Mark schemes for past 'Our Country's Good' questions

January 2002

Either a)

What design elements would you use to create different locations and moods in “Our Country’s Good”?

Candidates’ answers will vary according to their interpretation of the settings and moods and their choice of the design elements needed. However, in relation to the Assessment Criteria below, expect answers to include references to some of the following aspects which a designer might consider:
• the intended effects to be created for an audience
• identification of relevant settings and moods, for example; outdoor, within tents, on the river
• placing of the lone Aborigine
• scenes of day and night
• speed of scene changes
• the conflicts between the officers and the convicts
• the cumulative building of emotion in scenes
• the play within a play
• costume used to define status and roles
• episodic structure
• the setting/space to be used in terms of the needs of the text
• choices made in relation to an appropriate context for the play
• use of properties e.g. flogging equipment/guns/journal/ink/table
• application of lighting to create atmosphere, light/dark shadow, starcloth
• application of sound to create atmosphere, environmental sound, noises of outback, creaking ships, water, didgeree-do

Assessment Criteria (AO2)
Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge of the play and understanding of the play’s potential in performance will be evident in:
• appropriate ideas for stage setting: creation of ship, tents, sand, officers’ quarters, images of confinement
• consonance with the play’s settings and moods
• appropriate selection of set design elements; scale/shape/colour/texture
• imaginative use of the stage design in reference to specific moments from the play
• ideas for stage groupings
• sensitivity to a range of shifting moods
• use of the stage by the characters

Social and cultural context, genre and style
Awareness of the play’s social and cultural context, genre and style will be evident through consideration of some of the following:
• staging form
• presentation of the issues of the play in the overall design concept
• revelation of status/hierarchy through the design
• awareness of the political/ideological intentions of the play through the design

Potential effectiveness for an audience
Awareness of potential effectiveness for an audience will be evident in:
• clarity and coherence of the design
• clearly defined intentions in terms of the desired effect upon the audience
• application of appropriate design strategies

Mark Bands
For the award of Band 1 marks (40-50), candidates will give precise and purposeful attention to a broad range of the indicators mentioned, creating a vivid and coherent design for the play, eminently suited to its different locations and moods.

For the award of Band 2 marks (30-39), candidates will give some useful attention to a fair range of the indicators mentioned, creating a clear, but less detailed, design for the play, clearly suited to its different locations and moods.

For the award of Band 3 marks (20-29), candidates will make relevant reference to a number of the indicators mentioned, creating a generally apt, design for the play, largely suited to its different locations and moods.

For the award of Band 4 marks (10-19), candidates will refer to a narrow range of the indicators mentioned but will not develop their ideas in a practical way; any design suggestions made for the play may not be linked to the creation of locations and moods.

For the award of Band 5 marks (0-9), candidates will refer to very few of the indicators mentioned; there will be negligible practical suggestions for design and those made will be totally unsuitable.

Or 8(b)
How would you perform the role of Mary Brenham to illustrate her transformation during the play?

Candidates’ answers will vary according to their interpretation of the role and their illustration of her transformation. However, in relation to the Assessment Criteria below, expect answers to include references to some of the following aspects:
• her initial fear and timidity
• the unusual ability for a woman of her status to be able to read and write
• her guilt about the forced relationship on the voyage
• her despair at being “sold” to the sailor
• her uneasy relationships with the other characters
• her ability to be intimidated by Dabby and Liz
• the hesitation to become involved with the play
• her gentle “letdown” of Wisehammer, recognising his affection for her
• gaining of confidence in Act 1 sc 10
• the development of the relationship with Ralph
• her new found optimism taking account of changes in: appearance, gesture, movement, facial expression
• pitch, pause, accent, tone

Assessment Criteria (AO2)
Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge of the play and understanding of the play’s potential in performance will be evident in:
• the “civilising” effects of theatre upon Mary
• appropriate interpretation of the character within the style of the play
• detailed reference to specific performance moments
• Mary’s transformation as demonstrated through voice, gesture, expression
• delivery of lines
• interaction with other characters on stage

Social and cultural context, genre and style

Awareness of the play’s social and cultural context, genre and style will be evident through consideration of some of the following:
• the period of the play’s setting
• accent, utterance style, colloquial speech/ actions and mannerisms
• consideration of staging conventions, Farquar’s style
• mention of double casting, if appropriate

Potential effectiveness for an audience
Awareness of potential effectiveness for an audience will be evident in:
• clarity and coherence of the interpretation of the role for an audience
• focus upon audience response in the answer
• attention to actor/audience relationship in staging ideas consonant with the overall tone of the play
• application of appropriate performance techniques

Mark Bands
For the award of Band 1 marks (40-50), candidates will give precise and purposeful attention to a broad range of the indicators mentioned, creating the impression of an actor’s confident overview of the character’s development during the play and a complete command of performance methods appropriate to communicating it. The character of Mary Brenham will be vividly realised with apt reference to the role in action.

For the award of Band 2 marks (30-39), candidates will give some useful attention to a fair range of the indicators mentioned, creating the impression of a clear, but less detailed, overview of the character’s development during the play and a secure command of performance methods appropriate to communicating it. The character of Mary Brenham will be effectively realised with relevant reference to the role in action.

For the award of Band 3 marks (20-29), candidates will make relevant reference to a number of the indicators mentioned, creating the impression of a partial, but mainly apt, overview of the character within the play but with a selective approach to performance methods appropriate to communicating it. The character of Mary Brenham will be realised occasionally and some reference to moments from the text will be included.

For the award of Band 4 marks (10-19), candidates will refer to a narrow range of the indicators mentioned but will not develop their ideas in a practical way. The overview of the character’s role will be disjointed; there will be a restricted selection of both performance methods and textual reference. The character of Mary Brenham will be created only sporadically or imperfectly.

For the award of Band 5 marks (0-9), candidates will refer to very few of the indicators mentioned; the lack of an overview of the role will result in an ineffectual attempt at realising the character. References to text will be sparse and possibly irrelevant. The character of Mary Brenham will not be communicated.

 

June 2002

(a) What performance and/or production methods would you use in order to ensure smooth transitions between the scenes of “Our Country’s Good” on stage?

Candidates’ answers will vary according to the production methods chosen to ensure the smooth transitions of the play. However, in relation to the Assessment Criteria below, expect answers to include references to some of the following aspects:

• the necessity for fluid transitions within the style of the play
• means of changing location quickly and effectively through composite setting, easily moved set pieces or lighting/sound
• lighting and sound design
• the historical setting
• placing of Aborigine
• doubling of parts and cross-sex casting
• possible use of scene titles
• costume used to define status/change scenes
• use of properties e.g. flogging equipment/guns/journal
• actors’ performance style, physicality and movement, vocal qualities

Assessment Criteria (AO2)


Knowledge and understanding


Knowledge of the play and understanding of the play’s potential in performance will be evident in:

• awareness that it is a consciously theatrical play and thus the creation of a stage reality is not required
• the premise that the play deals with:
- the theatre’s potential to change lives
- the human ability to transcend circumstances
- the power of language
• setting/staging/design
• interaction between characters

Social and cultural context, genre and style

Awareness of the play’s social and cultural context, genre and style will be evident through consideration of some of the following:
• staging form/epic style
• alternate scenes of comedy and pathos
• reference to status/hierarchy/historical background
• awareness of the political/ideological intentions of the play


Potential effectiveness for an audience


Awareness of potential effectiveness for an audience will be evident in:
• clarity and coherence of the methods employed
• focus upon audience response in the answer
• application of appropriate directorial strategies in relation to audience experience

June 2002 Mark Bands

For the award of Band 1 marks (40-50), candidates will give precise and purposeful attention to a broad range of the indicators mentioned, demonstrating a coherent, very detailed approach to performance and/or production methods, calculated exactly to ensure smooth transitions between the scenes.

For the award of Band 2 marks (30-39), candidates will give some useful attention to a fair range of the indicators mentioned, demonstrating an appropriate, quite detailed approach to performance and/or production methods, clearly intended to ensure smooth transitions between the scenes.

For the award of Band 3 marks (20-29), candidates will make relevant reference to a number of the indicators mentioned, demonstrating an acceptable, if uninspired or slightly inappropriate approach to performance and/or production methods. Although these may lack consistency of approach, they will be generally intended to ensure smooth transitions between the scenes.

For the award of Band 4 marks (10-19), candidates will refer to a narrow range of the indicators mentioned but will not demonstrate a coherent, appropriate or practical approach to the application of performance and/or production methods in the play; a lack of adequate justification of ideas will reflect a disjointed or muddled approach towards ensuring smooth transitions between the scenes.

For the award of Band 5 marks (0-9), candidates will refer to very few of the indicators mentioned; they may not offer a coherent approach to performance and/or production methods, nor consider methods to ensure smooth transitions between the scenes.



8(b) As an actor, how would you convey Ralph’s developing self-confidence in your performance of the role?

Candidates’ answers will vary according to their selection of moments revealing Ralph’s development.
However, in relation to the Assessment Criteria below, expect answers to include references to some of the following aspects:
• Ralph’s position within the hierarchy
• his anxiety for promotion
• his inability to deal with the women convicts and the separation from his wife
• his opportunism, seizing the chance to direct the play as a way of ingratiating himself with the Governor
• his obsession with the sexuality of the women’s camp
• his difficulty in dealing with the sadism of Major Ross
• his inspiration to continue with the play despite the difficulties
• the development of the relationship with Mary
• his new-found optimism in personal relationships
• his belief in the power of theatre to transcend circumstances

Taking account of changes in:
• appearance, gesture, movement, facial expression
• pitch, pause, accent, tone
• his interaction with other characters
• actions and mannerisms
• accent, utterance style, speech
• costume
• use of stage


Assessment Criteria (AO2)

Knowledge and understanding
Knowledge of the play and understanding of the play’s potential in performance will be evident in:
• reference to theme of the “ civilising” effects of theatre
• apt suggestions for Ralph’s transformation in relation to voice, gesture, expression
• Ralph’s role in representing and also eroding the interests of the officer class
• reference to Ralph’s interaction with the other characters, both convicts and officers

Social and cultural context, genre and style
Awareness of the play’s social and cultural context, genre and style will be evident through consideration of some of the following:
• epic style
• an understanding of the political agenda of the play
• the influence of political theatre form/Brechtian influence

Potential effectiveness for an audience
Awareness of potential effectiveness for an audience will be evident in:
• clarity and coherence of the interpretation of the role
• focus upon audience response in the answer
• attention to actor/audience relationship
• application of appropriate performance techniques


June 2002 Mark Bands

For the award of Band 1 marks (40-50), candidates will give precise and purposeful attention to a broad range of the indicators mentioned, creating the impression of an actor’s confident overview of the character’s development during the play and a complete command of performance methods appropriate to communicating it.

For the award of Band 2 marks (30-39), candidates will give some useful attention to a fair range of the indicators mentioned, creating the impression of a clear, but less detailed overview of the character’s development during the play and a secure command of performance methods appropriate to communicating it.

For the award of Band 3 marks (20-29), candidates will make relevant reference to a number of the indicators mentioned, creating the impression of a partial but appropriate overview of the development of the character within the play, but a selective approach to performance methods appropriate to communicating it.

For the award of Band 4 marks (10-19), candidates will refer to a narrow range of the indicators mentioned but will not develop their ideas in a practical way. The development of the character’s role will be disjointed; the character of Ralph Clark will be created only sporadically or imperfectly.

For the award of Band 5 marks (0-9), candidates will refer to very few of the indicators mentioned; the lack of an overview of the role will result in an ineffectual attempt at realising the character. The developing self–confidence of the character of Ralph Clark will not be communicated.

 

January 2003
Either
(a)
How would you direct the scenes in which Harry Brewer and Duckling appear together in order to reveal their troubled relationship?

Candidates’ answers will vary according to their directorial decisions. However, in relation to the Assessment Criteria below, expect answers to include references to some of the following aspects:
• the physical and vocal qualities of the two actors
• appearance, height, build, colouring, movement
• pitch, pause, tone, volume, accent, Harry’s range of voices
• their interaction; eye-contact; use of stage space; physical contact; body language
In Act One, Scene Seven
• staging ideas for the rowing boat; positioning of the actors
• Harry’s attempts to communicate with Duckling, aimless but neutral attempts at conversation
• Duckling’s persistent silence and moroseness
• Duckling’s complaints about lack of freedom and about being constantly watched
• Harry’s evident paranoia and obsessive jealousy
• Duckling’s attempts to cajole him into compliance
• Harry’s eventual appeasement of Duckling with the promise of a part in the play
• their kiss
In Act Two, Scene Three
• delivery of Harry’s tormented speech, range of voices, state of inebriation, building panic
• his dependence upon Duckling
• her hasty entrance and concern for him
• her willingness to do anything it takes to help him
• her acquiescence and submission as she lifts her skirt
• Harry’s sudden violence
In Act Two, Scene Eight
• positioning of the pair; he lying, close to death
• evidence of Harry’s grave illness
• Duckling’s tender entreaties
• her declaration of love
• her wailing lament
• consideration of audience response, sympathy, engagement, distance

Assessment Criteria (AO2)
Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge of the play and understanding of the play’s potential in performance will be evident in:
• application of appropriate ideas for the performers, in terms of vocal and physical qualities
• apt ideas for the delivery of lines, movement and interaction
• appropriate staging ideas
• sensitivity to the shifting moods of the play and Wertenbaker’s purpose

Mark Scheme
Social and cultural context, genre and style
Awareness of the play’s social and cultural context, genre and style will be evident through consideration of some of the following:
• indications of period in setting, costume
• sensitivity to Wertenbaker’s use of epic style
• acting style which could be epic or naturalistic
• political purpose of the characters within Wertenbaker’s design

Potential effectiveness for an audience
Awareness of potential effectiveness for an audience will be evident in:
• clarity and coherence of interpretation of the relationship for an audience through performance elements
• clearly defined intentions
• attention to the actor/audience relationship in staging ideas
• focus upon the audience’s response to the actors

Mark Bands
For the award of Band 1 marks (40-50), candidates will give precise and purposeful attention to a broad range of the indicators mentioned, creating a vivid and coherent realisation of the characters of Harry and Duckling through a confident approach to direction, calculated exactly to reveal their troubled relationship to an audience.

For the award of Band 2 marks (30-39), candidates will give some useful attention to a fair range of the indicators mentioned, creating a clear, but less detailed, realisation of the characters of Harry and Duckling through a sound approach to direction, clearly intended to reveal their troubled relationship to an audience.

For the award of Band 3 marks (20-29), candidates will make relevant reference to a number of the indicators mentioned, creating a partial, but mainly apt, realisation of the characters of Harry and Duckling through an acceptable approach to direction, generally intended to reveal their developing relationship to an audience.

For the award of Band 4 marks (10-19), candidates will refer to a narrow range of the indicators mentioned but will not develop their ideas in a practical way; consequently, any suggestions for the realisation of the characters of Harry and Duckling may lack apt performance ideas or may not be adequately focused upon revealing their troubled relationship to an audience.

For the award of Band 5 marks (0-9), candidates will refer to very few of the indicators mentioned; there will be negligible practical suggestions for creating the characters of Harry and Duckling and no attention accorded to revealing their troubled relationship to an audience.

Or b)

What are the challenges that face a set designer of “Our Country’s Good”? Explain how your design ideas would satisfy the demands of the play.


Candidates’ answers will vary according to the challenges that they identify and their design ideas. However, in relation to the Assessment Criteria below, expect answers to include references to some of the following aspects:
• identification of the design challenges might include:
- the historical setting – 1780s
- the geographical location – Sydney, Australia
- the variety of locations required by the play; a convict ship; Sydney Cove; Ralph Clark’s tent;
a rowing boat on the river; a prison house; a beach; backstage
- creation of a sense of the outdoors, both by day and by night
- influence of the Aborigine
- need for fluent scene changes; versatility
- need to create both intimate scenes played in confined spaces and public scenes in larger, open areas
• design ideas might take account of:
- choice of appropriate style of scenic design to match the play’s requirements, for example, representational, realistic or epic style
- provision of space to accommodate the actors and the traffic of each scene
- style of the play and the action of each of the scenes
- the requirements for a series of different locations
- recognition that each is only one amongst several other designated settings; to be accomplished within a composite set or as discrete settings
- consideration of entrances and exits
- period setting
- indication of distinction between the officers and convicts through settings; use of colourful fabrics and backdrops; use of period furniture/props, if appropriate
- the use of lighting/sound to help to create outdoor/indoor scenes

Assessment Criteria (AO2)
Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge of the play and understanding of the play’s potential in performance will be evident in:
• appropriate application of design ideas
• appropriate selection of design elements, for example, choice of materials/levels/scale/shape/colour/texture/perspective/furnishings
• use of space
• sensitivity to a range of shifting moods and locations
• staging methods which facilitate scene changes where appropriate

Social and cultural context, genre and style
Awareness of the play’s social and cultural context, genre and style will be evident through
consideration of some of the following:
• indications of period and class in setting
• sensitivity to the epic style of the play and to Wertenbaker’s political message
• the complex style of the play – use of historicization
• theatrical self-reference within the play

Potential effectiveness for an audience

Awareness of potential effectiveness for an audience will be evident in:
• clarity and coherence of approach for an audience through design elements
• clearly defined intentions in terms of the desired effect of the designs on an audience
• attention to the actor/audience relationship in design ideas

Mark Bands
For the award of Band 1 marks (40-50), candidates will give precise and purposeful attention to a broad range of the indicators mentioned, creating vivid and coherent designs for the play, calculated exactly to satisfy its demands.

For the award of Band 2 marks (30-39), candidates will give some useful attention to a fair range of the indicators mentioned, creating clear, but less detailed, designs for the play, clearly intended to
satisfy its demands.

For the award of Band 3 marks (20-29), candidates will make relevant reference to a number of the indicators mentioned, creating generally apt designs for the play which are largely capable of satisfying its demands.

For the award of Band 4 marks (10-19), candidates will refer to a narrow range of the indicators mentioned but will not develop their ideas in a practical way, consequently, any design suggestions made for the play may be unsuitable in terms of satisfying its demands.

For the award of Band 5 marks (0-9), candidates will refer to very few of the indicators mentioned; there will be negligible practical suggestions for designs to be employed. Such designs as are suggested will be totally unsuitable in terms of satisfying its demands.

 

 

June 2003

a) How would you perform the role of Dabby Bryant in order to engage the sympathies of your
audience?


Candidates’ answers will vary according to their performance ideas. However, in relation to the Assessment Criteria below, expect answers to include references to some of the following aspects:

• consideration of ways to elicit the audience response of sympathy; the development of the role
• Dabby’s appearance, height, build, colouring, facial features and expressions
• movement, posture, gait
• costume and costume changes
• vocal qualities: pitch, pause, tone, volume, accent
• first appearance with Mary in Scene Five, protective attitude; obvious self-interest
• forwardness with officer Ralph Clark; her sexual precocity; pragmatic attitude to hanging
• Dabby’s nostalgia for Devon and home in Scene Eight; her hardened attitude to sex; her teasing approach to Mary; her resentment and hostility towards Liz; her contempt for Ketch
• her emboldened attitude in Scene Eleven until the arrival of Ross and Campbell, evident fear of Ross
• her humiliation by Ross in Act Two, Scene Five
• advising Mary in Act Two, Scene Seven; maternal concern for her; growing sense of confidence in the value of play-acting and the imagination; frustration at the limitations imposed upon her
• excitement in Scene Eleven; her desire to escape outweighed by her new interest in theatre; a part of the generally euphoric mood in the final moments
• use of stage space; interaction with others; use of props

Assessment Criteria (AO2)

Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge of the play and understanding of the play’s potential in performance will be evident in:
• application of appropriate performance ideas
• apt ideas for the delivery of lines, movement and interaction
• sensitivity to Dabby’s development within the play

Social and cultural context, genre and style

Awareness of the play’s social and cultural context, genre and style will be evident through consideration of some of the following:
• indications of period in costume, performance style
• acting style which could be epic or naturalistic
• political purpose of the character within Wertenbaker’s cast


Potential effectiveness for an audience

Awareness of potential effectiveness for an audience will be evident in:
• clarity and coherence of interpretation of the role for an audience through performance elements
• clearly defined intentions; sympathy
• attention to the actor/audience relationship in staging ideas
• focus upon the audience’s response to the actors

Mark Bands

For the award of Band 1 marks (40-50), candidates will give precise and purposeful attention to a
broad range of the indicators mentioned, creating a vivid and coherent realisation of the character of
Dabby, calculated exactly to engage the sympathies of the audience.

For the award of Band 2 marks (30-39), candidates will give some useful attention to a fair range of
the indicators mentioned, creating a clear, but less detailed, realisation of the character of Dabby,
clearly intended to engage the sympathies of the audience.

For the award of Band 3 marks (20-29), candidates will make relevant reference to a number of the
indicators mentioned, creating a partial, but mainly apt, realisation of the character of Dabby,
generally intended to engage the sympathies of the audience.

For the award of Band 4 marks (10-19), candidates will refer to a narrow range of the indicators
mentioned but will not develop their ideas in a practical way; consequently, any suggestions for the
realisation of the character of Dabby may lack apt performance ideas or may not be adequately
focused upon engaging the sympathies of the audience.

For the award of Band 5 marks (0-9), candidates will refer to very few of the indicators mentioned;
there will be negligible practical suggestions for creating the character of Dabby and no attention
accorded to engaging the sympathies of the audience.

Or b)

As a director, what performance and/or production methods would you use in order to demonstrate to your audience the harsh conditions endured by the convicts? You should refer to two or three scenes to support your answer.

Candidates’ answers will vary according to their directorial decisions and their selected methods. However, in relation to the Assessment Criteria below, expect answers to include references to some
of the following aspects:
• the physical and vocal qualities of the actors in role as convicts to indicate low status; low selfesteem;
deference, contempt or fear of each other/the officers
• appearance, height, build, colouring, movement; suggestion of a homogeneous mass/some notable individuals
• pitch, pause, tone, volume, accent
• costume ideas; ragged, immodest; soiled; improving
• make-up ideas to indicate the evidence of harsh treatment, bruises, burns, weals from the whip
• performance ideas; their interaction; hierarchy within the group and reaction to the authority of the officers; eye-contact and its avoidance; use of stage space; physical contact; delivery of dialogue
• use of contrasting gestus in dual roles of officer/convict, if such an approach is chosen
• staging ideas which highlight the harshness of conditions; depiction of the cramped hold of the ship; the punishing heat of the sun; confinement of prison; demarcation of stage space
• juxtaposition of scenes, contrasting staging ideas showing spartan condition of convicts as compared to scenes with officers at leisure
• lighting effects
• sound effects
• likely scenes for attention might include:
- The Voyage Out
- An Audition (Shitty Meg’s appearance)
- Ross and Campbell interrupt proceedings in The First Rehearsal and Second Rehearsal scenes
- Visiting Hours
- The Science of Hanging
• consideration of audience response to the convicts: sympathy, engagement, distance


Assessment Criteria

Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge of the play and understanding of the play’s potential in performance will be evident in:
• application of appropriate ideas for the performers, in terms of vocal and physical qualities
• apt ideas for the delivery of lines, movement and interaction
• appropriate staging ideas
• appropriate technical ideas
• sensitivity to Wertenbaker’s purpose in her depiction of the convicts

Social and cultural context, genre and style

Awareness of the play’s social and cultural context, genre and style will be evident through
consideration of some of the following:
• indications of period in setting, costume
• sensitivity to Wertenbaker’s use of epic style; the doubling of roles
• acting style, which could be epic or naturalistic
• political purpose

Potential effectiveness for an audience

Awareness of potential effectiveness for an audience will be evident in:
• clarity and coherence of interpretation of the harsh conditions for an audience through performance/production elements
• clearly defined intentions
• attention to the actor/audience relationship in staging ideas
• focus upon the audience’s response to the actors


Mark Bands
For the award of Band 1 marks (40-50), candidates will give precise and purposeful attention to a broad range of the indicators mentioned, creating the harsh conditions endured by the convicts in a
vivid and coherent manner for their audience, applying eminently appropriate performance and/or production methods.

For the award of Band 2 marks (30-39), candidates will give some useful attention to a fair range of the indicators mentioned, creating the harsh conditions endured by the convicts in a clear, but less detailed, manner for their audience, applying appropriate performance and/or production methods.

For the award of Band 3 marks (20-29), candidates will make relevant reference to a number of the indicators mentioned, creating the harsh conditions endured by the convicts in a partial, but mainly apt, manner for their audience, applying generally appropriate performance and/or production
methods.

For the award of Band 4 marks (10-19), candidates will refer to a narrow range of the indicators mentioned but will not develop their ideas in a practical way; consequently, any suggestions for the realisation of the harsh conditions endured by the convicts may be haphazard or lack apt performance
or production ideas.

For the award of Band 5 marks (0-9), candidates will refer to very few of the indicators mentioned; there will be negligible, practical suggestions for creating the harsh conditions endured by the convicts for the audience, and few viable performance or production methods.

 


January 2004

Either a)

How would you want your audience to respond to Robert Sideway? Explain how you would perform the role, at specific moments in the play, in order to achieve your aims.

Candidates’ answers will vary according to their interpretation of the role of Robert Sideway, their choice of specific moments and their preferred audience response. However, in relation to the Assessment Criteria below, expect answers to include references to some of the following aspects:
• preferred audience responses might include amusement, detachment, engagement, admiration, sympathy
• physical qualities; height, build, facial features and expressions
• movement, gesture, use of space, posture, affectation, pose
• his exits and entrances
• costume ideas
• vocal qualities, accent, pitch, pace, tone, emphasis, speech patterns
• performance suggestions to convey, for example:
- his physical suffering
- his confidence as an actor
- his attitude towards Ralph
- his self-indulgence as an actor
- his compassion for Liz
- his fear of Ross and Campbell mastered to relieve Mary’s humiliation
- his determination to form his own company
• selected moments of his performance including, for example:
- his first appearance after having been flogged
- his first rehearsal
- his defence of Mary
- his visit to Liz in jail
- his triumph in the final scene
• use of stage
• interaction with other characters and with the audience

Assessment Criteria (AO2)
Knowledge and understanding


Knowledge of the play and understanding of the play’s potential in performance will be evident in:
• application of appropriate performance elements designed to elicit the specified response
• appropriate ideas for interaction with other characters
• sensitivity to the nature and function of the role within Wertenbaker’s play

Social and cultural context, genre and style
Awareness of the play’s social and cultural context, genre and style will be evident through consideration of some of the following:
• the selected performance style
• the comic potential of the role
• sensitivity to the political purpose of the play

Potential effectiveness for an audience
Awareness of potential effectiveness for an audience will be evident in:
• clarity and coherence of approach in conveying the character to an audience through performance
elements
• attention to the actor/audience relationship in staging ideas
• sensitivity to the desired audience response to the role

Mark Bands
For the award of Band 1 marks (40-50), candidates will give precise and purposeful attention to a broad range of the indicators mentioned, creating the impression of an actor’s complete understanding of the character, resulting in a vivid realisation of the role of Sideway, calculated exactly to elicit the preferred audience response.

For the award of Band 2 marks (30-39), candidates will give some useful attention to a fair range of the indicators mentioned, creating the impression of an actor’s sound understanding of the character, resulting in a clear, but less detailed, realisation of the role of Sideway, clearly intended to elicit the
preferred audience response.

For the award of Band 3 marks (20-29), candidates will make relevant reference to a number of the indicators mentioned, creating the impression of some understanding of the character, resulting in a partial, but mainly apt, realisation of the role of Sideway, with the general intention of eliciting the
preferred audience response.

For the award of Band 4 marks (10-19), candidates will refer to a narrow range of the indicators mentioned but will not develop their ideas in a practical way; consequently, any suggestions for the realisation of the role of Sideway may lack apt performance ideas, suggest a lack of understanding or
may not be adequately focused upon eliciting the preferred audience response.

For the award of Band 5 marks (0-9), candidates will refer to very few of the indicators mentioned; there will be negligible practical suggestions for creating the role of Sideway and no attention accorded to eliciting the preferred audience response.

Or b)


Explain how you would direct your cast in two or three sections of the play in order to reveal the civilising effect of the theatre upon the convicts.


Candidates’ answers will vary according to their chosen sections and their directorial decisions. However, in relation to the Assessment Criteria below, expect answers to include references to some of the following aspects:
• the physical qualities of the actors in their parts as convicts, for example, height, build, colouring, movement, facial features and expressions
• their appearance, make-up and costume in the early scenes, possible amelioration of their appearance/apparent cleanliness/tidiness of costume as the play progresses
• vocal qualities, accent, diction, pitch, pause, tone, volume
• gradual alteration in quality of fluency/diction
• the interaction of the convicts with each other thoughout the development of the play, eye-contact; use of stage space; physical contact in the early scenes
• directorial ideas for the performance of the convicts to demonstrate, for example:
- the shifting hierarchy amongst the convicts
- their changing attitudes towards Ralph
- their evident hostility to and fear of Ross and Campbell
- their use of the words of Farquhar to conquer their feelings of inferiority
- the effect of being in the play upon their attitudes and behaviour towards each other
- the development of feelings of fellowship
- the development of self-worth
- the development of love
- the development of loyalty
- the achievement of a sense of success
- the attitudes of the officers towards the convicts
• consideration of audience response, sympathy, engagement, distance
• suitable scenes for consideration include:
- The First Rehearsal
- Visiting Hours
- The Second Rehearsal
- The Meaning of Plays
- A Love Scene
- The Question of Liz
- Backstage

Assessment Criteria (AO2)
Knowledge and understanding


Knowledge of the play and understanding of the play’s potential in performance will be evident in:
• application of appropriate ideas for the performers, in terms of vocal and physical qualities
• apt ideas for the delivery of lines, movement and interaction
• appropriate staging ideas
• sensitivity to the development of the convicts under the influence of their experience as part of the cast of The Recruiting Officer

Social and cultural context, genre and style
Awareness of the play’s social and cultural context, genre and style will be evident through consideration of some of the following:
• indications of period in setting, costume
• sensitivity to Wertenbaker’s use of epic style
• acting style which could be epic or naturalistic
• political purpose of the characters within Wertenbaker’s design

Potential effectiveness for an audience

Awareness of potential effectiveness for an audience will be evident in:
• clarity and coherence of the directorial interpretation of the convicts
• clearly defined intentions for the audience
• attention to the actor/audience relationship in staging ideas
• focus upon the audience’s response to the civilising effect of the theatre

Mark Bands
For the award of Band 1 marks (40-50), candidates will give precise and purposeful attention to a broad range of the indicators mentioned, offering eminently appropriate ideas for directing the cast, calculated exactly to reveal the civilising effect of the theatre upon the convicts.

For the award of Band 2 marks (30-39), candidates will give some useful attention to a fair range of the indicators mentioned, offering appropriate ideas for directing the cast, clearly intended to reveal the civilising effect of the theatre upon the convicts.

For the award of Band 3 marks (20-29), candidates will make relevant reference to a number of the indicators mentioned, offering some acceptable ideas for directing the cast, generally intended to reveal the civilising effect of the theatre upon the convicts.

For the award of Band 4 marks (10-19), candidates will refer to a narrow range of the indicators mentioned but will not develop their ideas in a practical way; consequently, any ideas for directing the cast may lack apt performance ideas or may not be adequately focused upon revealing the civilisedeffect of the theatre upon the convicts.

For the award of Band 5 marks (0-9), candidates will refer to very few of the indicators mentioned; there will be negligible practical suggestions for directing the cast and no attention accorded to revealing the civilising effect of the theatre upon the convicts