Drama & Theatre Studies

Develop your skills in variety of theatre-making roles and styles of theatre, with the aim of progressing as a performer, deviser, director and designer of theatre, through practical and theoretical study of the contemporary and historical plays. You will perform or design an original devised piece of theatre and existing scripts, and present director's proposals for interpretation of plays, inspired by creative practitioners and contemporary audience tastes. You will also review and evaluate live theatre productions, analysing in detail how the show uses performance and production elements to engage an audience.

Awarding Body

Available As

A Level

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What will I study?

Component 1: Devising

You will use an extract of a play as a stimulus to devise and create your own unique, original and imaginative piece of theatre, aiming to devise, rehearse and deliver a performance as part of small group. You can be assessed as a performer or designer in Component 1. You will apply the styles and techniques of a theatre practitioner chosen by you, so you can create the style of piece that you want. You will produce a portfolio of stimulus analysis, additional research and ongoing reflection on how the piece is developing, including an evaluation of the final performance. Component 1 is coursework, with a mixture of practical and written assessment, and it is worth 40% to your overall grade.  

Component 2: Text in Performance

You will rehearse and deliver two performances: one as a small group, doing a long extract of a scripted play; the other a monologue or duololuge from a scripted play. You can be assessed as a performer or designer in Component 2. The choice of play texts and style of performance is your choice, so you can present performances and designs that interest and engage you in theatre. Component 2 is coursework, with solely practical work, and it is worth 20% of your overall grade.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice

You will study, analyse, research and practically explore two set play texts: "That Face" by Polly Stenham and "Woyzeck" by Geog Buchner. Your practical and academic exploration and analysis of these texts is to enable you to write proposals of how you would perform, design and direct these plays, which you will write in the final written exam on the course. Your proposal of ideas for "Woyzeck" also requires research, analysis and evaluation of the theatre company "Punchdrunk", whose style, techniques and methods you must apply to your ideas for interpretation of the play. "Punchdrunk" specialise in immersive, experimental theatre that aims to trigger adrenaline and sensory overload in the audience.

You will also watch, analyse and evaluate live theatre over the two years of the course, as preparation for the other section of the exam, which is Live Theatre Evaluation, in which you will write a highly detailed analytical evaluation of a piece of theatre you have seen.

How will I learn?

Practical workshops developing skills in the techniques of practitioners.

Working in different theatre styles and techniques.

Rehearsing plays for performance.

Devising original theatre pieces.

Acting out scenes in character.

Question and answer.

Essay writing.

Live presentations.

Finding specific performance examples in the text to back up your interpretation.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Devising = 40% of the overall course grade. This is assessed in a devised performance, or design element of the performance, and a 2500 - 3000 word written portfolio of research and evaluative analysis of the devised piece.

Component 2: Text in Performance = 20% of the overall course grade. This is assessed as a group scripted performance or design and a monologue or duologue performance or design. There is no written assessment in Component 2.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice = 40% of the overall course grade. This is a 2.5 hour written exam at the end of the course, in which there are three sections: Section A is Live Theatre Evaluation; Section B is on the play "That Face" and Section C is on the play "Woyzeck".

Are there any trips on this course?

Trips are hugely important to this course, as going to watch live theatre is a crucial and enjoyable part of the course. As part of the course, the aim is to do a trip each year to London to watch multiple shows, and to go and see shows at other points in the year.  

Are there any extra costs?

Cost of set text plays and some other plays.

Are there any specific entry requirements?

While it is helpful to have studied Drama and Theatre before, it is fine to study A level without having done so. Experience of being in plays will always be looked on favourably.

Careers Information

FAQs

How practical is the course? I have heard it is all theory:

Everything is focussed on learning through theatre and therefore it has to be practical. Two thirds of the course is based on practical workshops, devising and performances and both set texts are taught on their feet. But you also have to write about theatre in the exam and your coursework, so we practice writing paragraphs between some of the practical tasks. You will get a lot of help on how to write the essays with the resources that will show you how to structure an A-level paragraph and describe text when it is performed by an actor.

 

Will we see lots of live performances?

You will see performances by professional companies in the Sundial Theatre, and several performances in other venues. There will also be a residential trip to London to see two shows and other events.

Will there be any extra rehearsal times I will need to attend?

Closer to the exam, you will need to find extra time to rehearse for your final performances. This will be arranged with your teacher.