Playreading and Playwatching

Ref: C2343619

We will study plays in performance this Spring. We will read extracts and may act out specific scenes. We will discuss the themes and how they are presented, and consider the current performance. Since the future of theatre, like everything else, is uncertain at present, plays will be chosen as listings are published. Judging from screened performances in spring and summer, there should be a good range to choose from. We will hope to look at three or four plays in some detail, and to include modern works as well as traditional ones. The plays are likely to include one or two plays from Alan Bennett's "Talking Heads" currently being shown on BBC 1 and available on iPlayer until next spring

Course aim

To consider and discuss theatre available to us this autumn, on stage or, more likely, online, in forms that are free or have minimal cost, to enhance our understanding and enjoyment of theatre and to explore its relevance to our life today.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • This is a live lecture delivered by a subject specialist in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. If you’d like to know how to use Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • You need only an enthusiasm for theatre.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain how the plays studied convey social and political commentaries, while keeping us entertained
  • Show how these plays and their authors fit into the development of theatre
  • Describe the theatrical techniques used in the productions of the plays studied
  • Discuss the richness of the texts of the plays studied
  • Share your appreciation of the plays with others in the class

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Reading extracts from plays in class, discussing what they are about, how they work, how they relate to other theatre, and re-examining what we think we know.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • Class reading and discussion give opportunities for you to share your thoughts with others

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • Nothing else is needed
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • You might want to look at the on-line publicity for the plays to be studied

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • At the moment theatres do not announce current screenings until shortly before they are issued, so plays will be chosen as soon as possible.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • This course could lead to a range of job opportunities. Follow link to National Careers Service for more details https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next
  • Participation in theatre either through local amateur societies or through the programmes run by your local regional theatre.

Download full course information sheet

Playreading and Playwatching

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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