ACT125 Rise of the Avant-Garde (8)

This subject examines the major conventions of naturalism, epic theatre, and avant-garde experimentalism within European and American Theatre from Büchner through to the plays of Pinter and Albee during the mid-1960s. Play scripts are studied through a systematic approach to dramaturgical research and analysed as texts for performance. Special attention is paid to the analysis of dramatic structure, and how the development of dramatic tension is associated with the focus given to philosophic questions relating to the ethical and moral dilemmas that confront the central characters within a play.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Communication and Creative Industries

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to plan dramaturgical strategies for researching historical periods, key themes and associated characters through the creation of seminar presentations;
  • be able to collaborate with others to analyse and present the dramatic structure of plays, and facilitate group discussions on key themes and performance; and
  • be able to, as a member of a team, identify and discuss Boal-inspired improvisation in relation to characters within a play and / or the larger moral and philosophical questions posed by the playwright.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The history of the theatre in the early modern period, representative plays and the splintering of theatrical forms during the 20th Century
  • Characterisation, sub-textural studies and enacted role performance
  • Scenario, scripted and improvisational work
  • Analysis of dramatic structure, and the dramatic tension associated with the play's ethical and moral dilemmas

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ACT125 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Play analysis seminar
Improvisation facilitation
Engagement and participation

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.