Master of Writing for Performance

Course MC-WRIPERF (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Year and Campus: 2013 - Southbank
CRICOS Code: 075502B
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time.


Geraldine Cook


Faculty of the VCA & MCM Student Centre
Ground Floor, Elisabeth Murdoch Building (Bldg 860)
Southbank Campus
234 St Kilda Road, Southbank, 3006

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Course Overview:

This one-year Master of Writing for Performance focuses on developing the skills and emerging aesthetic of the individual and collaborative writer for diverse forms of contemporary live performance. Practice in both solo and collaborative writing are supported by an analysis of, and practice in, both traditional dramaturgical principles and play structures based in character, dramatic action, conflict, dialogue, action and causal logic, as well as more experimental, non-linear writing based on principles of montage, association and intuition, and postdramatic writing in which conventions of dramatic writing are evoked only to be discarded. Through a combination of writing workshops, critical seminars, and discussions students will develop skills in writing for the diverse contexts in which live performance can be made, alongside a deeper understanding of the relationship between the playwright and the cultural contexts within which she/he writes. The course focuses on contemporary writing in both Australia and overseas, but with particular attention to a new diversity of voices and cultures in Australian writing. The student is also equipped with research skills for developing and reflecting on their own work as well as that of others, and the academic writing skills to articulate their own practice in the context of contemporary cultural and performance theory.


On completion of the course, students will:
• have significantly advanced their skills and expertise in aspects fundamental to their primary arts practice – writing for performance – such that they would be ready to work at a professional level;
• be able to conceptualise, realise and present original writing for performance and/or performance oriented projects in diverse forms;
• have developed the capacity to evaluate, discriminate and make informed choices as part of writing practice within aesthetic domains;
• have developed their skills in collaborating with other theatre artists and diverse communities;
• be able to promote the exploration of writing for performance as a communicative mode;
• demonstrate highly developed problem solving abilities and flexibility of approach;
• have developed the skills of articulating the ideas and processes inherent in their creative work within the context of relevant artistic discourse and research;
• demonstrate a working knowledge of quantitative and qualitative Research processes.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Core subjects:

Subject Options:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Entry Requirements:
  • Completion of an Honours degree in a relevant field with a minimum average of 70% across the degree and a minimum average of 80% in practical projects in the relevant discipline in year four (or equivalent); OR
  • Documented professional experience of at least 5 years and demonstrated artistic ability.


  • the applicant's curriculum vita or resume; and
  • a portfolio of relevant work; and
  • an interview.

The selction comitee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports and employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

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:

Graduate Attributes:

Generic Skills:

On completion of this course, students will:

• be able to work individually and collaboratively with fellow artists in the realisation of a creative project, informed by self understanding and demonstrating highly developed interpersonal skills;
• collaborate with others in group projects informed by an awareness of relevant professional skills and practices;
• exhibit leadership capacity, including a willingness and ability to engage in constructive peer discourse and contribute by acting as a mentor to the development of others;
• demonstrate an understanding of their arts practice within the context of wider aesthetic and social domains;
• demonstrate knowledge of research paradigms, sufficient to allow them to advance to higher levels of academic research in praxis and theory;
• work with an awareness and practical skills in advanced communications technologies and receptiveness to the expanding opportunities of the digital age;
• exhibit a profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity and for the ethics of professional creative practice;
• be able to contribute through leadership, research, performance development and/or pedagogy to Australian culture in the arts, in particular those aspects of culture and society that lie outside the dominant paradigms.

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