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Smith's Hill High School

Smith's Hill High School

Promoting excellence in a spirit of trust and cooperation

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The study of drama enables young people to develop an interest in and enjoyment of investigating and enacting a wide range of theatrical forms, styles and acting methods. Through critical reflection and acquiring understanding, knowledge and skills, students respond to the ideas and dramatic works of others by creatively and collaboratively developing their own ideas into dramatic action for performance.

Introduction to Drama

(a Stage 4 Course - Years 7 and 8) 

This course focuses on students being introduced to the exciting world Drama. An emphasis of this course is the development of confidence when performing in front of a live audience. This is achieved by studying the forms of mime, clowning and improvisation in order to develop an understanding of how dramatic meaning is created. This course also serves as an introduction to the topic of playbuilding where students refine their improvisational skills and utilise them to create electrifying, original theatre. Students will also have the opportunity to perform at a biannual junior Drama showcase night.

Page to the Stage

(a Stage 5 Course - Years 9 and 10)

Just how do you get a script from the page to the stage? In this course students find ways to create dramatic meaning through experimenting with and working with scripted scenes and texts. Students will examine and practise the conventions of scriptwriting as the secrets behind creating interesting characters, plots, settings and themes are unveiled. All students will have the opportunity to perform as part of Writers OnStage at a biannual junior Drama showcase night. The second part of the course features all students contributing to the ensemble excitement of the JSP (the Junior School Play Production).

So You Think You Can Act? 
(a Stage 5 Course - Years 9 and 10)

This course focuses on methods of audience engagement in acting for both the stage and the screen. In the first part of the course, students will participate in a series of skills workshops to teach Constantin Stanislavski’s theory of realist acting. This diverse toolkit of skills will give students exciting approaches to explore characterisation in a contemporary Australian play. The second part of the course will utilise students’ performances to engage deeply with characters of their choosing as they make acting decisions to connect with and energise an audience through performance. Students will participate in activities that highlight the differences between acting for the stage and for film, leading to small film-based projects that will be entered into the SHHS Film Festival.

(a Stage 5 Course - Years 9 and 10)

Students step into different performance worlds and explore the historical and contemporary practice of Drama through an exploration of a variety of styles and forms such as Greek, Shakespearean, Brechtian and Post Colonial/ Indigenous Theatres, with the potential to undertake project based learning as an extension in this performance-based course. Through their own creations, students will extend their repertoire of performance skills and become more striking and engaging actors. All students will then have the opportunity to perform their work at a biannual junior Drama showcase night. They will also learn how to write a Drama essay, building on their experiential understanding, and preparing them for further appreciation of theatre.

Youth Theatre
(a Stage 5 Course - Years 9 and 10)

In this course, students will build upon their understanding of mask to engage with the form of Commedia dell’Arte. They will then learn about performance and production styles used in Theatre-In-Education. Students will create a Youth Theatre Company, producing a Theatre-In-Education play and/or material to perform for local primary schools. Students will engage in warm-up activities to explore the energy and skills needed in children’s theatre, use children’s television and film as media for research and incorporate Elements of Drama and Production in performance. They will learn about site-specific theatre and select or create a suitable script and go through the processes of auditions and rehearsals.

NESA Years 7-10 Drama syllabus link:

Drama Senior Study

There are no prerequisites for undertaking a study of Drama in the Senior School, however a demonstrated interest in the subject is highly desirable as the course has a strong performance and theory base.

NESA Stage 6 Drama syllabus link:

The Preliminary Course focuses on:

  • Improvisation, Playbuilding and Acting
  • Elements of Production in Performance
  • Theatrical traditions and Performance Style

The Higher School Certificate Course focuses on:

Australian Drama and Theatre and Studies in Drama and Theatre involves the theoretical study through practical exploration of themes, issues, styles and movements of traditions of theatre, exploring relevant acting techniques, performance styles and spaces. The Group Performance of between three and six students involves creating a piece of original theatre (8 to 12 minutes duration). It provides opportunity for each student to demonstrate his or her performance skills.

  • Australia Drama and Theatre (Core content)
  • Studies in Drama and Theatre
  • Group Performance (Core content)
  • Individual Project

For the Individual Project in year 12, students demonstrate their expertise in a particular area. They choose one project from Critical Analysis or Design or Performance or Scriptwriting or Video Drama.

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