Physical Theatre

Subject 673-338 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture per week and a 2-hour tutorial/workshop per week.
Total Time Commitment: Not available

12.5 points of first year theatre studies

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Paul Monaghan

Subject Overview:

This subject explores theatre and performance in which the performer’s body is the principle means of expression and communication with an audience. The use of physicality, dynamic immobility, movement, dance, acrobatics and other physical performance strategies will be examined in a broad range of styles including the European and Russian avant-garde theatre, Commedia dell’ Arte, circus, sport, mime, dance-theatre and others. Students will also engage with critical theory regarding the body in culture. Physical performance forms will be analysed through lectures, seminars, and audio-visual material.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the body in both contemporary and historical theatre and performance, and as both an instrument and a form of knowledge;
demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which different uses of the boy inform and define different performance forms;
be able to analyse physical performance in the appropriate language;
be able to articulate in verbal and written form an historical and theoretical understanding of physical theatre forms.

Work equivalent to 4000 words consisting of an essay of 2000 words, 50% (due after the end of semester), a performance analysis of 1250 words 30% (due during semester), and a tutorial presentation equivalent to 750 words 20% (due during semester).

Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate the ability and self-confidence to comprehend complex structural and organizational concepts;

  • demonstrate sound and independent critical and ethical thinking in their choice of materials and processes;

  • be able to present written and oral communication to a professional standard regarding their treatment and material choices.


This subject is available to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Creative Arts students and can be credited to a major in Theatre Studies.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Creative Arts
Diploma in Creative Arts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English
Theatre Studies Major

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