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The strands in drama

Just as drama is a collaborative art in which students always work with others, the strands should also be understood as collaborative. They are woven into every process and piece of drama work.

For example, during development, the emphasis may fall on helping students to work with voice and projection (developing practical knowledge) but all work will have a context, reflect a particular style of performance, require some development of ideas, and involve communication and interpretation.

The strands are separated for discussion as a way of helping students to understand each and where it fits in the work in drama.

Understanding drama in context

Students make connections between their own worlds and life experiences and local and global communities.

They explore and develop an understanding of the vital position drama and performance hold in the cultures of the past and present and their impact on the future.

Students appreciate how drama has changed and developed through time and within communities.

Students investigate drama styles, purposes, and points of view. They explore, experience, evaluate, and question how drama has been and can be used to express cultural identity, tell stories, and reinforce or challenge social and political ideas.

All drama work has a context, which may be located in the past, the present, or the future. The most successful contexts are rich with detail and possibilities for exploration and creation.

Developing practical knowledge in drama

Students explore how the elements, techniques, conventions, and technologies of drama are used to tell stories and communicate with the audience. Students:

  • gain practical understanding of the elements (role, action, time, place, tension, focus, mood, symbol) or fundamental building blocks of drama
  • polish their ability to use techniques (use of voice, body, movement, space) to communicate character, situation, and relationships
  • experiment with conventions (for example, slow motion, tableau, manipulation of time) as ways of creating, structuring, and deepening their dramas
  • learn about and use technologies (for example, set, costume, digital projection) to create mood, establish character, locate their drama in time and place, challenge ideas, and heighten the creativity of their work.

Developing ideas in drama

Students work together to explore and develop ideas related to their own experience of the world – ideas that they believe are important to communicate to an audience.

Ideas germinate and are worked and reworked through interaction – with each other, with the teacher, within a context, with the work of a playwright or another artist, with a variety of styles and forms.

Collaborative development of ideas is an ongoing and vital part of working in drama. Through increasingly complex exploration of ideas and ways of communicating them, students develop sophisticated and original ideas of their own.

Communicating and interpreting drama

Students create, rehearse, and perform their work for each other and an audience. They also evaluate their own and others’ work. They work in a variety of styles and with a variety of purposes.

Students deepen their understanding of drama and drama processes through exploring and performing in many styles. They also deepen their understanding of the world around them.

They experiment with interpretation, creating something new from what is given and what has been done before. How do you know you are in love? If Romeo and Juliet were alive today, what would keep them apart? What would draw them to each other?

Students appreciate the role of drama in society and in their own lives. They develop their ability to communicate their own ideas, identities, and cultures with others: making work that expresses who they are, what they care about, and what they most fear and desire.

Last updated April 23, 2012