Drama Ensemble Topic: Social Media

Below is an ensemble topic suitable for students in Years 9-11 Drama. Use with your students and adapt as you see fit. Use the print button at the bottom of this post. For local readers of The Drama Teacher, this topic is appropriate for VCE Unit 1 Drama as it will most likely be “stimulus material that reflects personal, cultural and/or community experiences and stories” (VCE Drama Study Design 2014-2018) of your students.



Social Media Definition
A group of Internet-based applications that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Users typically shift fluidly and flexibly between the role of author and audience. Social media uses Web 2.0 technologies to allow people to interact socially with ease. Example applications include Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Flickr, YouTube, wikis, forums, multiplayer gaming, MMS, SMS and more.

This ensemble performance involves subject matter concerned with the student’s personal cultural and/or community experiences and stories. It must make use of both naturalistic and non-naturalistic performance styles and includes content that explores both the positive and negative aspects of social media.

Dramatic Structure
One of the following options must be used:

  1. Linear plot development: each actor performs one role and each scene is a result of event/s in the preceding scene/s
  2. Episodic plot development: each actor performs multiple roles and scenes are self-contained episodes with different events and characters tied together by the ensemble topic
  3. Combo deal: a combination of the above to be negotiated with your teacher.

Performance Style
Elements of both naturalistic and non-naturalistic theatre must be presented in the performance.

Suggested Conventions

Naturalistic ConventionsNon-Naturalistic Conventions
One role per actorMultiple roles per actor
Believable characterisationStereotyped characterisation
Full costumeFragmentary costume
No interaction with audienceDirect address to audience (narration etc.)
Communicate via voice, gesture, movementUse of placards, signs, notices, multimedia
Complete set pieces and propsFragmentary set pieces and props
Actors do not break into songSong used to convey message or theme
Realistic speech patternsStylised speech, use of monotone, rhyme etc.
Believable gestures and movementsStylised/exaggerated gestures & movements
Resolution or ending is completeUnresolved conclusion, left up to spectator


Prescribed Dramatic Elements
Contrast: presents the dissimilar or opposite in order to highlight or emphasise difference. Contrast can be explored in many ways and can include contrasting characters, settings, times, themes, elements, stagecraft and performance styles.

Tension: the suspense that holds an audience’s attention as a performance unfolds. The release of tension can have a comic or dramatic effect.

Symbol: used to create meaning that is not literal. Symbol allows performers to communicate ideas and themes through words, stagecraft and expressive skills.

Prescribed Stagecraft Elements
Props, costume, theatre technologies.

Expected Length
15-20 minutes of continuous drama.

4 Responses

  1. Faith Ken-Aminikpo says:

    Great to hear from you. Do we a publishing outfit where work could be published?

  2. India says:

    Hi. I’m really loving this. Exactly what I needed for my students. Thanks!

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