Course Outline

DRA202 Directing Performance: Contemporary Perspectives

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

2023Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

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

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?


Focusing on the work of pivotal directors, this course provides an overview of the development of modern and contemporary performance practice. Through research and analysis, you will acquire an understanding of a range of directorial approaches. You will apply this understanding to your own creative practice as you assume the role of director and develop your skills in collaboration, textual analysis, concept development and aesthetic communication. 

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Interactive online learning activities. 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Scheduled face to face workshops. 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

Throughout DRA202 students will:

  • Explore the role of the theatre director throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
  • Analyse live performance and directing choices in a performance critique
  • Explore and apply practical directing skills including: collaboration, leadership, auditions, directorial concepts, rehearsal planning, production and performance processes
  • Demonstrate these skills through the realisation of a short dramatic work/scene. Note: Depending on the text selection for the semester, it may contain adult themes, coarse language, drug references, sexual references
  • Document and reflect on a practical directing process in an industry standard workbook

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

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 pivotal directors and contemporary performance movements in written, multimedia and oral forms Creative and critical thinker
2 Analyse and critically reflect on the key dramatic features, directorial choices, audience impact, and developmental influences evident in a selected live performance Knowledgeable
3 Apply knowledge of the director's role as an interpretative artist to construct a production process and present a performance Ethical
4 Justify an original directorial concept and reflect on the directorial process Engaged

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 and foundational skills in textual analysis and aesthetic communication. It is recommended that you have some experience in creating or participating in performance 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

A plan of your Task 1 assessment (oral presentation) will be reviewed by your tutor in week 3. It should include the key components of your presentation and the group members responsible for each section.

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 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Individual 30%
1000 Words & Blocking Charts
Week 5 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Oral Individual 20%
5-6 minutes
Week 7 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check and in class
All 3 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Individual and Group 50%
10 minutes & 1000 words
Week 13 In Class
All - Assessment Task 1:Pre-Production Director's Workbook
Using the provided one-act play, students will create a director's pre-production workbook containing a director's statement, composition diagrams (blocking), and dramatic analysis.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
Academic & Professional format. You will consider how the contemporary performance maker/director manipulates dramatic form and performance elements to communicate with an audience through compositional choices in blocking. You will provide a short script analysis for the provided dramatic work  (750 words) and write a director's statement communicating your knowledge of key themes as they relate to your potential audience (250 words).
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Create directorial compositional choices for a hypothetical performance in relation to script analysis and vision
Analyse and critically reflect on the key dramatic features of a performed script.
Communicate your vision for the dramatic work's impact on your audience based on the play's themes.
Effective written and creative communication
All - Assessment Task 2:Research Presentation
Communicate knowledge of one pivotal director and their practice.
Product: Oral
Academic format. You will select one pivotal theatre director from the list provided to address the question, ‘Why is your theatre director considered to be ground-breaking when compared to other twentieth and twenty-first century theatre practitioners?" You will apply your information literacy skills to source and analyse information on your chosen director. You will present your research to your peers in tutorial. 

The presentation focuses on the director's theoretical approaches towards theatre and performance, highlights key professional productions, and examines significant innovations. You will present your research in a 5-6 minute oral and visual presentation using presentation software, before uploading your presentation to Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Evidence of research to demonstrate knowledge of director’s practice, objectives and context
Identification and analysis of director’s innovation and their influence on performance practice
1 2
Effective oral, written and visual communication
All - Assessment Task 3:Creative Performance and Workbook
This task will give you experience in practical directing skills while developing, collaborating and then executing a directorial concept for production.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
Academic and creative format. In pairs (as co-directors) you will plan and produce a 10-minute play/scene for production. This process will include play selection, auditions, rehearsals, technical preparation and performance. The performances will take place in Week 10. You will record this process in your Director’s Workbook where you will document and reflect on your directing process throughout this course. This will be handed in Week 13 and be 1000 words. This workbook can be presented creatively and should include:
-	production prompt book (floor plan, rehearsal plan, and rehearsal reflections)
-	script analysis, discussion of dramaturgy, research, casting decisions
-	summary reflection on rehearsal process
As part of the learning process, you will also collaborate with your DRA 202 peers in either a performance or production role. Additional details will be provided in Canvas and in course workshops.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Ability to give direction and work cohesively with peers
Skill development throughout the directing process
Understanding and realising the play’s dramaturgy with original creative vision
2 3
Ability to identify resources and to make connections between resources that offer nuance and complexity to the production
3 4
Effective written and creative communication
Collaboration with other directors supporting their work through acting or production role.

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

For assessment task #3, students will be expected to be available for autonomous group rehearsals and peer workgroup sessions in addition to your timetabled workshops. Additionally, students will be expected to either perform in another group's public-facing directing scene or, in the case where all roles have been cast by a combination of enrolled DRA 202 students and other Theatre & Performance students, support the process in a significant production role. Students will be expected to hold rehearsals at the Sippy Downs campus. Due to rehearsals for the directing scenes, students must therefore consider their availability on evenings and weekends as well as normal working hours when enrolling in this course.

There will be evening technical rehearsals and performances scheduled throughout Week 10. Specific performance dates will be announced at the start of semester. Per higher education practice within theatre and performance programs, DRA 202 students will be required to attend all technical rehearsals and performances. This is a common expectation in the theatre industry.

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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The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

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

Wellbeing Services

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AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

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
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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General Enquiries

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