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Year 12 - Drama - Solos Prescribed Structures 2021

Drama Exam Paper

List of Conventions 

The conventions of transformation of character, time and place, and application of symbol will be assessed in every solo performance. In addition to these, students are required to select one convention from the following list and apply it throughout their solo performance: 


Caricature is an exaggeration of a character that is often ludicrous or grotesque. It can be comic, at times derogatory, with the intention to ridicule. Caricature in Drama.

Exaggerated Movement 

Exaggerated movement includes action that is overstated or drawn larger than life; often for the purpose of ridicule.

Heightened Use of Language 

Heightened use of language is the poetic and exaggerated use of language. It includes a deliberate choice of words whose syntax, alliteration and rhyming patterns enhance the dramatic statement. The intended meaning is enhanced through the use of non-conventional dialogue. 


Mime is the theatrical technique of portraying a character or expressing an idea or mood without the use of words, through the use of gesture and/or body movement. 


Pathos is a quality that evokes a feeling of sympathy, pity or sadness in the audience; for example, the power of stirring tender or melancholic emotion. Pathos may be associated with comedy and/or tragedy.


Satire refers to the use of wit and comedy to attack, denounce or deride a target. It exposes or questions the presence of vice, folly, abuse or pretence. It can be achieved through the manipulation of language, caricature, parody, parable or other comedic theatrical conventions. The satirist laughs at, punishes or questions a target and/or an audience. The target may be an individual or a system.


Song refers to a musical interpretation of a text using the performer’s own voice at the time of performance (not pre-recorded). 

Use of Fact 

This refers to research that is used to provide the basis for selective and informed scripting. This information should then become part of a cohesive narrative rather than be a summary of events and actions or a list of facts and related information. Facts should be presented in a variety of ways rather than just verbally.

List of Dramatic Elements  

Below are the descriptors published by VCAA, for more thorough descriptors see here - 

Students are required to select one dramatic element from the following list and apply it throughout their solo performance: 


Climax refers to the most significant moment of tension or conflict in a drama, often occurring towards the end of the plot. Multiple climaxes and/or an anticlimax can also occur. The action of a drama usually unravels after the climax has transpired, but the work might finish with a Climactic moment.


Conflict generally occurs when a character cannot achieve an objective due to an obstacle. This obstacle may be internal or external – between characters or between characters and their environment. Conflict can be shown in a variety of ways, for example through physical, verbal or psychological means. Conflict can be embedded in the structure of the drama.


Contrast presents the dissimilar or the opposite in order to highlight or emphasise difference. Contrast may be explored in many ways, and may include contrasting characters, settings, times, themes, elements, production areas and performance styles. 


Mood is the overall feeling or emotion that a performance can evoke. This may be achieved through manipulation of acting, conventions or stagecraft.


Rhythm is a regular pattern of sounds, words or actions. Performances can also have their own rhythm that can be influenced by the emotional nature of the plot, the pace of line delivery, the pace of scene transitions, and the length of those scenes and the dialogue within them.


Sound is created by a performer through the possible use of voice, body percussion and objects to create an effect in performance and enhance meaning. Sound may include silence or the deliberate absence of sound.


Space involves the way the performance area is used to communicate meaning, to define settings, to represent status and to create actor–audience relationships. This may be achieved through the use of levels, proximity and depth. The use of space may be symbolic.  Dramatic Element - Space


Tension is the suspense that holds an audience’s attention as a performance unfolds. The release of tension can have a comic or a dramatic effect.  Dramatic Element of Tension.


Conventions and Elements