For your second year of drama, you will be greeted with achievement standards that range from devising and performing right through to directing and utilising your theory skills and unpacking live theatre. Get ready for a rich experience of a combination of theory and practical skills to explore with your NCEA Drama Level 2 experience. Together, let’s dive into what your year is going to look like with both externals and internals.

If you are wanting some insight into how drama can help you in your career check this blog out. Maybe you are more nervous about the exams, they have a squizz here. All the same, if you are wanting to brush up or learn key drama terms, you can see the revision here.

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Sink your teeth into some Drama theory

First up we have AS91213, which will be a great kick start into some drama theory for you. This assessment will be all about how you apply Drama Techniques in a scripted context. This means you will be learning all about how the Voice, Body, Movement and Use of Space can all contribute to an effective performance, with a punch.  You will use these techniques to interpret a script and do so in a truthful and convincing way. Just to touch on developing your character, for embodying your voice, you might change your pitch purposefully during a fight to showcase a shift in tone. Or you might curl your body over and make it appear smaller as you apologize in a scene. The options are endless and as long as it is justified and makes sense to your relationship with the characters, the mood of the scene and the overall trajectory of the play, then go for it; craft that character. Make sure you pick an engaging play as well. You can pick a short one-act play or an extract from a larger play.

Plan, Script, and Perform your very own play!

How about you get novel and stretch those creating muscles of yours? That’s exactly what AS91214 is all about. This achievement standard is internal and will have you devising and performing a drama to realise an intention. This is very much a group assessment, so make sure you have a really solid dynamic with those in your group. You will need to include Elements and Conventions. Elements include the role, time, place, situation, action, mood, tension, and focus. What are working conventions? They are active tasks that you participate in that help structure your piece. For example, hot seating is simply when one actor sits on the ‘hot seat’ and is asked questions. They then respond as though they are in character answering the questions. This is a good improv way to develop a character.  Always remember that whatever you create needs to link and be connected back to a specific intention. What does this entail you ask? An intention means you clearly unpack certain key ideas that you have carefully selected. So for instance, if you picked the solar system as a theme, then what ideas would you explore surrounding that? Perhaps, isolation? Maybe expansiveness? Or even life on other planets. The ideas are endless.

Get creative with bringing your unique vision to life

Research a drama time period: exam time

Next up we have the external AS91215. This will have you unpacking a drama or theatre form, referencing the text as you go. To nail this exam, you will need to perceptively use relevant detail, like knowledge of historic forms of drama and apply this to a discussion. Within this, you will reference key features of the form or period that you choose.  To back up your claims you will give relevant examples when discussing the drama form. To get those higher grades you will need to make sure that your answers are perceptive and insightful.  This will involve your ability to make connections between the drama form knowledge with the knowledge of the text.  Some drama forms may include Medieval theatre, Commedia dell’Arte, Elizabethan theatre, Mellow drama, New Zealand Theatre,

Get performance-ready.

AS91216 is all about performing! Get out your best prop, spring on that smile and stand tall because this one is all about using techniques to showcase your drama abilities. You will need to demonstrate physical and historical conventions with layers of meaning. Complex performance skills will be associated with the drama form you choose. For example, if you were doing Epic Theatre then alienation would be utilized, while stock characters and masks would be used for Commedia dell’Arte. As with other achievement standards, you will formulate an intention to draw from and come back to. You also will include notes on role, time, place, situation and action.

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Pay some homage to the greats

AS91217 is all about the Playwrights and developing a perceptive understanding of them. This entails researching how and where they are expressed in their work. Furthermore, you will unpack the social and historical world of the playwright as it relates to the text. What are some of the frequent ideas expressed in the texts? Or more still, what contrasting ideas are unravelled?  These will be some of the questions you will answer. You’ll also put a magnifying glass on the style, structure and purpose of the play.

Understand the greats and bring their visions to life

Embrace your school production and perform another piece

Another performance piece for you to sink your teeth into! AS91218 is all about taking on a significant role in scripted production. This will involve you preparing for and sustaining a performance in front of a live audience.  To save you some time, if your school puts on a school production, then you can use that as your play to perform in. To get yourself ready for the performance you will need to learn your lines, accept direction, produce supporting material and attend rehearsals. When it comes to performing you will need to display a sense of control and competence.

Back to those good ol’ exams!

Now next we have another External, AS91219. This will have you putting your theory of drama to the test. In this assessment, you will unpack aspects like elements, techniques, conventions and technologies. Since we haven’t touched on it yet, technologies are things like Lighting, Props, Sets etc. Anything that is a material that you can use to expand the world of the play. Throughout your year you will come to know these terms and they will be like second nature by the time your exam comes around.  In the exam, you will be unpacking various plays that you have seen with your class during the year. While talking about elements, techniques, conventions and technologies you will need to give strong, effective examples pertaining to these.

Get creative again with AS91220

You will be creating a scene suitable for a drama performance. Within this, you will need to communicate a dramatic intention. This will involve a high level of research, drafts, formulating, refining and more refining etc. You will then also have to do a rehearsed performance of the play. Your script will need to have flow and dramatic unity. You have free reign in selecting the style and form of the piece, so it’s up to you if you want to write a Theatre of the Absurd play or a Greek Theatre parody- go wild! Of course, the script will need to be formatted with a cast list, character notes if needed, info on the background of the play, notes on the setting, stage directions and technology notes like lighting, sound and set etc.

Need some direction? Try Directing.

AS91221 will be all about throwing you in the deep end with all things directing. Instead of the previous few devising piece assessments where you come up with ideas yourself, this time around you will be unravelling someone else’s words, through your own vision. It will be all about how you analyze and translate a text. As a director, you will come up with a concept that supports and sustains the meaning of the text that you are bringing to life. You will also give consideration to the development of the characters and the casting of who you choose for the actors. Your directing style will need to be controlled and have an overall sense of purpose. This will mean that you will need to have a great grasp of the text and really have studied it, to master the translation. Your scene should be able to stand on its own and be enough to capture the attention of the audience.  You will need to bring out and communicate the intention of the playwright, showcase the key elements used, develop the characters and display the key messages of the text

Put your directing hat on and translate a script with your stamp on it!

Needing some extra help with everything? Don’t sweat!

No worries, log on to Superprof and have a look for your next tutor to help. Superprof has a range of tutors all available from a wide range of subjects to help you along with your NCEA Level 2 Drama journey. The first lesson is free so there really is a huge incentive to get out there and see if tutoring is right for you. Tutors can help with clarification of course material, provide support and give extra resources as well if your stuck. Check out Superprof today!

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