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Task One

Example of a play

Here is an example of a play written by a group of students for their devised practical performance.



Read it through and look at the examiner's comments to what elements make it a successful and interesting as a piece of theatre.

The group's stimulus was a picture of an old typewriter

They use the methods of Stanislavski as their main practitioner


Drama: Sacrifice of War (1.86mb)

Examiner's Comments

  • The play has been carefully scripted so the group will be clear about what they need to do when rehearsing the play.
  • The stimulus, a picture of an old typewriter, has been used in an interesting and subtle way.
  • There is a definite time period which the group has tried to reflect in both the language the characters use and also their choice of situation eg the war.
  • The play is carefully structured. There is a good sense of pace to the scenes and a clear development of characters and action.
  • There is an effective balance between the emotional content of the scenes. Some of the scenes are funny, others are quite sad. This contrast would be highly effective in performance.
  • The characters are equally balanced and are well-developed. The inter-relationships between the characters are believable and effective.
  • Although some of the devices do not reflect Stanislavski's methods eg flashbacks are not part of naturalism, the characters and most of the situations are realistic and believable and the group shows a high level of understanding of naturalism in this important area.
  • The group has chosen devising techniques carefully eg monologue, narrator cross cutting, letters, flashbacks, movement for the battle scene and used them to develop both the plot, characters and structure of the play. These techniques also contribute in making the play effective in performance and for an audience.
  • The group has researched the period in which they have set the play and put in some interesting details eg the boys are sent to Yorkshire for their initial training: the cigarette cards with the pictures of popular film stars; the name of a specific gun used by the German army.
  • The dialogue is well written. It is developed, descriptive, reflects where and when the characters live and has pace.
  • The stage directions are clear and precise and this would be a big help when rehearsing a play.
  • They have also thought about the technical elements right at the beginning of the process and how they would enhance the play.
  • There are quite a number of different scenes and lots of scenes changes could spoil the flow of the play. However, they have carefully fixed the space and each location could be suggested simply and effectively. They also tell the audience through the dialogue where the characters are.
  • The play is atmospheric and would have an impact on an audience.
  • It is an appropriate length for five characters

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