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13 Comments

  1. Dear Mr Cash,
    I am Hoi-fai Wu, the Artistic Director of Pants Theatre Production, (www.pants.org.hk) a professional Hong Kong theatre company receiving the yearly grant of Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Documentary theatre is one of my company’s major foci. I am planning to come to Australia in the beginning of December 2018 to research on the latest development of documentary theatre there. May I ask if documentary/verbatim theatre an individual school course in Australia? Reading your blog, I felt that it’s not a compulsory module in the drama course but when I read Paul Brown’s book “Verbatim Theatre”, it seems that there is an official syllabus of documentary theatre in Australian secondary school courses.
    Look forward to your reply.

    1. Hi Hoi-fai Wu, to the best of my knowledge documentary theatre is not prescribed in any state or territory curriculum in Australia. However, it could easily be taught in the Victorian Certificate of Education Drama or Theatre Studies courses. Verbatim theatre is an option in the New South Wales Higher School Certificate Drama curriculum one task.

  2. This is a great conversation. Very helpful. I’m teaching IB MYP Drama, and these ideas are fantastic. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for this article!! Very helpful. I especially appreciate your list of criteria for a successful performance. I’m planning on introducing docudrama for the first time and am wondering… is 5 weeks enough time for a project like this?

    1. 5 weeks might be a bit short, Joanna. I’d normally spend twice this amount of time doing a docudrama with a senior drama class. Student research, alone, can eat up the first three weeks of a project of this type.

      1. Hmm… thanks for responding to me! I’m new to teaching a senior level class. Any suggestions of a smaller docudrama/verbatim performance that I can undertake in a 5 week timeline? I want to try this form of theatre but recognize I’m limited by time…

        1. The topic/event is up to you, Joanna. Just adjust the expectations of the task according to the time available. Smaller topic/event = less student research. Have something where a limited amount of research is sufficient and is readily available. I’ve given a couple of docudrama tasks over the years where I researched dozens of web articles in advance and presented the students with a list of URLs! Have a short performance duration expectation, also. They should put it together pretty quickly if you cut some corners for them.

  4. What’s the format for a documentary drama script and is it possible to adapt it for television?

  5. Very relevant and useful response. Documentary and verbatim are indeed engaging and worthwhile for our students in Drama. Love to read stories of success in the classroom!

  6. I am currently on my teaching internship and am teaching Verbatim Theatre to year 10 Drama students. Just wanted to say thank you for the tips – it is hard to find good information on Verbatim on the net!

    Megan