ACT125 Rise of the Avant-garde. Naturalism to the Absurd (8)


This subject examines the major conventions of European and American Theatre from Ibsen till the outbreak of The Second World War. Playscripts are studied as texts for performance. Improvisations and scene study provide a focus for practical studio work. Special attention is paid to the analysis of dramatic structure, and the dramatic tension associated with the play’s moral dilemmas.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
InternalBathurst Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ACT125
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Communication and Creative Industries

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to plan dramaturgical strategies for researching characters and historical periods
  • be able to devise a creative performance as a member of a team
  • be able to identify and discuss the philosophical and moral questions posed by the major playwrights and theatrical theorists of the first half of the Twentieth Century


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • The history of the theatre in the early modern period, representative plays and the splintering of theatrical forms following the First World War
  • Characterisation, sub-textural studies and physical theatre performance
  • Scenario, scripted and improvisational work
  • Analysis of dramatic structure, and the dramatic tension associated with the play's moral dilemmas


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.