DRAM10030 Theatre Matters

Academic Year 2022/2023

Theatre Matters is an introductory module, offering a number of starting points for the study of drama, theatre and performance at university level. The first and most important starting point is the title of the module, which is framed as a question: does theatre matter? In a world of community technology and social media, how can an ancient artform such as theatre, based on shared presence not only survive, but make a difference? How can theatre matter?

This module invites you to consider these questions by engaging with the rich cultures of theatre and performance in contemporary Dublin. Through a combination of lectures, small group teaching, and field trips, you will learn about working roles in the theatre, and consider the significance of collaborative work in staging a live theatrical event. You will think about the challenges that both artists and audiences face in creating, accessing and interpreting performances. Throughout, you will develop your skills in discussion and written analysis of live performance, and gain insight into current debates on the artistic, and cultural functions of theatre in a changing world.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- Gain a broad understanding of the cultural contexts for theatre across cultures and in Ireland
- Define and identify key creative roles in making theatre, including the role of the audience
- Distinguish and evaluate key contributions in collaborative work
- Begin to critique the theatrical event, and the cultural and artistic roles of theatre and performance
- Experience and test selected skills in making theatre

Indicative Module Content:

The module has two parts:

PART 1 focuses on key creative principles in the study of theatre, including the role of the spectator, the significance of the collaborative ensemble, the stage space, and questions around how live theatrical events are recorded and remembered.

PART 2 examines how these principles work in practice, by focusing on two major theatre venues in Dublin: The Abbey and Project Arts Centre. Students will engage in independent research and engage with selected staff members of each venue to understand how each manages its relationships with audiences, theatre artists, budgets, technologies, and space.

Throughout, students will develop their skills in performance analysis attending at least one live performance, and engaging in small group discussion of recordings and documents of performances.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures and small group seminars.

Talks from selected visiting artists/professionals, and field trips to theatre venues.

Independent research on Dublin-based theatre makers and venues.

Attendance at a live theatre performance.

Supported writing and discussion tasks leading to a written critical analysis of a live performance. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: SGT contribution and submission of preparatory work/tasks in advance of/at start of SGT. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: Exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Assignment: Mid Semester Performance Report Week 8 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given by week 10. End of term exam feedback will be offered in the post-assessment period.

Balme, Christopher B. The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Studies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008; 2015.

Allain, Paul, and Jen Harvie. The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance. Routledge, London;New York;, 2006.
Name Role
Dr Emma Bennett Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Darren Brennan Tutor
Samantha Cade Tutor
Dr Salome Paul Tutor
Miss Emma Thornton Tutor
Justine Zapin Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 12:00 - 12:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 13:00 - 13:50
Tutorial Offering 2 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 13:00 - 13:50
Tutorial Offering 3 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 14:00 - 14:50
Tutorial Offering 4 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 15:00 - 15:50
Tutorial Offering 5 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 15:00 - 15:50
Tutorial Offering 6 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 11:00 - 11:50
Tutorial Offering 7 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 11:00 - 11:50