Postgraduate taught 

Theatre & Performance Practices MLitt

Performing Memory THEATRE4044

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

An investigation into the multiple relationships and association between memory (cultural and personal) and theatre and performance. The course works through theory and practice.


10 x 3 hour seminar and workshop sessions.

Excluded Courses






1/ Presentation (50%) (In pairs*) (20 - 30 minutes)
A full explanation of this assessment brief will be p
rovided at the beginning of the course. However, working with a partner you will prepare a presentation for your peers and tutors which should last between 20 and 30 minutes. In consultation with your tutor you should identify a subject matter appropriate to the enquiries undertaken on the course and present this using a judicious selection of means which might include digital projection, exhibition, live performance, demonstration, readings, critical reflection and dialogue. *Note students will receive a 'group' mark for their presentation.

2/ Research trail (50%) (Equivalent of 3000 words).

Students will produce a document which is a structured research trail organised around one or more questions, agreed with the tutor. It is an opportunity to investigate and collect information - or to signpost where such information might be found - around the chosen question and theme. The research trail also allows opportunities for the student to offer critical reflection on the material being presented or signed. Further guidance will produced within the course.

Course Aims

This course aims to: 

■ introduce students through practice (generative strategies for composition), historical study and theoretical analysis to the role of memory and remembering in contemporary theatre, performance and associated fields of cultural enquiry 

■ map the axes of memory in contemporary theatre making;

■ identify, experiment with and practice pedagogical strategies for working with/on/around memory to generate material for theatre and performance;

■ investigate and analyse the role memory has played in the practice of selected contemporary theatre makers such as Peter Brook, Samuel Beckett, Complicité, Pina Bausch, Goat Island, the Gob Squad and Lone Twin; and

■ explore selectively across other disciplines - visual arts, literature, neurology and cultural Studies, for example - how the practices of writers, intellectuals and artists around memory can make a productive contribution to our understanding of contemporary theatre and performance.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ demonstrate an embodied ability to use memory as a generative device for creating material within devised theatre and performance;

■ demonstrate knowledge of how selected contemporary theatre makers have used memory both as process and as object of their practice;

■ demonstrate through various strategies of documentation an ability to reflect critically and imaginatively on the role of memory in contemporary theatre and culture; and

■ demonstrate an ability to communicate ideas about theatre and its relationship to memory in collaboration with others to a group of your peers and tutors.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.