Stage 6 Drama – Design – Costume – Galston High School – Student interview

[MUSIC PLAYING] DAMIEN SHAHFAZLI: I’m Damien Shahfazli, and for my year 12 HSC major work, I did a costume design for The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt. The experiences I brought from year 11 that helped me develop my project was getting to experience all the different options of drama and the HSC. So I got to do a lighting design, I got to do set design as well and some script writing a bit for the play, Ruby Moon, and with the techniques that I applied from there and also creating my own costume for that design, I managed to apply that to my year 12 major work.

And in year 11, I picked up drama for the first time as a subject, so I got to learn all the different theatrical styles, conventions, and also like just a bit about drama in general and performance so that I could apply that to my year 12 works, and I use absurdism as a main theatrical style, which I use for my drama major work, and I learned about that in year 11 with Ruby Moon and a few other plays that I experienced.

I chose this particular option for the IP, because as previously mentioned, I got to experience the different types of individual projects that I could choose for my year 12 major work in year 11. And when I was doing that, I found that I really resonated with doing a costume design, because I already had some artistic history. I had been doing lots of fashion drawings. It’s just been a common interest that I was into, and also after reading the text lists and particularly seeing The Visit, I found that I really connected with that text, and I could already map out a vision of what I wanted to do. So it was pretty easy for me to just connect everything and just go with the costume design, because I was already interested in that field of drama.

The dramatic meaning that I wanted to communicate in my work, which was The Visit was mainly about wealth, power, and greed, and particularly about the social class and the distinction between the rich and the poor in The Visit. So what I did was I chose three characters that were more like upper class and then three characters that were of the poorer people, and I made very little distinct details like, for example, the people who are upper class wearing gloves, the people who weren’t, they had very falsified clothes as a way to make themselves look rich but as a fallacy, kind of.

And I did this to communicate how greed can change people, how wealth can change people and make them feel more greedy, and that’s basically what The Visit was about. And also, I wanted to incorporate some more contemporary and modern ideas like eco-friendly and sustainable, fashion because it’s a growing important issue today, and I thought that it would be good to add that element– that modern element– for my project. My option choice or text choice over time didn’t really change, but at the beginning, I was thinking of doing a play by Moliere. But after reading through the entire text lists and analyzing them a bit, I felt that I connected more with The Visit and I could do more with it and play on this ideas of greed and wealth and power, whereas with Moliere’s play, I felt like I didn’t really connect with it and I didn’t have much else to go off of it, apart from just doing some historical drawings.

I used my IP logbook in developing, exploring, and refining my ideas by using my logbook almost as if it was a diary. I used it in a way to process my thoughts, so what I’d do was scribble and do some sketches, do some mind maps. Just whatever came to my mind, and then from then on, I’d refine my ideas. I’d also use the internet a lot as a resource and print out many pages, just go through them, highlight what was important, especially with researching different theater styles and how costumes can be portrayed in different ways in theater, and from then on, I just map it all together into a complete vision.

One challenge I faced in making and developing my IP was simply the challenge of time management. As a year 12 student, you can be overwhelmed by the amount of assessments that you get, not just from drama, but from all the different subjects that you will choose. So doing a major work, you often want to push it back to the end. By using my logbook and also keeping in touch with my teacher, I found that I managed to use my time more effectively.

The structures that helped to manage the making and developing my IP was mostly having a weekly class that I could go to one on one with my teacher, and also, using different drama resources, particularly on stage for the year before, when I saw the exhibition, that really helped me think of how I would map out a costume design. Not so much the actual design, but more so putting it altogether on a board. By researching and using other theatrical productions as inspiration for my design, that helped refine my ideas and apply everything in a more practical manner.


Looking back and reflecting on this experience, I have learned a lot about my organization and how to process that. So that includes managing my time, setting plans, and building up to a bigger picture. So any advice that I give to students starting out now would just to be something that you enjoy. Just choose a text that you enjoy and choose a style of the IP that you enjoy, because in the end, this is something that you’ve created and something that you can be proud of.


End of transcript

Content updated 22/9/2020

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