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Marking Scheme for adjudication of a Play at Kenya National Drama Festivals

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Marking Scheme for adjudication of a Play

Play as one of the items presented at the Kenya national drama festivals, like any other competition has its own adjudication marking scheme. The play is assessed by examining the following areas.

     1. Choice of the Play and Scripting: (30 marks)

Awariven for theme(s), form (structure and style), relevance (message) and entertainment. This is an area where the script is analysed and assessed as one of the instruments of effective theatre i.e. whether it offers enough scope for the director to manipulate and bring out the hidden meaning through the various dramatic devices available to him/her.

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The mark on scripting will be awarded on the merit of the performance text as a piece of art.

NOTE: In case of primary school play, the focus shall be on the treatment of child-centred theme, plot and dramatic structure, choice of character, simplicity and suitability of language and style.

      2. Acting: (30 marks)

Award shall be given for play characterization, credibility, delivery/audibility, gestures, expressions and movement.

  • Role-playing. With good poise and exposure, an actor/actress learns to relax and concentrate so they can be able to control their emotions which may come through intense feelings. Acting entails communication. This means that an actor/actress should be reflective and sensitive every time they are on stage.

    The actors/actress reaction (physical movement, gestures and expressions, speech, etc.) should be in conformity with their thoughts and actions throughout their performance.

  • Credibility: How convincingly does the actor/actress effectively communicate to the audience? Are they natural? Does he/she fit the character he/she is playing?
  • Delivery: How does the actor/actress say his/her line?
  • Audibility (Voice Projection): Can every actor/actress be heard in every corner of the theatre? Are the tones modulated? Audibility is not necessarily shouting.
  • Gestures: An actor/actress should be able to control his/her gestures as over-gesticulation could mean over-acting. Gestures should be purposeful and meaningful.
  • Expressions: Reactions and emotions should also be controlled. They should be natural and convincing.
  • Movement: How confident and relaxed is the actor/actress? What are his/her facial/body expressions and attitudes? Are the movements commensurate with the style and mood of the play? Are they credible? Does the Director use the available space effectively? Stage movements should be purposeful and meaningful.

NOTE: In the case of primary school, look for: Credible child-centred acting in terms of characterization, delivery in dialogue, language use, improvisation, stage presence, appropriate use of monologue, mime, silence, etc.

   3.   Production (20 marks)

Award shall be given for directing, imagination/novelty, pace, variety, movement, teamwork and discipline. Effort put into any production can be easily seen. Production can either be bad or good. A well-rehearsed play, constantly monitored, will not drop during its presentation because all those who are involved are aware of their individual roles and inter-relationships. Further, in judging a play in terms of production, an adjudicator will look for:

  • Décor: Will denote stage props (chairs, tables, radios, etc). Décor also denotes creation of scenery, using light, backdrops, sets projected and visual images, etc. All these should be functional and closely tied to the theme of the play.
  • Costume: Will denote dress and hand props (e.g. rings, ornaments, watches etc)
  • Directing: Directing entails being in control of the artistic and technical aspects of the play. Directors should strive to interpret and evaluate the script so that the actors can internalize the message, style and structure of the play.

    4.  Costume and Décor (10 marks)

  • Imagination and Novelty: Is the play produced in such a way that the producer’s imagination and creativity are revealed? What has the producer contributed by way of imaginative effects? Have the characters handled different and conflicting situations imaginatively? Simplicity in stage properties is encouraged.
  • Pace: The speed of dialogue and movement will reveal the theme, mood and characterization. Do the events unfold in a systematic manner?
  • Variety: Is there variety in terms of characterization, movement, colours, shapes, visual images, contrasts and conflicts, climaxes and anti-climaxes? Do these devices contribute to the central purpose? Are the actions and reactions of characters well synchronized? Remember that the stage crew is part and parcel of team-work.
  • Discipline: Discipline entails establishing clear entrances and exits. Is the acting: individual and group, under control? Does the cast know exactly what it is doing when and why?

    5.  Achievement (10 marks)

A good play can be well acted and well produced in front of curtains or in open space. The adjudicator will be looking mostly at the achievement of the actors, production, the imaginative use of props, use of sound, speech, movement, effects, or dance, etc, or simply any idea possible not in the script but which could be effective in the production.

Some human mannerisms and behaviour would be employed economically to relieve tension and heighten perception. One brilliant stroke of imagination can do something very dramatic with something quite simple. But the overall achievement is a combination of a number of factors and it is this novelty that we should look for.

Source: Drama Rules and Regulations Book.

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