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Internal assessment resource Classical Studies 3.5B for Achievement Standard 91398

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NZQA Approved


Internal Assessment Resource

Classical Studies Level 3

This resource supports assessment against:

Achievement Standard 91398

Demonstrate understanding of the lasting influences of the classical world on other cultures across time


Resource title: The theatre experience

6 credits

This resource:

Clarifies the requirements of the Standard

Supports good assessment practice

Should be subjected to the school’s usual assessment quality assurance process

Should be modified to make the context relevant to students in their school environment and ensure that submitted evidence is authentic





Date version published by Ministry of Education

December 2012

To support internal assessment from 2013



Quality assurance status

These materials have been quality assured by NZQA. NZQA Approved number A-A-12-2012-91398-01-6045

Authenticity of evidence

Teachers must manage authenticity for any assessment from a public source, because students may have access to the assessment schedule or student exemplar material.

Using this assessment resource without modification may mean that students’ work is not authentic. The teacher may need to change figures, measurements or data sources or set a different context or topic to be investigated or a different text to read or perform.




Internal Assessment Resource

Achievement Standard Classical Studies 91398: Demonstrate understanding of the lasting influences of the classical world on other cultures across time

Resource reference: Classical Studies 3.5B

Resource title: The theatre experience

Credits: 6

Teacher guidelines

The following guidelines are supplied to enable teachers to carry out valid and consistent assessment using this internal assessment resource.

Teachers need to be very familiar with the outcome being assessed by Achievement Standard Classical Studies 91398. The achievement criteria and the explanatory notes contain information, definitions, and requirements that are crucial when interpreting the Standard and assessing students against it.

Context/setting

This activity requires students to demonstrate understanding of the lasting influences of the cultural experience of attendance at the performance of a comedy by Aristophanes in the 5th century BCE on that of attendance at the performance of a comedy by Plautus in 3rd–2nd century BCE and of a comedy by Shakespeare in the 16th–17th centuries.

The students will be assessed on how perceptively they demonstrate understanding of the lasting influences.

They will: analyse aspects of audience expectation in Aristophanes’ time with regard to the conditions in and the conventions of the theatre, and the types of humour that the audience would have enjoyed; and then explore evidence in the other periods of similarities, differences, and adaptations, and develop hypotheses about the extent of and the reasons for lasting influences.

You could choose another playwright from a post-Classical culture if you think that a different form of comedy or period is more relevant for your students.

Conditions

This assessment task will take three weeks of in-class and homework time.

Students may work in groups to gather evidence and develop their ideas. However, they will submit their own work for assessment and it will be assessed individually.

Resource requirements

Some resources relevant to the context of Greek and Roman comedy are:

any play(s) of Aristophanes and of Plautus (in translation)

R.C. Beacham, The Roman Theatre and Its Audience

W. Beare, The Roman Stage

C.W. Dearden, Attic Old Comedy

G. Hunter and E. Priest, Greek Drama

C. Marshall, The Stagecraft and Performance of Roman Comedy

K. McLeish, Guide to Greek Theatre and Drama

F.H. Sandbach, The Comic Theatre of Greece and Rome

E. Segal, Roman Laughter: The Comedy of Plautus.

You will need to select resources to suit the theatre in the age of Shakespeare or the period of your chosen post-Classical comedy playwright.

You may find helpful material about the experience of attending a comedy in the age of Shakespeare on the following websites:

http://shakespearestudyguide.com/Globe.html

http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-theatre-audiences.htm

http://www.bardweb.net/index.html

http://www.william-shakespeare.info

Additional information

This resource provides one way to assess students’ understanding of the lasting influences of aspects of an ancient Greek comedy theatre experience on those of ancient Rome as well as a post-Classical period.

Examples of some other ways you could assess this understanding are given below.

You could ask students to present an understanding of lasting influences of:

the use of comedy by Aristophanes (for a serious and educative purpose or to make satirical attacks on contemporary politics) on the comedies of two post-Classical playwrights

the satires of Horace and of Juvenal on an 18th century English author (for example Swift) or a 21st century author

Roman poetry, for example by Catullus on the work of two post-Classical poets, such as Tennyson and James K. Baxter

Socratic questioning on the writing of two post-Classical authors

sculpture and architecture as propaganda in 5th century BCE Athens on those of 1st century Rome and 20th century Germany

the subject matter of the design of Roman coinage on that of coinage of two post-Classical periods, for example, 19th century Great Britain and 20th century United States

concepts of the anatomy of the heart and circulation of the blood in Galen on the ideas of Vesalius and Harvey.

Internal Assessment Resource

Achievement Standard Classical Studies 91398: Demonstrate understanding of the lasting influences of the classical world on other cultures across time

Resource reference: Classical Studies 3.5B

Resource title: The theatre experience

Credits: 6

Achievement

Achievement with

Merit

Achievement with Excellence

Demonstrate understanding of the lasting influences of the classical world on other cultures across time.

Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the lasting influences of the classical world on other cultures across time.

Demonstrate perceptive understanding of the lasting influences of the classical world on other cultures across time.

Student instructions

Introduction

This activity requires you to write an analysis of the lasting influences of the cultural experience of attendance at the performance of a comedy by Aristophanes in the 5th century BCE on that of attendance at the performance of a comedy by Plautus in 3rd–2nd century BCE and on that of attendance at the performance of a comedy by Shakespeare in the 16th–17th centuries.

Teacher note: You may wish to choose a different post-Classical playwright.

You will be assessed on how perceptively your analysis demonstrates your understanding of the lasting influences of the cultural experience of attendance at the performance of a comedy by Aristophanes in the 5th century BCE on two later periods.

You may work in groups to gather evidence and develop your ideas. However, you will submit your own work for assessment and it will be assessed individually.

You have three weeks of in and out-of-class time to complete your report.

You will write and submit a bibliography that includes all of the sources you have used. (This is required but not assessed.)

Task

Produce an analysis

You will:

analyse evidence of various aspects of the experience of attendance at the theatre in Aristophanes’ time and in the times of Plautus and Shakespeare

explore similarities, differences, and adaptations in these aspects in each of the other time periods

explore the cultural expectations (ideas and values) of an audience in each of the three time periods, which could explain the similarities, differences, and adaptations you have identified

support your ideas with appropriate specific evidence from primary source material (for example, illustrations of the floor plans and appearance of a theatre from each time period and/or of Greek vase painting and/or reference to actual plays)

analyse the following aspects of the experience of attendance at the theatre in Aristophanes’ time:


  • the physical environment for the audience in the theatre

  • the composition of the audience

  • audience expectations of the performance

  • conventions of audience behaviour in the theatre

  • the types of humour audiences would experience.

Teacher note: You may wish to choose different aspects of the theatre experience.

develop hypotheses and provide an analysis that shows insight about the extent of and the reasons for lasting influences of the experience of attendance at the performance of a comedy at the time of Aristophanes on the experience of attendance at the comedies of the two later time periods.

Features of insight could include:

clearly identifying themes and patterns of theatre experience occurring across time

accounting for similarities, differences, and adaptations in the various aspects of the experience of attendance at a theatre

explaining the relevance of the ideas and values, cultural expectations, and codes of behaviour of the three time periods that are relevant to the experience of attendance at the theatre

showing discernment regarding any limitations of sources of evidence.

The quality of your ideas is more important than the quantity so there is not a recommended length for your analysis. You should provide sufficient depth and detail to demonstrate perceptive understanding.



Assessment schedule: Classical Studies 91398 The theatre experience

Evidence/Judgements for Achievement

Evidence/Judgements for Achievement with Merit

Evidence/Judgements for Achievement with Excellence

The student has provided an analysis demonstrating understanding of the lasting influences of the cultural experience of attendance at the performance of a comedy by Aristophanes in the 5th century BCE on the experience of attendance at the performance of a comedy by Plautus in 3rd–2nd century BCE and one by Shakespeare in the 16th–17th centuries, using primary source evidence. The student has analysed aspects of the experience and explored the influence of those aspects.

As an example, analysis of the influence of one aspect of the experience of attendance (the convention that all actors would be male) is given below:



As ancient Greek society believed it was right to keep women at home, out of public appearance, it would not have entered their heads to expect a woman to aspire to be an actor. When required, they used boys to play any female characters in their plays, and the use of masks gave them some disguise [illustration of appropriate mask depicted in an ancient artwork included]. In a comedy, the disguise did not need to be so complete, as it was funny to see what was obviously a man dancing around pretending to be a woman and perhaps putting on a falsetto voice. Greek audiences would have accepted this convention in the two theatrical genres.

The Romans kept up this Greek practice for actors, but, as the Romans were more liberal with their approach to gender roles, they did not keep their women out of sight, so plenty of women were in the audience at a play by Plautus. They too would have found humour in watching male actors performing while dressed up as women.

This custom of men and boys taking female roles was continued into Elizabethan times, when once again there were plenty of women in the audience, but it was still not thought proper for women to be cavorting about on the stage, so that part of Greek custom continued. Attitudes towards the role of women, and what was appropriate for them, were a lasting influence of Greek theatre.

The examples above relate to only part of what is required, and are just indicative.

The student has presented an analysis demonstrating in-depth understanding of the lasting influences of the cultural experience of attendance at the performance of a comedy by Aristophanes on that experience in the two subsequent time periods. The student has provided an informed analysis of aspects of the experience and has developed hypotheses about the influence of those aspects, supported by primary source evidence of specific relevance to the context.

As an example, informed analysis of the influence of one aspect of the experience of attendance (the expectation that all actors would be male) is given below:



Greeks, Romans, and Elizabethans expected all actors with speaking parts to be male. In Greek society, men expected their wives and domestic female servants to keep out of public life, so they would have remained at home when a Greek citizen (and his sons perhaps) attended the theatre.

For the Greeks, drama was very much associated with Dionysus, who was also the god of wine, so it would not have been suitable for women to be involved as actors. Greek male actors wore large masks and sometimes gained extra laughs if they took the part of a girl while wearing tights, because obviously they were not female [illustration of Greek actor depicted in a vase painting included].

Although the Romans, who had conquered the Greeks, copied some of their customs, they did not expect their women to keep out of public life as the Greeks did, so Roman women attended the theatre. However, it was still not considered proper for Roman women to be actors. Boys were used to play female parts in Plautus’ plays.

In Elizabethan times, productions of Shakespeare’s plays continued to have only male actors. Boys had suitably high voices and were dressed in wigs and female gowns. As for the Romans, the Elizabethan social practice was for women to go about freely in public, so there were plenty of women of the full range of levels of society in an audience to watch a play by Shakespeare [illustration of appropriate scene at the Globe included]. Attitudes towards the role of women, and what was appropriate for them, were a lasting influence of Greek theatre.

The examples above relate to only part of what is required, and are just indicative.

The student has presented an analysis demonstrating perceptive understanding of the lasting influences of the cultural experience of attendance at the performance of a comedy by Aristophanes on that experience in the two subsequent time periods. The student has shown insight in developing hypotheses supported by primary source evidence of specific relevance to the context.

Perceptive understanding is shown by the analysis of features such as:

reasons for similarities and differences

themes and patterns

cultural expectations and codes of behaviour

limitations of sources of evidence.



As an example, perceptive analysis (showing insight) of the influence of one aspect of the experience of attendance (the expectation that all actors would be male) is given below:

Audiences in each of the three time periods expected actors with speaking parts, even for female roles, to be male. Athenian women did not attend the theatre, being expected to live modestly at home, so it was logical that they would not appear on the stage. Paintings on some 4th century vases made for Greeks in Italy, however, depict naked female dancers or gymnasts alongside male actors in costume [illustration provided]. If this did occur in Athens, they would have been slave girl performers, not speaking actors. The association of the theatre with Dionysus, god of wine and ecstatic release, was connected with the belief that actors who hid their own personality and acted as if they were another person were, like drunkards, possessed by a god. It would not be proper to the Greeks for a woman to be so possessed. Greek male actors wore large masks and sometimes gained extra laughs if they took the part of a girl while wearing tights, because of the very obvious fact that they were not female [illustration included].

Having only male actors influenced Roman and Elizabethan stage custom later. Roman soldiers returning from conquest of the Greeks brought the desire to watch comedy at a theatre home with them. The custom of male actors continued, but not keeping women out of the audience. This fact is mentioned by Terence, and also by Vitruvius, who wrote (V.iii.1) “at the play citizens with their wives and children remain seated in their enjoyment”. In Plautus’ own time the Romans did not have purpose-built theatres, only temporary wooden stages erected in the streets on festival days, so women would have been in those audiences.

No woman was allowed to act on the Elizabethan stage (for example at the Globe), and young boys played women’s roles such as Cleopatra, Portia, and Juliet. The use of wigs, long dresses, make-up, and a high voice allowed a boy to pass for a female. As in Roman times, women were able to attend performances, and this fact would probably have checked to a degree (for Romans and Elizabethans) the range of humour employed by the Greeks before all-male audiences. Attitudes towards the role of women, and what was appropriate for them, were a lasting influence of Greek theatre.

The examples above relate to only part of what is required, and are just indicative.

Final grades will be decided using professional judgement based on a holistic examination of the evidence provided against the criteria in the Achievement Standard.

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