As we come to the end of another school year, it is always rewarding to look back on the achievements of our students and of the Drama Department. While we have already enjoyed the successes of our HSC Drama students and their Onstage nominations, there are many Drama students in Years Nine to Eleven who are demonstrating that they too are capable of achieving such excellence.
This week we were able to showcase a selection of student work at the 2016 Drama Expo and the feedback following this event has been very rewarding. Each of the performances and films presented at the Expo were entirely student-developed, exploring a key question or idea through a particular dramatic form. For example, the Year 9 Drama students devised performances within the Gothic genre around the focus question “How is forgiveness something that we are rather than something that we do?” As scriptwriters, directors and actors, they explored how transformational acting can be used to create supernatural moments and effectively shift time and place. This unit challenges the students to create drama as opposed to comedy and is loosely linked to their study of Macbeth in English, by exploring how the supernatural in plays acts as a symbolic device to build tension, mood and atmosphere. Year 10 explored Political Theatre and how live performance can be used to question social and political injustices and advocate for change.
The Year 11 students presented pieces from their study of a very contemporary theatrical movement called Post-Dramatic Theatre. This style of theatre aims to break with the theatrical tradition of realism. The play, Love and Information by Caryl Churchill, has been purposefully written without stage directions, characters and setting. The challenge of this play, which is essentially a series of chapters of dialogue, was interpretation. Each Year Eleven student had to take on the role of director and make staging choices that explored social, political, cultural and social issues.
Top Left: Year 9 students in their play ‘The Raven’. Right: Year 10 students in their play ‘Land of the Brave’. Bottom: Light and Stage Captains.
Mathew Clausen (Mr)