VCE Drama

VCE Drama is primarily concerned with improvised and student-written drama works, with a minor emphasis on areas of stagecraft (properties and costume). Various 20th century non-naturalistic theatre styles are examined in order to inform students’ drama material for presentation. A number of past Avila College students who have studied VCE Drama have been recognised by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority as producing performance works at an outstanding level. Avila College students are regularly invited to perform at Top Class Drama, an annual concert of VCE Drama Unit 4 performance examination pieces, considered to be amongst the best in Victoria. VCE Drama pathways include Drama teaching, acting and other work in the performing arts. There are several former Avila College students currently studying to be Drama teachers, plus a number who are already qualified Drama teachers in Victorian secondary schools.

VCE Drama Units 1 and 2
In 2018, Avila College is introducing a full VCE Theatre Studies and VCE Drama program every second year. Next year VCE Theatre Studies Units 1 and 2 will replace VCE Drama Units 1 and 2. See the VCE Theatre Studies page for more information. Students are still able to undertake VCE Drama in 2018, but only as an accelerated Year 11 student undertaking VCE Drama Units 3 and 4 (subject to Avila College’s acceleration requirements).

VCE Drama Unit 3: Devised Non-Naturalistic Ensemble Performance

VCE Drama Units 3 & 4 is offered to Year 11 students as an acceleration option.
VCE Drama Units 3 & 4 is also offered to Year 12 students.

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 skills 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.

Artificial Intelligence Poster

Outcomes

On completion of this unit, the student should be able to:

  • develop and present characters within a non-naturalistic ensemble performance
  • analyse play-making techniques used to construct and present an ensemble work
  • analyse and evaluate a non-naturalistic performance selected from the prescribed VCAA Unit 3 Drama playlist

A student’s perspective:

Working in unison with an ensemble of like-minded, passionate people, VCE drama is different from any of the other subjects that I study in year 12. Drama not only offers a safe, and receptive environment in which individuals can express themselves through performance, but also provides a significant understanding of the history of performing arts, with students studying various theatre practitioners including Jerry Grotowski, and Bertolt Brecht. In Drama, students combine theory and performance coherently, it is a challenging, but rewarding subject that offers individuals the chance to explore issues in society and throughout history. The arts have become increasingly paramount to our society and I would recommend Drama to any student who desires to further extend herself, and obtain practical skills and knowledge that can be utilised significantly beyond school.

VCE Drama Unit 4: Non-Naturalistic Solo Performance

VCE Drama Unit 4 is offered to Year 11 students as an acceleration option.
VCE Drama Unit 4 is also offered to Year 12 students.

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

Outcomes

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
  • create, develop and perform a character or characters within a solo performance in response to a prescribed VCAA structure
  • describe, analyse and evaluate the creation, development and presentation of a solo performance

A student’s perspective:

Drama at VCE level is a highly demanding but insanely rewarding, confidence boosting, interesting and fun subject. We not only perform, but also study dramatic theory and conventions, as well as various theatre styles to enhance these performances. In Unit 3, the main assessment task is a non-naturalistic ensemble play, in groups with other students in the class, based on a theme such as historical time period or a modern day event. In Unit 4 we work independently on a non-naturalistic solo, which is a fictional, modern day or historical character. In both tasks, we do research on which to base the performance, and to enhance its quality. There is also a written component in that we complete written SACs on these performances, as well as a professional show that we see as part of the course. I would recommend anyone who is energetic, confident, curious, dedicated or looking for something exciting and different to do Drama.

 

Drama in VCE provides a unique challenge to be both analytical and creative, independent and collaborative. Students develop team building skills such as brainstorming, negotiation, trial and refinement to achieve a performance which meets the various criteria. In particular, I enjoyed the Unit 4 solo which develops self confidence as you are given the task of researching and creating a script for multiple characters that you perform. Drama has provided me with greater confidence in my potential as well as invaluable skills which can be used towards any brainstorming or team task. The subject is suited to students who enjoy creative writing and performance and would like to further their confidence in front of an audience.

Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to act in VCE Drama?
Yes!

Do students write their own playscripts in VCE Drama or perform playscripts already published by others?
All VCE Drama units involve students devising their own performance work and writing their own playscripts.

Is there much theory in VCE Drama?
Not as much theory as there is in VCE Theatre Studies, but yes, there is a theory component in all VCE Drama units that underpins student practical work (performances).

Is there after-school rehearsals in the VCE Drama course?
Occasionally there is an after-school rehearsal to complete student performances. There is a performance evening before parents and friends in each VCE Drama unit.

 

Related subjects:
VCE Theatre Studies, VCE English, VCE History, VCE Literature.

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