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14 Comments

  1. Hi Justin,

    Thanks so much for this site, it is the best!

    I’m just trying to find clarification on what transformation of character, object, time and place actually needs to look like. I can’t find in any of the supporting doc’s whether these transformations need to be seen by the audience to be counted, and have only found one resources that states time should create a non-linear timeline. My students are completing there Unit 3 ensembles and I want to clarify this for them.

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

  2. Hi Justin,

    Thank you for this website, it is very helpful. I am just wondering what themes Grotowski explored in his works? I am thinking of doing a solo performance (for my Year 12 IB assessment) based on Grotowski’s work, in relation to the idea of ‘children being underestimated’ or bad parental-child relationships which lead to a cycle of life that never breaks. It is generational – do you think I could convey these themes through the work of Grotowski?

    1. For sure, Stephanie! It is important to note productions Grotowski directed were few in number and mostly reimagined interpretations of other works (Dr Faustus, Akropolis etc.). Themes explored included:
      – resurrection
      – Christian iconography
      – imprisonment
      – freedom
      – life
      – sacrificial death
      – confession
      – good vs. evil
      – nightmares
      – memories
      – fantasies

      The themes you suggested here could definitely be conveyed through Grotowski / Poor Theatre style.

  3. Hi Justin,

    I was wondering if you have any resources or ideas on teaching ‘task words’ in preparation of the external examination. Eg; Identify, explain, describe, analyse and evaluate. Or, any tips on how to explicitly teach these task words.

    Thank you!

    1. Holly, to the best of my knowledge, nowhere in the VCE Drama Study Design, Advice for Teachers document, Assessment Handbook or past assessors’ reports do the VCAA provide official descriptors for these terms. You can search through past assessors’ reports to find references to a few of them explained (such as ‘evaluate’), but they are sparse. The best examples I have found were provided by Drama Victoria in the marking guide to their trial examinations. I cannot publish their descriptions here, as they are not in the public domain, suffice to say they provide useful descriptors for:

      – select
      – outline
      – identify
      – discuss
      – describe
      – explain
      – analyse
      – evaluate
      – annotate

      …in a VCE Drama written examination context. Well worth purchasing Drama Vic’s trial exam for this alone, in my opinion. Hope this helps with your query. – Justin

  4. First year teaching VCE Drama! This site is so very clear, concise and helpful. Your comments and resources are geatly appreciated.

    1. Sally, if you search YouTube you will find some clips on Brecht and Epic Theatre, but you may be left dissatisfied with what you find. There is really only a handful of still pictures in archives around the world of his work on stage, mostly of his actress-wife Helene Weigel in Mother Courage and her Children. Regarding introductory exercises, try getting students to create basic scenes (give them topic) and making them introduce one by one some epic theatre conventions. For example, a narrator, use of signs, projection with message, fragmentary costume, character names such as The Father / The Old Woman / The Carpenter, fragmentary scenery etc. The level of sophistication depends on the students/year level. The subject matter for the scene could be as simple as a newspaper article. Also, make sure you have read these articles on Epic Theatre Conventions on The Drama Teacher: 1, 2, 3. Hope this helps! Justin

        1. Look up National Theatre’s clip “5 truths”-Brecht. It is one of five clips showing the same scene but using different styles of theatre. Great way to explain how it differs from Realism.