A Level Drama and Theatre

Head of Department: Mrs N Schiff
Email: nschiff@stedmundscollege.org

This information can be downloaded to the right of this page.

COURSE BREAKDOWN

Please find below a breakdown of the course. Further information can be found in the full specification, which is available on the Eduqas A Level Drama and Theatre webpage. Assessment for all four components is completed at the end of Rhetoric II.  There will be ongoing practical and written examination practice throughout the course.

COMPONENT ONE: THEATRE WORKSHOP

Learners will be assessed on either acting or design.

Learners participate in the creation, development and performance of a piece of theatre based on a reinterpretation of an extract from a text chosen from a list supplied by Eduqas.

The piece must be developed using the techniques and working methods of either an influential theatre practitioner or a recognised theatre company.

Learners must produce: a realisation of the performance or design and a creative log.

COMPONENT TWO: TEXT IN ACTION

Learners will be assessed on either acting or design.

Learners participate in the creation, development and performance of two pieces of theatre based on a stimulus supplied by Eduqas:

  1. A devised piece using the techniques and working methods of either an influential theatre practitioner or a recognised theatre company (a different practitioner or company to that chosen for Component 1)
  2. An extract from a text in a different style chosen by the learner

Learners must realise their performance live for the visiting examiner. Learners choosing design must also give a 5-10 minute presentation of their design to the examiner. Learners produce a process and evaluation report within one week of completion of the practical work.

COMPONENT THREE: TEXT IN PERFORMANCE

Written examination with sections A and B:

Learners will answer two questions based upon two different texts, one written pre-1956 and one written post-1956. Clean copies (no annotations) of the two complete texts must be taken into the examination.

Section C:

A question based upon a specified extract from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens.

Details of the 10-15 minute extract will be released during the first week of March, in the year which the examination is to be taken.

QUALIFICATION AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The A Level in Drama and Theatre encourages students to:

  • Develop and apply an informed, analytical framework for making, performing, interpreting and understanding drama and theatre.
  • Understand the place of relevant theoretical research in informing the processes and practices involved in creating theatre and the place of practical exploration in informing theoretical knowledge of drama and theatre.
  • Develop an understanding and appreciation of how the social, cultural and historical contexts of performance texts have influenced the development of drama and theatre.
  • Understand the practices used in twenty-first century theatre making.
  • Experience a range of opportunities to create theatre, both published text-based and devised work.
  • Participate as a theatre maker (defined as a person undertaking one or more of the following roles: designer; lighting, sound, set (which can include props), costume (which can include hair, make-up and masks) and puppets; performer; director and as an audience member in live theatre.
  • Understand and experience the collaborative relationship between various roles within theatre.
  • Develop and demonstrate a range of theatre making skills.
  • Develop the creativity and independence to become effective theatre makers.
  • Adopt safe working practices as a theatre maker.
  • Analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others (may include their own, their peers, amateurs and/or professional works).

SET TEXTS AND PRACTIONERS

During the course, students will study a range of different theatre practitioners and play texts.  Students will need to understand how the social, historical, cultural and political climate influences theatre. Most of all they will need to consider the question: Why this play? Why now? Why this audience?

Component Set Text(s)/Practitioners that students may explore:
One: Text Workshop · Stanislavski with Saved (Edward Bond)

· Brecht with Caucasian Chalk Circle (Brecht)

· Artaud with 4:48 Psychosis (Sarah Kane)

· Kneehigh Theatre with The Red Shoes (Kneehigh)

· DV8/Frantic Assembly with Girls Like That (Evan Placey)

· Peter Brook with A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare)

Two: Text in Action · Metamorphosis (Kafka/Berkoff)

· Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare)

· London Road (Alecky Blythe)

· Bouncers (John Godber)

· Find Me (Olwyn Wymark)

· Antigone (Sophocles/Jean Anouilh)

· Cloud Nine (Caryl Churchill)

· Earthquakes in London (Mike Bartlett)

· The Visit (Friedrich Durrenmatt)

· Woza Albert! (Percy Mtwa/Mbongeni Ngema/Barney Simon

· Frankenstein (Nick Dear)

· Othello (William Shakespeare)

Three: Text in Performance · Pre-1956:

· The Trojan Women, (Euripides )

· As You Like It, (William Shakespeare)

· Hedda Gabler, (Henrik Ibsen)

· Post-1956

· Saved (Edward Bond)

· Racing Demon (David Hare)

· Chimerica (Lucy Kirkwood)

REASONS TO STUDY DRAMA

The creative industries have moved into first place to be the fastest growing economic sector in the UK, responsible for 5.6% of jobs, and worth £76.9bn to the UK economy*.

*Creative Industries Economic Estimates, Department for Culture Media & Sport, January 2015. This number has increased three years in a row and is predicted to rise again next year. The creative industries account for 5.6% of UK jobs, a number which has increased yearly since 1997. The UK’s creative industry is above average in every economic measure reported.

Arts students are highly sought-after by employers

Many employers now actively seek those who have studied the arts. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, was fond of saying his success was due to his hiring artists and musicians fascinated by technology rather than computer geeks. Top talent management agency, The Curve Group, specialising in financial and business services, declares that employees with arts degrees have developed more quickly in their roles from the start and has found them to have discipline, confidence and the ability to accept criticism.

Arts ‘reach the parts other subjects can’t reach’

The arts develop the broader dimensions of the human being – mind, body and soul. The arts can express the inexpressible and make sense of things that otherwise do not seem to. This can be very fulfilling and helps us function as human beings – which can only be good for society as a whole.

The arts make self starters and develop emotional intelligence

All require the student to set their own agenda from within themselves, rather than follow set topics as in other subjects. They have to make independent decisions all the way, and be self-critical. They also need to be brave in exposing their creations, and accept criticism. Working in teams makes students into good communicators.

READING LIST

There is no expectation that students purchase any of the below books; most resources are available online and we are in the process of stocking them in the library. However, students may wish to use some of the texts to enhance and enrich their understanding of the course’s theoretical concepts. The list below is therefore intended to give a flavour of the course and provide a reference point if any topics prove particularly challenging.

DEPARTMENT INFORMATION

Department Rationale

The study of Drama and Theatre Studies cannot purely be limited to that of directors, practical acting and design. We seek to capitalise on our natural human interest in storytelling and creating drama in our everyday lives to explore the world around us. We draw upon current events, cultural heritage and seek to formulate new and exciting ways of representing the issues that connect us. In the world of the theatre there are countless jobs including directors, designers, stage managers, administrators, electricians and so many more. We believe that in learning about how to develop and channel our creativity we give students the ability to grow in confidence and learn about negotiating in teams. They leave us equipped with dramatic and acting skills, able to communicate effectively and use their experiences to sell their individual abilities effectively.

Department Aims & Objectives

  1. To develop creativity to represent experiences in insightful and effective ways.
  2. To create and develop ideas to communicate as part of the theatre making process, making connections between dramatic theory and practice.
  3. Apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in performance.
  4. To develop individual talents in Drama and Theatre whether that be design, acting or directing.
  5. To have an effect on those around them through sharing a love of storytelling.
  6. To develop critical autonomy through the exploration of wider political, social and cultural contexts, and the issues and debates that have influenced theatre practitioners throughout history.
  7. To be able to discuss with confidence how changing time periods have changed theatre and audience experiences.
  8. To promote academic essay writing skills and techniques that allow students to write critical and reflective essays in a balanced and structured way.
  9. To develop students’ experience of working in teams and negotiating to create devised and scripted plays.
  10. To promote engagement with current affairs and contemporary social/cultural trends through the discussion of current performances.
  11. To prepare students for the demands of Higher Education by promoting engagement with academic scholarship and independent approaches to learning.

 

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