Physical Theatre is offered as part of the HSC Drama course at Waverley College. As well as helping students develop their artistic and performance abilities, Physical Theatre gives students the opportunity to build transferable skills in areas not often covered by other academic subjects. Collaboration, learning to trust your peers and developing the ability to critically evaluate your own and others’ work, both positively and negatively, are just some of the areas where Physical Theatre students must become proficient.
Physical Theatre is such a dynamic style of theatre. It is creative, innovative and expressive and students naturally gain confidence the more they perform on stage. It is actually very technical, but is full of trickery, making it both fun and challenging to participate in. We’re lucky at Waverley to have facilities that are truly world class. Our theatre space is of professional quality. We also have a mini Drama studio for more intimate classes.
I chose to study Drama in my HSC because I have a passion for the subject. There is always something cool to learn and even the theory part of it was interesting and enjoyable. It also felt like a safe environment since the instructor would never force you to do something that you didn’t feel comfortable doing or physically weren’t able to do. I feel like it has affected my confidence and I am now more open to the physical aspects of theatre rather than just the psychological aspects.
In Year 7, when I first started drama, I was very timid and terrified that I would somehow embarrass myself. But over the years, I was able to improve my confidence drastically and I am very thankful for my teachers for helping me overcome my old fears. This helped me become able to approach other students and teachers and build healthy relationships with them, without having the fear of embarrassment looming over me.
Physical Theatre is the only subject in the HSC where students have to rely on other students for their marks. They have to devise a group project which is worth 30% of their HSC. They learn how to research and use higher order skills.
Drama 100% improves your collaboration skills with others. The group aspects of Drama are all about working together as a team/group to complete your objective. Through Physical Theatre, I improved my skills in collaboration, as teamwork was needed to complete the stunts that we were asked to do.
Definitely, it has helped with creative ideas, whilst also exploring how we can turn a normal scene into something new, different and inventive using a wide array of shapes. By simply putting one another in positions that could potentially go wrong, you have to work together and trust each other: putting you outside of your comfort zone.
By stepping into the shoes of the characters they become, students gain sensitivity, empathy and an understanding of how others think and behave. They look at dramatic intentions, objectives and tactics which drive all people. This process allows students to develop their self awareness. By working in small groups they also have to negotiate with their peers, listen and respect each other. And that process in turn helps them to understand themselves better and become more self aware in their working relationships.
An example of me gaining confidence has been with seeing bullying on a bus or on the playground. Where usually I would be too afraid to speak up and try and stop the bullying. But because of Drama I was able to build up courage and make an attempt to stop the bullying from happening, whether I failed or succeeded I still made an attempt, which can make all the difference.
It is a difficult subject and people underestimate it because they think it’s easy when it is not. There is a large written area outside of the practicality, and even the practical lessons require much time and effort. But when done well can be an exceptionally proud moment for us.
Yes, I have found that when I have done well in Drama I tend to do well in other subjects, because my self-esteem has risen, which gives me courage to perform well in my other areas of study, allowing me to fully express who I want to be.