about the topography of story
- Would you like to better understand the stories that surround you? From the ones you tell yourself, about who you are and why you do what you do - to the big ones that dominate the world?
- Would you like to develop story as a tool to help explore your practice - to develop your ideas, to trouble-shoot them, and as a source of inspiration?
- And how about honing your dramaturgical skills and learning more about how plays work?
The specialisation The Topography of Story starts with you and your work - and expands to connect to the most powerful narratives of our time.
Story comes from lots of different places in our lives, at any point, there are a number of different narratives playing out and intersecting for us. However, because they are so much part of the fabric of our lives, we are often less aware of them and the power they have than we might be. A better understanding of them can enable us to make clearer choices – as artists and as people – to unhook ourselves from dominant social, political, cultural and personal narratives.
The Topography of Story specialisation enables you to become a narrative artist. You will learn how story works in the world and in our lives, together with how it can be used as a tool, to develop and troubleshoot your creative work – whether that’s sound, lighting, directing, writing or performing. You will also complete the specialisation with a better understanding of how plays work.
As a student, you must be prepared to engage with theatre and performing arts on a practical as well as a theoretical level by means of artistic, written and oral communication. Collaboration is also very important to this specialisation.
The work with story in this specialisation is three-fold, exploring its role in our lives through both theory and practical work, alongside the development of story as a tool in individual creative practice. We will use a variety of methodologies across the course, with central focusses being on systems theory, neuroscientific research into the brain as a top-down predictive model and Foucault’s discourse analysis.
The module is divided into six units, which will be explored through a mixture of lectures, practical workshops, laboratories, and small group work. You will carry out creative-critical-reflective narrative research on your own practice throughout, undertaken individually and with the support of small group sessions and work in pairs, together with individual tutorials, towards a presentation as part of the final unit.
- UNIT ONE: LOOKING IN - Stories We Tell Ourselves (inner narratives)
- UNIT TWO: LOOKING OUT - Stories We Are Told (societal narratives)
- UNIT THREE: LOOKING BACK - Stories We Know (cultural narratives)
- UNIT FOUR: LOOKING AROUND - Stories We Share (familial and community narratives)
- UNIT FIVE: LOOKING FORWARD - Stories to Guide Us (narratives for the future)
- UNIT SIX: FINDING OUR PLACE - Mapping Story (the co-creation of narrative)
This specialisation builds on the artistic practice of Sarah Woods, together with research conducted at the Danish National School of Performing Arts, specifically the artistic research laboratory The Topography of Story.
The specialisation in The Topography of Story provides you with an introduction to a range of theories and methodologies that will enable you to engage with and reflect on how story works – in the world and as a creative form. The methodologies you experience will enable you to evaluate and articulate the role of story in society, at individual, local and global levels. You will be able to use story as a tool to understand and develop your creative practice. Your learning will also enable you to create and work dramaturgically with story, both collaboratively and as an individual.