LIT241 : Adaptation: From Theory to Theatrical Practice

Convenor(s): Dr Frances Babbage


Please note: This module may or may not run in any given semester. Please check with the tutor.

General Information

This module explores and theorises practices of adaptation from literary to dramatic form. You will become familiar with changing critical approaches pursued within adaptation studies, from arguments defending medium specificity; through comparative analysis; towards a postmodern eclecticism of method that embraces multiple frameworks by which we can understand the phenomenon of ‘adaptation’ as both process and product. Our discussion will be focused around a series of case studies, each of which derives from a prior text that poses very specific problems for translation to live performance. These texts and their adaptations also form the starting point for a series of intensive workshops designed to help prepare you for the practical assessment task: a small-group adaptation or an individually authored playscript based on a literary text that you select in negotiation with the tutor. Through the practical project, a written essay and the variety of teaching methods used, you will engage closely with formal issues of adaptation, investigating the processes and implications of transposing literary texts to the medium of live performance. Equally central to the module will be questions of thematic content, production context and authorial/directorial perspective; in this regard the work undertaken will demonstrate the ways in which adaptation may function as imitation, interrogation and intervention.


Alternating weekly seminars and practical workshops; occasional film screenings. The module aims to incorporate a theatre visit (subject to programming).


(i) 1 x 1,500 word coursework essay. (40%) (ii) 1 x small group short performance demonstrating principles of dramatic adaptation applied to a group selected short story, supported by individual submission of a working notebook. (50%) OR 1 x individual original short playscript (rehearsed reading and script submission) demonstrating principles of dramatic adaptation applied to an individually selected short story, supported by individual submission of a working notebook. (50%) (iii) 1x individual working notebook detailing the project research, rationale and creative process. 10%)

Contact Details

Dr Frances Babbage, 0114 2228479

Information last changed: Thursday 16th of March 2017 :: 11:02:00 AM (GMT)


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK