Drama - annotated exemplars level 2 AS91221

Direct a scene for drama performance (2.9)

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This annotated exemplar is intended for teacher use only. The student work shown does not always represent a complete sample of what is required. Selected extracts are used, focused on the grade boundaries, in order to assist assessors to make judgements at the national standard.

Low Excellence

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Student work extract

Student 1 (PDF, 121KB)

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For Excellence, the student needs to direct a scene for drama performance effectively.

This involves presenting work convincingly, capturing the essence of the dramatic and/or scripted context with impact.

This student has directed Act 2 Scene 5 from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.

The student has analysed the scene in terms of the whole play to identify her directorial concept as a ‘moment of comic relief’ in that it mocks ‘Juliet’s obsession with Romeo’ in an otherwise tragic play (1).  

Comments for the selection of casting support the comic concept, with the Nurse played by a male and wearing a costume with large false breasts to add humour (2). This supports the essence of the scripted context and serves to create impact.

The rehearsal schedule is detailed and includes a slot for students to be filmed so they can reflect on their work (3). The consideration of the nurse’s focus, as opposed to Juliet’s within the scene, indicates that the director is considering how to communicate the concept in a manner that draws out the essence of the scene (4).

The performance convincingly realises the comic concept, and shows the contrast between Juliet’s serious pleading and the nurse’s mockery of her love.

For a more secure Excellence, the student could have directed the nurse’s actions to be more subtle, uncovering the true comic irony of the scene. Directorial intervention, to guide this refinement of a broad stereotype into a fully credible character, would have supported a more convincing communication of the concept.

High Merit

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Student work extract

Student 2 (PDF, 166KB)

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For Merit, the student needs to direct a scene for drama performance skilfully.

This involves working with competence, control, and sense of purpose, and analysing the text and translating it into a cohesive work.

This student has directed an excerpt from Act 1 scene 5 from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.

The student’s journal demonstrates evidence of purposeful analysis. The scene is identified as ‘an important turning point in the play, in which Viola realises the full potential of her male disguise, and Olivia realises she is in love’. This is realised cohesively in performance (1). 

Reasons for casting are justified in terms of the characteristics of the roles (2), and acting exercises have been purposely used to explore role in some depth and to find the modern meaning of the Shakespearean language (3).

Props are collected for use during rehearsal (4). The explanation of the contrast between an empty stage and a prop driven set shows insight into the intricacy of the story, and supports the essence of the scene in that Olivia is out of sync with everyone else (5).

Video evidence (00:00-01:00) demonstrates the student’s competence and control over the directorial process in terms of developing the actors to convey their characters’ objectives.

To reach Excellence, the intention to have the three servants use movement in unison (6) to follow the interplay of Viola and Olivia, and to focus their speculation of Viola while adding comedy to the scene, needs to be realised to its potential in performance for impact.

Low Merit

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 3 (PDF, 114KB)

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For Merit, the student needs to direct a scene for drama performance skilfully.

This involves working with competence, control, and sense of purpose, and analysing the text and translating it into a cohesive work.

This student has directed an excerpt from King John by William Shakespeare.

The student portfolio shows some detail in the scene analysis and in relation to the play as a whole (1). The concept to allow the language and action of the scene to ‘carry the performance’ is supported by the identification and translation of the subtext between Hubert and Arthur. The potential use of the symbols of the rosary and the iron within the scene is described to support the directorial intent (2).

The student demonstrates understanding of the action of the story, and minor excerpts are purposely edited to enhance the dramatic flow and create tension at the moment when the ‘red hot’ iron approaches Hubert’s eyes (3).

Video evidence shows engagement of the actors during the process. Directorial demands of both the character’s motivations are purposeful and illustrate the importance of the subtext for Arthur’s role (00:00-1:46). Rehearsal activities are employed to deepen actors’ understanding of broader concepts within the performance (4).

For a more secure Merit, the student needs to demonstrate more skill in blocking decisions. For example, at the beginning of the scene Arthur turns upstage to speak to the executioner. Similarly, the executioner, who is supposed to be secreted behind the arras, exits upstage right, through the same entrance as Arthur (while Arthur is entering).

High Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 4 (PDF, 81KB)

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For Achieved, the student needs to direct a scene for drama performance.

This involves analysing and translating a scripted text into a performance by drawing on an understanding of the internal coherence of the piece of work. The director creates a concept to endorse the messages within the play that will maintain its logic and purpose. Consideration must be given to the development of the characters and casting of actors.

This student has directed a scene from Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller.

The student has identified the main theme of the play (1). The directorial concept consists mainly of blocking choices which the student will use to draw out a concept. Directorial choices to have Will slightly centre stage left as opposed to centre stage, to indicate he is on the brink of breakdown, demonstrate a link from the concept to translation into performance (2).

Video evidence of the directorial process indicates explanation and modelling of characters’ objectives (00:00-00:45). Ideas for costume reflect the historical setting, and support both character’s age, occupations and disposition (3).

To reach Merit, direction to slow the actor’s delivery is needed to allow the audience time to consider the context. Directorial strategies, to develop the actors to build more tension towards the point where Biff throws himself into Willy’s arms, would indicate a sense of purpose. A production schedule indicating specific foci for rehearsals would also support competence and control of the directorial process.

Low Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 5 (PDF, 106KB)

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For Achieved, the student needs to direct a scene for drama performance.

This involves analysing and translating a scripted text into a performance by drawing on an understanding of the internal coherence of the piece of work. The director creates a concept to endorse the messages within the play that will maintain its logic and purpose. Consideration must be given to the development of the characters and casting of actors.

This student has directed a scene from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.

The student identifies an appropriate concept and is superficial in terms of the purpose of the comedy in the scene (1). Rudimentary connections are made for appropriate casting, and a positive relationship between the director and the actors is evident (2).

The costume idea, to relate Sir Toby to a ‘typical kiwi bloke’ in tracksuit and singlet, is realised in performance and supports the idea for a modern context (3).

In performance, blocking decisions realise the action within the text, and the relationship between Maria and Sir Toby is established (00:00-00:28). Sir Andrew’s lack of understanding of the meaning ‘accost’ and therefore his foolishness is also realised in the latter part of the scene.

For a more secure Achieved, the student could have provided ideas for props, lighting or setting. The analysis needs more detail in terms of identifying a concept that supports a theme of the whole play. Further direction to actors is needed, to realise the apparent status between characters, enhancing the comedy and purpose of the scene.

High Not Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 6 (PDF, 145KB)

For Achieved, the student needs to direct a scene for drama performance.

This involves analysing and translating a scripted text into a performance by drawing on an understanding of the internal coherence of the piece of work. The director creates a concept to endorse the messages within the play that will maintain its logic and purpose. Consideration must be given to the development of the characters and casting of actors.

This student has directed an excerpt from Act 3 of Moliere’s The Miser, translated by Ranjit Bolt.

This student has directed a performance that is polished. It appears to be a modernised version, as a reference is made to an automobile. The student has provided a plot summary of the scene, and given background information of the playwright (1).

There is a reference to the character of the ‘Miser’ being influenced by Commedia dell Arte and similar to the stock character of Pantalone (2). Brief references are made to costume, set and lighting (3).

To reach Achieved, the student could analyse the text sufficiently to indicate what he is intending to communicate. For example, despite Moliere working in the 17th century, the student has not noted that this is a modernised version set in post- war England. There could be consideration of the reasons for this, and the possible ways that this might draw out the themes in the play.

The student could record the use of aspects of Commedia dell Arte stock characters into the rehearsal process, to provide evidence of a directorial concept.

 
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