Assessment Specifications

Level 3 Drama 2022

General information


Drama Studies

Method of assessment

Written examination


91514  91518

Information relating to both achievement standards

Candidates will be required to name and provide details of the drama / theatre form or the live performance.

Candidates may be required to respond in any combination of written response and illustration (sketches and/or diagrams).

Diagrams or sketches will be assessed on the quality of information conveyed and not their artistic merit (i.e. simple stick figures are satisfactory). Candidates should annotate their diagrams or sketches to provide specific detail and to explain their answers.

Specific information for individual achievement standards




Interpret a text from a prescribed playwright to
demonstrate knowledge of a theatre form or period



Number of credits


The format of questions for this standard will be similar to those in previous years.

Candidates will be expected to make connections between the text studied and its theatre form or period.

Candidates should be familiar with features of the form, which may include performance space, acting style, themes and ideas, use of conventions and technologies, and the historical and social context of the theatre form or period.

Questions may cover a combination of features of the theatre form or period.

Prescribed playwrights

The chosen text MUST be written by one of the playwrights listed below. Appropriate texts include, but are not limited to, those suggested. The text studied must enable in-depth exploration of the features of the theatre form or period.

Playwrights Suggested texts
Jean Anouilh The Lark Antigone  
Aristophanes The Frogs Lysistrata  
Samuel Beckett Waiting for Godot Endgame  
Albert Belz Yours Truly Raising the Titanics  
Jean Betts Revenge of the Amazons Ophelia Thinks Harder  
Bertolt Brecht Mother Courage and Her Children The Caucasian Chalk Circle  
Lynda Chanwai-Earle Foh Sarn Ka Shue  
Anton Chekhov The Cherry Orchard The Three Sisters  
Caryl Churchill Top Girls Softcops  
Euripides The Trojan Women Medea  
Michelanne Forster Daughters of Heaven    
Toa Fraser Bare Pure and Deep  
Federico Garcia Lorca The House of Bernarda Alba Blood Wedding  
Briar Grace-Smith Purapurawhetū When Sun and Moon Collide  
Gary Henderson Peninsula An Unseasonable Fall of Snow  
Oscar Kightley and
Dave Armstrong
Niu Sila Fresh off the Boat  
Hone Kouka The Prophet Waiora Home Fires
Greg McGee Foreskin's Lament    
Bruce Mason The End of the Golden Weather The Pōhutukawa Tree  
Arthur Miller The Crucible Playing for Time  
Vincent O'Sullivan Shuriken    
Harold Pinter The Birthday Party The Hothouse  
Jacob Rajan and
Justin Lewis
Krishnan's Dairy The Pickle King  
Renee Wednesday to Come Pass it On  
Maurice Shadbolt Once on Chunuk Bair    
William Shakespeare Twelfth Night Macbeth  
George Bernard Shaw Saint Joan Arms and the Man  
Stephen Sinclair The Bellbird The Bach  
Sophocles Antigone Oedipus Rex  
Tom Stoppard Travesties Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead  
Mervyn Thompson Children of the Poor Coaltown Blues  
Timberlake Wertenbaker Our Country's Good The Love of the Nightingale  
Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest Lady Windermere's Fan  
Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  
Dianna Fuemanna Falemalama    
John Kneubuhl Think of a Garden    
William Brandt Verbatim    
Stuart McKenzie Transmission    
Makerita Urale Frangipani Perfume    
Witi Ihimaera Woman Far Walking    
Vela Manusaute Taro King My Name is Pilitome  




Demonstrate understanding of live
drama performance



Number of credits


The format of questions for this standard will be similar to those in previous years. 

Candidates will be required to respond to questions on a drama performance they have viewed as a member of the audience in the 2022 calendar year. This may include watching a live drama performance that has been recorded with, or intended for, a live audience. Any viewed performances, whether live or recorded, should provide opportunities for candidates to meet the requirement of the standard at all grade levels.

Candidates will be expected to make connections between the director / designer's concept(s) and the performance seen.

Candidates should be familiar with the use of elements such as role, focus and contrast, techniques, and the use of technologies and conventions. 

For the purposes of this assessment, “conventions” refers to strategies that are established to make meaning; and “wider context”, as required by the criterion for Achievement with Excellence, could refer to:

  • the performance as a whole
  • the playwright’s purpose
  • the nature and/or purpose of theatre as an art form
  • the candidate’s own social, geographical, or historical context.

Questions may cover a combination of elements, techniques, conventions, and technologies.

Drama subject page

Examination timetable

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