Drama Techniques Exemplified DVD

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5 reviews for Drama Techniques Exemplified DVD

  1. FigCreative

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    My colleagues and I were delighted by the Drama Techniques DVD. It gives a full range of Drama techniques demonstrated by a group of young people with a clear, measured voice-over explaining each technique.
    Ali Warren review in ‘Drama’ Magazine

  2. FigCreative

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    We also agreed the DVD was clear enough to be shared with students. A demonstration without having to persuade the same students to work with you and with good examples of how they might be used is a valuable teaching tool. This is a highly useful resource and I may need to buy more copies to provide my non-specialist colleagues with their own version.”
    Ali Warren review in ‘Drama’ Magazine

  3. FigCreative

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    “Thanks to ‘Drama Techniques Exemplified’ my students were able to compare their own work to that of others. It made them examine their own practice more critically. It gave them a wider appreciation, and showed they are not the only ones in the world doing Drama!”
    Clare Cheung, Drama Teacher Westgate School

  4. FigCreative

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    The DVD is presented in 2 broad sections “Learning through Drama” and “Learning about Theatre”. A group of well-disciplined young student performers demonstrate a good range of techniques and conventions commonly used in drama classrooms. Directed by Tim Ford and filmed at the Wildern School Specialist Arts College it is an easy to watch format and presented with high quality audio and video production. It is not as comprehensive as a text like Jonathan Neelands “Structuring Drama Work” and does not provide the insights of Pamela Bowell’s “Planning Process Drama” but having said that it provides something that neither of those two books offer; and that is a set of well filmed practical examples of the techniques being used.

    Learning Through Drama

    This section of the film is divided into two chapters:

    1. Techniques for exploring issues and situations found in ‘texts’; and 2. Techniques for exploring a ‘character’ or ‘role’

    The narration for the first chapter indicates that the film was made during an Olympic year and uses a sporting pretext throughout the chapter. The pressure to win takes the students on a journey through the joys and disappointments of engaging in sport and some of the temptations facing those who see their participation as being a high stakes activity.

    Eleven different conventions are explored and demonstrated by the confident and competent student performers. And this strength of focus suggests that the film will serve as both a self-explanatory exemplar of the forms, and also to set the standard that students and teachers might aspire to. The engagement of the students participating in the drama sequences highlights that good drama does not have to be predicated on frivolity and can still draw on good humour. Effective examples of Still Image and Freeze Frame through to Forum Theatre and Mantle of the Expert are provided with a subtle and non-intrusive narration.

    The second chapter tackles a series of 10 exercises that address ‘characterisation’ to unpack some useful methods of discovering and developing voice, movement, attitude, gesture, background and other aspects of character. The section utilises such strategies as ‘writing in role’, ‘role on the wall’, ‘thought tracking’ and ‘hot seating’. These techniques are well demonstrated in practice and once again the narration provides small guiding insights about the purpose and intention of each exercise. The approaches are generally quite behavioural and avoid some of the psychological nonsense that is trotted out when such approaches as Stanislavsky’s are invoked and inflicted upon innocent learners.

    Learning about Theatre

    This section is divided into three chapters:

    1. Preparing a piece of drama for an audience; 2. Techniques for use in performance; and 3. Theatre formats.

    The first of these chapters generates a fairly brief and conservative approach to theatre production. The narrated part guides the viewer through some key terms used in relation to performance and in relation to theatre conventions. It quickly looks at blocking, levels, masking, stage positions and stage directions. This is largely an informative exercise and does not really offer much in the way of creative insight. Left with this as their only guidance, a student actor might well assume they can never turn their back on the audience, never stand in a line and never speak over another actor. This section is obviously to reiterate some basic guidelines for newcomers to the stage and would need to be more fully explained after an initial viewing.

    The second chapter examines a range of narrative devices that can be used in a variety of theatrical forms. From narration to flashback, from soundscape to dance drama it offers a range of techniques that can be drawn upon to highlight the story-telling function of theatre. The examples are simplified and clarified so that they can be introduced to beginning drama students quite straightforwardly. While the more dynamic aspects of theatre are alluded to they are not fully engaged with; hence, such things as introducing and controlling tension are left as fleeting references in the narration. This section does however continue to build on setting the expectations of students about the attitude and approach required to generate effective drama work. And the emphasis throughout is on effectiveness and convention; creativity and invention are still to be explored.

    Theatre formats are explained in terms of the range of spatial relationships between actor and audience. ‘End on’, ‘thrust’, ‘arena’, ‘traverse’ and ‘promenade’ conventions are explained and demonstrated with the narration providing the occasional link to historical traditions.

    I can see this film being a useful resource in a beginning drama classroom for secondary and adult learners. I can see it being especially useful to generalist teachers in developing their own knowledge of the basics of drama education. Understanding will come with experience and a richer engagement with the theory and practice of drama. Drama specialists will find its offerings of clear examples its greatest strength.
    Kim Flintoff B.A., Grad. Dip. Ed., M.Ed. PhD Candidate QUT Creative Industries: Performance Studies Sessional Lecturer/Tutor ECU School of Education and Arts: Contemporary Performance / Drama Education

  5. FigCreative

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    This is a professionally filmed DVD that exemplifies the level descriptions superbly. Teachers of drama and drama practitioners will find it a really helpful and focused resource.
    Marigold Ashwell, co-author ‘Drama In Schools:second edition’

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