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Theatre Practitioners of the Past 150 Years

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

Explore the craft of theatre through close examination of some of the leading theatre practitioners of the past 150 years. We shall watch and read excerpts from plays and discuss the way in which drama has developed, comparing and contrasting the work of some key influencers; both playwrights and directors.

There may be occasion to visit performances of plays if one of the practitioners studied has a play being performed in Edinburgh. This will be optional and students should be eligible for reduce tickets.

Course Details

Content of Course

The course will cover up to 4 key influencers across Britain, Europe and beyond over the course of the module. Students will take part in talks, discussion and workshops around key aspects of theatre production and making. Students will be expected to take part in lectures, whole class and groups discussions, group activities and subject to agreement by the class possibly occasional practical exercises which will enhance students understanding of the theatre practitioners approach. This might involve, reflection of process, reading scripts, trial of simple activities or demonstration of activities.

1. Students will cover a very brief history of theatre from the ancient Greeks through to modern times. The focus will be on a summary review of theatre practitioners from the turn of the 20th Century through to present day. The aim will be to introduce names, concepts and terminology which will support learning in future weeks.

2. Depending on the practitioners chosen for the course around 2 weeks will be spend looking at each practitioner’s work, looking back at where their influences came from, their work and the periods in which they worked and who they are said to have influenced in the present day where possible. The political and social period in which they lived and practiced their art will be considered and how this influenced their work and practice.

Teaching method(s)

Sessions will be a mixture of lecture and seminars with whole class/group discussions and related activities. This could be reading of extracts of plays, watching short clips, trialling exercises and techniques of the theatre practitioners. Additional work / research may be suggested outwith the sessions to increase understanding and depth of knowledge of the practitioners studied. Students will still be able to take part in sessions if additional work is not completed.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Recognise key theatre practitioners’ work, theories and concepts of the 20th and 21st Century ;

  • Be able to use terminology associated with various theatre practitioners of the 20th and 21st Century;

  • Critically analysis and reflect on practitioner’s work, concepts and theories and understand the influences these practitioners have had on developments in theatre ;

  • Understand the context in which these practitioners worked and how they were influenced by the social and political context of the times, and the impact this had on their practice and theatre as we now understand it.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.