UNIT 1: THE FOUNDATIONS OF DRAMA AND DRAMATIC STORYTELLING
- conventions of storytelling
- narrative structures used in storytelling
- appropriate drama language and terminology
- awareness of audience and space.
Fundamental Drama Skills:
- use of physicalisation appropriate to dramatic storytelling (gesture, stance, body language)
- use of voice to create tone and mood
- application of vocal considerations: pace, pitch, pause, inflection, articulation etc. to enhance storytelling
- solo and ensemble presentation
- rehearsal and performance preparation procedures
- documenting and recording reflections.
In this Unit learners are introduced to the foundations of dramatic performance: fundamental drama skills; basic drama processes; performance practices; stagecraft skills (all as described in glossary) and relationships with audience. Warm up activities, workshopping and experimentation enable learners to practice applying and engaging with these foundation skills and understandings.
The foundations of Drama explored at the start of this Unit lead learners to the application of skills in context. Through ‘Dramatic Storytelling’ learners have the opportunity to experiment with and apply skills for a given purpose; to create and enhance meaning.
SKILLS IN CONTEXT: Dramatic Storytelling
Learners explore a minimum of 3 narrative structures and types of dramatic storytelling which may include but are not limited to:
- Myths and Legends
- hero tales/folktales
- Urban Legends
- personal narratives
- cultural/traditional stories (which may include stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island cultures)
- ‘Tall Tales’
- contemporary works of fiction.
Learners understand the concept/importance of audience engagement:
- audience responses and appropriate (and inappropriate) interaction between actor and audience
- audience expectations, attitudes, experience and responses to dramatic storytelling.
Learners are introduced to appropriate forms and styles:
- types of dramatic storytelling
- types of performance/audience relationships in drama works
- types of storytelling based on simple narrative structures.
Learners utilise appropriate Drama conventions:
- techniques in dramatic storytelling to engage the audience through dramatic tension
- conventions of improvisation in dramatic storytelling
- conventions of narrative structure with a focus on enacted story
- conventions of documenting dramatic choices (character profiles, voice techniques and movement techniques annotations)
- performance and audience behaviours appropriate to performance contexts.
Learners consider spaces of performance:
- performance areas to define space and time for an audience
- audience awareness in performance
- audience/space arrangements and their effect on drama.
UNIT 2: DRAMATIC TEXTS
- characteristics of various dramatic text types
- voice and movement techniques to communicate intended meaning
- conventions of text layouts
- techniques for creating dramatic tension and focus
- blocking (avoiding gagging and blocking of performers, etc...).
- annotating/marking up and note taking to prepare scripts for rehearsal
- performance preparation processes
- performing/presenting various text types
- characterisation/performance skills appropriate to particular text types
- use of appropriate props and costume to support performance
- voice and movement techniques using energy and emphasis.
The focus of this Unit is on introducing learners to Dramatic Texts. Learners are introduced to a variety of forms of Dramatic texts and engage with skills, processes and conventions specific to individual text types.
Learners build upon their emerging skills and their understanding of Drama as a means of communication. Learners work independently and collaboratively, learning time management and organisational skills through rehearsal and in class performance. They develop their capacity to understand and use appropriate terminology to reflect on, comment on and express opinions about Drama work.
Learners are introduced to basic, representational production elements and their capacity to enhance meaning where appropriate.
Basic Production elements:
Through appropriate learning activities, learners explore a minimum of 3 Dramatic text types. The characteristics and requirements of individual text types are made explicit to learners. Dramatic text types may include, but are not limited to:
- radio play
- TV/film script
- movement notation
- stage directions
- play script
Learners expand and broaden their understanding of the following elements (introduced in Unit 1) as they pertain to the chosen text types:
- voice and movement skills
- drama processes
- performance practices
- stagecraft skills
- audience and space
- form and style
- drama conventions.
UNIT 3: NATURALISTIC AND NON NATURALISTIC PERFORMANCE
- naturalistic and non-naturalistic performance styles and conventions
- stagecraft appropriate to selected performance styles
- conventions of documenting drama performance events
- suspension of disbelief
- ways that production elements can be used to support meaning and mood.
- characterisation and character building techniques
- improvisation to develop and explore aspects of role and context
- interpreting text
- manipulating dramatic elements to shape a performance
- creating appropriate actor-audience relationships.
In Unit 3, learners are introduced to the differences between naturalistic and non-naturalistic styles of acting and performance. They participate in learning activities that allow them to explore contrasting styles and gain some preliminary understanding of appropriate techniques and conventions.
Learners use performance styles from a range of historical, cultural and social contexts.
Learners consider where and how drama might be presented to an audience and select performance spaces appropriate to the theme or subject matter.
Learners document and record the play-making techniques and dramatic processes used to shape and develop their work.
Learners utilise and understand design principles and technical production elements:
- design principles: balance; contrast; movement; repetition; scale/proportion; and unity
- ways that costume, makeup and props can be used to support setting, situation and dramatic intent
- technical production elements (e.g. set, lighting, sound effects, AV design, music) and how these can support dramatic intent.
Examples of content useful for the study of Naturalism (realist)/Non Naturalism (non-realist) may include but are not limited to:
- truthful language
- realistic movement
- consistent time period
- realistic setting
- realistic costuming.
- exaggerated movement
- heightened language
- direct audience address
- fragmentary costume
- placards and signs
- fragmentary set pieces
||Non Naturalistic examples
- Uta Hagen
- Stella Adler
- Lee Strasberg
- George Bernard Shaw
- Eugene O’Neill
- The Shifting Heart
- Secret Bridesmaids Business
- Summer of the 17th Doll.
- commedia dell’Arte
- physical comedy
- Tadashi Suzuki
- Tears from a glass eye
- Robbery under arms
- Servant of two masters.
UNIT 4: DEVISING DRAMA
- examples of devised performance
- playmaking techniques
- building dramatic action through play structure
- expressive and performance skills.
- appropriate stagecraft
- use of production elements to support and enhance performance
- manipulating audience/actor relationship for effect
- characterisation through the manipulation of expressive skills.
The focus for this Unit is the exploration of a drama context developed as a devised group drama. Learners develop an understanding of a dramatic context and apply their skills and knowledge to the production of a performance that reflects the structure, style and conventions of their chosen context.
Work in this Unit will be a culmination of understanding derived from the previous 3 Units and learners are expected to draw upon their work in these Units to inform their devised work. Learners are introduced to play making techniques such as:
The learner’s involvement in the devised performance must include all of the following areas:
- script development and writing
- design (set, costume, make-up, lighting, sound, multimedia)
Working as a member of a team in a drama context, learners may:
- negotiate with each other and the teacher(s) to select a context from the defined list
- select and explore a dramatic context and story
- devise and develop a dramatic performance (the devised performance may be self-devised, extracts or adaptations from the works of other, or from a mixture of sources)
- present a dramatic performance
- reflect on the performance and their role in the performance.
Types of devised performance may include, but are not limited to:
- collated script (variety of sources/text types)
- documentary drama
- process drama.
UNIT 5: FORM AND EXPRESS CONSIDERED OPINIONS ON DRAMA WORKS
- ways drama terminology can be used to describe and discuss performances
- fundamental knowledge of stagecraft and technical elements
- appropriate written and oral presentation formats
- ways personal response and artistic/aesthetic judgement are used to evaluate a performance.
- discussing aspects of a performance that contribute to its success or otherwise
- use drama terminology to discuss drama works
- structuring ideas and responses appropriately
- differentiating between personal response and artistic/aesthetic judgement.
This Unit underpins the learner’s ability to comment on and discuss aspects of their own work and work presented by others. Over the duration of the course, learners will develop and apply skills and knowledge to form and express considered opinions about their own and others drama works.
Learners are introduced to the difference between personal response and artistic/aesthetic judgement when considering the success or otherwise of a performance.
- develop and apply reflective practice techniques in the consideration of the drama works of self and others
- formally and informally share responses to drama works
- apply terminology and concepts to the discussion of the drama works of self and others
- describe artistic choices and process in the creation of own drama works
- use some visual materials to illustrate/support ideas and opinions expressed in oral and written forms (e.g. annotated diagrams, graphic organisers, collage/colours)
- examine ways in which personal responses to drama works are shaped (e.g. personal tastes, past experiences)
- examine ways in which personal responses to drama works can be supported (e.g. the degree to which technical production elements support dramatic intent, effectiveness of movement or voice in a performance)
- use appropriate citation/referencing techniques when using the ideas, words, images and information of others.