VCE Drama

This information is based on the study information provided by VCAA.


The study of Drama focuses on the development of performance skills, expressive skills and characters.  This is achieved through the creation and presentation of dramatic works, the use of dramatic and stagecraft elements and analysis of performance.

This study also provides students with the opportunity to examine and explore the ways in which drama gives meaning to a range of social, political, cultural and historical contexts.


The study is made up of four units:

  • Unit 1   Dramatic Storytelling
  • Unit 2   Creating Australian Drama
  • Unit 3   Ensemble Performance
  • Unit 4   Solo Performance

Unit 1: Dramatic Storytelling

Students examine storytelling through the creation of both solo and ensemble performance.  They learn how to use expressive skills in the presentation of characters.  They develop an understanding of how characters are portrayed in naturalistic and non-naturalistic styles, including Asian Theatre. They also gain greater awareness of how performance is shaped and given meaning.  They look at a range of stimulus material and learn more about stagecraft, conventions and styles from a range of social and cultural contexts.

Students analyse their own and other students’ work as well as the performance of a professional Australian play.

Unit 2: Creating Australian Drama

Students create, present and analyse a performance based on a person, event, issue, place, artwork, text and/or icon from a contemporary or historical Australian context.  They use a range of stimulus material to create performance and look at performance styles from a variety of cultural and historical contexts.  Students’ knowledge of theatrical conventions, performance styles and dramatic elements is enhanced as they use them in preparation for their own performance/s.

Students also analyse their own performance/s as well as a professional play.

Unit 3: Ensemble Performance

This unit focuses on non naturalistic drama from a diverse range of traditions.  Non naturalistic performance styles and associated theatrical conventions are explored in the development of ensemble performance.  The processes involved in the development and presentation of the ensemble performance are documented and evaluated.  A non naturalistic work selected from the prescribed list will also be studied.

Unit 4: Solo Performance

In Unit 4, the students focus on the use of performance styles, theatrical conventions and stimulus materials, firstly, in the development of a short solo performance (Outcome 1).  This prepares the student for development of the later major solo for school performance and external examination (Outcome 2).  The processes involved in the making of this major solo are documented, analysed and evaluated (Outcome 3).


There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3.  However, students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4.


Satisfactory Completion

Satisfactory completion of outcomes specified for each unit.

Unit 1: Dramatic Storytelling

  • Outcome 1: Devising ensemble and solo work based on social/cultural experiences and/or stories.  Students also describe the dramatic processes used.
  • Outcome 2: Using expressive skills, theatrical conventions and stagecraft to perform stories and characters to an audience.
  • Outcome 3: Analysis of the development and performance of work created in Outcomes 1 and 2.

Unit 2: Creating Australian Drama

  • Outcome 1: The creation of ensemble work through use of a range of stimulus material.  This includes documenting and recording the play-making techniques used.
  • Outcome 2: Demonstration of effective use of dramatic elements, theatrical conventions and stagecraft in the presentation of the performance in Outcome 1 (above).
  • Outcome 3: Observation and analysis of the student’s own performance work in Outcomes 1 and 2 (above), using specific drama terminology.
  • Outcome 4: Analysis and evaluation of a drama performance.

Unit 3: Ensemble Performance

  • Outcome 1: Developing and presenting characters in a non-naturalistic ensemble performance.
  • Outcome 2: Analysis of play-making techniques used to construct and present ensemble works including the work created in Outcome 1 (above).
  • Outcome 3: Analysis and evaluation of a non-naturalistic performance from the prescribed play list.

Unit 4: Solo Performance

  • Outcome 1:  Creation and presentation of a short solo performance and evaluation of the processes used.
  • Outcome 2: Creation and performance of character/s within a solo performance in response to a prescribed structure(external examination).
  • Outcome 3: Analysis and evaluation of the solo performance in Outcome 2 (above).


Units 1 and 2

Individual assessment by school

Units 3 and 4

School assessed coursework and two end of year examinations.

  • Unit 3 school assessed coursework
    • Ensemble performance (20%)
    • Two written reports on ensembles (10%)
  • Unit 4 school assessed coursework
    • Mini solo and written report (5%)
    • One written report on a major solo (5%)
  • Unit 4 solo examination (35%)
  • Units 3 & 4 written examination (25%)