Core Module Information
Module title: Fundamentals of Interpreting Text

SCQF level: 07:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: CLP07113
Module leader: David Wotton
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Screen and Performance


Description of module content:

This module will extend your knowledge of acting theory and provide practical workshop sessions for exploring the application of theory specifically to the interpretation of heightened dramatic texts. In collaborative settings, you will work toward finding freedom and ease of expression, both vocal and physical. You will explore the relationship between acting and psychology, acting and emotion, acting and character, acting and cognitive processes, and the many ways in which traditional theories of acting have responded to the question of how actors interpret, prepare and perform dramatic text. Techniques for inspiring imagination and play will remain at the heart of the work, and you will be extending your ability to create acting that is engaging, believable and sustainable in a variety of challenging and historically varied texts.

Beginning with the challenges of Greek messenger speeches, this module will work chronologically through a variety of texts up to present day. You will learn about the cultural contexts of each of the texts and will discover how to develop your performances so that they express your understanding of the specific contextual conditions that determine meaning in text. Within this textual exploration you will explore issues regarding acting and its relationship with emotion, psychology, character and how this then advances your interpretation and performance. Each assignment will require a practical demonstration of your increasing ability to find secure imaginative and emotional connections with the written word, and an ability to bring challenging language to life in an engaging, complex and believable way – however historically placed.

For your final assessed showing you will compile an annotated bibliography of research resources that demonstrates your ability to identify and assess appropriate research resources to underpin and to contextualise your practical work. The module will culminate in a final assessed showing.

The workshops will focus on collaborative exploration, and on learning from both doing and evaluating. You will learn to work in groups and on your own to develop complex, believable scenes and monologues from the canon of classical drama that will test your imagination and creativity.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Define, apply and integrate a range of physical, vocal and acting skills to develop an imaginative performance that demonstrates ability to interpret heightened/demanding text.

LO2: Develop a theoretical approach to preparing, executing and sustaining performance choices in the face of complex language.

LO3: Work with fellow students and on your own to understand, develop and respond to a complex text.

LO4: Develop your understanding of the specific demands of complex language and style and to be able to respond appropriately to that language.

LO5: Demonstrate a developing understanding of the interplay of theory and practice in the work of an actor and to underpin your work with relevant observation and research.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE,
Occurrence: 002
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: David Wotton
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Teaching and learning will take place in practical classes of all the students (Los 1, 2, 3, 4), working in groups, pairs and individually as appropriate. These classes will integrate discussion with practical exercises which develop in difficulty as the module progresses. Attendance at all classes is vital. You will be expected to collaborate successfully with your fellow students and contribute to the joint development of the group’s work as well as your individual learning. Opportunities for group discussion and to feedback on other performances is integrated into the module. In addition, an annotated research bibliography will serve to underpin all practical activity (LO5).

You will develop your research and analytical skills and your ability to argue your case to your fellows cogently, respectfully and effectively. You will learn to take the initiative in project work and to work well in groups and individually, contributing to the team effort at all times. You will learn performance skills. In these ways you will continue to learn the core skills required for securing a job as a performer in various media, and related professions.

Formative Assessment:
The intense, workshop nature of this module means that one-to-one feedback forms a significant part of your learning experience in each class. Discussions and immediate response to practical performance work are at the heart of your artistic exploration of the material throughout this module. Formative assessment will be given on a day to day basis through the form of oral feedback. (LOs 1,2,3,4).

You will also be expected to undertake continual research for your Annotated Bibliography into specific areas of your performance technique to help develop your performance (LOs 5).

Summative Assessment:
Class participation is an assessed component in this module. Participation is assessed by the tutor. Your participation in workshops is assessed in terms of how you progress within the specified learning outcomes, which are transparent from the first day (LOs 1-4). Your developing skills, knowledge and understanding and your ability to work with the rest of the group will be monitored Rehearsals will always involve performance before the rest of the class, which is assessed in situ and immediately through dialogue. This continual assessment will contribute to the end of year assessment. Summative assessment for this module will take place at the end of the trimester, assessing your acting, voice and movement work in the performance of textually demanding scenes or monologues (LOs 1,2,3,4). You will be expected to hand in 2 Extended Annotated Bibliographies of 500 words each which will demonstrate and underpin your research (LOs 5). This will be marked and written feedback given at the end of the trimester.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Groupwork (Scheduled) 48
Independent Learning Practical classes and workshops 102
Independent Learning Guided independent study 50
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Discussion/Participation 60 1 -4 13 HOURS= 02.00, WORDS= 0
Practical Skills Assessment 30 1 - 4 13 HOURS= 00.00, WORDS= 0
Essay 10 5 14/15 HOURS= 00.00, WORDS= 1000
Component 1 subtotal: 60
Component 2 subtotal: 40
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Fundamentals of Interpreting Text