Drama - annotated exemplars level 1 AS90999

Use features of a drama/theatre form in a performance (1.4)

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Low Excellence

Commentary
Student response

Student 1 (PDF, 223KB)

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For Excellence, the student needs to effectively use features of a drama/theatre form in a performance. This means to present work convincingly, capturing the essence of the dramatic context with impact, and using the features of the drama/theatre form to enhance the performance.

The student plays the role of ‘The Villain’ (dressed in a dark suit with cape, and carrying a walking stick). This student purposefully addresses the audience, using typical villain gestures and voice convincingly to capture the essence of the character with impact.

The student provides a list of features of melodrama used, and a statement of intention for the scene (1) (2).

00:07:36 -

00:09:28

The student enters with an effective dramatic flourish of the stick to command attention. His body is upright and commanding, indicative of the wealthy status of the villain, and his voice is declamatory.

00:07:46

A convincing use of gesture is displayed; his body leans in, invading the space of the damsel, intimidating her to possess her as if it is his right.

00:08:07 - 00:09:28

Physical features of the stock character are presented convincingly, engaging the audience and creating impact. They are used to enhance the performance in terms of the historical conventions of the form.

For a more secure Excellence, key moments of tension need to be reinforced in order to consolidate the impact required. For example, the student needs to ensure that he does not allow the heroine to become dominant at a crucial moment (08:44).

High Merit

Commentary
Student response

Student 2 (PDF, 222KB)

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For Merit the student needs to skilfully use features of a drama/theatre form in a performance. This means working with competence, control and a sense of purpose and sustaining the use of melodrama features to support the dramatic context.

The student plays the role of Priscilla, dark haired, and friend to Agnes. This student sustains the features of melodrama competently to support the essence of her character: champion of, and faithful friend to, the heroine.  The use of stock gestures and a melodramatic voice are used with control and at times are used to enhance the performance.

The student provides a list of features of melodrama used, and a statement of intention for the scene (1) (2).

00:12:00 -

00:12:25

The student, in role as Priscilla, enters with the heroine, Agnes. Her voice is appropriately higher pitched, and she is convincingly enthusiastic.

00:13:24 -

00:14:50

She demonstrates empathy for the heroine with a hand-to-heart gesture; her comforting body positioning demonstrates support and pity for Agnes. She stands with her hand against her forehead. This typical pose, combined with emphasis on “Say you so?” demonstrates a pang of empathy for Agnes.

00:14:53 -00:17:20

The student uses features to sustain a high level of competence and control that demonstrates the innocence and openness of her role. The audience would be drawn to this character more so than to Agnes.

To reach Excellence, the student needs to engage outwards to the audience more, thereby enhancing their interaction and creating impact.

Low Merit

Commentary
Student response

Student 3 (PDF, 223KB)

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For Merit, the student needs to skilfully use features of a drama/theatre form in a performance. This means working with competence, control and a sense of purpose, and sustaining the use of melodrama features to support the dramatic context.

This student plays ‘first hero’ (dressed in a brown suit and cap, with long brown hair caught up in a bun). This student uses performance features of the hero stock character with competence and control in performance.

The student provides a list of features of melodrama used, and a statement of intention for the scene (1) (2).

00:02:16 -

00:03:16

The student, as hero, skilfully enters and talks directly to the audience, with an upright stance and hands on hips.

00:03:28 -

00:04:05

An upright body positioning in confrontation with the other hero demonstrates skill, control and a sense of purpose.

00:06:23 -

00:07:02

The student purposefully uses stock gestures to support the ‘hero’ character.

For a more secure Merit, the student needs to purposefully respond to the heroine’s discomfort (‘Hark’, at 06:58). She needs to sustain control over the physical conventions of the stock character, so that the wandering movement does not detract from the moments of heightened emotion during the performance.

High Achieved

Commentary
Student response

Student 4 (PDF, 148KB)

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For Achieved, the student needs to use features of a drama/theatre form in a performance. This refers to the physical and historical conventions being visibly used to convey the intention of the performance.

The student plays the role of Agnes (dressed in a blue dress with a white bonnet). This student displays some physical and historical conventions of melodrama in the performance, and at times demonstrates the beginnings of the Merit requirement for competence and control in her role as heroine.

The student provides a list of features of melodrama used, and a clear statement of intention (1) (2).

00:12:00 -

00:12:12

She enters with Priscilla. We immediately see a sweet and gentle disposition, and she does capture the innocence of the heroine role.

00:13:43 -

00:14:10

On the line ‘The big house up yonder’ she uses appropriate extended gesture.

00:15:12 -

00:16:02

These moments with Priscilla are more expressive, and the student uses traditional melodramatic gestures.

To reach Merit, the student needs to project the innocence of the role with competence, and make an entrance more purposefully in the melodramatic style. The student needs to purposefully ‘play out’ to the audience, and to use vocal expression to sustain the energy of the emotion.

Gesture also needs to be used with control and a sense of purpose to heighten the role’s anguish and to develop tension at critical moments.

Low Achieved

Commentary
Student response

Student 5 (PDF, 198KB)

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For Achieved, the student needs to use features of a drama/theatre form in a performance. This refers to the physical and historical conventions used visibly to convey the intention of the dramatic context.

This student’s role is Agnes, the heroine (dressed in a pale pastel long dress). She uses some features of the melodrama theatre form to convey the intention of the dramatic context. She begins with a strong entrance, and a clear stereotypical disposition in the role.

The student provides a list of features of melodrama used, and a statement of intention (1) (2).

00:03:22 -

00:03:40

The student establishes a strong sense of the nature of the stereotypical role, with the use of head movement and gesture to her chest. She has a gentle disposition, dressed as a simple maid of the Victorian period.

00:06:19, 00:07:04, and

00:07:22

 

The student visibly uses stock physical gestures to support her role as the heroine.

00:07:43 -00:08:34

When she is interacting with the villain, body language is used to visibly demonstrate her lower status.

For a more secure Achieved grade, the student needs to present the role (not just during their entrance) in a manner that further demonstrates visible use of physical and historical melodramatic features. 

Her voice needs more emphasis and expression to heighten the emotion needed for this form, and she needs to play out to engage the audience, in order to develop a sympathetic response.

High Not Achieved

Commentary
Student response

Student 6 (PDF, 211KB)

For Achieved, the student needs to use features of a drama/theatre form in a performance. This refers to the physical and historical conventions used visibly to convey the intention of the dramatic context.

The student receives this grade because their supporting evidence (1) (2) states that they were a particular character. In performance, a melodramatic stock character is portrayed realistically, in representational mode, and in a contemporary context. At times, stock melodramatic gestures are used to support the role of the ‘hero’ during the performance.

To reach Achieved for this standard, supporting evidence needs to also include a list of the traditional features used in melodramatic performance. There needs to be an indication of the student’s embodiment of knowledge of historical and physical conventions to perform a particular stock character, resulting in some of these features being visible in performance.

The student would also be aware of the need to present work in a heightened performance style, for example, to act in ‘presentational mode’, by playing out the role to engage the audience. The student needs to use melodramatic stock gestures and voice in an expressive manner that are historically aligned with this theatre form.

 
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