Behind the Scenes
When people think about Drama as a subject, they often think about all things acting! Although we do a lot of work in developing students’ performance skills, we also delve into the world behind the curtain and examine the various theatre production roles.
This term in Year 10 Drama, students have been focusing on the roles of a set designer and lighting designer. This work aims to prepare students for the Drama ATAR courses they may choose to study in Years 11 and 12.
At the beginning of the term, the students investigated musical theatre, specifically looking at the hit Broadway musical Aladdin. They participated in workshops exploring the principles of design and investigated the process a set designer must go through when designing a set for a show. This unit of work culminated in a task where students submitted supporting evidence and documentation of their design process, together with a set model of a scene from Aladdin. The students enjoyed this creative task and produced exceptional work!
Student Abigail Marra explains how incorporating important learning into a fun, and innovative project of the Aladdin set design task was super exciting to complete. “The project consisted of five sections: inspiration, elevation plan, floor plan, justification, and the final set design model. Our knowledge of set design expanded exponentially as we delved into the five principles of design (pattern, balance, repetition, emphasis, and contrast). As we explored more of the logistics of the role of the set designer, we realised that it is so much more than the aesthetics!” she said.
Partway through the term, the students were then introduced to the role of the lighting designer. They are currently working on a youth theatre performance task that explores an important issue in society. As well as devising and acting in the performance, students need to design the lighting, using the lighting technologies available to them in the College theatre. The students have been very lucky to participate in workshops run by Andrew Portwine, a production manager specialising in lighting design.
Student Ellie Vrankovich said, “Through workshops, Andrew Portwine taught us how to effectively set the mood and atmosphere for a stage scene using variations of colour, space, and brightness. We have also learnt about the different kinds of lights operated through a lighting board and the software Vista, which is used professionally in the theatre industry.” She added, “I have really enjoyed learning about this process which I can apply to a range of situations, including Drama performances and when analysing film.”
We look forward to seeing the students’ lighting designs and performances at the end of this term!