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John Curtin’s leading Drama Program provides students with opportunities to develop high level dramatic skills alongside other Gifted Arts students.

Students are given the opportunity to develop reading, writing, listening, speaking, and performance skills, as well as foundations for interpreting, reflecting and analysing creative modes of expression.

The lower school program is a unique course that focuses on students practically exploring drama conventions, developing academic understanding, and workshopping performance skills in order to provide learning experiences in drama that other schools in the State cannot offer. In upper school we offer courses to suit varied pathways, including ATAR.

Students broaden their knowledge and appreciation of drama as an art form, profession and life skill. Students are provided with opportunities to work with industry artists including professional actors and directors to explore scripted drama and develop specialist skills. 

Performance is a key component of the program and students will have the opportunity to perform in front of a range of audiences in a variety of theatre spaces.

Apply for entry into the Gifted and Talented Drama Program here.


Writing Skills

Students are encouraged to explore written genres as a means of relevant expression. Thought pads or creative journals are used for students to develop the capacity for instant creative reflection and critical analysis on a daily basis.

Throughout a unit of work, each student will draw from their thought pad to complete extended responses and short answers and present a drama process folio.

The Process Journal is an essential component of the program as it is used to record understandings of the practical and theoretical aspects of the course. It is also for students to reflect on their own work and works of others; their skills, processes and understandings that are covered in the workshops; class work; and performances.

Time is given to practically explore how to be effective communicators in drama, through following frameworks and analysing best practice.

Performance Examinations

Students will perform scripted monologues, improvisations and interview questions in individual performance examinations. They will have the opportunity to explore scripted monologues from various playwrights with differing styles and thematic influences. Spontaneity and the ability to accept and extend an offer are skills developed for the improvisation section of the examination. For the interview section the power of the spoken word and the ability to succinctly analyse and justify choices made are key attributes of development that are assessed.

Extension & Acceleration

Extension classes

• The Boys’ Project (includes comedy extension).
• YEARS 7 – 10 – Masterclasses with industry artists.
• YEAR 7 – Project based workshops
• YEAR 8 and 9 – Workshops in physical theatre and vocal development.
• YEAR 10 – Performance examinations.
• YEAR 10 – Guest director workshops/seasons.

Performances

• Festivals and community events.
• YEAR 7 – 9 – Formal and informal performances.
• YEARS 8 – 10 – Performances in a professional setting.
• YEAR 10 – Guest Director Season – working with industry professionals.
• YEAR 10 – Opportunity for performance with upper school students in senior drama production.
• Immersion in the fundamentals of Theatre Production and Conventions.

Technical development

• Vocal training.
• Movement training.
• Character development training. Reflection
• YEARS 7 – 10 – Process journal and investigation.
• Excursions to professional theatre performances.
• View drama performance seasons offered at John Curtin.

Curriculum

• Compacted curriculum so students are fast tracked through content that has been mastered.
• Students work on content one year level above standard curriculum delivery.
• Students explore broader, deeper and more challenging practical and written learning tasks than those delivered in a standard educational setting.

Year 10 – upper school course

• Year 10 students develop and perform practical performance examinations in line with ATAR guidelines.
• Curriculum scope and sequence for all Gifted and Talented year groups based on ATAR drama courses.

Please note: This presents an example of what is offered as part of the program.

Performances

Performances are an integral part of the Gifted and Talented Drama Program and attendance at all rehearsals and performances is compulsory.
In Years 7, 8 and 9 the focus is on performance work that showcases the students’ class work to family and friends. There are performances for students twice a year. Opportunities are also given to students to extend and accelerate understanding through workshop and performance with industry professionals.
A feature of our drama program is the Guest Director Season for students in Years 10 to 12. Students work alongside professional actors/directors to produce a work that showcases all students to the local community in one of our state-of-the-art performance venues.
Throughout the students’ time at the College they may often be invited to perform for various community events. We promote professional industry standards and responsibilities. Once a student has made a commitment to participate, they are obliged to attend all rehearsals and subsequent performances, some of which will be outside school hours.

Dress Requirements

The school community supports a policy of compulsory uniform. All drama students are required to wear the John Curtin College of the Arts polo shirt and navy blue shorts or College tracksuit pants. Hair needs to be tied back for all classes and all jewellery removed.
This dress code is used to encourage a professional ethos, to allow students flexibility in movement, and to develop a sense of neutrality (a blank canvas), which is essential for our drama performers in all class activities.