Learning
Drama

Why Study Drama?

People tell stories, explore ideas, make sense of their worlds and communicate meaning through drama. Drama develops personal and social identity. VCE Drama connects students to the traditions of drama practice and, through the processes of devising and performing drama, allows them to explore, understand and respond to the contexts, narratives and stories that shape their worlds. The study requires students to be creative and critical thinkers. Through work as solo and ensemble performers and engagement with the work of professional drama practitioners, students develop an appreciation of drama as an art form and develop skills of criticism and aesthetic understanding. VCE Drama equips students with knowledge, skills and confidence to communicate as individuals and collaboratively in social and work-related contexts. The study of drama can provide pathways to training and tertiary study in acting, communication and drama criticism, drama practice and through the processes of devising and performing drama, allows them to explore, understand and respond to the contexts, narratives and stories that shape their worlds. The study requires students to be creative and critical thinkers. Through work as solo and ensemble performers and engagement with the work of professional drama practitioners, students develop an appreciation of drama as an art form and develop skills of criticism and aesthetic understanding. VCE Drama equips students with knowledge, skills and confidence to communicate as individuals and collaboratively in social and work-related contexts. The study of drama can provide pathways to training and tertiary study in acting, communication and drama criticism.

Structure

The study is made up of four units.

Unit 1: Dramatic storytelling

Unit 2: Non-naturalistic Australian drama

Unit 3: Devised non-naturalistic ensemble performance

Unit 4: Non-naturalistic solo performance

Outcomes
Outcomes define what students will know and be able to do as a result of undertaking the study.


Unit 1 - Dramatic Storytelling

This unit focuses on creating, presenting and analysing a devised performance that includes real or imagined characters and is based on stimulus material that reflects personal, cultural and/or community experiences and stories. This unit also involves analysis of a student’s own performance work and of a performance by professional drama practitioners. In this unit students use performance styles from a range of contexts associated with naturalism and non-naturalism.

Students examine storytelling through the creation of solo and/or ensemble devised performance/s. They manipulate expressive skills in the creation and presentation of characters, and develop awareness and understanding of how characters are portrayed in naturalistic and non-naturalistic performance styles and document the processes they use. Students also gain an awareness of how performance is shaped and given meaning. They investigate a range of stimulus material and learn about stagecraft, conventions and performance styles from a range of contexts.

In this area of study, the terms ‘character’, ‘performance’, ‘story’ and ‘style’ can be understood as one or more characters, performances, stories or styles.     

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to devise and document solo and/or ensemble drama work/s based on experiences and/or stories.  

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to perform a devised drama work/s to an audience.  

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse the development and performance to an audience of their non-naturalistic devised work.  

Outcome 4
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse the portrayal of stories and characters in a drama performance by professional or other drama practitioners.       


Unit 2 - Non-naturalistic Australian drama

This unit focuses on the use and documentation of the processes involved in constructing a devised solo or ensemble performance that uses non-naturalistic performance styles. Students create, present and analyse a performance based on a person, an event, an issue, a place, an artwork, a text and/or an icon from a contemporary or historical Australian context.

Students use a range of stimulus material in creating the performance and examine non-naturalistic performance styles from a range of contexts relevant to Australia and Australians. Conventions appropriate to the selected performance styles are also explored. Students’ knowledge of how dramatic elements can be enhanced or manipulated through performance is further developed in this unit.

Students analyse their own performance work as well as undertake the analysis of a performance of an Australian work by other actors. An Australian work might:

  • be written, adapted or devised by Australian writers or theatre-makers
  • reflect aspects of the Australian identity, for example the indigenous voice, the Celtic perspective, the twentieth or twenty-first century migrant experience, the refugee experience, the urban and rural perspectives.

Students use performance styles from a range of historical, cultural and social contexts including styles associated with non-naturalism.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to devise and document the processes used to create a solo or ensemble non-naturalistic performance work.  

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to present a performance of a devised nonnaturalistic work to an audience.  

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse the creation, development and performance to an audience of their non-naturalistic devised work.  

Outcome 4
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse a performance of an Australian drama work.  

 

Unit 3 - Devised non-naturalistic Ensemble Performance

This unit focuses on non-naturalistic devised ensemble drama. Students explore non-naturalistic performance styles and associated conventions from a diverse range of contemporary and cultural performance traditions and work collaboratively to devise, develop and present an ensemble performance. Students use and manipulate dramatic elements, conventions, performance and expressive skills, performance styles and stagecraft in non-naturalistic ways to shape and enhance the performance.

Students also document and evaluate stages involved in the creation, development and presentation of the ensemble performance.

Students also analyse a professional performance that incorporates non-naturalistic performance styles and production elements selected from the prescribed VCE Drama Unit 3 Playlist published annually on the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority website.

In this area of study, the terms ‘character’, ‘performance’, ‘story’ and ‘style’ can be understood as one or more characters, performances, stories or styles.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to develop and present character/s within a devised non-naturalistic ensemble performance.  

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse the use of processes, techniques and skills to create and present a devised ensemble performance.  

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse and evaluate a non-naturalistic performance.  

 

Unit 4 - Non Naturalistic Solo Performance

This unit focuses on the development and presentation of non-naturalistic devised solo performances. Students explore non-naturalistic performance styles and associated conventions from a diverse range of contemporary and cultural performance traditions. They develop skill in extracting dramatic.

potential from stimulus material and use dramatic elements, conventions, performance styles and performance and expressive skills to develop and present a short solo performance. These skills are further developed as students create a devised solo performance in response to a prescribed structure.

Students also document and evaluate the stages involved in the creation, development and presentation of a solo performance.

Students are encouraged to attend performances that incorporate non-naturalistic performance styles to support their work in this unit.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to devise a solo performance in response to given stimulus material and describe the non-naturalistic qualities of the performance.  

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to create, develop and perform a non-naturalistic drama solo in response to a prescribed structure.  

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse and evaluate the creation, development and presentation of a devised non-naturalistic solo performance.  


Assessment

Satisfactory Completion

Demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit.

Levels of Achievement

 

Units 1 and 2

Emmaus College students complete graded Assessment Tasks and Semester Examinations as part of the Assessment process for Units 1 and 2.  

Units 3 and 4

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority will supervise the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4.

In Drama the student’s level of achievement will be determined by school-assessed coursework, an end-of-year performance examination and an end-of-year written examination.

Percentage contributions to the study score in Drama are as follows:

Unit 3 and Unit 4 School-assessed Coursework 40%
End-of-year performance examination 35%
End-of-year written examination 25%