Seven deadly sins
This scheme is designed to offer a range of ideas for getting students started on devising their own work. It uses a range of stimuli including scripts, poetry and art. The timing for each session depends on you and your students. Some work may take 30 minutes or can be spread over a number of lessons. You can adapt and adjust things to suit yourself and your students and of course your students can continue to explore work in their own rehearsals.
In defining each of the sins I have in some places opted for the original definition; in other places I have interpreted the sin slightly differently to enable students to examine them from a more contemporary point of view. The main concept behind this scheme is to give students a starting point from which they can continue to devise their own work.
They might begin by exploring greed and end up with a piece of work that is very far removed from the scheme but with ideas based on the original stimuli. It’s not necessary for students to know the texts used particularly well, although in some instances some prior reading and preparation would be an advantage.
AQA and Edexcel
Edexcel unit 3
The Edexcel unit 3 students are assessed as individuals in both the process and final performance. They must work in groups of no fewer than three and no more than six, with the performances being no less than 15 minutes and no longer than 30. The unit focuses on a group production in response to stimulus materials, themes, ideas, issues or published plays and asks students to create a ‘unique and original piece of theatre’.
It asks them to, among other things, create an original piece of drama, work co-operatively in a creative context and explore the stylistic features of performance. The unit also requires students to demonstrate an ability to engage and work as a member of a group while responding to the initial stimulus material, theme, issue or published play. (From Edexcel specification.)
AQA Unit 4
Candidates are required to work in groups of between two and eight to present a piece of devised drama, performed in a theatrical style of their choice. Each group must be self-contained and totally responsible for all aspects of the devised work which should realise clear dramatic intentions for an audience.
The pieces should be approximately 15–40 minutes, according to the number of candidates. All candidates must take an equal and active role in the devising and creative process and share responsibility for the effectiveness of the finished piece in performance. The subject matter is entirely the students’ choice although it is obviously expected to be appropriate. (From AQA specification)
Number of Lessons: 7