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Methodologies for Research and Analysis in Dramatic Arts

Code: 43150 ECTS Credits: 15
Degree Type Year Semester
4313879 Theatre Studies OB 0 1


Jordi Jane Llige

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)


Núria Santamaria Roig
Francesc D Assi Cortes Mir
Francesc Foguet Boreu

External teachers

Lluís Masgrau
Mercč Saumell



Objectives and Contextualisation

This module focuses on reflecting on performing arts through analysis and investigation (from both theoretical and practical perspectives). The aim is to provide methodological tools for the students, taking into account the complexity of the object of study; the module offers the possibility of breaking down the materials into big elements and phenomena (text, performance and performing). The module will break down and will explore the variety of elements of study, phenomena, conceptual frames, methodologies, view points and types of investigation that are characteristic of performing arts and its dynamic landscape that holds great potential to generate knowledge. The module consists of diverse working blocks. A first introductory block is planned, in which a general reflection on the specificities on research in performance arts will be carried out. This first block will approach various taxonomies and aspects that determine the state of research in the mentioned field; this block will deal with the variety and types of research and their nature; the debate on research will be proposed through practice, the disjunctive and complementarity of research results, and the research, inquiry and analysis of documental and archival fields. The following blocks will focus their attention on the methodological tools that are applied to partial components in performing arts, such as the text (in the etymologic sense of the word), the sonic space, the live performance or the performing. 


  • Analyse phenomena in the performing arts on the basis of their potential categorisations and interrelations.
  • Assess the social dimension inherent in the performing arts.
  • Assess the specific characteristics of research in the performing arts and the great potential provided by their complexity.
  • Continue the learning process, to a large extent autonomously
  • Examine research methodologies in the performing arts according to international scientific parameters.
  • Respect the historic and cultural value of theatrical heritage.
  • Use acquired knowledge as a basis for originality in the application of ideas, often in a research context.
  • Work in interdisciplinary teams in varying contexts.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse performative acting on the basis of the elements and perspectives that determine its complexity.
  2. Analyse research in the performing arts on the basis of variables like the nature of the object of study, result /process, and theoretical research / research through practice.
  3. Analyse the elements of a dramatic text and their interrelations through appropriate conceptual frameworks.
  4. Analyse the elements of live performance on the basis of the impact of new technologies on.
  5. Analyse the relationship between the different formal elements, human groups, dimensions and systems that interact in live performance.
  6. Assess the possibilities of subdividing the performing arts as an object of study into large elements that can generate their own frameworks of reference.
  7. Assess the social dimension inherent in the performing arts.
  8. Continue the learning process, to a large extent autonomously
  9. Distinguish the types of sources that are appropriate for investigating the elements that converge into the performing arts and determine their complexity.
  10. Examine research methodologies concerning live performance according to international scientific parameters.
  11. Examine research methodologies concerning performative acting according to international scientific parameters.
  12. Examine research methodologies concerning the dramatic text according to international scientific parameters.
  13. Respect the historic and cultural value of theatrical heritage.
  14. Use acquired knowledge as a basis for originality in the application of ideas, often in a research context.
  15. Work in interdisciplinary teams in varying contexts.


1. Documentation sources

  1. Overview of the different types research applied to Performing Arts
  2. Introduction to the concepts of archive (on-site and digital), documentation sources and specialized museums. Presentation of the MAE resources, Museum of Performing Arts and the Centre for Documentation of the Institute of Theatre of Barcelona, and the ECLAP project, amongst others.
  3. Introduction to traditional research strategies in the field of Performing Arts (text, historical document, performance analysis) and in the field of Performance Studies (memory, gender, geographic area…)

2. Text

  1. Premises and conceptual preventions: on text, literature and adjacent notions
  2. The operation of reading
  3. The theatre literature reader
  4. The dramatic text: characteristics and examples
  5. The dramaturgy: definition and reach
  6. Concepts and models for analysis of a theatre literature
  7. The spectator (notes on sociology)

3. Lyrical theater

  1. Constituent elements of lyrical language: the different taxonomies
  2. Dramatic analysis in opera: text-music relationship
  3. Stage frame and sound frame as research spaces in the different lyrical genres
  4. Types of documents for research in opera houses: methodologies for a complex and multidisciplinary analysis

4. Performance

  1. The paradoxes of a live Art. The borders between reality and artifact. From observation to representation.
  2. Genealogy of reality as a theatrical problem
  3. Analysis of the concepts of reality and “the Real”
  4. Theatrical strategies to represent and to represent reality (biography, documentation, participation…)
  5. Paradoxes of stage presence (the use of live and medial presence)
  6. Theatre and audience. The audience or the audiences.
  7. Spectacle and anti-spectacle
  8. From stage writing to the disappearances of the stage (theatrical deconstruction)

5. Performative actuation

  1. Introduction. Theoretical investigation and/or practical: the object of investigation, hypothesis and viewpoint. The relation between these three aspects. Applying to performative actuation as an area of analysis and investigation.
  2. The question of the viewpoint referred to performative actuation: to discriminate between various binomials. Methodological Consequences and the investigative potentialities derived from these.
  3. The debate on the documental sources relative to the analysis and the investigation in the field of performative actuation. General considerations. Sources versus documents. Document Typologies. Methodological consequences and potentialities derived from these.
  4. Artistic language of actuation and its elements.
  5. Logics of outcome versus logics of process
  6. Performative pedagogy as an area for specific analysis and investigation. State of the question, usual misunderstandings and potentialities. How to analyze trainings and learning processes: Methodological foundations.


Theoretical lectures will be combined with readings, the analysis of materials and diverse documents to generate a critical debate around the different lines of investigation in the field of the performing arts. There will also be the opportunity to carry out practical works. In the case there are reading assignments, they should be read before their corresponding lectures. There will be alternating sessions between lectures and collective debates based on materials that will have been exposed in class. There will also be materials from the Internet. There will be various videos from different stage proposals. Also there will be auditions of some radio pieces.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Debats 150 6 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 10, 12, 8, 13, 14, 15, 7, 6
Readings 150 6 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 10, 12, 8, 13, 14, 15, 7, 6
Works 75 3 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 10, 12, 8, 13, 14, 15, 7, 6


1. Documentation sources

The evaluation is based on the reading of two or three articles that will be facilitated in the first session, and on a brief practical exercise. On the first day, specific instructions will be given on the type of work and deadline.

2. Text

The evaluation consists in the realization of a group project based on a theatrical text assisted by the teachers. Basically, students have to produce an interpretative and evaluative response based on the reading of the text and in relation to the guidelines given in class. A thorough analysis should be developed on the studied work and a globalizing reading that pays attention to the historical and contextual conditions. 

3. Performance

The evaluation is based on the reading and analysis of an essay formulation on theatre and Contemporary Art.  Students have to choose between two titles delivered in class and produce a paper on the chosen work.  As an alternative to the analytic paper on a theatre essay, students can do a brief study in which they analyze thoroughly the type of theatricality in an urban or popular performance, in relation to guidelines given in class.

4. Performative evaluation

The evaluation will consist in the elaboration of a work or of several exercises based on a series of materials that will force a critical reflection on the posed problems. The teacher will offer the students precise indications of how to carry it out.


The final mark will be the result of a weighing of the marks in each block that will be proportional to the weight of the credits regarding every part.

Students who cannot accredit attendance above 60% will not be evaluated.

The detection of plagiarism (partial or integral) in any of the proposed exercises will imply the failing of the entire module.


1. At thetime of each evaluation activity, the teacher will inform the students of the procedure and the date for reviewing the grades.

2. In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

3. In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Analysis of documents 40 % 0 0 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 10, 12, 8, 13, 14, 15, 7, 6
Attendance and active participation 20 % 0 0 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 10, 12, 8, 13, 14, 15, 7, 6
Exercises and works 40 % 0 0 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 11, 10, 12, 8, 13, 14, 15, 7, 6



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