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This module will explore the interplay between theatre, history, memory and imagination and raise questions about truth and perspectives in relation to the dramatic representation of historical lives and events. Through the consideration of a range of dramatic texts and performance pieces, students will have the opportunity to investigate the ways in which writers and performers deploy received narratives, historical documents, personal testimony, and invented material as means of making theatre which dramatizes history, constructs biographies, and tells the stories of communities. Students will be required to consider the shifting conceptualisation of the 'history play' and to think critically about the political and ethical implications of researching, writing and performing history in the theatre. The course will build on students' knowledge of texts and contexts gained through previous modules and further enhance their appreciation of the continual negotiations between past dramatic forms and theatre practice and contemporary playwriting and performance. In addition to considering how history is written, refuted and revised through theatre, students will also have opportunity to extend their research skills by engaging with a range of archival materials which contribute to the writing of theatre history.

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