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VCE Performing Arts

Theatre Studies Unit 3: Producing Theatre


There are no prerequisites for this unit, however, it is recommended that students have completed Theatre Studies Units 1 and 2.

Course Description

In this unit, students develop an interpretation of a script through the three stages of the theatre production process: planning, development and presentation. Students specialise in two production roles, working collaboratively, creatively and imaginatively to realise the production of a script. They use knowledge developed during this process to analyse and evaluate the ways work in production roles can be used to interpret script excerpts previously unstudied. Students develop knowledge and apply elements of theatre composition, and safe and ethical working practices in the theatre.

Students attend a performance selected from the prescribed VCE Theatre Studies Unit 3 Playlist and analyse and evaluate the interpretation of the script in the performance.

Production roles:

 For Area of Study 1 students select two production roles from the following list:

• actor;

• director;

• designer – any one or two of costume, make-up, props, set, lighting, sound.

Production team:

For Area of Study 1, more than one student may specialise in each production role, and schools may decide to focus only on specific production roles. These decisions will be influenced by the script selected for interpretation and/or the size of the class and/or the available resources.


Across Unit 3, students engage with at least three scripts. For Area of Study 1, schools select a script for interpretation in a performance to an audience, and for Area of Study 2 excerpts from a previously unstudied script are selected for analysis. For Area of Study 3, students must read and study the script for the production they attend and then analyse it. The production for Area of Study 3 must be selected from the VCE Theatre Studies Unit 3 Playlist published annually by the VCAA.

Areas of Study

Staging theatre

In this area of study, students focus on developing skills that can be applied to the interpretation of a script for performance to an audience. They work collaboratively, creatively and imaginatively to contribute to the development of a production of a selected script. As members of the production team, students undertake exercises and tasks throughout the three stages of the production process and apply elements of theatre composition leading to a performance to an audience of the selected script.

Students develop an understanding of, and enhance skills in, working in two production roles across all stages of the production process. They apply dramaturgy and use elements of theatre composition in the work they undertake in the two production roles. They develop skills that contribute to the theatre production process, including thinking creatively and imaginatively, working collaboratively, time management, planning, scheduling and reflecting. Throughout the production process, students develop their oral skills through discussions with others in the production team or through explaining how their work in production roles contributes to realising the production aims. They develop knowledge about and apply safe and ethical working practices in theatre production.

Interpreting a script

In this area of study, students interpret the theatrical possibilities of excerpts from a script. In doing so, they demonstrate their understanding of working creatively and imaginatively in two production roles across the three stages of the production process. Students respond to and interpret script excerpts and stimulus material, formulating and justifying possible responses and documenting their interpretation. The documentation should include written material, annotated script excerpts and illustrations, as appropriate, to support interpretive choices.

Students revisit their learning about the stages of the production process, elements of theatre composition, dramaturgy, compositional skills and ways that work in production roles can contribute to creative and imaginative interpretations of scripts for performance to audiences.

The script excerpts used for teaching and learning and assessment in this area of study must be different to scripts studied for Areas of Study 1 and 3.

Analysing and evaluating theatre

In this area of study, students analyse and evaluate an interpretation of a script in a production from the prescribed VCE Theatre Studies Unit 3 Playlist. Students analyse and evaluate the relationship between the written script and its interpretation on stage. In doing so, students study ways the interpretation on stage draws on and interprets the contexts in the script. This includes the decisions that have been made when interpreting the script, for example decisions about acting, direction and design and the use of theatre technologies and elements of theatre composition.

Students evaluate the ways theatre practitioners, such as the director, actors, designers, or a dramaturg, have contributed to the interpretation on stage. Students study how the theatre styles and contexts implied in the written script are interpreted when the play is performed to an audience. Students analyse the theatre production and develop skills in using theatre terminology and expressions to describe how the script has been interpreted creatively and imaginatively. Their analysis and evaluation of the production is informed by work undertaken in Areas of Study 1 and 2.


(School assessed course work – 20% to the study score)

Outcome 1: Written/oral task explaining process for selection of performance program (10 marks).

Outcome 2: Preparing for Performance: technical and expressive exercises and discussion (30 marks).

Outcome 3: Written assessment – structured responses (20 marks), practical demonstration of music language, knowledge and skills (20 marks).

Overall Final Assessment

Graded Assessment Title Assessment

Exam Duration

Contribution to Study Score (%)
1 Units 3 and 4 Coursework School-assessed   45
2 Monologue Performance Examination October 7 mins 25
3 Written Examination November 1.5 hours 30


Reproduced by permission of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: