"The future of our nation depends on our ability to create-and to be creative. During the coming decades our most important national resources will be human resources. If our nation is to continue to meet the challenges of the future, today's schools need to develop creative leaders."
(Performing together: The Arts and Education, jointly published by The American Association of School Administrators, The Alliance for Education and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1985.)
Dramatic Arts is an important means of stimulating creativity in problem solving. It can challenge students' perceptions about their world and about themselves. Dramatic exploration can provide students with an outlet for emotions, thoughts, and dreams that they might not otherwise have means to express. This can happen in a safe atmosphere, where actions and consequences can be examined, discussed, and in a very real sense experienced without the dangers and pitfalls that such experimentation would obviously lead to in the outside world.
At the centre of all Drama is communication. As a subject, it provides training in the practical aspects of communication which are necessary in today's increasingly information-centred world. Involvement in Drama requires self-control and discipline that will serve the student well in all aspects of life. Drama students will learn to work together, to cooperate, to find the best way for each member of a group to contribute, and to listen to and accept the viewpoints and contributions of others. Drama is an important tool for preparing students to live and work in a world that is increasingly team-oriented.
Dramatic Arts is a subject like no other – if learners embrace the subject and commit themselves to it 100%, they will benefit in ways they never imagined. It is a demanding subject that requires boys to give of themselves at all levels – to give of their time, their energy and their passion. Below is some valuable information about the subject:
STRUCTURE OF THE CLASS
Drama classes are mixed ability.
Curriculum – Specific Aims
Grade 10 - 12 Dramatic Arts students aim to:
- Develop the human instrument (body/voice/mind/emotions) as a medium of expression, communication and creativity,
- Develop drama skills, techniques and processes to experiment with and shape dramatic elements meaningfully, both individually and with others,
- Create and present dramatic products across a range of modes (lyrical, narrative, dramatic) and styles (realistic, heightened), alone and in collaboration with others,
- Understand, analyse and interpret principles and elements of drama in texts and performances in context, in South Africa and the world,
- Reflect on and evaluate their own and others' dramatic processes, practices and products,
- Develop insight into how the dramatic arts affirm, challenge and celebrate values, cultures and identities ,
- Engage with contemporary issues through the dramatic arts
(Adapted from the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) for Dramatic Arts)
Assessment criteria will be clearly enumerated for each exercise. Boys are assessed both individually and as part of a group. Assessment methods vary. There is teacher assessment, self-assessment and peer assessment. Theory and practical work is divided 50/50.
In Grade 10, the boys write a 2 hour theory paper and are assessed on set practical work involving group and individual performances.
In Grades 11 and 12 the boys write a 3 hour theory paper and are assessed on set practical work involving group and individual performances.
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”