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.

This course explores full playscripts, excerpts, scenes and monologues belonging to a range of historical and modern theatrical styles such as Ancient Greek Drama, Theatre of the Absurd, Medieval Drama, Expressionism, Comedy of Manners, Elizabethan Drama, Realism, and Naturalism.

The Theatre Studies course relies on the interpretation of how production areas can enhance student performances of dramatic playscripts. Students undertake select production roles:

  • actor
  • director
  • designer: costume
  • designer: make-up
  • designer: props
  • designer: set
  • designer: lighting
  • designer: sound


Theatre Studies Unit 3: Producing Theatre

In this unit students develop an interpretation of a script through the three stages of the theatre production process: planning, development and presentation. Students specialise in two production roles, working collaboratively, creatively and imaginatively to realise the production of a script. They use knowledge developed during this process to analyse and evaluate the ways work in production roles can be used to interpret script excerpts previously unstudied. Students develop knowledge and apply elements of theatre composition, and safe and ethical working practices in the theatre.


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

  • interpret a script across the stages of the production process through creative, imaginative and collaborative work undertaken in two production roles:
    • actor
    • director
    • designer: any one or two of costume, make-up, props, set, lighting, sound
  • outline concepts and ideas for a creative interpretation of excerpts from a script and explain how these could be realised in a theatre production
  • analyse and evaluate the creative and imaginative interpretation of a written script in production to an audience (theatre visit)


Theatre Studies Unit 4: Presenting an Interpretation

In this unit students study a scene and an associated monologue. They initially develop an interpretation of the prescribed scene. This work includes exploring theatrical possibilities and using dramaturgy (theatrical research) across the three stages of the production process. Students then develop a creative and imaginative interpretation of the monologue that is embedded in the specified scene. To realise their interpretation, they work in production roles as an actor and director, or as a designer.


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

  • describe and justify a creative and imaginative interpretation of a monologue and its prescribed scene via work in production roles:
    • actor and director: students must work in both roles, OR
    • designer – any two of costume, make-up, props, set, lighting, sound
  • interpret and present a monologue and orally justify and explain their interpretive decisions
  • analyse and evaluate acting, direction and design in a production (theatre visit)


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I undertake VCE theatre Studies Units 3 and 4 as a Year 11 student in 2019?
Yes, you are able to undertake VCE Theatre Studies Units 3 and 4 in 2019 as an acceleration option, subject Avila College’s acceleration requirements.

Can I study both VCE Theatre Studies and VCE Drama?
Yes it is possible to study both VCE Theatre Studies and Drama in the same academic year. For example, in 2019 you could undertake VCE Drama Units 1 and 2, while at the same time undertaking VCE Theatre Studies 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?
No. 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. If you wish to, you can successfully navigate your way through all of VCE Theatre Studies Units 3 and 4 without acting at all!

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.

Career Pathways

Further career options that relate to Drama.

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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