What’s Been Happening in Drama?
Year 5 Drama
Our Year 5s have been exploring team-building games and storytelling in drama. The students have engaged in a variety of different performance activities such as creating ‘silent movies’, communicating through gibberish, and creating tableaux based on a stimulus. When working on a group performance task, the girls have worked hard to explore how to create and convey an introduction, complication, climax, and resolution in their performances. It has been wonderful to see them all grow in confidence and gain a passion for this subject!
I have loved doing Drama this term! Before I was terrified of the stage, but after this class, I love it, and I am yearning to go on. Drama has really brought out my inner actor! Mahua Madan
Year 6 Drama
In Year 6 Drama we worked on a unit called ‘Darkwood Manor.’ We learned about the story of Mrs Brown and her four husbands. All of them mysteriously died in Darkwood Manor and no one knows how. We also learned that the West Wing in the house burnt down. We had to create a play that showed our audience how we thought it had burnt down. In one of our lessons, we were led into a crime scene lead by two Chief Detectives (Ms La Brooy and Miss Hunt) in the Theatre, and we had to use all the evidence to make up a story of how we thought Nate Allen died (one of Mrs Brown’s husbands).
We were also asked to stay at Darkwood Manor! We then performed what we thought would happen if we stayed overnight. I thought this topic was so fun and I enjoyed it so much! I loved joining with the other Year 6 Drama class and acting together with our teachers. Charlie McCoy
Year 7 Drama
The Year 7s have been working in small groups devising a performance based on the Melodrama form of theatre. At the start of the term, students participated in various practical workshops that explored the conventions of Melodrama such as stock characters, the use of sound, and the use of over-exaggerated gestures. Students were tasked with creating a Melodrama performance that used these conventions along with the elements of drama to create an engaging and creative performance.
In Drama this term we have been focusing on Melodrama. Melodrama is a style of acting often used in cartoons or soap operas and concentrates on overdramatic and exaggerated gestures and voices. In groups of four or five, we created, rehearsed, and presented our own Melodrama performance for the class. We had access to the props in the Theatre and opportunities to bring in costumes to help reinforce the characters we played. It has been lots of fun! Izzy Longstaff
Year 8 Drama
This term our students have been learning about Commedia dell’Arte. The students have learned about Commedia through research and participating in physical workshops to explore the stock characters. In this unit of work, we also focused on the design roles in theatre as the students all made their own character masks. This proved to be a fun part of the process as students were creative in their designs and enjoyed the ‘hands-on’ approach. The Year 8’s then worked in small groups improvising and rehearsing their performance using the conventions of Commedia. The performances featured slapstick comedy and were very engaging for the audience!
I enjoyed making the masks as usually when we use props or costumes in Drama, we don’t make them ourselves. Using the plaster was cool as I’ve never used it before and we were able to be creative in how we designed and made the masks based on stock characters. It was a great opportunity to work on something that wasn’t formally assessed even though we had to use the masks effectively in the performance! Sienna Pitt
Throughout the term, we have been looking into the different types of characters. There are The Lovers who are Isabella and Flavio, Il Dottore who is always trying to sell people fake potions, Il Capitano who is always bragging even though he is a coward, Pantalone who is very greedy and always looking for money, Columbina who is a servant and always looking and listening into conversations where she is not wanted, and Arlecchino who is easily distracted by food and lovely ladies. When we were first learning about the characters, one of our tasks was to blow up a balloon and use that as a prop to act out different characters and some of their dialogue. For example, Arlecchino often says “Coming sir!” and that was one of the lines we practiced while kicking the balloon across the space trying to juggle it. Serena Duffin
Year 9 Drama
This past term, we have been learning about Shakespearean Theatre and stage fighting. It has been a very fun experience, and it put me out of my comfort zone as I have never done any stage fighting before. We learned about different stage fighting moves and that if you stand in the right place, the audience will believe it is real.
In class, we played different games and participated in workshops where we learned about Shakespeare and specifically about the meaning behind the words he used in his plays. One game we played was where we got a sheet of Shakespearean Insults, we then had to add these insults into some lines and add a backstory. It was very fun and the whole room was filled with laughter as we were calling each other things like foot licker and canker blossom.
After this we got our scripts and started practicing and researching our Shakespeare plays, we were assigned. Nastassja from the company Stage Combat Perth also came in for a few weeks and taught us many things about sword fighting. We started by learning some basic moves without the swords, then we started using the swords and learned choreography to use in our Shakespeare plays. We incorporated the sword fighting and the stage combat into our assigned plays.
Overall, the experience was very beneficial, and I have taken a lot away from it. Drama class this past year has put me out of my comfort zone and helped me learn new and important things to use in my drama performances. Ruby Morris
Year 10 Drama
In Year 10 Drama, the girls have been studying the play Children of the Black Skirt by Australian playwright Angela Betzien. The play explores the ‘lost children’ of Australia through the spirits of children from convict times, through to World War II, the Stolen Generation, and beyond. Firstly, students completed dramaturgical research into the context and themes surrounding the play to gain a deeper understanding of why the play was written.
Students then participated in various practical workshops exploring physical theatre techniques such as chorus movement, symbolic movement, and the works of physical theatre companies such as Frantic Assembly. The focus of the assessment task was on how physical theatre along with the elements of drama such as character, mood and atmosphere, and dramatic tension can be manipulated to make an impact on the audience, so they will be agitated for change.
Year 11 Drama
Year 11 Drama is the best! I enjoy being creative and having fun experimenting with different ideas in the open space that is the stage. This term we have been analysing the play Ruby Moon by Matt Cameron which is a fractured fairy tale about a little girl who sets off to visit her grandmother at the end of the cul-de-sac and is never seen again. We are currently working in pairs on scenes from the play, focusing on a presentational style of performing.
We have also been learning about the role of a set designer. We have constructed set designs focusing on the process, different stage types, specific placement of objects, and analysing the principles and visual elements of design. For our performance assessment, we have also been working on lighting design to create mood and atmosphere. We are using the lighting software Vista which is used professionally in theatres globally. We have really enjoyed extending our knowledge in both the acting and design roles. Bronte McGolderick
Year 12 Drama
In Year 12 Drama ATAR we have been reinterpreting two plays: Antigone by Sophocles and Jump for Jordan by Donna Abela. We have been focusing on extending our knowledge in performance making, looking into the roles that sound designers, lighting designers, and dramaturges have in making a production.
Currently, we are exploring Jump for Jordan. The play explores the life of Sophie and her experiences as a Jordanian migrant living in western Sydney. We have researched key themes such as prejudice against people from the Middle East and internalised racism as well as key events in both the World and Australia such as the Cronulla riots, that have shaped the dramatic action of the play.
For our current performance assessment, we have been focussing on the role of the sound designer. We have incorporated traditional Middle Eastern music and overlapping news reports into our performances. This contextualises and provides the audience with an opportunity to connect with the action occurring in front of them. We have been experimenting with the placement of speakers both onstage and in the audience to engage them further and make them question their own world and how they can make a change after leaving the theatre. Olivia Taliangis, Performing Arts Captain
Next term, our annual Middle School Production will begin! We are very excited to offer this co-curricular activity to students in years 7-9. Please keep an eye on the notices for information regarding the show announcement, auditions, and rehearsal times!
If your daughter is interested in finding out more about what is on offer at the College in Drama, she can get in touch with Jessica Wynn, Head of Dance & Drama.