Drama - annotated exemplar Level 3 AS91519

Script a drama suitable for live performance (3.8)

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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 work extract

Student 1 (PDF, 172KB)

For Excellence, the student needs to script an original and effective dramatic work that is suitable for live performance.

The scripted drama will be compelling, capture the essence of the dramatic context and have impact and originality.

This student’s script is titled The Last Post.

The student has stated the intention of exploring the far reaching impact of war (1). It also demonstrates how a common event such as Anzac Day provides opportunity for healing (2).

The student introduces complexity into the relationships and the story has originality. It is not only the grandfather who must find healing (3) but the relationship between the boy and his step father (Nick) needs bonding (4).

The grandfather, Joseph, is unable to face his memories, and this inability to cope provides tension within himself and provokes his sudden and uncharacteristic outburst with his grandson, Ben (5).

There is a clear link in the play between the tension created with the grandfather’s outburst and the opportunity for the step father to come closer to the boy (6). This is further enhanced in the healing and drawing together of the characters at the end (7).

The child has credible and convincing energy and the relationship developed between him and the grandfather is poignant and compelling. The innocence of the child highlights the tension of the knowing adults (8).

For a more secure Excellence, the student could develop the inner motivation for the role of Alison and refine the exit and entrance for Ben between scene 3 and 4.

High Merit

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 2 (PDF, 164KB)

For Merit, the student needs to script an original and coherent drama that is suitable for live performance.

This involves scripting a drama that is convincing and structured to have flow and dramatic unity.

This student has scripted a drama titled Leaving Norway.

The intention for this drama is to show the struggles of a young man to find a better life for himself. He first struggles to leave his family and then must face the betrayal of the one person he has pinned his hopes on for a future life together (1).

There are a number of convincing developments in use of tension in the script which meet the intention. First, the pull for Flo between family and his love, Laura (2).

The opening engages the audience in Flo’s inner dilemma: tension between Flo and Laura when he discovers her theft of his money (3), tension in the realisation for Laura that she has hurt the one person who has shown her true kindness (4), and finally, the tension of whether or not Laura and Flo will be able to make a life together (5).

The use of the letter adds a compelling pathos and dramatic pace, enabling the mother’s grief to be shown without lengthy or unnecessary dialogue (6).

To reach Excellence, the student could give more consideration to the development of the role of Laura. Had the audience been given the opportunity to know Laura’s past and her inner motivation as character, the ending could be compelling.

Low Merit

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 3 (PDF, 121KB)

For Merit, the student needs to script an original and coherent drama that is suitable for live performance.

This involves scripting a drama that is convincing and structured to have flow and dramatic unity.

This student has written a script titled Flying Solo.

The student has provided a statement of intention indicating that the play recognises the immense difficulties to be overcome with the relationship of a ‘black’ person and ‘white’ person in NZ in the 1960’s (1).

The opening scene draws the audience into the inner emotions of the character Sema’s love for his mother and is convincing (2). This allows the inner motivation and sense of identity for this character to be clearly seen, and prepares the way for his later rejection of Emily (3).

The use of the sad music adds to the dramatic unity as it intensifies the emotional parting (4).

Unity is further established with Sema’s speaking about home, his mother and his reaction to meeting Emily (5). The dialogue drives the action until it is revealed that there is conflict with expectations of his culture that will prevent his relationship with Emily.

For a more secure Merit, the student could allow the inner tension between Sema and Emily to become a reality using dialogue and action on the stage, rather than merely a topic of conversation. This could also support coherency. They could create the tension needed for Sema’s decision to reflect the pull of home felt throughout and spoken of at the end.

High Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 4 (PDF, 139KB)

For Achieved, the student needs to script a drama suitable for live performance

This involves scripting an original, credible drama that will be able to stand on its own, communicate an intention, depict character and be performed with dramatic pace and tension. 

This student has written a script titled Not Just an Enemy. 

The student’s script mostly communicates the intention (1), creating some credible characterisation (the soldiers at the base) and with moments of tension (the soldiers express their doubt about Frank’s resilience and communicate a sense of the difficulty of their situation) (2).

The student intends to show humanity on both sides of the fighting (3). As Frank goes along his journey he learns that the faceless enemy, the soldiers he and his brothers are shooting down, are actually people just like them. This play shows the realisation that that war is not just us and them. In fact, many individuals are caught in the crossfire (4).

To reach Merit, the student could improve coherency in the ordering of the scenes and establish clarity of place. There is no indication, for instance, of where Scene 1 takes place (5). The student also needs to give some indication for how the past and present will be clarified for an audience. Attention to this would have made the flow of the drama clearer.

The characters of Anna, Mrs Fitzgerald and Mother need development and more credibility (6).

Low Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 5 (PDF, 128KB)

For Achieved, the student needs to script a drama suitable for live performance

This involves scripting an original, credible drama that will be able to stand on its own, communicate an intention, depict character and be performed with dramatic pace and tension. 

This student has written a script titled For My Country and For You, My Friend.   

This student has provided details of the technical aspects of the play (1). The intention for the drama highlights the significance of the relationship between the two soldiers (2).

The relationship between the two friends is clearly established within the drama (note the two soldiers lie huddled together sharing chocolate) and the characters of Will, Waiora and the mother are credible (3).

There is cohesion in the transition between war and home with the letter writing and the mother reading this (4). The decisions for the characterisation of the Captain are that he becomes something of a stereotypical, melodramatic villain (5).

For a more secure Achieved, the student could explore the truthful side of human hatred and power. The Captain could have been unrelenting and heartless whilst still retaining credibility in his role. This role needed to grow more credibly out of researched material as part of the scripting process. His dialogue and action needs to be believable, highlighting the importance of human lives and relationships.

High Not Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 6 (PDF, 102KB)

For Achieved, the student needs to script a drama suitable for live performance

This involves scripting an original, credible drama that will be able to stand on its own, communicate an intention, depict character and be performed with dramatic pace and tension. 

The teacher verifies that the scripting process and enacted reading has been completed.

This student has written a script titled Put The Kettle On.

This student’s storyline can stand on its own, and does follow a recognisable time-frame. Characterisation is clear and establishes the personality of each character role. The relationship of the two central characters is clearly a focus in the drama (1).

The student has used minimal script conventions (2).

To reach Achieved, the student could indicate intentions for the drama and ensure that these are developed through the scripting. Character names need to be written in full, and some indication needs to be given for how the passing of time will be indicated to an audience.

The student could provide stage directions that will indicate how scenes will be played out and how transitions from one scene to the next are likely to occur. They could suggest how characters are to enter scenes, relate to another character or deliver lines. 

In Scene 3, there needs to be an indication of how the student will attempt to light the fire so that it will eventually ‘burst into life’ (3).

The garden scene (4) could indicate as to how hedges, trees and pruning will be indicated to the audience.

 
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