Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces contemporary practice and theory in the Creative and Performing Arts, which includes Theatre, Performance, and Drama. The course introduces an overview of 20th and 21st century aesthetics and forms in live and mediated performance-making. Students are introduced to foundational approaches to constructing devised events and performances. Techniques of improvisation and play are also introduced to consider persona, identity, use of the body, and the performer's embodied presence. Students are encouraged to explore the nature of performance and collaborative performance-making through practical tutorial workshops.


Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Analyse contemporary performance practices;

2. Identify and apply the stages and benchmarks of devising in live performance-making;

3. Collaboratively create new, devised performance works;

4. Apply an approach to the craft of acting that emphasises the physicality of the actor.


Through case studies, course readings and practical creative exercises students will learn about a variety of different strategies for creating new, devised performance pieces. Lectures will introduce students to the historical, aesthetic, and cultural contextualisations of the performance works under investigation. Students are also encouraged to develop their understanding of the critical vocabulary appropriate to the discipline of theatre, drama and performance studies.

In this course students will investigate:

  1. National and international contemporary performance practices;
  2. Dominant 20th and 21st century practices and theories for creating aesthetic performances and events;
  3. Approaches to acting from a variety of perspectives such as actor, director, critic and designer;
  4. Foundational approaches to the collaborative processes of constructing devised events and performances.

Assessment items

Journal: Learning Journal - 30%

Performance: Group project - 40%

Professional Task: Review - 30%

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct


Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 7 Weeks starting in week 1

Self-Directed Learning

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks starting in week 13


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 6 Weeks starting in week 2


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 5 Weeks starting in week 8

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.