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  • Dramanet Final Summary for 2016 …to 21st December

    What happened there?!? …just like that it seems, the school year has finished for us all!?!?  

    Whether you wrapped up the school year over a week (or more!!) ago or but a day or two ago (which I know was the case for some of you poor, tortured souls!!) I hope you are now finding time to re-charge and shift your focus to great times with the nearest and dearest in your lives.

    I’d like to extend a massive thank you to everyone who has started, contributed or responded to, or shared their point of view in our discussions this year; it is all the many of you and your constant sharing and giving which make DramaNet the highly successful professional network and one of the best forms of constant and on-going professional learning that it is. Thank you all!

    Here’s an overview of some recent posts which would be worth having quick one-click access to for when you next need to refer back to these…

    Key discussions:

    Events, EOTC & Live Performance Opportunities:

    Professional Learning and Development

    For Primary Teachers: Curriculum Level "Rubrics"

    • A recent question posted related to drama rubrics and how to create junior marking schedules that incorporate multiple curriculum levels.
    • This would also be one of the most common questions asked by primary teachers who incorporate drama in their classroom programmes, so while its focus was by junior secondary teachers, I’d highly encourage our primary subscribers to have a look at the perspectives and templates shared so far on this discussion to inform your own rubric design.  

    Finally, just this morning I shared some really interesting stats tables from our recent Arts Online team milestone report for the Ministry of Education, I hope [whether you are new to our Arts Online/Dramanet whanau or if, like me, you’ve been a subscriber since those very early years of the project] that these fun facts and glimpses of insight give you a sense of the bigger picture and inner workings of the project. I also hope you’ll all be affirmed and proud that YOU are a key part and reason for the success of the community too. This site, this forum, your contributions, your viewership and your involvement personify the Ako that is so central to effective learning, no matter what stage of life we’re all at.  

    This update will also be uploaded to our Twitter feed @ArtsOnline1. To access any of the threads on the Arts Online website archive simply type the username “artsonline” and the password “mailinglist” to do this.

     

    Meri kirihimete whānau!

     

    Ryan Benjamin

    Arts Online Community Facilitator - Dramanet
    http://artsonline.tki.org.nz/
    https://twitter.com/artsonline1

  • Dramanet Summary to 14th May

    Kia ora koutou,

    A fairly quiet time on our list recently until a sudden spike at the end of this second week of Term 2…Of course, quiet on the list means frantic in your classrooms and departments. Remember, we’re all here when you need us!

    Here’s the major things you need to know, all summarised in one place to save you scrolling back through the ocean of emails in your inboxes.

     

    Note Worthy:

    The next 24 months will be an interesting time in education as the government moves to reprioritise the structures and funding behind professional learning and development across the country. The last Education Gazette featured two links in particular which I shared recently that are both well worth a read by everyone in the sector. Thanks also to Kim Bonnington for extending the discussion. More here.

     

    A Primary Focus – for teachers of learners in Years 1-8:

    My thanks to Mel Notley for this post which asked about integrating drama with her science focus on land forms forYears 4/5/6. This was a fantastic post and thanks must also go to those who suggested ideas for this via the list…  There are a wealth of ideas that emerge from this type of integrated focus and a range of drama conventions that work at (curriculum) levels 1-3(and even 4) to explore these through. As well as the suggestions to look at Mantle of the Expert to help, here are some thoughts I have had on the concept in thinking more about it:

    • Role on the Wall – exploring the job of ‘scientists’ (and other jobs/roles) who study land forms and changes in the land; extending to moving through the space in role playing with stance, posture, gestures and facial expression of a variety of roles involved in land form sciences – how do we communicate these roles/jobs/actions with our bodies and no voices? Extend to land forms as characters themself + object characters 'the tools of the trade'...
    • Hot Seating – whole class or groups exploring real-life or fictitious characters connected with land form events moments - people, objects, structures. Personal narratives from land forms; hazardous events etc…
    • Tableaux/Frozen Images – pair, group and class shapes depicting the physical structure and shape of land forms…look at levels, points of contact, focus... 
    • Writing in Role – a letter from a citizen to the council about…; a note from one scientist to another expressing concern over a discovery... (fictitious or factual and found in some research material); writing in the role of the land form itself (humanising the whenua) and expressing concern or joy over human activity in/on/around it…
    • Spoken Thoughts – copy and divide up some of the ‘writing in role’ work up, around the room (perhaps it focussed on one aspect/event within the study), all over the floor. Then, have students walk around the room to actions connected to the work called by the teacher; when freeze is called every student picks up a piece of paper and the teacher moves around the students, tapping them on the shoulder one at a time to speak the line aloud and trying to get the role across to everyone listening…

    These could, of course, be worked up and/or watered down depending on the level being worked with. Also, for me School Journal articles and stories which use land forms as a focus would provide a great resource text to drive the explorations further too; with their characters, roles, settings, events/action and tension that could be explored more deeply through the above conventions.

    I love the notion of drama being used as the deliberate pedagogy through which aspects of science – like land forms – and so many other areas of learning at the primary age can be made more 'active'. This is a great way of providing opportunities for students to really embody and enact what they are learning about; to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the topic… and let’s not forget, it’s fun!

     

    He Reo Āwhina, He Reo Tautoko – A voice of help and support:

    • Grant Lloyd was looking for dance streamers.
    • Lyndee Hurley sought advice regarding the stage floor requirements for Scholarship Drama.
    • Brent Morrison and colleagues were looking to make contact with others who are using innovative approaches to timetable and curriculum within modern learning environments.
    • Colin Hedivan was on the hunt for an Ass Head for a production. He later sent out this urgent mayday call after no responses were returned. I hope you were able to source what you needed Colin!
    • Amy Edwards was looking to borrow some copies of Revenge of the Amazons rather than the costly exercise of buying more books – thanks to the members of the community who were able to assist.
    • Jane Bennett was also looking to borrow x15 copies of Caucasian Chalk Circle for the duration of Term 2 – again, our thanks to those who were able to assist.
    • Erica Newlands was looking for recommendations for resources to support teaching and learning of Epic Theatre and Brecht.
    • Ellen Gardner sought clarification regarding 91220 (Drama 2.8) script a scene, and asked whether the task could be completed in a group or only by individuals. Thanks to Christine Morgan for pointing out:
      • this standard it must be completed on an individual basis.
    • Grant Waugh asked about the impact of poor miming in the performance of devised work for 90997, and what that means for making an assessment judgment.
    • Celia Mann asked if others would mind sharing their plans for Year 9 Drama programmes to gain some fresh/new inspiration at that level.
    • Ellen Gardner was also looking for where to get Toa Fraser’s Pure and Deep script from. Thanks to Toa himself for responding so quickly and – as always – for your endless support of teachers using your work in the classroom!
    • Scott Chalmers asked about the length required for both Drama 2.8 and Drama 3.8 scripting assessments. Thanks once again to Christine Morgan for your concise and factual response. 
      • To reiterate: at level two approx. 4-6 minutes of ‘performance’ should eventuate from the submitted script. However, in all cases at both level 2 and level 3 – the quality of the scripting itself should be the primary consideration for assessment.
    • Angie Wood asked about approaches to task writing that differs from the examples of TKI and possible alternative methods of delivery by students for 91217 (Drama 2.5) ‘Examine the work of a playwright’.
    • Gemma Carter was looking for inspiration for good scripts and play texts to use in Year 10 Drama programmes.
    • George Arthur asked for advice on how to determine the ‘substantial’ factor when assigning roles and assessing students against Level 3 standard 91517 ‘perform a substantial acting role in a significant production’. Thanks to those who provided advice here. 
      • To summarise: a substantial role is one with both breadth and depth and that provides the opportunity for the student to have sufficient time on stage 'active in performance'. This is not so much about lines said but about active performance moments. A chorus or ensemble group as required for many a significant production are still very much substantial in role even when they may have less ‘lines’ that ‘leading’ characters.
    • Dylan Frewin shared how helpful he had found our community as a first-year teacher in a rural area and then asked about combining Drama 3.8 (script) and 3.2 (devising). 
      • Unfortunately the same piece of work could not be used for assessment of both these standards as they look at different processes and outcomes. However, I did point out that the work developed through the process of one (devising for example) could then provide the springboard or stimulus for a new piece of work that is developed through the scripting lens and part of a larger rich context topic.
    • Kathryn Boyd asked for inspiration and ideas from people for the types of topics/themes schools have explored for their J Rock performances.
    • Kimberley Fridd shared this important message for all drama educators in the Otago/Southland areas who visit the Fortune Theatre. Please read and complete the required survey by Wednesday 18th May.

     

    SGCNZ UOSWSF – Prop Support Requests:

    There have been a few requests by teachers looking to minimise luggage issues when travelling to Wellington for the national festival in June. If any teachers/schools in Wellington can help with these requests, please contact senders directly…

     

    Resources Shared:

    • Susan Battye advertised her Drama Magic products and services via Dramanet and reminded conference participants about their special offer.
    • Gail Denver from Maverick Musicals shared some of the top picks for school musicals in their catalogue of shows and productions.
    • Ben Moore shared this great BBC web resource on Costume.

     

    EOTC & Live Performance Opportunities:

    • Bhavisha Patel has continued to keep us in the loop about Indian Ink’s touring production of The Elephant Thief which has begun. Some bookings may still be available. See details here.
    • Maria Lute shared information from LEARNZ enabling schools to have a virtual field trip experience with the NZ Opera’s production of The Magic Flute.
    • Peter Rees shared Unitec’s Shakespeare Season coming up in June and featuring productions of As You Like It and The Winter’s Tale. Details here.
    • Helen Sheehan shared details for Silo Theatre’s school matinee for Medea on 21st June, 11am. Details here.
    • Taylor Griffin from Simple Truth Theatre alerted us to the fact that tickets are now on sale for their season of Toa Fraser’s Bare at Auckland’s Pumphouse Theatre, May 26-28th. It later tours to Taupo and Palmerston North with public seasons and schools tours available. Details here.
    • Deanna Borren from The Basement Theatre in Auckland shared details about new-work, Thomus, written entirely in iambic pentameter, being performed at the Basement Theatre at the end of August. "Thomus looks at a modern world through the epic scope of Shakespearean drama; all from the point of view of a kiwi teen in Year 13". More here.
    • Ella Becroft from RED LEAP Theatre alerted subscribers to the Dust Pilgrim performance tour coming to Hamilton, New Plymouth and Wellington which is supported by an excellent education resource which targets 2016 examination specifications and is supported by a full recording of the piece. More here. (and here).
    • Tim Bray Productions advertised their July production of Bad Jelly the Witch with booking details, here.

     

    Events and Workshops:

    • Morag Carter shared details of an opportunity to have fight choreography specialist, Alexander Holloway visit South Island locations in mid-May to hold workshops. This generated a lot of interest on the list.
    • Peter Rees shared the exciting news of Unitec’s awesome props making workshop opportunity for drama students and teachers coming up in July. Details here.
    • Lisa Brickell is offering a clowning workshop, June 5th & 6th in Albany, Auckland. Details here.
    • Youth Arts Space shared info for a performance and workshop series event, Matariki RhythmzDetails here.

     

    Professional Learning and Development:

    • Drama New Zealand our national subject association for drama in education, held their annual conference in Wellington last month and by all accounts this was a huge success. The AGM which is traditionally part of the conference event also went ahead and the new national executive committee were introduced for the coming year. Again, our congratulations to the exec and the Wellington Branch conference committee for the work that went into bringing everyone together at the river.
    • An opportunity for teachers of Speech & Drama and Musical Theatre is coming to Christchurch and Auckland on May 28-29th.
    • NZQA Assessor Support is being provided in the form of a "Making Assessment Judgements" BPW in Auckland on Tuesday 14th June. Details and registration link, here.
    • Drama New Zealand Auckland Branch are hosting a PLD event titled “Arts Ed – Cross Over” on Friday 17th June at the Auckland Theatre Company rehearsal studios which brings together drama teachers, tertiary and industry practitioners for a night of networking and sharing practice(s). Registration details here.
    • For those in drama departments who offer Dance but do not have fully established or stand-alone dance departments, or for those who are HOFs or HODs with dance teaching staff in your departments – I shared the details of how to join the Dance Subject Association of New Zealand (DSANZ). Details here.

     

    Professional Reading & Viewing:

    • A refreshing article outlining some of the questions and thought processes that are at play during the teaching as inquiry cycle was outlined, here.
    • The Arts Online Newsletter for April featured a guest editorial by Drama New Zealand Vice-President, Charles Bisley titled Rite of Passage looking at drama experiences and student responses to these as they transition to secondary educationSee it again, here.
    • David Chambers shared this great opinion piece by Philip Aldridge (which I saw doing the rounds on many social media feeds too) on the value of the arts in NZ.
    • I shared two readings: ‘How We’ve Got it All Wrong About The Arts’ and ‘Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth’ which made me think a great deal on the directions we are taking in education and the arts in education here. Read them here.
    • Susan Battye shared an article she wrote for the e-newsletter Tomorrow’s Schools Today NZ titled, Drama in the Classroom Moves Centre Stage. A great read! Find it again, here. Later, Susan also shared this report on theatre in the UK, What are Theatre’s Hopes and Fears for the Next 10 Years?
    • Kim Bonnington shared the Secondary Student Achievement Contract group’s National Newsletter: The Arts for Term 2.

     

    As always, this summary will be uploaded to the Dramanet VLN group and our Twitter feed @ArtsOnline1. To access any of the threads on the Arts Online website archive simply type the username “artsonline” and the password “mailinglist” to do this.

     

    Kia pai to wiki – have a great week (Week 3 already!!!),

    Ryan 

  • Dramanet Summary to 2nd April

    Ata mārie koutou,

    I know if you’re anything like me, then you’ll find these past two short weeks actually felt incredibly long as we juggled rehearsals and practices to fit everything ‘normal’ into a much smaller time-frame!! Regardless, whatever the three-day week just gone or the one before it was like for you, I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing time over the five-day weekend for Easter and that you were able to spend much of that time with your family and loved-ones.  Our community has been humming away, busy as ever, recently. 

     

    Here’s your latest summary which I’d encourage you to browse over a cuppa in the coming days.

    Note Worthy:

    It’s always enjoyable to read a post that reminds us all why Arts Online and these communities for each discipline exist in the first place. Our community includes both the most and least experienced educators and practitioners we have and yet, regardless of experience, we all have something valuable to learn from one another.

    I have always maintained that the kaupapa of tuakana-teina is the biggest asset of Arts Online. This week I noted we are just over 10 new subscribers away from a massive 800 members! That's up from just over 700 in July last year! This is awesome and reflects the fact that, while our numbers will always fluctuate somewhat, the number of educators, practitioners and other interested parties who each have a vested interest in The Arts andDrama education, and secondary arts students, in this country grows by the day. The support network provided through the Arts Online community platform is second to none. Ultimately, that’s all down to each of you so I thank you all for your commitment and contributions that keep our list humming along strongly every day!

    With that in mind, it was encouraging to read Rene Molina’s affirmation to you all recently: 

    “I’d like to thank you all for sharing whatever information you have through this group.  It has made my journey much easier and fun too! I really enjoy reading about your teaching experiences.”  Full the message here

    Thank you for taking the time to share your point of view with us, Rene! Your comment is greatly appreciated and I hope it encourages more members of our community, who have remained silent in the past, to speak up – whatever you have to share or say is worth sharing or saying!

     

    A Primary Focus – for teachers of learners in Years 1-8:

    • The Royal New Zealand Ballet are presenting The Wizard of Oz in May/June and have dates in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch for schools bookings as special ticket prices. 
    • This is a perfect opportunity for primary teachers to plan a Term 2 trip and do some follow up lessons afterwards, perhaps integrating drama, dance and music learning experiences? Get in touch with me if you'd like some ideas or support with this.

     

    He Reo Āwhina, He Reo Tautoko – A voice of help and support:

    • Tim Botting began a thread around camera help and what models are working well for recording assessment evidence.
    • Erica Newlands asked for advice around incorporating a PAT standard into her Year 10 programme. A range of great ideas and past experiences were shared in response.
    • Amy Edwards asked about extra-curricular activities; what types people offered; how they are run/managed and for ways to utilise a drama committee of senior students.
    • Kijiana Pene was looking for help and advice from others in developing a proposal for a pantomime or production at school for the BOT.
    • Abbey Yule asked if anyone has any Commedia dell’Arte resources they’re willing to share for junior or senior classes.
    • Gemma Carter sought support with moderated exemplars for her Level Two Greek Theatre focus for Drama 2.3/Drama 2.4. Later, Gemma also informed us of her Google Community for sharing moderation – you can contact her directly to be added to this group.
    • David Chambers wrote in support of Bill Walker’s November 2015 post regarding the ‘significant playwrights’ list: “...There are many significant playwrights that are not on the list. This has a significant impact on our teaching programme if we are offering scholarship and 3.4 opportunities...”
    • Dylan Frewin questioned the length required in performances presented for thelevel one devising standard. The two responses from Christine were very concise and helpful.
      • To sum up, time is not prescribed and at all time when assessing this standard it is the effectiveness of the dramaproduct developed that is the focus of final judgement decisions.
    • Gemma Carter also asked if the melodrama “Foiled Again” would be suitable to assess Drama 1.6 Perform an acting role in a scripted production.
    • Tabitha Kaiser was on the hunt for some video exemplars of the .1s for each level. Thanks to those who gave suggestions.
    • Gayle Spence was looking for copies of two theatre of the absurd texts.
    • Emma Bishop alerted us all to the UPDATED Assessment Specifications for externally assessed drama standards at all level for this year. Discussion followed.
    • Jennifer Richardson asked about offering drama credits to students who are involved in musical theatre productions outside of school.
      • To put the thread plainly, these types of authentic learning experiences outside the classroom could provide evidence towards the acting role standards provided the assessor/teacher can find and access evidence for students to meet all aspects of the criteria. A directed production in the musical theatre context is not appropriate for the .1 standards (90006; 91213; 91512) because, by nature, students are directed by someone else in that type of context – whereas these standards require students to make decisions about the use of drama techniques themselves. However, the valid point was raised that you could provide an isolated opportunity for students to self-direct a scene or scenes from a musical theatre piece for this type of assessment.  
    • Kimberley Fridd was looking for some script/scene suggestions for two actors and four actors for the Advanced Acting and Directing workshops she will be tutoring at the NYDS in April, here.
    • Celia Mann sought help interpreting the ‘communication of character’specification for this year’s 91219 examination. 
      • It would be good to hear some thoughts on this…click the link above to take you to the original thread and then hit reply...
    • Rene Molina asked for ideas and suggestions for developing a drama programme for students with special needs. Thanks to Luke for your contribution here.
    • Helen Jones sought help redefining the job description for an Arts Coordinatorand the many and varied tasks these wonderful people around the country do to support arts teachers and students in schools. 
    • Ellen Gardner from Tereora College in Rarotonga was after someone in the Google Shared Folder cluster to moderate her Level 2/3 techniques work.
    • Kathleen Christian is keen to teach Verbatim Theatre this year but is after some advice. Thanks to Mark Wheeler, who is a vastly experienced practitioner and playwright within this form, for his advice and suggestions already!
    • Scott Chalmers asked for suggestions on the types of features/requirements to include in a new shared teaching space that can be used for drama and others…

     

    Resources Shared:

    • Tabitha Kaiser shared a booklet she developed to support students through the level one make-up standard for Performing Arts Technology and asked for feedback from those who have delivered this standard before. Thank to Christine for your advice here.
    • After helping to organise for students in Napier to see The Book of Everythingrecently, Daniel Betty encouraged teachers who saw the work to contribute to a shared doc; to collaborate in compiling revision materials for the live performance examinations for students who will discuss this piece. Details here.
    • Susan Battye shared the exciting news that all of her play scripts are now available for download by Playmarket subscribers. Details here.

     

    EOTC & Live Performance Opportunities:

    • Julia Campbell reminder subscribers that The Lord Lackbeards are presentingHamlet and Ophelia Thinks Harder in May 2016 – there is still space for bookings on this North Island tour. Details here.
    • Michelle Johansson alerted us to The Black Friars production of Macbeth, re-set in Samoa, coming this September to Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland. Students could also audition for a role in the show. Details here.
    • The Royal New Zealand Ballet are presenting The Wizard of Oz in May/June and have dates in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch for schools bookings as special ticket prices.
    • Deanna Borren shared details of Miss Jean Batten a new solo show being staged at The Basement Theatre in Auckland now and running until April 9thMore here.
    • Ensemble Impact’s POWERPLAYS tour begins May 2nd – there’s still some room for bookings.
    • After two weeks at Mangere Arts Centre, MASSIVE Company’s The Wholeheartedis now on at Q Theatre in the CBD, after opening last night, and has some space left for schools matinees on Tuesday 5th and Thursday 7th April at 11am. More info here.

     

    Events and Workshops:

    • The New Zealand Dance Company’s YEP team shared details of the upcomingAutumn workshops in the April holidays.
    • INTERPLAY is happening at TAPAC in Auckland on Sunday 1st May and will be in Christchurch on May 22ndMore details here.
    • Bhavisha Patel from INDIAN INK shared details of a FREE schools workshop as part of The Elephant Thief tour to New Plymouth in June.
    • Jo Matheson put out the notice of AGM for Drama New Zealand and a call for nominations for executive officers. Details here.
    • Youth Arts Space announced an exciting opportunity for student expression in a new event called, Matarirki Rhythmz – details here.
    • Lisa Brickell is holding a clowning workshop in Albany, Auckland, from April 23rd-25th.
    • Hannah Cooke shared details for Felicity Ward’s What if there’s no Toilet?”coming to the International Comedy Festival in April.

     

    In the [social] media:

    • This theatrefolk podcast on directing discusses how to go about having a director’s vision or concept that remains in step with the needs of the, sometimes iconic, piece before you. An insightful clip for students (and teachers) who are exploring directing in their programmes.

     

    Professional Learning and Development Opportunities:

    • The Regional Arts Partnerships (RAPs) workshops for arts middle leaders began last week in the south. You might still be able to participate in some of these FREE workshops offered by the Secondary Student Achievement Contract team and others. Kim Bonnington shared a reminder, here.
    • Emma Bishop revealed some of the awesome presenters for conference in a few weeks’ time and reminded us all that registrations are still available –information here. She also revealed the keynote one speaker at conference this year – Dave Armstrong.
    • The School of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Auckland offer a unique Doctor of Education (EdD) programme which starts in July this year. The programme allows candidates to focus their doctorate on an area of curriculum and pedagogy of their choice.Details here.

     

    Professional Reading & Viewing:

    • I’d encourage any educator looking at the Scholarship Drama examination to look over Emma Bishop’s post regarding Scholarship and NZQA’s response to some questions from the sector about that examination and assessment format. View it here.

     

    Employment Opportunities:

     

    Finally, it would be good to see the collective voice of all arts teachers and their experiences heard loud and clear and for them to be well represented in returns for the 2016 Secondary Teacher Census being conducted for the Education Council. I posted a link to information here. Check it out and complete the survey – it’s fairly quick and painless.  

     

    As always, this summary will be uploaded to the Dramanet VLN group and our Twitter feed @ArtsOnline1. To access any of the threads on the Arts Online website archive simply type the username “artsonline” and the password “mailinglist” to do this.

     

    Naku noa na,

    Ryan  

  • Dramanet Summary to 8th March

    Kia ora koutou,

    ‘To do lists’... I suppose they are what keep us all moving at this time of the year: appraisal meetings and set-up for the year; inquiry goals and PLD foci; data analysis; board reports; teaching and learning programme (aka. schemes) up-dates; department manuals; PLD applications and bookings; invoicing follow ups; EOTC bookings and subsequent forms, and forms, and forms to complete…then we all manage to still fit that ‘little thing’ we call teaching in as well; that precious time we actually spend with our students doing what we love before returning to each of our “administration nightmares”. Actually, I think there’s a reality show title and concept in that I'm sure?! Think “Hoarders” meets “Hell’s Kitchen” meets “Under Cover Boss". Anyway, all jokes aside, I hope this week’s summary does find you well as you work through your own list of “to do” tasks… 

     

    This has been on my own ‘to do’ list for a few days now, so I apologies for the delay. Let’s crack on…

    Note Worthy:

    • There was recently a call to action regarding Ministry of Education published resources available at the Down the Back of the Chair website:

    “The Ministry of Education are interested in hearing from schools, kura and early childhood centres about their experience when ordering Ministry of Education resources from the Ministry online resource catalogue Down the Back of the Chair . The survey includes 10 questions and will take about 5-10 minutes to complete. Your response will provide invaluable information about the current service and how we can improve your experience. We would really appreciate your input!” Take part in the survey here.   

     

    A Primary Focus – for teachers of learners in Years 1-8:

    • “Tutakina mai ahau kit e Awa | Meet me at the River” the Drama New Zealand subject associations national conference for 2016 is probably, hands-down, the best form of dedicated The Arts-Drama professional learning and development primary teachers will be offered this year by anyone. My thanks to Robert Dil for his on-going information-sharing with the Primary sector subscribers of this community. More details here. I firmly encourage and back this conference and the range of primarydrama workshop opportunities on offer and urge you all to get registered for three of the best PLD days you’ll ever have!  [You heard it here first…]

     

    He Reo Āwhina, He Reo Tautoko – A voice of help and support:

    • Lucy Duffield asked for “a bit of advice” regarding designing a individual plan for a student she has in her level two class who already completed several of the level twodrama standards last year.
    • Scott Chalmers sought out thoughts/information regarding The Crucible.
    • Our thanks for Rachel Steele who offered up a range of play texts, free to new schooldrama department homes.
    • Gail Denver shared details of Laura Officer’s The Blame Game as a possible text for use in drama programmes.
    • Andrea Hanson asked, regarding 1.4/90999 whether a monologue was an acceptable vehicle to achievement within the conditions of assessment for this standard. Would be good to have some shared discussion around this on the list…
    • Emily McRae posed some questions about the specifications for level three external 91518 which this year includes the provision/stipulation for candidates to discuss live performance work they have been involved in as an actor as well as viewer.
    • Emily also put out a call to action to get Dunedin and surrounding areas teachers toregister their interest in attending a workshop with MASSIVE Company artistic director Sam Scott in November.
    • Bridget Crooks shared some concise advice regarding staging, working at height and OSH regulations.
    • Emma Bishop sought play advice for selecting her college (non-musical) dramaproduction for this year.
    • Amy Edwards was looking for buddies to team up for a professional inquiry looking at external examination in Drama. There was LOTS of interest in this.
    • Lyndee Hurley asked about transport from the airport when attending our dramaconference in April.
    • Gemma Carter asked for support with internal moderation as a sole charge teacher/department. Thanks for the great ideas and offers Angela and Christine. Gemma also asked if anyone had held workshops in schools with Philip Christian Claassen previously.
    • Stacey Harrison asked if anyone was willing to share tasks/handouts/workbooks they have used successfully for 2.9 Direct a scene
    • Katy van Deventer was on the hunt for Alice in Wonderland themed costumes.
    • Sarah Higginson asked whether it was acceptable to use Dave Armstrong as a playwright on his own, rather than paired with Oscar Kightley for Scholarship Dramapurposes.
    • Luke Walton shared the male drama statistics for 2015 which he compiled with the help of submissions from our community.
    • Our thanks for Ken Hudson who is willing to share his play script Pounamu Cut, a ‘bicultural Epic’, with the community.
    • Emma Bishop shared a message from our own Paul Willis (past Executive Member ofDrama NZ and Drama NZ Auckland) who is currently part of the troupe performing at the Pop-Up Globe
    • Tamsin Dashfield-Speight asked if anyone was willing to share video footage of students’ directing work for level two or level three.
    • Susan Battye shared details of the postponement of the IDEA world congress.
    • I asked if people would share and compile the various Māori and Pasifika contextsbeing explored through their drama teaching and learning programmes via a Google Doc. I will give this some more time before uploading it to the TRE later next week.
    • Karla Haronga modestly advertised the FAHS War Years Production which she has written for the school and community to perform/view. Congratulations and all the best with the show Karla!
    • Vivien Smith revitalised the call to action asking for teachers to check with school accounts managers and executive officers regarding the arts coordinator funding. Thanks for Kim for your concise feedback on the matter.
    • Jaclyn Druitt asked for a link to or clarification around the rules for the SGCNZ UOSWSF around music/dance.

     

    EOTC & Live Performance Opportunities:

    • Marama Tracey Lloydd has been doing an amazing job at keeping us all up to speed with happenings and opportunities at the Auckland Arts Festival which is now open. Her messages to the community recently have included: 2 Outstanding Theatre Shows NOW! AND James 1 reviews hot off the press
    • Julie Zhu shared information regarding the schools matinee of White/Other coming up at the Basement Theatre in Auckland on April 13th, 11am.
    • Bhavisha Singh shared Indian Ink’s national tour for 2016.
    • Jenny McArthur shared a range of teacher feed-back regarding the Echolalia national schools tour happening May 2-20 next term. Student feed-back here.
    • Sara Shirazi shared details of Voices in my Head coming to the Basement Theatre in May.

     

    Events and Workshops:

    • Junior Theatre NZ in association with MTI Australasia have put together an opportunity for you, your colleagues and students to be part of a day of Musical Theatre with Cindy Ripley from iTheatrics New York, the company that create the Broadway Junior Musical Series right here in NZ, in association with Music Theater International and Disney. Details here.
    • Louise Tourelle is facilitating a Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud workshop this Saturday 12th March, at Toi Whakaari in Wellington, 10am -4pm.
    • There will be a screening of the hilarious new film Three Wise Cousins followed by a Q&A session with its director at the Hawkins Theatre in Papakura on 18th March at 7.30pm.

     

    In the [social] media:

    • Theatrefolk Blog- Working with a Chorusthoughts on working with vary large chorus ensembles in schools productions. Great for middle years/junior secondary in particular!

     

    Professional Learning and Development Opportunities:

    • “Tutakina mai ahau kit e Awa” | “Meet me at the River” Drama New Zealand National Conference 2016; 21st-23rd April, St Patrick’s College Silverstream, Upper Hutt, Wellington. LINKS: InformationRegistrationWorkshop DetailsAccommodationGetting There
    • Melanie Ashby-Klaassen, our new Drama/Dance Facilitator at Team Solutions in Auckland shared details of the Regional Arts Partnerships (RAPs) workshops for arts middle leaders on behalf of Di Smallfield, the National Co-ordinator/Facilitator (Arts). North and Central areas’ details and enrollment links are available on the attachment, here. Later, Kim Bonnington also shared details for the Southern leg of these workshops with details, here.  Southern venues include Invercargill, Dunedin, Hokitika, Christchurch, Blenheim, Wellington and New Plymouth.
     

    Professional Reading & Viewing:

    • The February edition of the drama moderators’ newsletter from NZQA was shared, and then given a thumbs-up by Bianca Till who affirmed in particular, the clarity of information around balancing written and verbal evidence. Essential reading for all in the secondary sector! 
    • You can ready the Secondary Arts Newsletter for Term 1, here. See above for information regarding the RAPs workshops.
    • I also suggest members of this community subscribe to continue receiving the Arts Online Newsletter, published each term. Details here.

      

    As always, this summary will be uploaded to the Dramanet VLN group and our Twitter feed @ArtsOnline1. To access any of the threads on the Arts Online website archive simply type the username “artsonline” and the password “mailinglist” to do this.

     

    Kia pai tō wiki,

    Ryan 

  • Dramanet Summary to 21st February

    Kia ora koutou,

    I hope you’re all finding your feet in the classroom once again as timetables and rolls finally settle [or have they?], major annual events like Athletics/House Day, Swimming Sports and scholars/leaders assemblies get out of the way and attention turns, once relationships are firmly established, on really sinking our teeth into these rich contexts that shape and drive our work in the classroom for Term 1.

    Here’s your summary of activity for Week 3 on Dramanet…

     

    Note-Worthy:

    • Our esteemed colleague Kerry Lynch shared the exciting news that his play Dream Seer is now published and available for purchase from Playmarket. “A stunning story from one of New Zealand's most skilled advocates for the arts in education. This play is a real gift for young people with its themes, tone, and authenticity.” Oscar Kightley. Congratulations Kerry!
    • Also, I shared this list of ‘quick-clicks’ for easily navigating the NZQA and TKI sitesand particularly those areas which are high traffic areas for drama teachers. Initialexternal assessment specifications for the 2016 Drama examinations are available now as well. I will keep the community posted if changes occur.

     

    A Primary Focus – for teachers of learners in Years 1-8:

    Robert Dil is facilitating a great workshop for primary teachers in puppetry with no previous experience needed, read on:

    “Puppet Play” in WellingtonSaturday 5th March from 9am -12pm. 

    Location: St. Mark's Church School, 13 Dufferin Street, Basin Reserve, Wellington. Cost: $60 per participant. 

    “This interactive workshop will explore how puppets can be used in the classroom and other theatre contexts to engage young people, create a fun environment, and promote literacy and the performing arts.”

    Full details and registration info, here.

     

    He Reo Āwhina, He Reo Tautoko – A voice of help and support:

     

    EOTC & Live Performance Opportunities:

     

    Events and Workshops:

     

    In the [social] media:

     

    Professional Learning and Development Opportunities:

    • There are two Drama New Zealand scholarships available which enable [1] a beginning teacher and [2] a rural teacher to access and attend the forth coming national conference in Wellington.
    • I shared the link to NZQA’s new range of Assessor Support Options for 2016. The one most closely connected to former BPWs is the Making Assessor Judgements (MAJ) workshops which you must register your interest in attending before NZQA will make arrangements for these to operate. I urge you all to do this early for both Drama and Performing Arts Technologies workshops!

     

    Professional Reading & Viewing:

    I was interested to read this article from the Huffington Post education website this week, about mental-health strategies in the classroom:

    Although it focussed on primary-aged students, with well-being and mindfulness becoming increasingly important considerations within our sector I wondered what thoughts this conjures up for drama teachers about how we too ‘deal with’ or ‘address’ mental health and related issues in the drama classroom? We would all agree, I am sure, that for many students Drama is that ‘safe place’ but building that safe place takes considerable work and conscious effort too. Perhaps some of you might share how you actively tie activity related to mindfulness, well-being or mental health into your drama programmes? Anyway, food for thought...

     

    This summary will be uploaded to the Dramanet VLN group and our Twitter feed @ArtsOnline1. To access any of the threads on the Arts Online website archive simply type the username“artsonline” and the password “mailinglist” to do this.

    Kia pai tō wiki,

    Ryan

  • Dramanet Summary to 13th February

    Kia ora koutou,

    It’s always a great time of year in Term 1. Don’t get me wrong, I know how busy we all are and the exhaustion felt as we get back into the swing of things after a long-enjoyed summer break, but the vibe of a school in term one is always a happy one – for students and staff alike. I hope this summary finds you all well, re-adjusted and enjoying the warm (actually, let’s face it ‘hot’!) months for teaching and learning…

    This summary combines all of the threads and discussions held over the summer break and recent ‘back to school’ period as we head already into Week 3 of 2016…

    Note-Worthy:

    • My email last week welcoming our 770 subscribers to 2016 gives some timely reminders about how best to utilise the range of resources available to you, all completely FREE, on both Arts Online and within our Dramanet community.
    • Also, I hope you did not miss K.C. Kelly’s message, Welcome back educators, which shared the Washington Post photo essay: “How Classrooms look around the world in 15 amazing photographs”. For me, these images made and make for a great talking point with students; writing in role exercises; devising stimuli; and are a spring board for discussion around global equity and equality concerns in education. Print them, laminate them and go from there!

    A Primary Focus – for teachers of learners in Years 1-8:

    This year will see an increased focus from the AOL team on reaching out to our primary sector to support their delivery of arts programmes and, in particular, on unpacking and exemplifying student and programme learning progressions in the early curriculum levels (1-3), for all strands. This section of our summary provides targeted advice to our primary subscribers:

    • A dedicated primary teachers professional learning and development workshop titled: “Getting on Top of It: Drama in the Classroom” is being run by the Drama New Zealand Auckland Branch on Wednesday 24th February, 4.30-7.00pm at St. Kentigern College in Auckland and facilitated by Dr Elizabeth Anderson from the University of Auckland. I highly recommend any workshop facilitated by Elizabeth – you will walk away with ideas and things you can use straight away in your own classroom the next day!
    • This message from Amanda Stone may be helpful to primary teachers wanting to pick and stage a musical production at their school – with scripts, music files, staging suggestions and more all available to “download and go” in an instant!
    • Gail Denver from Maverick Musicals also shared to two new release intermediate level productions now available for schools.

    He Reo Āwhina, He Reo Tautoko – A voice of help and support:

    SGCNZ UOSWSF Dates and Co-ordinator Posts:

    EOTC & Live Performance Opportunities:

    • The Young Auckland Shakespeare Company present Much Adoe About Nothing at the Pop-Up Globe in Auckland, Sunday 21st February at 1pm and 7pm
    • Amie Moffat shared the news that RED LEAP Theatre are touring the 2015 work, Dust Pilgrim to Hamilton, New Plymouth ad Wellington, details here. [Side note: I highly recommend this piece for teachers and students, and gained some really pleasing external assessment results for my own students who studied the work for their live performance examinations at all three levels in 2015. Exploring themes of oppression and being trapped, the richly visual and physical RED LEAP style also makes for an excellent influential model to follow for students’ devised works.]
    • Marama Tracey Lloydd from the Auckland Arts Festival shared details for The James Plays and other theatre opportunities for schools, students and teachers.
    • Bhavisha Singh from Indian Ink shared details for their tour of recent-work The Elephant Thief – check here for a performance near you.
    • Helen Sheehan advertised the details for the highly popular The Book of Everything tour, coming to a north island town near you.
    • EnsembleImpact present the Eglantyne tour with dance for schools still available to book!
    • Yana from Tim Bray productions advertised their 2016 lineup.
    • Taylor Griffin reminded teachers to book for the BARE SCHOOLS TOUR coming Auckland, Waikato and Manawatu areas.
    • Basement Theatre in Auckland also announced its partner schools for 2016.
    • Flaxworks Theatre Company in Auckland present their new work Miss Jean Batten at the Basement Theatre from 29th March – 9th April and have a special offer for schools.

    Events and Workshops for learners:

    • Emma Bishop shared some exciting news: The Amici Trusts’ Junior Theatre New Zealand present “Train the Trainers” on 12th March in Auckland for ages Year 5 and up + teachers and practitioners with an interest in musical theatre. Robert Dil followed-up with this reminder as well.
    • Hawkins Theatre, Papakura in Auckland are showing Branagh Theatre Live: A Winter’s Tale and NT Live: Hamlet on the 15th and 22nd February respectively. Details here.
    • Public Works Performing Arts Collective in Association with Drama New Zealand present Steve Jarand (Canada) in Auckland for four workshops including a student workshop on Improvisation; teachers workshop focusing on using improvisation as a means of devising and character development and two public workshops with one on Mask and another on Improvisation.

    Professional Learning and Development Opportunities:

    • Registrations are open for the Drama New Zealand national conference “Tutakina mai ahau ki te Awa – Meet me at the River” being held in Wellington in April. Details here. All queries to dnzconference2016@gmail.com
    • Drama New Zealand Auckland Branch offer both primary and secondary options in their first PLD workshops for the year: UPSKILL, happening on Wednesday 24th February at St. Kentigern College, 2.30-7.00pm (secondary) and 4.30-7.00pm (primary – no relief required!). Register NOW!
    • Louise Tourelle is facilitating a workshop in Wellington on Saturday 12th March at Toi Whakaari focussing on teaching strategies for working with Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud concepts and practices.

    Professional Reading & Viewing:

    • Re-share: items from Sir Ken Robinson on the importance of creativity in teaching are always worth a read!
    • Megan Herd shared a great PDF resource explaining and exploring the devised work and processes of UK company, Complicite

    Teacher Resource Exchange – from the community; for the community:

    Two new resources were published on the TRE this week:

    • The Drama ElementsConventions and Techniques posters developed and shared by Ben Moore at Avondale College, which have been very well-received and hugely popular as people dress their classrooms for the year.
    • This level two PAT lighting workbook to support standard 27700 was published by Stacey Harrison, HOD Dance and Drama at Rosehill College, who has led dedicated NCEA courses in PAT there for many years.

    Our thanks again for these contributions! 

     

    This summary will be uploaded to the Dramanet VLN group and our Twitter feed @ArtsOnline1. To access any of the threads on the Arts Online website archive simply type the username “artsonline” and the password “mailinglist” to do this.

     

    Kia pai tō rā,

    Ryan Benjamin

    Arts Online Community Facilitator – Dramanet

    @artsonline1

    http://artsonline.tki.org.nz/

     

  • Dramanet Summary to 14th December [Our Final Wrap-Up for 2015!]

    Well here we are at the end of 2015 with most secondary schools already wrapped and the majority of our primary friends joining the rest over the course of this week.

    Can I start this final Dramanet summary of the year by extending a massive thank you to everyone who has started, contributed or responded to, or shared their point of view (either privately or publicly) in our discussions this year. A special, personal thanks from me also for all the awhi and support I’ve felt during my first six months as your facilitator; as I’ve slowly got a handle on the job – your messages have been really encouraging so thank you!

     

    I saw the following image was posted by Drama NZ on Facebook this morning and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the summary this week….

    image

    …it is all the many of you and your constant sharing and giving which make Dramanet the highly successful professional network and still one of the best forms of constant and on-going professional learning that it remains. Now then, let’s wrap up the final stretch of the year…

     

    Note Worthy:

    • Tamsin Dashfield-Speight’s request for help finding succinct and inspiring creative quotes led to many great ideas being bounced about on the list – several would make for great print-outs to display in classrooms or down the drama or performing arts corridors at your schools! A great summer project perhaps? 

    He Reo Āwhina, He Reo Tautoko: A voice of help and support…

     

    Events, EOTC & Live Performance Opportunities:

    • Natalie Beran from The Actors’ Program alerted subscribers to the University of Auckland’s annual summer Shakespeare, The Tempest – this year playing at the Pop-Up Globe with pre and/or post show Q&A sessions available. Details here.
    • Ella Becroft from Red Leap Theatre announced their north island tour of recent work Dust Pilgrim happening in June/July 2016.
    • Whetu Silver from Auckland Theatre Company shared the details of their 2016 season and schools programme.
    • Marama Tracey Lloydd from the Auckland Arts Festival updated us on their theatre programme for schools.
    • Helen Sheehan from Silo Theatre in Auckland shared their 2016 seasonwhich centres around productions of The Book of Everything andMedea.
    • Deanna from Auckland’s Basement Theatre sheared the exciting news that Hart, an Australian play about the stolen generation, will tour Auckland and Wellington in February 2016 – details here.
    • Dates for the Canterbury SGCNZ UOSWSF were posted – available here.
    • Taki Rua Productions and Aotearoa Aerial Theatre Company presentTiki Taane Mahuta – a thrilling blend of dance, drama, music, te reo Māori and kapa haka - with school matinee times and prices available in several centres around the country as well as (limited numbers of) follow up workshops. Details here.
    • Emma Deakin shared the New Zealand Festival’s SchoolFest programme for 2016.
     

    Professional Development Opportunities and Workshops:

    • Suzy Hawes shared information about a clowning workshop in Palmerston North, 19th & 20th December.
    • Rachel Steele reminded subscribers to submit their applications to present at the “Meet Me at the River” national Drama New Zealand conference in Wellington next April. Applications closed on 30th November but, as Emma Bishop pointed out, have since been extended to December 16th so do get your ideas to Rachel and the organising committee ASAP!
    • Fergus Aitken shared details of the one-day Mime & Movement workshop scheduled for Sunday 17th January in Wellington at the Toi Poneke Art Centre. Details here.
    • Corinna Di Niro brings a 3.5 hour workshop in commedia, improve, comic acting, devising and characterisation to Auckland (Thursday 21st January) and Wellington (Friday 29th January) – more details here.
    • Belinda Meares shared details for InterPlay in January and February:Sunday 24 January at the Addington Haven, Christchurch, 19 Church Square and Sunday 14 February in the Union Chapel, 40 Winchester St, Lyttelton. More info here.
    • Jackie James shared details of a screen acting workshop with Miranda Harcourt for teens aged 12-15 in April 2016. Details here.
     

    Professional Reading & Viewing:

     

    In the Spotlight: “A Primary Focus”

    In the spirit of highlighting the sheer power, value and importance of collaboration for our subject – especially for those who are in isolated areas or in ‘departments of one’ – I wanted use this space one final time this year, to draw our primary audience's attention to, and to highlight the power a simple discussion on this list can have in providing ideas and leadership for others to follow and use as a model or idea for their own practice…

    Below I copy, direct from our list, a brief discussion held between four of our subscribers – Jonathan Dutton (the catalyst for this discussion), Sherie Harrison, Emma Bishop and Petra Jaeger-Letts. While three of them may have only considered that they were responding to Jonathan’s original request for ideas, by having this discussion on the list everyone was invited in and could therefore be influenced and informed by the discussion/collaboration happening between our colleagues…

    Year 7 and 8 Drama Programming

     

    Jonathan: I am running a new year 7 - 8 drama program at my school next year and was wondering what other schools do. Does anyone have units of work they would be willing to share or point me in the direction of? 

     

    Sherie: How often do you see the kids and for how long (session wise and cycle)? I teach Dance and Drama at Mt Maunganui Intermediate. I see them twice a week for 1.5hrs each time. They get 11-13 sessions per cycle. Although mixed with Dance, we do cover Theatresports, Devised Drama, Musical Theatre (y7 only), Puppetry (y8 only) and if time, work with mini scripts. If any of this looks helpful then let me know.

     

    Emma: We have year 7 rotation – 9 weeks three 50min lessons per seven day cycle – during this time we cover basic performance skills and stage craft intro to techniques and end with a unit called party products where they create an infomercial for a party product and then perform on one of the last classes and end with the party with all the products…This rotation is compulsory for all classes. Year 8 is a semester option class – so 19 weeks of 3 times per 7 day cycle: We do a fairy tales elements unit; Mr Men/Little Miss Techniques unit; A process drama – Giraffes can’t dance or a war based process drama both using story books as the foundation stimulus. Happy to discuss off line – feel free to email me directly.

     

    Petra: We are doing something a bit different.  We are planning a full-year collaborative project involving all the arts. We get 2 periods per week with our 7/8 students. We used to have the students rotate across the four arts, but we felt we didn’t really have long enough to get stuck into something in one term. This is what we came up with as a solution. The stimulus for next year is migration. The students have a 6-week rotation through Drama, Music, Visual Art and Dance at the start of term 1. In the rotation they will learn about the different creating, producing and performing roles in each area. They will then put in an application for the area they wish to work in, explaining what they like to do, any previous experience, etc. At the end of term one we will begin our creating sessions, with sharing and feedback to the whole group. They will then go into producing at the end of term through to term 4.  Finally performing in term 4, we should have a pretty special piece of work which was completely generated by the students. The key competencies will be the main driver in our planning and work. We envision visual arts creating masks, costumes, backdrops etc. Dance will come up with some interpretive pieces. Music will do soundscapes for some of the work and drama (my area) will create a storyline and the main drama which holds the piece together. We’re trying this for the first time, we’re a bit nervous because it is tricky trying to anticipate all the things that can come unstuck when you are working collaboratively with about 160 students and across four arts disciplines, but we’re definitely looking forward to trying something new.

    Each suggestion given here was significantly different to the prior. Each suggestion had immediate uses and possibility for Jonathan (and us all!!) who had originally posed the question. Each suggestion took their own school context into consideration and worked with or around their timetabling constraints. And finally, I hope just by reading the discussion, that teachers of Year 7 and/or 8 students anywhere out there were able to see ideas and ‘ways-into’ (whether they are a drama specialist or primary classroom teacher) putting drama into your work with students.

     

    This summary will be uploaded to the Dramanet VLN group and our Twitter feed @ArtsOnline1. To access any of the threads on the Arts Online website archive simply type the username “artsonline” and the password “mailinglist” to do this.

     

    Meri kirihimete whānau!

    Ryan Benjamin

    Arts Online Community Facilitator - Dramanet
    http://artsonline.tki.org.nz/
    https://twitter.com/artsonline1

  • Dramanet: Summary to 21st November

    "Time waits for no man..." especially us drama teachers, huh?! Sorry for the slackness on my part recently in getting these to you but November has certainly seen the march of time power through at full-force, for sure! This summary is the combination of what I have counted to be some 924 emails through the list-serve to-date this month – impressive work from the nearly 750 of you who subscribe, post, read, or just lurk (yes you!) on the list…Thank you all!

    So here’s what been going down – enjoy!

     

    Note Worthy:

    • Letters to a first-year you …is a touching and timely thread which I was inspired to put out there by a recent talk I gave at the University of Auckland to the out-going class of secondary drama teacher trainees. I have been warmed this week reading the beautifully articulate notes that have been posted by some of you since (special thanks to Amy for getting that ball rolling…) and hope more of you will share your gems of advice and reflection into the coming week too – men, it would be great to hear your perspectives! Follow them all at the link above and like many have suggested – print them and put them somewhere you’ll look often!
    • In other news worthy of note, David Chambers raised the robust and respectful debate many of you contributed to,“Are YOU ready for a Showdown?” This raised some great points for me around celebration (vs.) (and) competition (vs.) (and) collaboration. While, all responses have been insightful to review, if there is one response I can particularly point all subscribers to it would be the one from Leigh Sykes who pointed out the things our colleagues in Dance (a community many of us are also a part of) does to emphasise celebration and collaboration in the art form with less focus on competition. Food for thought….

    He Reo Āwhina, He Reo Tautoko: A voice of help and support…

    • I canvased experiences and opinions from subscribers on their thoughts around additional/extra/study-leave tutorialsfor external standards in Drama.
    • Paul Willis and Nicole Eichstaedt were seeking suggestions for musicals which can be staged with the use of backing tracks/pre-recorded music; without the need for live performed music from a show band or orchestra.
    • Brent Morrison asked about combining work towards 3.4 (theatre form) and 3.6 (production) – thanks to those who contributed to ideas here.
    • Leigh Sykes asked what DVD creation software people were using to prepare Scholarship Drama materials.
    • Tracey Dwyer asked how teachers were incorporatingstorytelling into work they assess for 1.1 (90006)?
    • Tim Dagger asked about combining 91515 and 91516.Thanks to NZQA for providing an answer to this one and thank you Tim for asking the question – good luck with the project!
    • Celia Mann share her Year 9 term plan for her course but was keen to have more ideas shared about how to engage (often shy) reluctant participants in order to increase Year 10 numbers the following year – thanks for starting this one Celia, it’s  great to have a thread focussed on junior programmes!
    • Richard Conlon, a UK playwright contacting us all the way from the ever-cooling north, generously shared how teachers can access and download a free copy of his new play, Brothers in Arms which targets a young cast and explores WWI as its core theme. I took him up of the offer and enjoyed reading his work. Thank you Richard!
    • Emily Miller-Matcham was seeking advice for the new black-box space she is getting at her school – discussions around wall colours followed. Always a great thread and topic to read for people exploring specialist drama space upgrades and developments at their schools. Read the discussions here.
    • Sandra Mohekey had some play script sets to give away. Thanks this generous offer to the community Sandra.
    • We discussed the format and content of the NCEA Level Three drama external examinations. For theatre form, here. For live performance, here. Thanks for all the contributions to this one – we look forward to discussing the level two and level one examinations in due course as well.
    • Amy Edwards asked about pairing 1.5 with 1.6 or 1.1 and for suggestions for good realism texts for year 10 students.
    • Jane Larsen was on the lookout for suggestions from teachers for purchasing a class set of chairs which are both neutral for use on stage but also durable for classroom use when required.
    • Rosie Moxey asked, regarding Melodrama and assessment 1.4, if students need to complete a whole melodrama with all its characters included or is a scene with just two characters okay?
    • Marcus Stewart raised a thread about digital assessmentand whether schools are using Office365 or Google Apps for Education or (insert other here…) in their programmes. I, for one, am a huge GAFE supporter and avid user. If anything, so far the responses reveal significantly that this usually in a school comes down to school management and teaching staff majority ‘personal preferences’ and the school-wide applied uses for the platform but is well worth reading always to hear those many different ways digital platforms and devices for learning are being incorporated into drama programmes and schools. Thanks Marcus!
    • Lyndee Hurley asked about combining 3.8, 3.9 and 2.6.

    Events, EOTC & Live Performance Opportunities:

    • Taylor Griffin at Simple Truth Theatre alerted us to Toa Fraser’s BARE, which will be produced by their young emerging theatre company at The Pumphouse in Auckland, 25th – 28th May; consisting of several evening public shows as well as a series of schools matinee performances which is the main focus of the production including workshops and interaction for high school students! More details here.
    • Julia Campbell announced The Lord Lackbeards Touring Company will be touring Hamlet and Ophelia Thinks Harder around the North Island in May 2016! More details here.
    • Gillian Payne shared that Titirangi Theatre in West Auckland were looking for a director for their youth production to be staged in April 2016.
    • Shiro Binks shared a reminder for Waikato drama teachers about the Waikato Junior Shakespeare Festival coming up on Monday 30th November, 10am.
    • It was great to hear from Ella Becroft at Red Leap Theatre Company, their newly appointed Education and Outreach Manager who shared a flier showing the range of ways RED LEAP can work with and support drama programmes, teachers and students.  
    • Marama from AAF shared the final three shows making up the theatre programme for the Auckland Arts Festival 2016.
    • Bridget Donovan asked: “Do you have a fabulous 13, 14, 15 year old student who would like to audition for this amazing opportunity?” …to perform in the new work Te Pō to be produced as part of the AAF offerings in Marc h 2016.
    • Bhavisha Patel from Indian Ink Theatre invited subscribers to the preview night for their new work The Elephant Thiefon Friday 4th December, 8pm. Details here.
    • Must Be Dreaming Productions shared the a cast of 12-17 year old students from a range of high schools in the greater Wellington region who will perform Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at BATS Theatre. What an amazing project! Details and ticketing information here.
    • K.C. Kelly added Wellington to the list, with some specific dates for their area to book for the upcoming tour of Ensemble Impact’s The Power Plays and Eglantyne. We also read what we actually do by supporting Ensemble Impact, here.
    • Tim Bray productions were looking for two adult or young adult performers to play minor (unpaid) acting roles in their upcoming The Santa Claus Show 2015Details here.
    • Paul Collins shared the opportunity for teachers and students in the Whanganui, Manawatu and Taranaki areas to see an outdoor performance of Macbeth in the botanical gardens with a schools performance scheduled for Thursday 11th February. More details here.
    • Aaron from Youth Arts Space shared the upcoming workshops for senior students to be involved with in December and January. I’ve had students from Years 11 and13 involved in earlier YAS workshops back in April this – they are outstandingly operated, multi-disciplinary events with fantastic industry partnerships. My girls took a lot away from their experience with YAS so I highly endorse these FREE additional opportunities for our students to take part in.
    • Rita Stone, artistic director at YASC shared the exciting news that the Young Auckland Shakespeare Company production of Much Ado About Nothing will return to play at the Pop-Up Globe in for two shows only in February 2016.Details and audition notices here.

    Professional Development Opportunities and Workshops:

    • A highlight recently has been the announcement of the Drama New Zealand national conference for 2016, “Meet Me at the River” to be hosted by our Wellington branch and their call for presenters which closes on Monday 30thNovember. It’s awesome to see such a variety of presentation options being designed and crafted for this conference in April. Our thanks in advance for the work completed so far, and for the work that will continue to be put in to this conference by the organising committee in Wellington. Thank you all! Delegate registrations will open 1st February 2016.
    • New NZQA moderator’s newsletters were shared and include two new publications – one targeting Drama standards and the other focussing on Performing Arts Technology standards. Details and links to view these, here.

    Employment Opportunities:

    • Avondale College in Auckland are advertising for a Head of Drama which was shared on the list. Details here.
    • An Arts Facilitator position is available on the Secondary Student Achievement Contract with Team Solutions.

    In the Spotlight: “A Primary Focus:

    This week I'd like to share a link for our primary drama educator community to a 'case study' from our Learner Examples section of the Arts Online website. It is the time of year when many primary schools will be looking to the ‘drama staff member’ (if they’re lucky enough to have you...) to put on the school’s Christmas concert or whole-school “production” - this link looks at how one school did this: 

    • WHOLE SCHOOL DRAMA: This case student was developed by Evelyn Mann in consultation with teacher Bonnie Leask (Half Moon Bay School, Stewart Island) for the children of Half Moon Bay School, Stewart Island. All 28 children in the school were involved in the drama – from new entrants to year 8.

    While it deals with a completely different context, the structure and method of developing a school drama showcase can be easily applied to frameworks such as “The Christmas Story”; “Christmas Celebrations around the World” or “The Kiwi Christmas” as just three possible examples. Check it out and even if you don’t go full-hog with a school production – the ideas provide great suggestions for fun, active and engaging drama lessons to see the year through…

     

    As always, this summary will be uploaded to the Dramanet VLN group and our Twitter feed @ArtsOnline1. To access any of the threads on the Arts Online website archive simply type the username “artsonline” and the password “mailinglist” to do this.

     

    Ngā mihi me na manaakitanga,

    Ryan Benjamin

    Arts Online Community Facilitator - Dramanet
    http://artsonline.tki.org.nz/
    https://twitter.com/artsonline1

  • Dramanet Weekly Summary to 31st October

    With most seniors around the country either already on study leave or heading off for it in the coming couple of days, it’s nice although our ‘to do’ lists are full to feel our contact timetables having just a little bit of breathing space. . .

    As always thanks to everyone who keeps the posts coming in – we have had many ‘new regulars’ coming through and some first-timers too which is awesome! So, here’s what’s been happening on Dramanet recently:

    Note Worthy:

    This hasn’t actually been discussed over this past week at all but I wanted to take the opportunity to feature it in the summary in the hope it will pick up some thoughts and opinions throughout this coming week. NCEA examinations for 2015 are right around the corner – nothing you didn’t already know at all – however, I wanted to pose a few questions around ‘extra tutorials’ once examination/study ‘leave’ begins…

    • Do you offer these? Why? Do other subjects at your schools?
    • If you do, how many session do you run? When?
    • How do you run the tutorial session? How long for? Structure? Content?
    • Do you feel/think it makes a difference to final achievement outcomes by doing so, when/if you do?

    Ready…and GO!

    He Reo Āwhina, He Reo Tautoko: A voice of help and support…

    • K. C. Kelly shared a wonderful downloadable EnsembleImpact poster/image asking, “How many NZ playwrights can you name?” in the image, as they prepare for the 2016 schools tour.
    • Aleisha Mahony asked for tips and advice for teaching a composite Year 12/13 Drama class in 2016. Thanks to those who shared experiences and ideas on this one!
    • Amy Edwards asked for ideas for improvisation exercises and topics to prepare students for that component of the Scholarship Drama examination. Thanks to K. C. Kelly, Natarsha McHattan and Pippa Drakeford for your contributions!
    • Prudence Spencer asked what journals and magazines people subscribe to for their department collections/resources. A great topic idea which I’ve not seen any suggestions come through for yet? Let’s aim to address this one, this week!
    • Tabitha Kaiser asked for clarification around terminology and text selection when focussing on Brecht’s work and ideas for the level two theatre form external assessment.
    • Sandra McLean also asked us to “please clarify” what ‘a feature of the script to explore the playwright’s intention’ could involve when looking at Elizabethan theatre for the level three theatre form external assessment. This has returned some very good responses and possibilities worth reading.
    • Emily McRae asked if anyone had seen the fringe production, Hiraeth, in September for help to frame its style/form and purpose for the level three live performance external.
    • Emma Bishop asked for advice around using Google Drive to complete external moderation online with the discussion posed around video file sizes and capacity issues when using personal google accounts vs. schools’ unlimited accounts and what other platforms exist out there. Can I throw my own ten cents into the mix on this one by highly recommending that if your school is not a GAFE: “Google Apps for Education” official school (with school-wide Google accounts), to ask if your drama department can become one.  Speaking from personal experience, the process for submitting external moderation online using GoogleDrive is very straight forward – my submission took just one morning’s double non-contact to prepare and submit this year and the report was back to my PN within the same week!
    • Shannon Brown asked the question that has been on many lips and Dramanet posts this year regarding the specification in the Scholarship Drama examination for students to demonstrate an awareness of New Zealand theatre practice in one of their oral statements during the examination.
    • Emily McRae asked for help with sketches/diagrams and had some questions about what other teachers covered specifically for “performance space” when teaching Victorian Melodrama for level one theatre form.

    Events, EOTC & Live Performance Opportunities:

    • Yana from Tim Bray Productions advertised their upcoming children’s production, “The Santa Claus Show ‘15” playing in December. Details here.
    • Marama Tracey Lloydd revealed yet more of the stunning programme lined up for the 2016 Auckland Arts Festival. Booking and show details, here.
    • K. C. Kelly also reminded us to join several schools in booking for the POWER PLAYS tour happening in 2016.
    • Indian Ink’s new work The Elephant Thief is almost only a month away. Bhavisha Patel posted booking details, here.
    • Pippa Drakeford shared the Capital E National Theatre for Children’s 2016 show programme. Details here.

    Professional Development Opportunities and Workshops:

    • Emma Bishop shared the details of the workshops available to Drama New Zealand members at a special discounted price, to attend the “Performance of Hope” pre-symposium keynote and workshop at the University of Auckland, 9th November.
    • I posted a reminder that NZQA are holding a “making judgements” BPW for the Performing Arts Technology standards (all areas except sound will be covered), which is coming up on Tuesday 20th November in Auckland. It’s great to see a big group of people have taken advantage of the opportunity to have the PAT standards unpacked from an assessment point of view! There are a few spots left on this one-day workshop - see here for details and to register.
    • Belinda Meares shared details for an INTERPLAY workshop coming to TAPAC in Auckland on November 22nd.

    Employment Opportunities:

    • Avondale College in Auckland are advertising for a Head of Drama which was shared on the list. Details here.

    In the Spotlight: “A Primary Focus”

    Marama Tracey Lloydd from the Auckland Arts Festival has been sharing the AAF programmes with us on Dramanet recently. It’s been great to see such a wide range of fantastic opportunities target younger students in this coming festival. I would urge all our primary subscribers in Auckland to look at booking a trip for your classes or syndicates (or even the entire school!!). She writes: 

    “There is a lot of talk about the arts and the value it has for students (and educators!) The Auckland Arts Festival has a diverse and passionate education programme and we look for works each year of sufficient quality to inspire young students. I have sent information out in hard and soft copy to schools last week but here are three links which will take you straight to each show in the For Schools section of our website where you will find all show details. One show plays at both Q Theatre and at the Pumphouse in Takapuna - so separate links are provided. Plan and book now for March 2016 and please dialogue with me anytime.”

    Links:

    ·         http://www.aucklandfestival.co.nz/…/duck-death-and-the-tul…/

    ·         http://www.aucklandfestival.co.nz/…/duck-death-and-the-tul…/

    ·         http://www.aucklandfestival.co.nz/…/…/ruaumoko-at-the-civic/

     

    This summary will be uploaded to the Dramanet VLN group and our Twitter feed @ArtsOnline1. To access any of the threads on the Arts Online website archive simply type the username “artsonline” and the password “mailinglist” to do this.

     

    Kia pai to mutunga wiki!

    Ryan Benjamin

    Arts Online Community Facilitator - Dramanet
    http://artsonline.tki.org.nz/
    https://twitter.com/artsonline1

  • Dramanet Weekly Summary to 17th October

    And so we find ourselves at the end of the first week of Term 4 – how did that happen? I’d like to say that I hope the first week wasn’t too full on, but I fear that any such suggestions for any of us at this time of year are somewhat redundant. So, I hope at least you can put your feet up a bit this weekend!  This summary combines all the activity on the list over the term break period as well as the posts and discussions over this first week.

    Note-Worthy:

    • I shared and explained some of the content in the recently released 2015 edition of the Playmarket Annual. It’s a print booklet containing some fantastic editorials, articles and interviews focusing in particular on ‘why we write’; ‘what we write’ and other discussions about the ‘state of play’ out there in New Zealand theatre currently. A fantastic resource for senior drama students’ wider reading – order yours today!  

    He Reo Āwhina, He Reo Tautoko: A voice of help and support...

    • Amber asked if anyone managed to record or access When Sun and Moon Collide from its 2012 screening on Maori Television?
    • Grant Lloyd was on the hunt for, preferably orange, yellow and green shades of Pantomime ‘goo’…
    • James Manser shared his experience of using the app “Stop&Go” for running sound cues in a recent production – this sparked some good further discussions and other suggestions and products were compared. Thanks for starting this valuable thread James!
    • Katie Howes sought suggestions for plays/texts with large casts and significant numbers of male roles. On that note, Rosaleen Moxey was also looking for suggestion for a Year 10 production with a small cast of 6 boys and 3 girls.
    • Belinda Coffey asked if anyone already has some ‘job descriptions’ for the roles of Director and Producers for productions.
    • Later on, Belinda also asked for help regarding the Dance exam DVD labels – I would highly recommend outlining your situation and giving our colleagues who subscribe to Dancenet a quick message at dancenet@lists.tki.org.nz for this one, Belinda.
    • I was seeking reflections and experiences from people who have delivered Level 3 programmes with assessment opportunities taken from a combination of drama, dance and even other learning areas in combination? Thank to those who have sent me feedback and ideas!
    • Chris Burton asked about using external agencies for ticketing school productions.
    • Katy van Deventer sought advice for a situation where two level 2 students need to complete an assessment but one of the pair has lost their voice for an extended period of time – how can she get around this situation and complete the assessment, especially for the ‘well-voiced’ of the two... Thanks to those who have suggested solutions.
    • Erica Newlands also asked whether it was okay for a level two student who has performed in a production of “Whistle Down the Wind” and has seen a different performance for the same play, to write about this for the live performance external – thanks for the response from subscribers and it’s a ‘yes from me’ too Erica!
    • Robynne Jephson wanted support about how to incorporate “knowledge of NZ theatre” in the Scholarship Drama exam; to help her student who is performing a piece from King John and a devised piece about constrictions.
    • Natasha McHattan was seeking help with contacts for technicians or experts in Auckland who might be able to sort out her sound system difficulties.

    Events, EOTC & Live Performance Opportunities:

    • Deanna Borren advertised the Young and Hungry Festival which is currently playing at Auckland’s Basement Theatre and continues through to October 24th.
    • K.C. Kelly shared details for EnsembleImpact’s touring work EGLANTYNE, “a one woman play exploring the life of Eglantyne Jebb, human rights activist, humanitarian, social reformer and co-founder of Save the Children”. Dates are available for schools to book in February (Wellington); March (Christchurch) and April (Auckland).
    • The National Youth Drama School annual intensive workshop series for students held over a week of the school holidays in April 2016 is already half full with larger enrolment numbers for this time of year than ever before. If you plan to send students or if your students wish to take part – get in quick!
    • Erica Newlands gave her endorsement for the Talking House verbatim works which are soon to tour Wellington – Be | Longing & The Keys are in the Margarine.
    • Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information which triggered lots of discussion from those who’d seen it recently in Australia is coming to Auckland’s Basement Theatre presented by Last Tapes Theatre and The Actors’ Program, 18-21 November.
    • Our original Dramanet facilitator, Evelyn Mann, from Drama Workz posted an Audition Notice for a national theatre in education tour funded by the Ministry of Health – paid roles – details here.
    • Bhavisha Patel, advertised The Elephant Thief playing at Hamilton’s Meteor Theatre from December 4-12 – tickets are selling fast.
    • Taylor Griffin and Peter Rees shared information about the upcoming Unitec 3rd Year acting students graduation show 2063 – and original devised piece which will play at Q Theatre in Auckland from 13-20 November.

    Professional Development Opportunities and Workshops:

    Drama New Zealand are in Wellington today (as we speak) for yet another in the series of Scholarship Drama workshops for teachers and students that President, Emma Bishop has been touring the country to facilitate.

    • Drama New Zealand are also offering a Waikato Term 4 Professional Development workshop for teachers – Wednesday 21st October, 4-8pm at the Education Leadership Centre, Waikato University. Topics include: Scholarship know-how; junior programming and NCEA preparation.
    • There is a one-day workshop coming up in Auckland at St Cuthbert’s College on Tuesday 10th November from 8.30am -3pm focussing on the key drama theorists – Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud – and understanding their key concepts with practical strategies for teachers to use with students.

    Professional Reading/Viewing:

    Employment Opportunities:

    In the Spotlight: “A Primary Focus”

    Primary teachers – can I send out this challenge to you all this term? Make “Mantle of the Expert” http://www.mantleoftheexpert.com/about-moe/articles/  your go to site and revolutionise your classroom! This site has many interesting papers on Drama and the Mantle of the Expert. All articles are available as PDF files vary in length from quick reads to extended pieces but all make fantastic suggestions for how you can integrate drama education into your classroom as the driving force behind delivery of other learning areas.

    If you are new to Mantle of the Expert pedagogy, then start with Luke Abbott’s Mantle of the expert – an attempt to understand the misunderstood to get you started. Heed the call – you’ll enjoy the adventure and your students will even more!

     

    This summary will be uploaded to the Dramanet VLN group and our Twitter feed @ArtsOnline1. To access any of the threads on the Arts Online website archive simply type the username “artsonline” and the password “mailinglist” to do this.

     

    Kia pai to mutunga wiki!

    Ryan Benjamin

    Arts Online Community Facilitator - Dramanet
    http://artsonline.tki.org.nz/
    https://twitter.com/artsonline1