The Elements of Drama Compared
One of the most popular posts on The Drama Teacher (currently with about 40,000 shares) is where I list and define the elements of drama. Originally, this particular list came about because they were prescribed (but at the time, not defined) in the senior curriculum I teach here in Melbourne, Australia – the Victorian Certificate of Education. Reader comments below that post discussed the different elements of drama being taught in various curricula across Australia and elsewhere. Hence, there really is no consistent list of the elements of drama.
So I thought I’d do a little digging to show readers of The Drama Teacher how four states in Australia have different ideas on what exactly are the elements of drama in their syllabi? The states analysed here are Victoria (VIC), New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD) and Western Australia (WA). For the purposes of this exercise, the syllabi used is senior studies curriculum (Years 11 and/or 12).
Elements of drama are discrete but interrelated. Dramatic action and meaning are created when these elements are integrated and applied to a specific context. (Source: Queensland Studies Authority)
The Elements of Drama in Four States of Australia (Senior Studies)
Climax: VIC only.
Conflict: VIC only.
Contrast: VIC & QLD.
Mood: VIC, NSW, QLD & WA.
Atmosphere: NSW & WA.
Rhythm: VIC & NSW.
Sound: VIC & NSW.
Space: VIC, NSW, QLD & WA.
Symbol: VIC, NSW, QLD & WA.
Metaphor: WA only.
Tension: VIC, NSW, QLD & WA.
(Dramatic) Focus: NSW (moved in VIC from an element of drama to a ‘performance skill’).
Movement: NSW & WA (‘expressive skill’ in VIC).
Time: NSW, QLD & WA.
Place: QLD only.
Pace: NSW only.
Pause: NSW only.
Role and/or Character: NSW, QLD & WA.
Character Relationships: QLD & WA.
Actor/Audience Relationship/s: NSW & WA (‘performance skill’ in VIC).
Language: QLD & WA (recently dumped in VIC).
Situation: QLD & WA.
Movement: NSW, QLD & WA (‘expressive skill’ in VIC).
Voice: WA only (‘expressive skill’ in VIC).
Texts: WA only.