The Drama Victoria Theatre Festival is a performance-making festival for Year 9 and 10 students from schools across metropolitan and regional Victoria. The Festival focuses on the creative development of young theatre makers by giving them an opportunity to explore ideas with their peers, learn new ways of approaching performance, learn about First Nations perspectives and expanding their creative engagement, through drama, with the community around them. We focus on the creative learning process, not the dramatic product.
It offers professional learning opportunities for the participating school’s teachers and for a selected volunteer teaching and production team.
Participating students take part in four key festival phases (Preliminary Inquiry, Stimulus Day, Devising Process, & Performance Season), across terms one & two.
Students gain unique and valuable experiences in exploring dramatic stimulus and the devising process. Stimulus days are held in world-class tertiary facilities where students learn to create work alongside a diverse range of their peers.
In 2020 the Festival begins in Term One with participating teachers undertaking professional development in Aesthetic education techniques and protocols of working with First Nations content. This is followed by a series of Stimulus Days for students, held at universities across the state in late February. These days consist of a series of creative development workshops, in which students unite with those from other schools, working collaboratively with each other, led by the Festival artistic director to creatively investigate and explore artworks and issues related to First Nations histories and future. These days also provide students an opportunity to experience ‘University life’ and receive information about Tertiary options. Participating school groups then return to their schools to work across the three month Festival period creating short works inspired by the creative stimulus material utilising aesthetic education techniques. These performances will be shown in cluster groups across the state in late May, uniting students from different schools to share their devised work with each other and their wider community.
The festival aims to develop students’ creative inquiry via aesthetic education techniques, collaborative skills and to support teachers in addressing the cross curriculum priority of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures; providing an opportunity for students to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of First Nations histories and cultures, knowledge traditions and holistic world views. This knowledge and understanding of, and connection with, the world’s oldest continuous living cultures will help learners to participate in the ongoing development of Australia as a nation. (ACARA, 2016)
Drama Victoria strongly supports the inclusion of First Nations history and futures in our educational opportunities believing that drama enables students to explore our history, diversity and inclusion in meaningful and empathetic ways.
“The Drama Victoria Theatre Festival gave my students the experience of developing their own work with a 'real' performance outcome and to expose them to a range of creative perspectives and interpretations.” - 2019 Participating Teacher.
“The Festival as a whole – the process of selecting a stimulus image and then designing workshops and devising theatre in constant conversation with that image – is a brilliant demonstration of the inexhaustible resource of a work of art and that its meaning and interpretation lies in the continuous interaction between viewers and the artwork.” - Krystalla Pearce, Creative Director for 2018 Theatre Festival.
This festival is proudly supported by our Tertiary Partners: Deakin University and La Trobe University