École Handsworth Secondary
North Vancouver School District
Course Descriptions

Fine Arts 8

Instructor: Tracey Lloyd, Natasha Ray

Drama is the art of characters telling comedic or dramatic stories on stage.  Telling these theatrical stories challenges you to think on your feet, work with a team, and express yourself vocally and physically in front of an audience.  In a creative and supportive working environment you will participate in a wide variety of drama games, scene work, improvisation, and prepare a special performance for Hands UP!  As we work together this term, you will gradually become comfortable performing in front of your peers.  We will work to build your confidence and respect that everyone has different levels of ability.
In order to build your confidence interacting in various team groupings, and to help you become comfortable performing in front of others, it is important we always work to develop SAFE skills.  These skills are the foundation of the Handsworth Theatre Program.
Sensitivity = Empathy for ourselves and others
Awareness = Being able to observe our surroundings; aware of our inner feelings as we do this
Freedom = feeling confident to express ourselves
Environment = positive commitment from both the actors and the audience

Drama 9 - Natasha Ray

Drama is the process of taking on roles to express comedic or dramatic stories. If there is no role, there is no drama. Therefore, this course is centred on playing a wide range of characters. By taking on roles students will be challenged to think on their feet, to work as a team, and to express themselves vocally and physically in front of an audience. In a creative and positive working environment, students will participate in a wide variety of improvisational and scripted activities and assignments.  Some of the key concepts of this course are RESPECT and SAFETY--only in a supportive environment are students open to the experience of performing a wide variety of characters in front of their peers.  Therefore there will be a strong emphasis in this course on supporting and respecting one another’s differences and abilities. With the support of the group participants will gain more self-confidence to perform a wide range of characters.

In order to achieve the above, we will undertake to develop the following:


  • Sensitivity: Respect and empathy towards all that surrounds us.
  • Awareness: The ability to observe; inner and outer “consciousness”.
  • Freedom: Self-confidence to express oneself without inhibition.
  • Energy: Charged and focused commitment to the work, both on and off stage. 

Directing, scriptwriting & performance 12

Regardless of one’s acting background or ability level, this is an introductory course for grade 12 students ready for the challenge of a lifetime! Through the process of directing, scriptwriting, and performing students will discover that theatre is a living, breathing, and ever-evolving creative process. Students in this course are committed to Handsworth’s core philosophy: By co-creating a play, we create a community. The Handsworth theatre program is based on a systems-approach model. In short, students take on the roles and responsibilities of being a leader in order to support both the theatre community and the diverse theatre creations. Students in role as directors will discover that in theatre there can be no separation between production and performance (as well as between community and audience, and between creations and creators), since every element of theatre is highly interconnected to a common shared vision. Overall, there is a heavy emphasis in this course on developing a theatre community in which people connect in a healthy, caring, inclusive, supportive, and artistic manner. What makes Handsworth theatre unique is the sheer number of students, staff, parents, and alumni working collaboratively to co-create the best possible theatre experience for one another and the audience.

The process of developing directing skills gives theatre students a wider perspective of the entire theatre production process. The focus of Term One is the development of basic directing skills by directing grade 10 and 11 theatre students. Directing skills will be taught in September and then students will apply these skills for the rest of the year. In Term Two, students will be involved in a new theatre project, and will write their own Star Series script, which they will direct in Term Three. In Term Three, students will participate in the school play, which will be performed at Centennial Theatre on April 10-12, 2014. Throughout the year, students will be responsible for specific artistic, technical, and/or promotional aspects of the school production and/or writing team.


Theatre performance 10/11  David Beare

Theatre Performance 10  concentrates on developing acting skills through script work, introduces students to various theatre production and performance experiences, and builds a supportive and caring artistic community. Theatre Performance 11 builds upon on the foundational skills developed in Theatre Performance 10. Both courses focus on character-development, script analysis, movement and emotional work, performance skills, group work, and polishing theatre productions. Out-of-class rehearsals and line memorization are required homework throughout the entire school year. This course is designed to bridge students for Directing and Script Development 12, and Acting for Film/TV 11/12. Students will have the opportunity to perform to a live paying audience at Handsworth, Presentation House Theatre, and Centennial Theatre. In addition to performing, students are invited to attend/watch evening theatre performances. Students unable to perform/watch theatre outside of class hours will be provided with an alternate assignment during class hours. In general, the written script analysis assignments require students to illustrate their understanding of key theatre concepts, such as characterization, motivation, obstacle, set-design, top-view diagram, blocking, and subtext. Students will have several opportunities to be directed by grade 12 directors, which is ultimately the core foundation of the entire theatre program. In order to achieve success in this course consistent attendance, active participation, full polished preparation for performances, and positive and respectful attitudes are highly required. Only in a supportive environment do students feel safe to take performance risks and to play emotionally and physically honest roles; therefore, students are expected to praise and to celebrate our diverse and collective range of talents, abilities, and interests.