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Study information

Digital Theatrecrafts

Module titleDigital Theatrecrafts
Module codeDRA2061B
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Mr Jon Primrose (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module offers you an exploration of the technologies which support performance, focusing on lighting, sound, video and stage management. Its constant aim is to test your understanding of theory through practice.

Having completed the module you will be able to carry out a basic stage lighting design, understand the theatrical production process, and be able to use the sound studios to create a short radio play.

No previous experience is required, as this is a wide-ranging introduction to the crafts. International students and those from other disciplines are welcome, subject to availability and timetable.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to offer students an exploration of the technical crafts which support performance, focusing on lighting, sound, AV and stage management. Its constant aim is to test the student's understanding of theory through practice by demonstrating relevant techniques in practice, and by observing and discussing professional work which stretches the limits of entertainment technology.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate the use of specialist sound technology to make a variety of kinds of recording, and the ability to edit and mix audio material from a range of sources to a high standard
  • 2. Engage with a range of practitioners and discuss their role in technical theatre
  • 3. Demonstrate understanding of the processes and technologies used in theatrical production and the ability to apply this knowledge to a hypothetical production
  • 4. Demonstrate through practical work the ability to carry out a basic stage lighting design using appropriate industry-standard terminology and techniques, and to current health and safety standards

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Relate to others in theatrical processes and performances and to work effectively with others in small task-orientated groups and to initiate and sustain creative, analytic and interpretative work within strict time limits
  • 6. Solve a number of specific technical problems and apply that understanding to performance work
  • 7. Utilise research tools effectively and to translate theory into practice
  • 8. Apply library and IT skills in independent additional research

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. Collaborate in various groups and group sizes, to learn elements of teamwork and presentation, to negotiate and manage conflict when appropriate and to demonstrate leadership skills when appropriate
  • 10. Think laterally and demonstrate originality in problem-solving, to express and communicate creative ideas and images, and the ability to initiate and sustain creative work, both group and solo
  • 11. Develop advanced personal research skills using personal initiative
  • 12. To set personal objectives that are linked to a sense of challenge and extending boundaries and to identify and evaluate personal learning strategies that are self-critical as much as self-reflective

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction, Safety, Introduction to Sound, In-depth sound studio. Introduce radio play assignment
  • Sound in practice, scripts, dramaturgy, work on radio play, submission of radio play
  • Introduction to lighting, In-depth lighting, lighting design introduction
  • Lighting design practice, London trip, Work on Research and Performance: Consolidation, video projection design, further research topics, preparation for final portfolio and lighting design

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities723 x 2.5 hours per week for 6 weeks online lecture/seminar, workshops in specialist Drama studio space, along with an additional 6 x 2 hours online lecture on research topics to aid independent study
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities3Practical lighting design exercise
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities14Providing technical support to DRA1012 production projects
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities6London theatre trip and backstage tours (not compulsory)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities0.52 x 15 minutes tutorials
Guided independent study18Working alone on audio editing and mixing in recording studio
Guided independent study87Reading/revision/preparation for practicals
Guided independent study100Radio play research and writing, and portfolio research/writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Lighting design practical (group)4 hours2-6, 9-10Oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practical radio play402 minutes 30 seconds radio play1,5-8,10,12Oral and written feedback
Portfolio60 3,000 words2-4,6,7,10-12Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Practical radio playPractical radio play1, 5-8, 10, 12Referral/Deferral period
PortfolioLighting design task2-4,6,7,10-12Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Set texts:

  • S.Palmer, Essential Guide to Stage Management, Lighting and Sound : Hodder & Stoughton, 2000

Recommended reading:

  • R.Brown, Sound – A Reader in Theatre Practice, Palgrave, 2009
  • D.Kaye & J.Lebrecht, Sound and Music for the Theatre, Routledge, 2015
  • D.Bond, Stage Management, A Gentle Art , London: Routledge, 1998
  • The Event Safety Guide: Health & Safety Executive , 1999
  • C.Hannam, Health and safety management in the live music and events industry , London: Entertainment Technology Press, 2004
  • F.Reid, The Stage Lighting Handbook , London: A & C Black, 1992
  • J.Steinmeyer, Hiding the Elephant , London: William Heinemann Ltd, 2004
  • G.Thompson, Safety in Live Performance , Boston: Focal Press, 1993

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Technical theatre, stage lighting, sound design, drama technology, entertainment technology, Audio-Visual, lighting design

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date