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Dramanet Summary to 2nd April

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,


Dramanet Weekly Summary

Dramanet Weekly Summary

A weekly summary of activity on Dramanet