Drama & Theatre Studies in the Sixth Form
A Level Drama and Theatre Studies
The Edexcel A Level course is offered to our students and students will study three units over the two year course. Students wishing to take the A level course will be expected to have achieved a grade 4 in GCSE English Language, have at least a 5 in Drama or be able to demonstrate evidence of a sustained commitment to the subject area.
All students are expected to make a commitment to rehearse outside timetabled lesson times and attend relevant theatre visits.
“Performance [. . . ] is ethnic and intercultural, historical and ahistorical, aesthetic and ritual, sociological and political. Performance is a mode of behaviour, an approach to experience; it is play, sport, aesthetics, popular entertainments, experimental behaviour, and more.”
Richard Schechner 1987
Why should you follow this course?
…because you are enthusiastic to learn more about theatre, how it evolved and, crucially, how it is developing now; because you want to develop your own practical skills and creative understanding so that you are capable of producing exciting and original pieces of theatre.
Component 1 DEVISING: 'Devising'
Internally assessed / externally moderated. 40% of the A-Level
Portfolio (60 marks) can be written (max 3000 words) or verbally recorded/filmed (max 14 minutes) or a combination of both.
Devised performance (20 marks) Stimuli must be one key extract from a play AND a practitioner
Component 2 SCRIPTED PERFORMANCE: 'Text in Performance'
External examiner. 20% of the A-Level
Group performance of one key extract from a performance text (36 marks)
Monologue or duologue performance of one key extract from a different performance text (24 marks)
Component 3 WRITTEN: 'Theatre Makers in Practice'
2h 30m written exam. 40% of the A-Level
Section A(20): one question, from choice of two, on live theatre performance. 500 words of notes permitted.
Section B(36): two extended responses on an unseen extract from a modern play studied THAT FACE. Perspective of performer and designer.
Section C(24): one extended response, from choice of two questions, re-imagining a classic text with influence of practitioner for a contemporary audience. (choice of 8 practitioners). Clean copy of text allowed.
What qualifications do I need to be accepted onto the course?
The minimum requirements for Drama and Theatre Studies A level are 5 standard pass grades in 5 different subjects. You should have either a 5 grade in GCSE Drama or at least a grade 4 in English Language. If you do not have these grades, it may still be possible to accept you on the course but you will need to show other evidence of a serious interest in and commitment to the subject.
What will you study?
In Year 1 you will practically explore a set text, ‘That Face’. You will work in a group to create an original and unique devised theatre production and evaluate the process and performance using your critical writing skills. To support your practical investigation you will write/record a portfolio of evidence. Part of this course is assessed in a written exam. The exam will look at the Realisation a Performance Text and a live theatre review.
In Year 2 you will develop performances of a monologue or a duologue and use a range of theatrical skills to develop and rehearse a final group performance. You will also explore a play from a director’s perspective, study a given period of theatre history, and experience a live performance of a play from this period - evaluating it and making comparisons with the original staging conditions. Part of this course is assessed in a written exam.
Who should take the course?
The most important things are a positive attitude towards working with other people, a willingness to share your creative and evaluative skills with those around you, and a passion for theatre and the theatrical arts. You must have an excellent attendance record, work conscientiously in a co-operative, supportive manner with anyone in the group, and be willing to work / rehearse outside of time-tabled lesson time. Please note that applicants must also be willing to participate in a range of exciting theatre trips and visits, and should be proactive in attending the theatre and other appropriate events that are creatively stimulating.
What could you go on to do at the end of the course?
Successfully completing the course could lead to further study of the subject at university or drama school, and from there lead to a range of exciting Drama-related careers from actor to puppeteer, lighting technician, stage manager, director, drama therapist, or playwright.
The range of transferrable life skills you can gain in an A Level in Drama can help you on your way, whichever career you’re heading for. The course recognises ability to problem-solve, work as a reliable and sensitive member of a team, and critically evaluate your own work and that of others. It also provides great opportunity to develop and refine important communication skills such as public speaking, personal confidence, and how to engage an audience – qualities that are greatly valued by all future employers.