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What is drama about?

Connections: Who is drama for?

Drama is for everyone.

We all have stories to share.

We all enjoy interacting with others on a social learning level.

Drama helps us to make sense of the world and find our place in our community.

It celebrates and explores our heritages and helps us to prepare for the future by challenging us to explore the attitudes and beliefs of characters from other worlds.

Through drama, students develop a deeper understanding of themselves and others.

Drama is for the students of today who will be the adults of tomorrow – adults with an appreciation of who they are in relation to others, where they come from, and what kind of world they would like to live in.

Purpose: Why study drama?

Drama explores who we are, where we have come from, and where we could go.

Drama builds students’ confidence to physically express thoughts, feelings, and desires.

Drama draws on the richness of diverse cultures to create new dramatic works.

In drama, students can make connections between the real world and virtual worlds. They can use online platforms to explore their ideas and access worldwide audiences. Creating virtual characters and situations online challenges students’ ability to comment on, challenge, and ultimately transform society.

Drama students demonstrate high engagement in their learning because it allows them to have fun while taking creative risks within a safe environment. They quickly learn that they are responsible for themselves and for others.

Drama examines and challenges established ideas and prejudices. It encourages critical and creative thinking and innovation. It generates new ideas and reflects on trends in society.

Through drama, students develop confidence in expressing their ideas as they seek to communicate with a variety of audiences and thereby influence society.

Knowledge: What is valued knowledge in drama?

Drama is a collaborative art form. Through the practice of ako (reciprocal teaching and learning), students and teachers support and develop each other’s ideas and practice.

Drama students tell stories, express their identity, and challenge the status quo. They explore and manipulate ideas and take creative risks. They share, rework, construct, and deconstruct work that is dynamic and evolving.

Students investigate, explore, and practice different ways of creating and structuring drama through using:

  • linear, thematic, or episodic storytelling
  • the elements of drama (role, place/space, time, situation, action, tension, mood, contrast, focus, symbol)
  • a range of dramatic conventions (for example, spoken thoughts or monologue) to develop characters and deepen the audience’s engagement
  • production technologies (lighting, sound/music, digital projection, properties, makeup, costumes, the set) to create and develop mood and settings (place and time)
  • characters and situations brought to life in a virtual world.

In addition, drama students refine and craft the tools of the actor (drama techniques) by learning to:

  • use their body (gestures, facial expression, stance and posture, movement) to create and recreate the physical representation of characters, relationships and situation
  • use their voice to communicate convincingly the thoughts and feelings of the characters they portray
  • engage with the performance space to develop the audiences’ understanding of character and situation.

Students develop their ability and confidence to communicate in many different ways through using visual, verbal, physical, and written forms of expression.

They examine the work of others – established playwrights, scriptwriters, performers, practitioners, and other students.

Through performance and process drama, students explore big ideas, human nature, their own humanity and identity, and social and political issues.

Drama students engage with questions about global citizenship and a future-focused society, asking:

  • What does it mean to be a citizen of the world?
  • What is love?
  • Do we all have a responsibility to fight injustice? What will happen if we don’t?

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Last updated November 24, 2011