This is an example of a task in the Victorian Certificate of Education Unit 4 Drama course (Australia), but can easily be used by Drama teachers anywhere in the world.
It is a brief, 1 to 3 minute solo performance exploring a typical character belonging to a chosen subculture in society. Examples of subcultures may be anything from Goths and Greasers to Nerds and Scooterboys. My experience is teenagers are easily motivated to perform a subculture character they are genuinely interested in and have little trouble sinking their teeth into this topic and obtaining ownership of the task.
The student writes the script, based on research and other factors. This ‘mini solo’ serves as an excellent introduction to the nature and structure of a solo performance. In this course, the 1 to 3-minute mini solo outlined here is used as a lead-up to the next task, a formal 7-minute solo performance examination.
There is a lot to do in this example of such a short performance, but it should also teach students there is no time to waste or ‘warm into’ your character in a solo performance, particularly if it only goes for 3 minutes!
For those of you outside Victoria, Australia, replace the performance style of ‘non-naturalistic’ in the structure below, with ‘anti-realstic’ or ‘non-realistic’. Evidence of the theatrical conventions of character, place and object (prop) will only need to be brief in this mini solo. Symbol is deliberately listed for inclusion in the performance because many subcultures rely heavily on identity through unique symbols and motifs. Mood is prescribed because the atmosphere of the chosen subculture needs to be portrayed, even in a quick 1–3 minute performance.
This task is accompanied by a brief written report describing processes used to develop the performance.
Feel free to pdf download and use or adapt to your heart’s content!
SHORT SOLO PERFORMANCE (1-3 minutes)
The subculture character
The Internet, movies and literature in which the chosen subculture is either represented or documented.
Research a character belonging to a subculture of your choice. In the performance:
- show the world of your subculture
- demonstrate examples of typical behaviour
- briefly portray one or more minor secondary character/s
- employ the language of your subculture
- show evidence of research
Transformation of character, time, place and object.
Note: if using this task in the revised VCE Drama Study Design (2014-2018), I would recommend stripping it right back, halving the expected requirements, or using it as an example for developing a much simpler task of your own.