2008 Performance Exams
Well, as many of you may know, this blog originates from Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city. In our state (Victoria), there are two prescribed courses of study in Drama and Theatre Studies, that cover the final two years of high school.
Each subject has both a written and performance final exam. The Theatre Studies course has a selection of monologues from published plays, of which students choose one to perform before three external examiners.
However, in the Drama course the performance exam is less conventional. It is known as a solo performance, where a selection of published ‘structures’ form the exam content, of which students choose one to perform. In this case, the character structures are created by an exam setting panel and once research is undertaken, students write their own script for the performance. Theatre styles and conventions are prescribed for each character, but due to the nature of the task and student-written scripts, there is a more opportunity for wider interpretation of the character choices among students . This solo performance exam lasts a maximum 7 minutes duration.
Whenever I have previously blogged about this solo performance exam, blog visitors from outside Australia have usually found the task fascinating. It is certainly rigorous, that’s for sure! So, this year’s task has just been published, several months in advance of the actual exam dates. Most students spend July to September developing the task in class with their teacher, preparing for the October exam. Here’s the 2008 exam structures for your perusal: