Course Outline

DRA102 Exploring Twentieth Century Theatre

Course Coordinator:Carl Walling ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


In this highly practical course you will develop an understanding of the key movements of twentieth century theatre through workshops, performances and research. You will develop knowledge of the history, rationale and philosophies behind these theatrical movements. The movements to be explored may include Realism, Symbolism, Expressionism, Epic Theatre, Theatre of the Absurd and Postmodernist informed theatre artists. This course will combine theory and practice with a focus on building performance skills.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous Online Delivery of Learning Material 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Scheduled On-Campus Workshops 2hrs Week 1 11 times
Seminar – Scheduled On-Campus Seminar 1hr Week 1 2 times
Learning materials – Asynchronous Online Delivery of Learning Material 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Scheduled Online Workshops 2hrs Week 1 11 times
Seminar – Online Seminars (Recorded) 1hr Week 1 2 times

Course Topics

Throughout the semester DRA 102: Exploring Twentieth Century Theatre students will:

  • Explore key dramatic works during the twentieth century’s realism and antirealism theatrical movements. Note: As a reflection of human experiences experienced throughout the twentieth century, the dramatic works read, discussed and viewed throughout this course may include elements of adult themes, course language, sex/sexual references, and/or violence.
  • Investigate historical linkages across society, culture, and artistic practice.
  • Build interpretative artistic skills through in-class activations of dramatic literature. 
  • Communicate connections to modern society through a practical realization of the Living Newspaper aesthetic. Note: In the demonstration of this twentieth century dramatic form through an assessment task, student groups may create and perform a staged reading of their dramatic works reflecting on contemporary news stories with subject matter(s) containing adult themes and/or course language.
  • Develop a better understanding of postmodernist theatre practice.

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Communicate knowledge of Twentieth Century Theatre forms Knowledgeable
2 Analyse a play text in relation to its historical, social and political context Creative and critical thinker
3 Analyse a playwright's aesthetic choices based on their philosophical, cultural and artistic contexts. Creative and critical thinker
4 Create a short performance demonstrating a contemporary activation of a specific Twentieth Century performance form. Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable



Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Competent English language skills for oral and written work.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Students will have an opportunity to provide an early outline/plan for their first assessment task's performance review at the beginning of Week 3. All groups working on second assessment task's Living Newspaper piece will have a workshop performance during Week 8.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Written Piece Individual 20%
700-850 words
Week 4 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Creative Performance Group 40%
6-8 minutes
Week 9 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check and in class
All 3 Essay Individual 40%
1200-1500 words
Exam Period Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Performance Review
Creative practitioners can review and critique performance work through an analysis of themes, production values, and creative choices.
Product: Written Piece
You will watch a recorded professional live theatre performance on Digital Theatre Plus and compose a performance critique. Your performance critique will analyse the production's communication of significant themes for an audience through key production choices. Further information will be provided during workshops and on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Clear and accurate communication of the dramatic literature's plot and characters.
Comprehension of the production's choices transforming the dramatic work for a live audience through specific examples.
Written communication skills
All - Assessment Task 2:Group Performance - The Living Newspaper
As a developing theatre practitioner, in this task you will enhance your performance skills by realising a historic performance style.
Product: Creative Performance
You will perform a well-rehearsed six to eight minute scripted performance based on the Living Newspaper techniques brought forward by the Federal Theatre Project during the Great Depression in 1930's America. Though this assessment task, your group will explore how this movement responded to other early twentieth century theatre styles across the globe. Each group will select a prominent Australian news story during 2023 and then transform your research into the six to eight minute performance. In Week 8, your group will perform an early draft of this assignment for instructor feedback. Further information about this task will be provided on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Realisation of performance style
Ensemble skills
Overall polish of presentation
Dramatic meaning in historical context
All - Assessment Task 3:Connecting Author to Play-Text
Theatre practitioners analyse a play-text in relation to the playwright's approach towards dramatic style and aesthetics.
Product: Essay
For this assignment, you must choose one of the pre-selected play and playwright combinations provided by the course coordinators. The resulting essay will analyse the playwright's construction of their dramatic work as a reflection of dramatic style and aesthetics. The essay will build from the course's set readings, script analysis of the play-text and course workshops. The essay's research will focus on the playwright's artistic approaches, their theories towards dramatic form, the historical moment at time of production and the socio-political influences. Further information will be provided in the learning materials and on Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Understanding of the playwright's historical, social and political context
Analysis of the play's characters, plot and themes in relation to the dramatic work's historical, social and political context
Written communication skills and referencing
Comprehension of the playwright's theatrical aesthetics

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

Students are recommended to wear loose, comfortable clothing suitable for drama workshop activities.

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all studio and laboratory classes and a low level of health and safety risk exists. Some risk concerns may include equipment, instruments, and tools; as well as manual handling items within the laboratory. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

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General Enquiries

  • In person:
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    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
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