You should have drafted the content of your review in note form before writing in earnest. You must also make sure that you’ve structured your work so that it makes sense. For example, discuss lighting in one paragraph; don’t spread comments about it throughout the work.
It’s important that you write a good introduction to your review. This is how you set the scene for the reader and it determines if your work is worth reading in its entirety or not! So you need to provide details about the production, its genre, its main actors and any interesting background information.
Avoid telling the story as part of your review. You’re evaluating how well it worked, not explaining it. However, for your work to make sense you need to put your evaluation into context. This means a brief explanation of the basis of the story and its themes, the main ideas or issues explored. Read this example of an introduction to a theatre review:
In this opening paragraph the reader has already learnt:
- who wrote the play
- the genre, eg musical, tragedy, farce
- if the musical is of a high standard with the use of adjectives to enhance description like ‘powerful’, ‘sharp’
- the key themes of the piece such as ‘nature versus nurture’
- how the themes were reflected in the music and script.
Remember that once you’ve mentioned a production professional’s name, such as playwright, actor or director you can then use their surname only.
The practical work on the drama stimuli you're using will form the basis of your Documentary Response. This is where you show how you've worked on the text during your course. You can find out how to make a good Documentary Response in the Further Development section.
What do I need to do?
For your Drama coursework you'll be writing two Documentary Responses - the first based on Unit 1 Drama Exploration which will not exceed 2,000 words.
The second will be based on Unit 2 Exploring Play Texts which will not exceed 1,000 words.
In addition and as part of Unit 2 you will write a Documentary Response to live theatre which will not exceed 2,000 words.
When will I write these?
You will be directed to write these in school while your teacher is supervising you during and/or after the practical workshop is completed.
Will I have chance to prepare for writing them?
After each workshop you need to write some notes about what you did (including what drama strategies, drama medium and elements of drama you used during the session). This task may be set as homework.
If photographs were taken during the session you can bring these with you to use in your Documentary Response. If you created any diagrams or drawings these can be brought in too… along with the collection of notes that you made during and/or after each workshop.
How long will I have to write it up?
Your teacher will work out how long you will need to complete the Documentary Response and will allocate time in school for its completion. The notes that you have made after each workshop will be used during this period and then will be kept in school.
What's a drama exploration workshop?
A drama exploration workshop usually takes place during drama lessons, and may continue over a number of weeks. However, your teacher may make arrangements to do the complete workshop in one complete day. It is as a result of the workshop(s) and what you have done practically that will form the content of your Documentary Response.
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