Posted on 03 August 2018
Drama News: Fostering authentic learning experiences and professional industry opportunities
The Drama Department has enjoyed a vibrant start to Semester 2. The delivery of Drama through our College learning framework ensures students are exposed to authentic learning experiences. Students continue to enjoy the various transferable skills available within the teaching and learning experiences across the course. The opportunity for students to create, collaborate and innovate through delving into rich plays extends into other areas of professional practice. As an example, Secondary Drama currently contains students who wish to become lawyers, psychologists and business leaders. As well, the opportunity to perform and work as a team allows students to increase their confidence in other aspects of the curriculum such as speaking tasks, debates, seminars and group tasks.
The Department also seeks to provide the chance for students to engage with industry professionals currently working in the Australian performing arts industry. To support their study of Comedy and Clown, both Year 9 Drama classes have enjoyed workshops from Shake and Stir Theatre Company and Homunculus Theatre. These workshops were very rewarding for Year 9 as they pushed beyond their comfort zone to present highly energetic and expressive work. With one in three Year 9 students currently studying Drama in 2018, it is wonderful to see students enjoying the benefits of Drama through these comic activities which require fast thinking through creative practice and improvisation.
As the focus shifts towards preparation for senior studies, the Year 10 Drama class has been engaging with the work of Shakespeare in conjunction with Physical Theatre. Innovation has been the key priority with this unit of work as students investigate relevant ways to present classic text. This learning experience also allows students to not only collaborate and rehearse their performance, but also consider design technology with the inclusion of their own sound and lighting concepts. The strong sense of ownership within this unit is also ensuring students can meet the academic rigour of the new senior system.
Gothic Drama in Year 11 includes the study of Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson and Grimm Tales as well as Australian playwrights Stephen Carleton and Angela Betzien. The heightened and expressive world of Gothic allows students to explore contemporary and real-world themes. This unit is also layered with the style of postmodernism where students consider different and dynamic story structures. The Artistic Director of Shake and Stir Theatre Co, Ross Balbuziente conducted an immersive workshop unpacking the performance conventions and aesthetic of Gothic Drama.
In their final showcase piece for Year 12, the senior class is experimenting with hybrid styles of Greek Theatre, Physical Theatre and Shakespeare. Identifying the common narrative elements in these different styles has been the challenge in order to present new and innovative work. J.P Vizcay-Wilson from Shake and Stir also provided a depth of insight through reinforcing students’ understanding of Physical Theatre.
I extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to our OC Drama parents and families for their continued support and enthusiasm. I look forward to sharing further updates throughout the semester.
Secondary School Teacher (Drama)