VCE Theatre Studies is a powerful symmetry of Drama and Theatre, producing an expressive balance between the craft of performance and the skills of production. 

Theatre is a creative discipline, and it is for the student who is curious, imaginative and ambitious, who likes to be challenged, who is prepared to experiment with new ideas, who is able to communicate with others, and who is ready to respond to the dynamic of performance in a way that remains resilient, open and persistent. Theatre Studies allows students to appreciate and participate in expressions of human experience that lie outside their own emotional, cultural and intellectual experiences. 

Theatrical exploration occurs in the context of the ensemble. Generous commitment to the collaborative work and growth of the ensemble is essential; it must be actively and consistently demonstrated. Participation in theatrical performance is obligatory; support of theatrical productions is expected. Applied stagecraft is a vital component of the course. The evolution of design and technology skills is fundamental; design and stagecraft skills are assessable components in each unit of work.


Unit 1: Semester 1

Pre-Modern Theatre
Here, students begin their adult understanding of how theatre works, of why it can challenge, provoke, enlighten, alienate and amuse its audiences. A close examination of theatre history concentrates on the pre-modern. Students are introduced to the elements of applied stagecraft: design, costume, lighting, sound, direction, dramaturgy and multi-media. Students discuss performance and production values and learn how to analyse professional productions. They are encouraged to attend all kinds of theatrical performance.

Students will be engaged in drama activities – in games and exercises of increasing sophistication; they will work on improvisation and polished improvisation, movement and voice. The development of their confidence as an individual, and as a productive member of the ensemble, is of paramount importance.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to: apply knowledge of at least three distinctive historical periods of the pre-modern era through interpretation and realisation in the theatre; develop an understanding of the ways in which stagecraft contributes to the development of theatrical styles; analyse a play in performance from the pre-modern era.

1. Coursework (45%)
2. Collaborative Processes (30%)
3. Examination (25%)

Unit 2: Semester 2

Modern Theatre
This unit focuses on the dramaturgy of the modern era - from the 1880’s to the present. It explores new forms of acting styles - naturalistic and non-naturalistic - and identifies the nature of theatre demanded by the modern audience. Students are involved in a theatrical production that employs modern theatrical styles. They work collaboratively on performance and learn to apply stagecraft in the realisation of creative design ideas.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to: apply acting and other stagecraft to realise plays or excerpts of plays from the modern era; develop a practical understanding of the application of stagecraft in performance and production; analyse a play in performance from the modern era, focussing on the use of stagecraft in interpretation.

1. Coursework (30%)
2. Collaborative Processes and Production (45%)
3. Examination (25%)

Unit 3: Semester 1

Playscript Interpretation
This unit focuses on the interpretation and production of a play, involving all aspects of production processes: conceptualisation; interpretation; realisation; stagecraft and critical analysis.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to: use two areas of stagecraft in the planning, development, season and evaluation of the production of a play; analyse the influences of stagecraft on, and the collaborative processes involved in, the production of a playscript; and analyse and evaluate the relationship between a written play script and its interpretation on stage.

Unit 4: Semester 2

Performance Interpretation
This unit focuses on a prescribed play that involves students in the areas of text research, interpretation and performance. Students, as individuals, select a scene containing a prescribed monologue and - employing their knowledge of stagecraft and acting skills - develop an appropriate interpretation.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to: develop a theatrical brief that demonstrates understanding of the creation of character and the application of stagecraft in the performance of a selected monologue; rehearse and perform a selected monologue; analyse and evaluate actors in performance in a selected play.

1. Coursework – Unit 3 (30%)
2. Coursework – Unit 4 (15%)
3. Performance Examination (25%)
4. Written Examination (30%)