The Drama ATAR course focuses on aesthetic understanding and drama in practice as students integrate their knowledge and skills. They use the elements and conventions of drama to develop and present ideas and explore personal and cultural issues. They engage in drama processes such as improvisation, playbuilding, text interpretation, playwriting and dramaturgy which allow them to create original drama and interpret a range of texts written or devised by others. Their work in this course includes production and design aspects involving sets, costumes, makeup, props, promotional materials, and sound and lighting. Increasingly, students use technologies such as digital sound and multimedia. They present drama to a range of audiences and work in different performance settings.
In this course, students engage in both Australian and world drama practice. They understand how drama has changed over time and will continue to change according to its cultural context. Through the Drama ATAR course, they can understand the experience of other times, places and cultures in an accessible, meaningful and enjoyable way. They understand the economic factors that affect drama practice and explore the vocational opportunities that drama offers.
While some students intend to make a career in drama and related fields, they also participate in drama for enjoyment and satisfaction. They experience the pleasure that comes from developing personal skills, knowledge and understandings that can be transferred to a range of careers and situations. The Drama ATAR course builds confidence, empathy, understanding about human experience, and a sense of identity and belonging. These are invaluable qualities for contemporary living.
Minimum literacy/numeracy requirements for Year 10 are vital. Previous Drama experience (including an A or B in lower school Drama courses) is advantageous but not vital.
The Year 11 syllabus is divided into two units, each of one semester duration, which are typically delivered as a pair. The notional time for each unit is 55 class contact hours.
Unit 1 – Representational, Realist Drama
This unit focuses on representational, realistic drama forms and styles. Students explore techniques of characterisation through different approaches to text interpretation, particularly those based on the work of Stanislavski and other representational drama.
Unit 2 – Presentational, Non-Realist Drama
This unit focuses on presentational, non-realist drama. Students explore techniques of role and/or character through different approaches to text interpretation, particularly those based on the work of Brecht and other presentational drama.
Students who complete Year 11 ATAR Drama can progress onto Year 12 ATAR Drama, and will contribute to an ATAR score for University entrance.