetic identification, ironic modality, cathartic modality)
  • Theoretical and methodological differences between Jauss and Iser
  • Key principles, concepts and parameters of Iser’s theoretical approach
  • Production of meaning, implied reader, repertoire, appeal structure of the text, theme and horizon, foreground background etc.
  • Wandering viewpoint, subject-object division
  • The phenomenology of reading according to Iser
  • Interaction between text and reader
  • Communicative dimensions of reading
  • Asymmetry between text and reader
  • Dialectical relation between determined and undetermined in Iser’s theory
  • Theme and foreground
  • “Negation” / “negativity”, “primary” and “secondary negation”
  • Modernism and tradition in Iser’s theoretical thinking
  • Criticism of Iser’s work: defamiliarization, unhistorical dimension, fictitious dismissal of the concept of prejudice
  • Iser and Fish dispute
  • Overview of reception theories: key principles and parameters, convergences and divergences
  • Perspectives opened up through the contribution of reception theorists (Jauss, Iser, Fish), as well as their descendants or critics
  • Key principles of reception theory in combination to contemporary or slightly subsequent literary theories
  • Stability of the text and fluidity of interpretation
  • Stanley Fish: interpretive communities
  • Erwin Wolff: the concept of the intended reader
  • Roland Barthes: plurality, dissemination, textual properties of the reader
  • The necessity of misreading: Harold Bloom
  • The reconstruction of literary history
  • History as metaphysics: Jacques Derrida
  • Poetics and historiography: Hayden White
Monday, 14 February 2022 12:07

THES522: History of Theatre and Drama II

Module Purpose and Objectives

In this module students gain a global insight into the history of Western theatre from its dawn to the late 17th c. The greatest landmarks in theatre history are looked at here, along with the types of drama and the most important currents and Schools, their major representatives, as well as the most notable developments in theatre architecture, scenography, direction, acting etc.

Beyond a historically oriented venture into theatre development, this thematic unit includes thorough reading and interpretation of 12 major plays of Western drama from the late 17th to the 20th c. The plays are select specimens of world drama, offering students the opportunity to acquaint themselves with telling evidence of dramatic composition from different stages of theatre history. In this way, the two aspects of this unit (theatre history and drama) complement each other.  

After successfully completing this module, students will:

  • Know the basics of the theatrical output of the Enlightenment (Diderot, Rousseau, Lessing), the English Theatre of the Restoration, as well as of the French (Marivaux, Beaumarchais) and English (Addison, Sheridan, Fielding) comic theatre of the 18th and 19th
  • Know the basics of the Storm-and-Stress movement (Sturm und Drang), Classicist and Romanticist theatre in France, Germany and England
  • Know representative plays of modern drama in Scandinavia (Ibsen, Strindberg), France (naturalist theatre), Russia (Chekhov) and elsewhere.
  • Understand the development of nonrealistic theatre in Germany, France and elsewhere, as well as the development of modernist theatre in Russia/Soviet Union, France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Ireland, England, United States and elsewhere+
  • Know major works of contemporary drama, especially from the area of Epic Theatre and the Theatre of the Absurd
  • Understand modern and contemporary developments in playwriting and stagecraft, such as postmodern and environmental theatre

Module Content

Α. History of Theatre

  • Theatrical Activity in England, 1642-1660
  • The Reestablishment of the Theatre in England with the Restoration (1660 onwards)
  • English drama from 1660 to
  • The evolution of Italian scenic design from 1700 to 1800
  • Italian drama of the 18th century
  • French drama of the 18th century
  • Parisian Acting Troupes in the 18th century
  • The origins of public theatre in the German States
  • The reforms of Gottsched and Neuber
  • German drama, 1740-1787
  • Goethe, Schiller and Weimar Classicism
  • Romanticism: theoretical principles
  • Romantic drama in Germany
  • Postromantic German-speaking drama
  • French drama in the 19th century
  • The beginnings of realism in drama and the theatre
  • Theatrical conditions in France to 1900
  • The Saxe-Meiningen Players
  • Henrik Ibsen
  • Zola and the French naturalists
  • Antoine and the Théâtre Libre
  • The Freie Bühne and German Realism
  • Το Independent Theatre and Realism in England
  • The Moscow Art Theatre and Realism in Russia
  • Wagner and the Nonrealistic Theatre
  • Nonrealistic Theatre in France
  • Appia and Craig
  • Strindberg and Freud
  • Nonrealistic Theatre and Drama in Germany
  • The Irish Renaissance
  • Russian Modernism
  • The Revival of Idealism in France
  • Theatre and drama in the Soviet Union, 1917-1940
  • German theatre and drama, 1918-1939: German expressionism, epic theatre, the Bauhaus, Neorealism
  • Theatre and drama in France, 1918-1939: the theatre of cruelty, popular theatre, Copeau and the Cartel des Quatre
  • Theatre and drama in Italy, 1918-1939
  • Theatre and drama in Spain, 1918-1939.
  • English and Irish drama το ιρλανδικό θέατρο, 1914-1939
  • Theatre and drama in the United States, 1917-1941
  • French drama in the mid-20th The Theatre of the Absurd.
  • Theatre and Drama in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1968
  • German Theatre and Drama, 1945-1968
  • Theatre and Drama in Italy, 1945-1968
  • English drama, 1945-
  • Drama in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s
  • Theatre in Czechoslovakia and Poland, 1968-1990
  • German theatre, 1968 to 1990
  • Theatre in Italy, 1968 to 1990
  • Theatre in France, 1968 to 1990
  • British theatre, 1968 to 1990
  • Major theatre companies: Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre
  • Major representatives: Peter Brook, Peter Hall
  • Major playwrights: John Osborne, Peter Shaffer, Harold Pinter, Edward Bond, David Storey, Tom Stoppard, David Hare, Caryl Churchill, Alan Ayckbourn, Michael Frayn
  • Theatre in the United States, 1968 to 1990
  • Major theatre companies: Living Theatre, Open Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, κτλ.
  • Major playwrights: Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, David Rabe, David Mamet, Terrence McNally
  • Theatre of Identity: African-American, Latin American, gay theatre in the United States
  • The postmodern
  • Environmental Theatre: Richard Schechner
  • Wooster Group, Elizabeth LeCompte
  • Prominent theatre makers: Andrej Serban, Peter Sellars, Lee Breuer, Robert Wilson, etc.

Β. List of Plays

  • William Shakespeare, Macbeth
  • Carlo Goldoni, La Locandiera
  • Heinrich von Kleist, The Broken Jug
  • Anton Chekhov, Uncle Vanya
  • Henrik Ibsen, The Lady from the Sea
  • August Strindberg, The Father
  • Bertolt Brecht, The Threepenny Opera
  • Federico Garcia Lorca, Blood Wedding
  • Eugene Ionesco, The Bald Soprano
  • Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
  • Tennessee Williams, Glass Menagerie
  • Eugene O’ Neil, Long day’s journey into the night
Monday, 14 February 2022 12:06

THES521: Theatre Theory

Module Purpose and Objectives

In this module students gain a thorough and clear understanding of key theoretical concepts associated with the theatrical phenomenon, as well as of the main theoretical trends developed or applied in the area of theatrical creation and practice. Among others, elements of anthropology and semiology of the theatre and of the scenic space, elements of theatre phenomenology, as well as the poststructuralist and deconstructionist approaches to the theatrical phenomenon are being scrutinized. Psychoanalytic theories will also be looked at, along with feminist theories and gender theories, as well as reception / reader-response theories. Finally, special reference is made on materialist, postmodern and postcolonial approaches.

After successfully completing this module, students will be expected to:

  • Understand the discipline and research field of Theatre Theory.
  • Cite the basics of the specificities of theatre (collective communication, actors, audience, theatre as semiotic system)
  • Know the core principles of semiology, phenomenology, postmodernism, deconstruction, materialism and postcolonial studies as well as how they connect to Theatre Theory
  • Know the basics of theatre semiotics, the various models of semiotic analysis, the core concepts of semiotics, theatrical codes and theatrical communication etc.
  • Take a critical stance against the aforementioned theories and apply them to the theatre with convincing and adequate analyses with reference to the key concepts of each theory
  • Present the relationships between verbal and non-verbal on stage – in other words, between theatre as a fixed text and theatre as a physically experienced, tangible and ephemeral event
  • Explain how the psychoanalytic theory, the feminist and gender theories and reception/reader response theory become intrinsic to different levels of theatrical communication
  • Present the institutional status of theatre in the surrounding world; the historical, economic, political forces that connect theatre to the ‘here and now’ of theatre making and/or reception
  • Keep track of contemporary theatre trends (postdramatic, experimental theatre, performance etc.)
  • Appreciate the role of the audience and the significance of the reception of a play; know the basics of the relevant theoretical approaches

Module Content

  1. Theatre and Semiology:
  • The Theatrical Code
  • Theoretical antecedents of theatre semiology
  • Basic terms of general semiology
  • The system of theatre signs
  • The actor’s activities as a sign
  • The actor’s appearance as a sign
  • Spatial signs
  1. Theatre Sign – Theatrical Code as Semiotic System
  • Basic characteristics of theatrical signs
  • Distinction between natural or artificial signs
  • Distinction between icons, indexes or symbols
  • Distinction between metaphor and metonymy
  • Basic theoretical endeavours regarding the structure and hierarchy of theatrical signs and the function of the theatrical code
  1. Semiotics / Semiology
  • Saussure, Peirce and Barthes
  • Stage directions in Ibsen and Shaw
  • Avant-garde theatre and desemiotics
  • Structuralism
  1. Phenomenology
  • Basic principles of phenomenology
  • “Perception model” and “experiential model”
  • The significant moments of a performance
  • “From the I to the We” - Theatre audience
  • Intentionality and responsivity
  1. Phenomenology
  • The emergence of phenomenology in the early 20th
  • Influences of phenomenology on theatre
  • Krapps Last Tape; Stanislavski and Chekhov
  • Artaud, Nietzsche, theatre anthropology
  1. Deconstruction
  • Poststructuralism and Deconstruction
  • Derrida and Deconstruction
  • Artaud’s “theatre of cruelty” according to Derrida
  • “Critical Theory” (The Frankfurt School)
  1. Postmodern theory
  • Postmodernism or the Theory of the Postmodern
  • Simulacra, simulation, hyper-reality
  • The concept of “pastiche”
  • The limits of representation
  • Aesthetic traces of postmodernism
  • Performativity-performance
  1. Reception Theory
  • Theatre audiences
  • The horizon of expectations
  • The theatre as event
  • Forum theatre
  • Conventions
  • Theatre as a privileged field of the gaze
  • Audience and performance
  • Reader-response and reception theory
  1. Materialist theory
  • Materialism and Renaissance theatre
  • Brecht and Coriolanus
  • Materialism and Utopia
  • Cultural Studies
  • Marxist aesthetics and engaged theatre
  1. Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Freud
  • Jacques Lacan
  • Drama therapy, role-play and autobiographical monologues
  • Anti-Oedipal theatre: Dionysus in 69
  1. Feminism and Gender Theory
  • Feminist Theatre
  • The paradigm of Caryl Churchill and Ntozake Shange
  • Queer Theory
  • Angels in America
  • Masculinity traditions and the paradigm of Oedipus
  1. Postcolonial theories
  • Shakespeare’s The Tempest: Aimé Césaire’s theatrical adaptation
  • Intercultural theatre: Wole Soyinka και Rustam Bharucha
  • David Henry Hwang και Tomson Highway
  • “Theatre of the Oppressed”: Augusto Bοal and the political dimension of theatre
Monday, 14 February 2022 12:05

THES512: History of Theatre and Drama Ι

Module Purpose and Objectives

In this module students gain a global insight into the history of Western theatre from its dawn to the late 17th c. The greatest landmarks in theatre history are looked at here, along with the types of drama and the most important trends and schools, their major representatives, as well as the most notable developments in theatre architecture, scenography, direction, acting etc.

Beyond a historically oriented venture into theatre development, this module includes thorough reading and interpretation of 13 major plays of Western drama from antiquity to circa 1700. The plays are select specimens of world drama, offering students the opportunity to acquaint themselves with telling evidence of dramatic composition from different stages of theatre history. In this way, the two aspects of this unit (theatre history and drama) complement each other.

Module Content

Α. History of Theatre

  • The origins of theatre
  • Theories on the ritual origins of theatre
  • Performative actions: elements and functions foregrounding theatre and ritual
  • Ritual performances in Egypt and the Near East
  • Theatre and drama in ancient Greece
  • The origin of tragedy
  • The City Dionysia in the 6th c.
  • Tragedy in the 5th
  • The satyr play
  • Greek comedy in the 5th
  • Dramatic festivals in the 5th
  • Play selection and financing
  • Actors and acting
  • The Chorus in ancient drama
  • Music and dance in the ancient drama
  • Costumes and masks in the ancient drama
  • The architecture of the ancient theatre
  • Athenian theatre after the 5th
  • Hellenistic and Roman period
  • The Hellenistic theatre
  • Aristotle’s Poetics
  • New Comedy: antecedents, features, standardization
  • Actors and acting
  • Costumes
  • Theatre architecture
  • The mime in ancient Greece
  • Roman theatre: prehistory (Etruscan antecedents)
  • Drama under the Roman Empire
  • Production of spectacles in the Roman theatre
  • Roman theatre architecture
  • Scenery
  • Actors and acting
  • Masks and costumes
  • Music
  • The Byzantine theatre
  • Theatre from 500 to 900 AD. Liturgical drama.
  • European theatre in the Middle Ages from 500 to 900 AD.
  • Liturgical drama
  • The staging of liturgical drama
  • The Vernacular Religious Drama (in languages other than Latin)
  • Performing religious drama
  • Staging of liturgical/religious drama
  • Audiences and Auditoriums
  • Secular forms: farce, liturgical drama, the morality play
  • Interludes
  • English theatre from the Middle Ages to 1642
  • Early Tudor drama
  • The University Wits
  • Shakespeare and his contemporaries
  • Jacobine and Caroline dramatists
  • Acting Companies
  • Public theatres in England during the 16th and 17th
  • Private theatres in England during the 16th and 17th
  • Spanish theatre to 1700
  • Religious drama
  • Secular drama
  • The origins of professional theatre
  • Lope de Vega and his contemporaries
  • Calderon and his contemporaries
  • The Corrales
  • Renaissance drama in Italy
  • The neoclassical ideal
  • The development of theatre architecture
  • Commedia dell’arte
  • French theatre
  • Public theatre, 1595-1629
  • The triumph of the neoclassical ideal
  • Acting Companies, 1629-1660
  • French drama
  • The organization of French Acting Companies

 B. List of plays

  1. Aeschylus, Seven against Thebes
  2. Sophocles, Philoctetes
  3. Euripides, Iphigeneia in Tauris
  4. Euripides, Cyclops
  5. Aristophanes, Clouds
  6. Terence, Eunuch
  7. G. Chortadjis, Erofili
  8. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
  9. Shakespeare, Macbeth
  10. Lope de Vega, Fuente Ovejuna
  11. Machiavelli, La Mandragola
  12. Molière, Dom Juan
  13. Racine, Phèdre
Monday, 14 February 2022 12:04

THES511: Approaches to Theatre Studies

Module Purpose and Objectives

In this unit students gain a thorough and clear understanding of key theoretical concepts associated with the theatrical phenomenon, as well as of the main theoretical trends developed or applied in the area of theatrical creation and practice. Among others, elements of anthropology and semiotics of the theatre and of the stage area, elements of theatre phenomenology, as well as the poststructuralist and deconstructionist approaches to the theatrical phenomenon are being scrutinized. At the same time, this unit provides a succinct yet comprehensive introduction to the discipline of Theatre Studies (directing, acting, audience, dramatis personae, theatrical action etc.).

The main objectives of this Module are to enable students to:

  • Understand the definition and research scope of Theatre as an academic discipline.
  • Cite the basics of the special features of theatre (collective communication, actors, audience, the theatre as semiotic system).
  • Know the structural parts of theatre (dramatic discourse, dialogic element, stage directions, acts, scenes, images, tableaux etc.) and the basic functions of theatrical language.
  • Understand the main parameters of stage presentation (direction and director’s role, performance and performance theory, costumes, make-up, scenic design, set, stage lighting etc.)
  • Know the essentials of the actor’s craft and acting techniques.
  • Appreciate the role of the audience and the importance of a play’s reception; know the main components of relevant theoretical approaches.
  • Know key components of scenography and stage decor.
  • Make convincing and adequate analyses of dramatic characters in conjunction with the concepts of tragic hero, dramatic character and comic type, as well as with the problems of verisimilitude and
  • Know the basic components of dramatic action (action and dramatic character, plot-episode etc.).

Module Content

1. The systematics of Theatre Science

  • The discipline of Theatre Science
  • Subdivisions of the theatrical phenomenon: verbal theatre/text-based theatre, music theatre, physical theatre, puppet and mask theatre, performance
  • Brief introduction to the concept of postmodernism

2. Definition of the theatre  

  • Attempts to define theatricality (Evreinov, Kutscher, Fischer-Lichte, Münz etc.)
  • Boundaries between theatricality and theatre
  • Theatre in Education
  • Theatre for special groups
  • Interactive Theatre
  • Community Theatre
  • Business Theatre
  • Theatre for development

3. Theories of theatricality

  • Overview of theatre theories: Aristotle, mimesis, poiesis, catharsis, aesthesis.
  • Sociological and communicative approaches to theatre (Goffman, Paul, Dahrendorf, Rapp, Burns, Gadamer etc.).
  • Social and theatrical roles
  • Sociological models of collective interaction
  • Theatricality of society / theatre of life
  • Theatre and play
  • Semiotic approaches to theatre (Kowzan, Fischer-Lichte, Elam).
  • Anthropological approaches to theatre, performance studies
  • Phenomenological approaches to theatre
  • Psychological / psychoanalytical and feminist approaches to theatre
  • Economic approaches (cultural materialism)

4.Theatrical performance as special form of communication

  • Communication systems implicit in the theatrical performance
  • Role and actor: (a) brief overview of the history of acting and relevant approaches, (b) acting methods of the 20th (Stanislavski, Brecht, Copeau, Meyerhold, Grotowski, Strasberg, Michael Chekhov etc.)
  • Role of spectator and audience: psychological, empirical/sociological, semiotic and esthetic receptions of a performance
  • Quantitative and qualitative methods for assessing audience response
  • Theatre space and theatre time: typologies of stage arrangement (monotopic and polytopic stage, simultaneity/succession of scenes, environmental theatre), types of theatre time (dramatic time, stage time, real time)
  • Performance analysis: methods, groups of sources, questionnaires, approaches.

5. Performance

  • Performance-doing or performance-action
  • Social/anthropological range of a performance
  • Relation between life-performance and theatre-performance
  • Reading performance
  • Performance and identity

6.  Dramatic text    

  • Types of text
  • Playwrights and writers of plays
  • Play within a play
  • Dramatic structures
  • Devising a play

7.  Dramatic forms

  • Tragedy, comedy, tragicomedy
  • Epic theatre/drama
  • Documentary and agitprop
  • Farce
  • Melodrama
  • The well-made play
  • Dramatic form deconstructed

8.  Acting: the body in space

  • Costumes
  • The paradox of acting
  • Realism in acting
  • Psychological gesture
  • Creativity and tradition
  • Alienation
  • Street scene
  • Acting in the “holy theatre”
  • The mastery of movement
  • Speaking a text
  1. Directing
  • Overview of the history of directing
  • The great directors
  • The contemporary director
  • Stage director and film director
  • First tasks
  • Before rehearsals
  • Rehearsals
  • The last lap before the premiere
  1. Theatre architecture
  • Total theatres
  • Stage design
  • On stage
  • LX-stage lighting
  • Running the show