To help you feel prepared for your university studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Open the links below to find out more:
The books listed below are some of the key critical texts that you’ll need for your course and, although they’re available in our University Library, you may choose to get your own copies to ensure they’re always available when you need them. More specific reading lists will be provided when you start your modules and there are many books and journals in the Library for you to investigate once you are here.
Key critical texts:
It’s not necessary to have read everything from cover to cover before you start, but you should definitely begin to engage with the content before Induction Week. Although you may not have the means to buy all the textbooks, a selection of texts have been asterisked (*) which we recommend for purchase so that you can begin reading around your subject well before you arrive.
- Balme, C (2011) The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Studies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- *Benedetti, J (2008) The Art of the Actor, London: Methuen
- Fischer-Lichte, E (2014) The Routledge Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies, London: Routledge
- Gorman, S (2020) Women in Performance: Repurposing Failure, London: Routledge
- *Mangan, M. (2013) The Drama, Theatre & Performance Companion, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
- Pickering, K (2010) Key Concepts in Drama and Performance (2nd Edition), Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan
- *Schechner, R (2020) Performance Studies: An Introduction (4th Edition), London: Routledge
- *Wallis, M & Shepherd, S (2018 4th Edition) Studying Plays, London: Hodder Arnold
You’ll also need to have your own copies of the various different plays that you’ll study in the first year. You might wish to buy copies of the following plays, preferably in the editions recommended below, and if possible read as many of them as you can before you arrive.
Amazon Marketplace will often offer you the best deals, especially if you’re happy to buy your books second-hand.
- Sophocles (c 429-406 BC) The Theban Plays: Oedipus Tyrannos, Oedipus at Kolonos, Antigone (Wertenbaker, Timberlake (trans.) (1997) London: Faber)
- Cawley, A.C. (ed): Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays (No need to purchase: copy provided by department)
- Shakespeare, W (c 1601) Hamlet (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics)
- Shakespeare, W (c 1605) King Lear (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics)
- Middleton, Thomas (c 1607) The Revengers Tragedy (Foakes, R.A (ed) (1996) ‘Revels Student Editions’ Manchester: Manchester University Press)
- Behn, Aphra (1677) The Rover(London: Methuen Student Editions)
- Moliere (1664) Tartuffe (Moliere: Five Plays (reprinted 1989) ‘Methuen World Classics. London: Methuen. Alternatively, Tartuffe, trans. McGough, Roger (2008) London: Methuen)
- Sheridan, Richard (1775) The Rivals (‘Drama Classics’ London: Nick Hern Books)
- Anon: Maria Marten or Murder in the Red Barn (1827) (no need to purchase: copy provided by department)
- Walker, John: Factory Lad (1832) (no need to purchase: copy provided by department)
- Boucicault, Dion (1841) London Assurance (‘Drama Classics’ London: Nick Hern Books)
- Shaw, George Bernard, Plays Unpleasant: Widowers’ Houses (1892); The Philanderer (1893); Mrs Warren’s Profession (1893) (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics)
- Beckett, Samuel (1953) Waiting for Godot (London: Faber)
- Pinter, Harold (1960) The Caretaker (London: Methuen)
- Bond, Edward: Saved (1965); Lear (1971) (Edward Bond Plays: One (1977) London: Methuen; Edward Bond Plays: Two (1978) London: Methuen
- Stoppard, Tom (1967) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (London: Faber)
- Berkoff, Steven (1975) East (Collected Plays Vol 1 (2000) London: Faber)
- Pinnock, Winsome (1987) Leave Taking (2018, London: Nick Hearn Books).
- Hwang, David Henry (1988) M. Butterfly (London: Longman)
- De Angelis, April (1994) Playhouse Creatures (in Plays 1 – 1999, London: Faber
- Churchill, Caryl (1999) This is a Chair (Caryl Churchill Plays: 4 (2008) London: Nick Hern Books)
- Tucker green, d (2017) a profoundly affectionate, passionate devotion to someone (– noun) London: Nick Hearn Books
It’s important during your first week to bring a pen and notepad with you and a good diary and planner would be a very sensible purchase. The one we recommend is The Palgrave Student Planner by Stella Cottrell.
You should also sign up for your free Arts Centre Membership which will give you access to tickets to the forthcoming season. You’ll need this as performance analysis of shows in the Rose Theatre forms part of your assessment in Year 1.
For all practical classes in Drama you’re required to wear suitable clothing and footwear that allows complete freedom of movement and which you don’t mind getting dirty. Tight jeans, leather boots, expensive fashion items and the like are therefore not suitable.
You’ll usually find that a set of ‘rehearsal blacks’ (black top, loose black trousers) and black trainers (or bare feet) are the best thing to wear. In some classes tutors will insist you wear rehearsal blacks, so come prepared. Any simple black t-shirt and thin black training (or dance) trousers (rather than thick tracksuit bottoms) available from most sports outlets would be fine.
Researching, viewing and engaging online effectively allows you to be in touch with theatre throughout the world. Here’s a list of recommended viewing:
- National Theatre at Home is showing National Theatre Live productions free every Thursday.
- Created by BBC Arts, Culture in Quarantine has a range of production work from the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Globe and the National Theatre. You can find details of the productions available on the website. Scroll down to the section labelled Theatre.
- If you’re thinking about the future and careers in the performing arts visit the prospects website here or the Times Higher Education website here.
Things to do now
Reading plays is really important for the study of Drama. Try to read as many play-texts as you can from as many different historical periods. You can read a great many play-texts online so why not take the time to read some plays and use this as a starting point to think how you might stage a production in your favourite theatre. Here are some play-texts available to read on-line to get you started:
Additional ways to prepare
Join our virtual session: Preparing to start with Edge Hill, Wednesday 10 August, 4pm – 5pm.
This session examines how to make a successful transition to University study, from planning your results day, accommodation and commuting tips, extra support available to you as a prospective student before you start in September and what to expect as well as what to get involved in during your first week.Use this link to join the session
University can be one of the most exciting and amazing experiences, and can offer the chance to learn, meet new people, gain independence and find out more about who you are.
We want to make sure you get the most out of your university experience! The following information provides an insight into what to expect when coming to university along with some good advice on how to navigate some of the potential challenges you may face.