From the Virginia Standards of Learning:
The content of the Theatre Arts Standards of Learning is intended to support the following goals for students:
• Think and act creatively by solving problems individually or collaboratively and by employing originality, flexibility, and imagination.
• Develop the acting skills necessary for creative dramatic performance.
• Demonstrate knowledge of the elements of theatre production.
• Demonstrate understanding of theatre arts in relation to history and culture.
• Develop critical skills to evaluate their own work and the work of others.
• Demonstrate awareness of and responsibility for the safe and ethical use of materials, methods, and technologies.
• Make connections between theatre arts and other fields of knowledge.
• Demonstrate ability to apply aesthetic criteria for making artistic choices.
• Develop awareness of copyright and royalty requirements when rehearsing, performing, or otherwise using the works of others.
Performance and Production
Students will apply concepts and skills that are inherent to theatrical performances. They will recognize problems related to all aspects of theatrical presentation. They will design and implement solutions that are consistent with form and expressive intent. Through study and practical experiences, students will develop the physical, conceptual, and intellectual skills associated with the crafts essential to theatre.
Cultural Context and Theatre History
Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the ways in which cultures and theatre have related throughout history and are interacting today. They will demonstrate an understanding of the ways that other disciplines and their related technologies influence theatre and are correspondingly influenced by theatre. It is essential that students demonstrate the ability to approach the manifold creative tasks associated with theatre in order to attain group objectives.
Judgment and Criticism
Criticism in the theatre arts is based upon a thorough understanding of the art and craft of theatre. Students are expected to thoughtfully examine, make judgments, and derive meaning from the theatre arts. Students will apply processes that involve observing, listening, reflecting, analyzing, interpreting, and making judgments. These skills are required for creating and producing as well as for judging and evaluating a finished product.
The ability to make qualitative judgments in theatre arts depends upon a student’s ability to perceive, to experience an emotional response, and to relate that response to the actual qualities of the theatrical experience that generated it. Participation in a range of artistic experiences enables students to develop an understanding of different cultural philosophies and factors that may alter responses. Such understandings are critical to the development of a personal philosophy of theatre arts and aesthetic sensitivity that focuses on the nature, meaning, and value of the arts.