Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Drama 2016

Standard 93304


Part A: Commentary

In response to the examination questions, most candidates showed confidence in their prepared physical presentations.

Opportunities to confirm their competence in critical analysis or an articulate explanation of their intentions were sometimes not used to advantage, so that a consistent level of achievement across all three questions, addressing all three criteria was compromised.

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • showed a superior awareness of the performance opportunities offered and applied perceptive techniques to translate them into effective drama
  • demonstrated a comprehensive range of physical and vocal skills at a consistently excellent standard across all questions
  • analysed intentions and creative choices in articulate drama terms, showing familiarity with established theatre practice
  • introduced a strong element of imaginative flair into their planning and performances
  • used general drama theory with clear authority and conviction.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • demonstrated competence in all three aspects of the examination, creating drama with clarity and control
  • showed consistent energy and personal conviction across all questions
  • reasoned their performance choices with mature observation.

Other candidates commonly:

  • were unable to translate stated intentions into convincing physical action
  • used immature or inaccurate analysis in introductory explanations or in the justification for impromptu performance
  • showed faulty or inadequate understanding of general drama theory in their use of space and shaping of performances.

Further comments

To meet the standard, candidates must provide evidence of achievement across three criteria, which are equally weighted in the assessment schedule. Preparation for the Scholarship examination should therefore position the candidate to show as wide a range of skills and understanding as possible.

For example, the choice of text to be performed in Part 1 should allow vocal and physical techniques to be perceptively used and the excerpt to be skilfully developed and shaped.

In Part 2 of the examination, the self-devised piece, the candidate should demonstrate a clear understanding of the selected theorist, as well as present a contrasting set of skills to Part 1, so that the widest practicable showcase of the candidate’s ability is demonstrated.

Part 3 should be treated as an opportunity to create dramatically effective narrative without losing physical and vocal commitment or control of the performance space. For example, the performer should not stay seated, behind furniture or work exclusively in a profile position if the audience is to be well engaged.

Candidates are required to be convincing and articulate in their explanations or justifications. Personal authority is conveyed through reference to wider theatre practice and experience, including New Zealand works or productions. Oral statements of intention and details learned by rote are ineffective in this regard.

Candidates can strengthen their introductions or justification by standing close to the camera for these parts of the examination, rather than remaining at a distance from it.

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