Dramaturgy and Live Performance

Subject 760-200 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 3-hour workshop per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually 25 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: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Mr Paul Fletcher Monaghan


Paul Monaghan
E-mail: pmonag@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to the concept of dramaturgy as a critical tool in devising live performance. The basis of this process is the translation of a central idea and theme, through research, design, and documentation to conclude in a studio scale devised live performance. Students will be introduced to historical and contemporary dramaturgical theory and practices. They will be required to participate in performance making and presentational tasks. They will critically evaluate the dramaturgical structures of the performance. Multimedia and non-traditional performance modes will be encouraged. The devised project will be facilitated by a staff member.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject should...
  • demonstrate an understanding of the theories and practices of performance dramaturgy and its historical and cultural contexts;
  • identify and analyse performance dramaturgy in contemporary theatre practice;
  • articulate through collaborative performance making and documentation dramaturgical principals and structures;
  • critically analyse and evaluate dramaturgical strategies in the context of live performance making;
  • translate theory into creative praxis through the application of conceptual, historical and socio-cultural modes of research in the task of live performance making;
  • develop and investigate collective and interdisciplinary modes of working.

Combined assessment tasks to the equivalent of 4000 words comprising participation in the preparation and performance of this project equivalent to 2000 words 50% (due throughout the semester), production of a case book that records and analyses dramaturgical processes equivalent to 500 words 20% (due at the end of semester), an essay of 1500 words that evaluates a performance from the point of view of performance dramaturgy 30% (due at the end of semester). A hurdle requirement of a minimum 80% attendance required.

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:
  • develop multi-tasking and cooperative harmonious creative work practices;

  • demonstrate the ability to participate as a team member, while respecting individual differences;

  • be able to apply their academic skills to independent study and research;

  • utilise their well-developed academic and personal skills as a basis for creative problem solving;

  • demonstrate the ability to communicate substantially to a group through highly developed analytical, oral, written and presentational skills;

  • have acquired personal confidence and assertion through class participation;

  • demonstrate the ability to plan work and to use time effectively;

  • demonstrate highly developed cognitive, analytic and problem solving skills in their arts practice;

  • integrate theory and practice in a variety of creative outcomes.


A quota of 20 students per class applies. Selection will be made on the basis of an H2B average or above in first year theatre studies.

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

Download PDF version.