VCE Theatre Studies

VCE Theatre Studies is primarily concerned with famous plays throughout history and modern society and uses the interpretation of these playscripts as the basis of student performances.

Theatre Studies examines a number of periods in the history of theatre, such as Ancient Greek, Elizabethan and Restoration theatre. This course also explores plays belonging to modern and contemporary theatrical styles such as Theatre of the Absurd and Expressionism.

The Theatre Studies course relies on the interpretation of how areas of stagecraft can enhance student performances of dramatic playscripts. These areas of stagecraft include acting, lighting, sound design, make-up, costume design, props, directing, set design, theatre technologies, stage management, publicity and marketing.

Theatre Studies Unit 1: Pre-Modern Theatre

This unit of study replaces VCE Drama Unit 1 in 2018.
VCE Theatre Studies Unit 1 is offered to Year 11 students.
VCE Theatre Studies Unit 1 is also offered to Year 10 students as an acceleration option.
VCE Theatre Studies Units 3 and 4 will be offered in 2019.

greek-theatreThis unit focuses on the application of acting and other stagecraft in relation to theatrical styles of the pre-modern era. Students work with playscripts from the pre-modern era of theatre, focusing on works created up to 1920 in both their written form and in performance. They also study theatrical and performance analysis and apply these skills to the analysis of a play in performance. Periods from the pre-modern era of theatre could include Ancient Greek, Roman, Medieval, Commedia dell’Arte, Elizabethan and Shakespearean, Restoration comedies and non-Western theatre.

Stagecraft is the term used to describe areas of production. There are many areas of stagecraft; however, for the purposes of this study they are: acting, lighting, sound design, make-up, costume design, props, directing, set design, theatre technologies, stage management, publicity and marketing.

Outcomes

On completion of this unit, the student should be able to:

  • identify and describe the distinguishing features of pre-modern theatre playscripts (written task)
  • apply acting and other stagecraft to interpret playscripts from the pre-modern era (performance task)
  • analyse a performance of a playscript by others at the theatre (written task)

Theatre Studies Unit 2: Modern Theatre

This unit of study replaces VCE Drama Unit 2 in 2018.
VCE Theatre Studies Unit 2 is offered to Year 11 students.
VCE Theatre Studies Unit 2 is also offered to Year 10 students as an acceleration option.
VCE Theatre Studies Units 3 and 4 will be offered in 2019.

absurdismIn this unit students study theatrical styles and stagecraft through working with playscripts in both their written form and in performance with an emphasis on the application of stagecraft. Students work with playscripts from the modern era, focusing on works from the 1920s to the present. They study theatrical analysis and production evaluation and apply these skills to the analysis of a play in performance. Theatrical movements in the modern era include Epic Theatre, Constructivist theatre, Theatre of the Absurd, Political theatre, Feminist theatre, Expressionism, Eclectic theatre (contemporary theatre that incorporates a range of theatrical styles), Physical theatre, Verbatim theatre, and Theatre in Education.

Stagecraft is the term used to describe areas of production. There are many areas of stagecraft; however, for the purposes of this study they are: acting, lighting, sound design, make-up, costume design, props, directing, set design, theatre technologies, stage management, publicity and marketing.

Outcomes

On completion of this unit, the student should be able to:

  • identify and describe the distinguishing features of modern era theatre playscripts (written task)
  • apply stagecraft to interpret playscripts from the modern era (design and/or performance task)
  • analyse and evaluate stagecraft in the performance of a playscript by others at the theatre (written task)

Frequently Asked Questions

I was expecting to see VCE Drama Units 1 and 2 here, so what’s the deal?
Avila College is introducing a full Theatre Studies and Drama program at VCE every second year. The implementation of VCE Theatre Studies Units 1 and 2 starts in 2018 and replaces VCE Drama Units 1 and 2 in that year. During 2018, VCE Drama Units 3 and 4 is still offered to students.

Can I undertake VCE Theatre Studies Units 1 and 2 as a Year 10 student in 2018?
Yes, you are able to undertake VCE Theatre Studies Units 1 and 2 in 2018 as an acceleration option, subject Avila College’s acceleration requirements.

What if I really want to study VCE Drama in 2018?
If you really want to study VCE Drama in 2018 and you will be in Year 11 next year, you can apply for acceleration to study VCE Drama Units 3 and 4. Your application will be subject to Avila College’s acceleration requirements.

What will happen in 2019?
In 2019, VCE Theatre Studies Units 3 and 4 will be offered to students, along with VCE Drama Units 1 and 2. Each student undertaking either VCE Drama or VCE Theatre Studies Units 1 and 2 will have the opportunity to continue with Units 3 and 4 in that particular Study the following year.

Can I study both VCE Drama and VCE Theatre Studies?
Yes it is possible to study both VCE Drama and Theatre Studies in the same academic year. For example, in 2018 you could undertake VCE Theatre Studies Units 1 and 2, while at the same time undertaking VCE Drama Units 3 and 4 as an accelerated student (subject to acceleration requirements). Classes for each of these courses will occur at different times on the school timetable.

I enjoy behind-the-scenes roles in the theatre. Do I have to act in the VCE Theatre Studies course?
Yes and no. In VCE Theatre Studies Units 1 and 2, you will need to act as well as design stagecraft to enhance performance scripts. However, in VCE Theatre Studies Units 3 and 4, you do not have to act at all. For example, in a task involving the class performance of a playscript, you can choose to be involved in costume design and directing, but not acting.

What types of playscripts are used in VCE Theatre Studies?
All VCE Theatre Studies units involve interpreting excerpts/full playscripts published by others. Students do not write playscripts themselves in the VCE Theatre Studies course. Published playscripts are chosen by the teacher to adequately reflect the historical period and/or modern theatrical style being studied in class. For example, Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest is a fine example of the Comedy of Manners.

Related subjects
VCE Drama | VCE Studio Arts | VCE Product Design and Technology | VCE English | VCE Literature | VCE History | VCE Visual Communication Design

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