Drama - annotated exemplars level 3 AS91516 (B)

Demonstrate understanding of the work of a drama or theatre theorist or practitioner (3.5B)

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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

Commentary
Student response

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For Excellence, a student needs to demonstrate perceptive understanding of the work of a drama or theatre theorist or practitioner.

This involves justifying, with insight, the application in relation to the intention of the work of a practitioner or theorist.

This student has demonstrated an informed and perceptive understanding of the theories of Antonin Artaud by applying them to the play My Heart is Bathed in Blood. They hold a first meeting to discuss ideas for performance with her imagined actors.

The student discusses ‘inner beasts’ and why Artaud considered them in his work and applies the ‘inner beast’ of Senga, the main character.

The scene is played realistically and then with the physicalized ideas of the unleashing of the inner beast to show the contrast of applying Artaud’s theoretical ideas to the scene. The applied action and movement is justified insightfully as it relates to the internal state of the character. This is done in a perceptive fashion in relation to the whole play’s meaning.

For a more secure Excellence, the student could apply Artaud’s ideas for technical placement of the audience for this scene. For example, the student could use ‘theatre in the round’ to bring the audience amongst the action but also to act as a physical restraint to further justify and explore the theme of social confinement in the play.

High Merit

Commentary
Student response

Student 2 (PDF, 199KB)

For Merit, the student needs to demonstrate informed understanding of the work of a drama or theatre theorist or practitioner.

This involves justifying the application in relation to the intention of the work of a practitioner or theorist.

This student has demonstrated an informed understanding of Brecht’s theory ‘in role’ as director and evidence shows moments of perceptiveness.

The universal function of the actors Jussop, Grusha and the Monk have been explained in terms of Brecht’s intention, and ideas to support these representations and the themes of the play on stage are evident (1).

The student plans to apply the ‘alienation effect’ to the scene by having actors play multiple roles and have them exchanging costume in front of the audience (2) and justifies this choice with some insight (3).

The breaking of the fourth wall is applied and clearly justified (4).

The choice to use mask is justified (5).

The plan to use exaggerated physical action during the scene is justified (6).

To reach Excellence, the student could further consider opportunities in the text to apply Brecht’s theory. Use of narrators, music and singers need to be applied to the text, as they are clearly marked in this scene.

Brecht’s notion to ensure the audience sees the changeable and contradictory natures of the characters and situations are also vital aspects to be considered for the student to verify a perceptive understanding.

Low Merit

Commentary
Student response

Student 3 (PDF, 299KB)

For Merit, the student needs to demonstrate informed understanding of the work of a drama or theatre theorist or practitioner.

This involves justifying the application in relation to the intention of the work of a practitioner or theorist.

This student has demonstrated an informed understanding of Bertolt Brecht’s theory, and application of ideas to draw out the themes of Caucasian Chalk Circle is evident.

Justification is given in terms of the use of the singer to directly address the audience in the presentational style (1).

The student has explained how the singer’s function is to be a ‘storyteller’ that alerts the audience to consider the irony of human traits. Evidence for this idea is justified in terms of the role of narrator and the intention to interrupt the flow of the play (2). 

The student has also considered the technical elements in terms of the ‘alienation’ aspect of Epic theatre (3).

The function of the roles of the Drunken Peasant and the Monk have been applied and justified in terms of alerting the audience to the themes of the play(4).

The application of the actors being part of the audience when not on stage, and with the planned use of costume, props and scenery is evident (5). 

For a more secure Merit, the student could detail the justification with the same depth of clarity as evidenced for the function of the singer. Using specific terminology of Brecht’s theory such as ‘alienation effect’ is also advisable.

High Achieved

Commentary
Student response

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For Achieved, the student needs to demonstrate understanding of the work of a drama or theatre theorist or practitioner.

This involves applying the knowledge, and ideas or processes of a practitioner or theorist to communicate the intention of their work.

This student has demonstrated an understanding of the theories of Antonin Artaud and applies them to an extract from The Glass Menagerie. Understanding is confirmed by the application of performance choices in their seminar to the imagined actors.

The student applies animalistic qualities to the characters at a specific moment in the text. For example, use of space and voice skills when Amanda and Tom are arguing. Amanda’s dialogue delivered ‘like a whip’ likened to a ‘lion tamer’.

A ritualistic approach is discussed in terms of how it could be used, and this is combined with large movements and sounds in a workshop situation.

The idea of repetition is explained in terms of the scene. The feature of gibberish and movement with and without sound is applied and explained for a moment in the text.

To reach Merit, the student could reference the ‘animalistic’ term more specifically to the idea of ‘inner beasts’. The idea of the words being a whip could be developed and justified further in a wider context of Artaud’s theory.

They could connect the meaning of the setting with more explanation to the relationship of the characters and fully physicalize the ideas of ritual, gesture and movement to show an informed understanding. 

Low Achieved

Commentary
Student response

Student 5 (PDF, 363KB)

For Achieved, the student needs to demonstrate understanding of the work of a drama or theatre theorist or practitioner.

This involves applying the knowledge, and ideas or processes of a practitioner or theorist to communicate the intention of their work.

This student has applied Brechtian theory to a scene from the Caucasian Chalk Circle at a very fundamental level.

Explanations to apply music (1), multiple roles and changing the actor playing a character (2), enlarged physicalisation (3), contrast (4), breaking the 4th wall (5) and lighting (6) are evident and reflect the ideas of epic theatre.

For a more secure Achieved, the student needs to examine in more detail how they would apply Brechtian theory at these points in the text to communicate the practitioner’s intention in regards to the purpose of the play. 

High Not Achieved

Commentary
Student response

No student work available at this grade

For Achieved, the student needs to demonstrate understanding of the work of a drama or theatre theorist or practitioner.

This involves applying the knowledge, and ideas or processes of a practitioner or theorist to communicate the intention of their work.

There is no student work available at this grade.

A student would have received this grade if they had presented a seminar using a slideshow that mainly consisted of background information about Bertolt Brecht, his life and his epic theatre theories, and the synopsis of Caucasian Chalk Circle. 

There would be some information on the intentions of Brecht to make the audience think about the messages in the play.

In the instances where the student applied Brechtian ideas to the text, they would be general and rudimentary.

To reach Achieved, the student would need to demonstrate sufficient ‘application’ of Brechtian ideas to the text. Epic theatre devices such as breaking the fourth wall, contrast, music, multiple roles and exaggerated movement need to be ‘applied’ to the scene. The function of the role of the Monk would also need to be further developed and linked to the intention of the theorist.

 
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