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Open (ADA20)

This course requires students to actively explore dramatic forms and techniques, using their own ideas and concerns as well as sources selected from a wide range of Deaf authors, genres, and cultures. Student learning will include identifying and using the principles of space, time, signing, and movement in creating, sustaining, and communicating authentic roles within a drama. Students will assume responsibility for decisions made in the creation and presentation of the drama, and will analyse and reflect on the experience.

Note: Reflecting on Deaf culture and Deaf experience through theatre is an opportunity for students to demonstrate an understanding of Deaf culture and the Deaf experience through development of a Deaf drama. Students will demonstrate understanding and demonstration of various drama elements and techniques including fundamental Deaf drama skills, and should be able to fuse facets of both. This is an opportunity for students to create and analyze dramatic works and reflect on the experience incorporating the elements of Deaf drama into their own work.

Reference: For a list of links, please click on “Dramatic Arts Resources”.

Overall Expectations

By the end of this course, students will:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the conventions of role playing and structuring of dramatic works;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles of dramatic expression (e.g., signing styles, movement, and production values);
  • identify and describe various dramatic forms (e.g., ritual, storytelling, mime) and describe the historical origins of these forms;
  • use various ways to sustain a role within a drama;
  • create drama through research or the interpretation of a source;
  • create and perform Deaf dramatic presentations, using knowledge of conventions, performance spaces, and audience perspectives;
  • generate and apply criteria to evaluate their own dramatic presentations;
  • use the vocabulary of dramatic arts to discuss, critique, and review drama presentations in the school and the community;
  • describe similarities in the dramatic arts of their own and other cultures in the global community;
  • explain how role playing in dramatic arts can function as a catalyst for learning about self, others, and the world.

Specific Expectations

By the end of this course, students will:

  • identify and explain methods of creating and developing roles within a Deaf drama that accurately reflect the intentions of the performers and the circumstances of the Deaf drama;
  • demonstrate an understanding of techniques used to re-create roles (e.g., observation, research, improvisation);
  • demonstrate an understanding of the process of structuring drama (e.g., selection of source, choice of roles, negotiation of action, formation of signing styles to the role).
  • demonstrate an understanding of signing dimension, facial expression, pace, and intention in the development of expressive signing style within character’s role;
  • demonstrate the use of movement, gesture, and non-verbal communication to express ideas in a drama (e.g., mime).
  • explain how dramatic forms may effectively construct and communicate more than one perspective;
  • demonstrate an understanding of historical origins of Deaf drama (e.g., Deaf school plays, Deaf association productions, National Theatre of Deaf, Deaf West Theatre, New York Deaf Theatre, Gallaudet University productions, NTID productions);
  • identify sources of modern theatrical conventions such as the aside, monologue, or soliloquy, and cite examples (e.g., soliloquies in “Sign Me Alice” by Gil Eastman);
  • demonstrate knowledge of dramatists’ use of form through reading and analysing excerpts from nineteenth- and twentieth century plays and translating the theme, ideas and forms into Deaf drama in ASL;
  • demonstrate an understanding of methods for developing roles that clearly express a range of Deaf and/or hearing characters’ feelings, attitudes, and beliefs (e.g., interaction with other roles, research into the past, motivation);
  • demonstrate an understanding of how role is communicated through language, gesture, costume, props, and symbol;
  • identify and pursue appropriate research question and methods to develop ideas and text for a Deaf drama;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the effect of various forms in the interpretation and communication of a source or idea (e.g., sign puppetry, miming, clowning);
  • explain reasons for presenting a particular type of drama (e.g., children’s theatre) to a particular audience;
  • demonstrate an understanding of audience perspective in the communication of a Deaf drama (e.g., Deaf and hearing audiences or Deaf only audiences);
  • describe the skills, theories, and concepts being demonstrated as a drama is developed;
  • identify and make connections with individual Deaf artists or groups involved in drama (e.g., professional theatre companies such as the National Theatre of the Deaf, Australian Theatre of the Deaf, Cleveland Signstages Theatre, Deaf West Theatre, Deafinitely Theatre, TOYS Theatre, Gallaudet University Department of Theatre, local amateur Deaf theatre groups);
  • compare and contrast how signing, body movement techniques, space, costume, character, and conventions are used in the dramas of their own culture and other cultures (e.g. compare and contrast Deaf dramas with hearing dramas);
  • explain connections between their own lives as Deaf individuals and the metaphor or theme in a Deaf drama.
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