Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Ms Anna Scheer


This unit will examine foundational theories of theatre and performance practice in the context of current critical debates and theories. Drawing on primary texts by influential theorists and practitioners from 'western' and Asian theatre traditions across the centuries, this unit examines the ongoing ideas and dialogues about the nature and practice of theatre. The questions raised include: What is theatre? In what sense is theatre a representation? What are its moral effects? How can we know how other people respond? How is theatre and its reception gendered and/or racially positioned? Who decides what the text or performance means? How can a performance be analysed?


Upon successful completion of this course students will:

  1. possess a broad knowledge of a range of theatre traditions, past and present;
  2. have some acquaintance with the ideas of key contemporary thinkers whose work bears on the interpretation and understanding of theatre and performance;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between theatres and their social and cultural contexts;
  4. be able to employ a critical approach to traditional and contemporary debates in the study and practice of theatre;
  5. debate the ethical and social dimensions of theatre;
  6. demonstrate an understanding of the key issues in the interpretation and reception of theatre and performance;
  7. apply tools of performance analysis and description.


Group Class Presentation (15 minutes equiv. 900 words): 20%
Individual write-up of presentation (900 words): 20%
Essay (1800 words): 40%
Participation (equiv. 900 words): 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Anna Scheer

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Comparative literature and cultural studies


1st year sequence in Theatre