Aims / Objectives
DP Theatre involves the exploration of the history and world practices of Drama combined with the technical approach of particular drama theorists. By exploring these historical applications and techniques both practically and theoretically, students will develop into competent theatre practitioners. It is not solely an acting course, but a program which focuses on three key areas:
Theatre in The Making [TIM] - where students delve into the process of Theatre and develop their dramatic skills. This is the exploratory component of the course.
Theatre in Performance [TIP] - the application of TIM skills to practical projects and productions. This is the presenting component of the course.
Theatre in the World [TIW] - the practical and theoretical exploration of theatre traditions and cultural practices from around the globe. Students will be inspired by these in their own practice.
The essence of this course is to participate in a wide range of theatre activities, such as improvisation, technical production and acting techniques. Students will become familiar with forms of drama from their own and other cultures, exploring a range of different theatre traditions from around the world.
This is an academic course, where, in addition to practical and technical work (in performance), scholastic skills such as writing a critique, pitching a directorial vision, and reflecting on dramatic achievements will require that students become critical theatre practitioners. Internal assessments include a variety of practical experiences in each facet of theatre e.g. acting, lighting etc; written projects and visual plans.
The skills above are assessed against the DP Theatre criteria:
A Knowledge and Understanding
C Reflective Analysis
D Imaginative Synthesis
E Preparation and Presentation
Practical work is assessed ‘live'. To monitor their practical work in adaptation, devising or performing the students keep a drama journal (or blog) to explore and experiment individually and collaboratively. Use of video enables faculty and staff to: identify weakness, suggest alternative skills or build on perceived strengths.
Lessons in first semester will concentrate on the devising, improvisation and ensemble work and review the key elements of Drama that drive a theatrical performance. Students also explore approaches to theatre production, namely the recent theories of directors - Konstantin Stanislavski (Russia), Antonin Artaud (France), Bertolt Brecht (Germany), Peter Brook (UK), Tadashi Suzuki (Japan), Augusto Boal (Brazil) and many more. There will be a focus on directing skills and a seminar in which students will direct others in a short scene using one of theorist's techniques.
In the second semester, students begin an exploration of Balinese Theatre (Wayang Kulit) and perform some traditional shadow puppetry. Later there will also be a focus on African storytelling (Masquerade) and dance and how these together with Asian traditions have inspired European directors and theatre companies. Students will look closely at some contemporary Ugandan, South African and Ghanaian playwrights and their approach to performance.
In the first semester, students explore the improvised comic scenarios of the 16th century Italian mask theatre, Commedia dell Arte, later becoming a travelling troupe entertaining the school community. The second unit allows them to focus on their individual project in which they investigate a facet of practical theatre whether acting directing or technical work.
The second semester involves the completion of all major external assessment pieces for the DP theatre programme including their directorial vision, research investigation and oral presentation on their growth as theatre practitioner over the two year course.
In all year levels, solo, pair and group structure are created. Ways of devising and improvising are taught and practiced.