Why study Drama and Theatre?
A-level Drama and Theatre combines performance and research. We explore plays and inspirational practitioners from Brecht to Boal, from The Paper Birds to Complicite, from Stanislavski to Frantic Assembly and many more. Students develop their own theatrical taste as a critic of live productions. It requires teamwork, communication skills and the ability to think independently. It is a challenging, demanding and rewarding subject, both intellectually and creatively.
The subject is ideal for those who are creative, experimental, thoughtful, logical and collaborative.
What will I study? How will I be assessed?
There similarities to the Edexcel GCSE Course, which we also follow. At A Level you explore Live Theatre, texts and practitioners in more depth and detail, and perform a longer extract of a play.
Devising (40 %) (Internally assessed)
Students devise an original piece using one key extract from a performance text and a theatre practitioner as stimuli. They must produce a written portfolio of between 2,500 - 3,000 words and the devised performance/design realisation.
Text in Performance (20%) (Externally assessed by visiting examiner) Students present a group performance of one key extract from a performance text and a monologue or duologue performance from a key extract from a different performance text.
Theatre Makers in Practice (40%) (Externally assessed) Students will sit one 2 hour 30 minute exam. This will ask students to evaluate a live theatre performance they have seen, explain how they would realise an extract from a performance text they have studied ("Page to Stage: Realising Performance Text)) and produce an extended answer on another performance text they have studied ("Interpreting a Performance Text"), where they explore their own creative vision as a director.
What skills will I gain? Where can Drama lead?
Students have gone on to study at drama schools, music and performing arts colleges, as well as leading universities. Many former pupils are now working professionally within the industry, including recently on BBC Drama.
The transferrable skills learnt also stand students in good stead for careers from teaching to medicine, from the law to retail.
Professor Guthrie, department of Neurobiology, Kings Colleg, London said:
'Having achieved good grades in at least 2 or 3 science A levels is a pre-requisite for entrance to university to read biomedical sciences or medicine. However, demonstrating excellence in Drama would also count towards university entrance. In recent years, the medical curriculum, in particular, has been modified to place increasing weight and value on the ability of students to interact with patients, show self-confidence and excellent interpersonal skills. Coping with difficult situations, being able to think creatively and spontaneously, and being able to relate to a wide range of people and scenarios are vital aspects of training to be a doctor, and indeed what is now seen as the 'transferable skills' of so many degree programmes. There is no question that Drama enhances abilities and trains students in these important areas.'
At the heart of Drama is a pure aspiration:
How can stories help us understand the world as it is, and how can they encourage us to make it better?