Course syllabus



Drama 100/G 

SEMESTER 1, 2019

15 points


Convener: Emma Willis: 

Office: Arts 1 (Humanities Building), Room 639

Office Hours: By appointment



Nicholas Sturgess-Monks:, office hour: Tuesday 12-1, room 306, Bldg 206

Nisha Madhan:

Irene Corbett:, office hour: Friday 3-4, room 305, Bldg 206


Welcome to the course

This course is about finding out what matters to you and figuring out how to effectively communicate this, directly through speech, and creatively through theatre.  Along the way we will use reflective writing as a tool for self-development.  We hope that you will complete this course with a deeper sense of your own unique voice, and the confidence to express this voice in the world.

Below you will find the learning outcomes and objectives for the course.  As important as these are the course values, which shape all of the work that we do and are integral to course learning.


Well-being always comes first

We all go through tough times during the semester, or see our friends struggling. There is lots of help out there - for more information, look at this Canvas page, which has links to various support services in the University and the wider community.


Go beyond your majors with skills-based learning

Have you considered studying a three-course Module to complement your majors? Find out here how Modules can boost your degree.

Find out here about the Faculty of Arts’ new career-focused skills course, ARTSGEN 102, Solving your Future, coming in Semester 2, 2019.



Learning Outcomes

Our course aims are:

  • To enhance your appreciation of effective public speaking
  • To improve your confidence in public performance
  • To develop your understanding of vocal and physical skills that underlie effective performance
  • To provide you with the skills to work effectively in a team
  • To develop your potential to make dynamic creative presentations


By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Use the vocal and physical skills you have learned to deliver an effective oral presentation  
  • Apply acting techniques to develop stage presence and listening skills 
  • Apply improvisation and devising techniques in the development of dynamic and creative group presentations 


Course Values

1. Whanaungatanga/Belonging - creating a respectful community where each person upholds our core values, working together, growing together,
2. Manaakitanga/hospitality - respecting and caring for one another, prioritizing listening and seeking to understand
3. Fiafia, Fiefie/Fun - let’s enjoy the journey and each other’s company!
4. Tautinoga/Commitment (respecting ourselves and others by fulfilling our obligations)
5. Tukanga auahatanga/Creativity (making, dreaming, imagining, shaping)
6. Mafaufauga/Thinking, Intuition (perceptive thought, our inner voice, to our bodies, opening to what others and the environment are communicating)
7. Fai faalelei/Thoroughness - we tackle every challenge to the best of our ability, do it well!


Topics Covered

The weekly one-hour lecture will draw on a lively range of examples to analyse the dynamics of effective performance and will be focused on preparing you for the assignments. Lectures are complemented by the two-hour practical workshop in the Drama Studio, where you will explore different exercises and develop your skills ‘on the floor’.

The paper is divided into two key modules:

  1. Public speaking
  2. Devising

Both modules include instruction in acting and performance techniques.


Public speaking

Public speaking requires the ability of the speaker to capture the attention of audience members in order to convey a message and convince them of the merits of your argument. You will learn to identify the characteristics of effective public speaking and deliver an oral address informed by an understanding of successful presentation skills. Class work will focus on vocal delivery, physicality and storytelling.

Week 1: Kaupapa Lecture: What Matters? Values, Voices, Stories Workshop: Getting to know each other
Week 2: Tūrangawaewae Lecture: Process, Structure, Fear Workshop: Voice skills and body language
Week 3: Whanaungatanga Lecture: Connecting with the audience Workshop:  Voice skills and body language, speech development
Week 4 Lecture: Panel of guests to talk about what matters to them Workshop: Speech development and rehearsal
Week 5 No formal lecture.  Drop in speech clinic in the lecture room.  Staff available to give guidance and feedback on your speech. Workshop: Speech presentations
Week 6 Lecture: Introduction to theatre Workshop: Speech presentations


Working in small groups, students will apply the basic performance and presentation skills they learned in the first module to working with others. Acting requires concentrated listening and effective teamwork. In this module students will develop the core interpersonal skills that underlie the practice of acting applies them to the creation of a 5-minute original devised theatre performance. Responding to current topical issues, students will work in groups using theatrical skills to devise a short work that communicates a creative response to the given theme. This module will integrate the creative communication skills learnt across the course and apply them to developing an effective group performance.

Week 6 Lecture: what can theatre be? Workshop: speech presentations
Week 7 Lecture: getting started Workshop: creative exercises and deciding topics
Week 8 Lecture: creative development Workshop: creative exercises
Week 9 Lecture: Guest lecture by panel of theatre-makers Workshop: group rehearsal time
Week 10 Lecture: putting it all together and engaging the audience Workshop: group rehearsal time
Week 11 No lecture Workshop: presentations in class
Week 12 Lecture: Haere rā: reflection, feedback, looking ahead No workshop


Method of teaching and contact hours


Teaching will be primarily through weekly lectures and workshops, supplemented by independent reading and group rehearsals.



Tuesdays 10-11am (OGGB Business School, 260-073)


Workshop Groups:

Tuesdays 1-3 (Irene) 

Tuesdays 3-5 (Nisha)

Wednesdays 10-12 (Nick)

Wednesdays 1-3 (Nick) 

Wednesday 3-5 (Nick)

Thursday 2-4 (Nisha)

Friday 10-12 (Irene)

Friday 12-2pm (Irene)  


All workshops are in the Drama Studio (Level 3 of the Arts 1 Humanities Building, room 206-325)



The course will be assessed by way of:

  1. Portfolio of weekly tasks weeks 1-4: 25% 
  2. Speech Presentation: 20%  
  3. Devised Performance: 30%  
  4. Portfolio of Weekly Tasks B: 25%  


Extensions & Penalties for late submission of assignments


You should submit your work on time. In serious circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you may be required to provide supporting information before the assignment is due. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension may be penalised by loss of marks.


The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting his or her learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the world-wide web. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against electronic source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Course summary:

Date Details