Top Class Drama Success

At its very heart, much of blogging is a personal adventure and today’s post is both academic and personal. Late last week, one of my Year 12 students from 2010 made me very proud when she got a letter from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority saying she has been accepted into one of the Top Class Drama concerts coming up in April.

For interstate or overseas readers, Top Class is a series of academic concerts where students who studied their final Year of Drama or Theatre Studies in Victoria get to perform their performance examination one more time before an audience of teachers, students and friends early the following year. In order to obtain a place in the concert, the student must receive a perfect exam score of 77/77 for Drama from each of the three examiners, resulting in an exam score of 231/231 (different figures for Theatre Studies, but the same rules apply). These students are invited to perform the piece before a panel in January the following year as an audition, competing against others for the usual 33 places in the Top Class Drama concerts (30 places in 2010). It is such a difficult process for the students. From the Top Class Drama and Theatre Studies concerts in April, a select three or four are chosen from each study to perform at a combined arts concerts, known as Top ACTS, at the 2,600-seat Hamer Hall in May, where the very best music, drama and dance pieces are performed. My understanding is that the “edge” shifts slightly for selection in being purely academic for Top Class inclusion, to being both academic and entertaining for Top Acts selection. Drama students perform a self-devised 7-minute solo performance based on a given structure, while Theatre Studies students perform one of a series of prescribed monologues from published plays.

I’ve got to say I’m a bit blown away, because this is the 5th time my students have been represented in the Top Class Drama concerts in the past 7 years:

2011* – 1 student audition, 1 student Top Class Drama.
2010 – 6 students audition, 2 students Top Class Drama, 1 student Top Acts.
2008 – 4 students audition, 1 student Top Class Drama.
2007 – 3 students audition, 3 students Top Class Drama, 1 student Top Acts.
2005 – 1 student audition, 1 student Top Class Drama.

* year represents the Top Class/Top Acts concert year, or the year after the student left school.

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