Drama & Theatre Studies

A Level

This course is for anyone who is interested in combining the activities of exploring plays and creating theatre.

Students must have an interest in the analysis and evaluation of live theatre from a directors’ perspective.

It is essential that students attend regular live theatre performances during the course.

All applicants should attend Wyke Start and complete a diagnostic audition consisting of practical and written elements prior to enrolment.

30% Practical
30% Coursework
40% Examination

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Course content

Exam Board

Edexcel/Pearson

Course Details

Year One

Term 1

This course is ideal for students with a love of live theatre  –  whether as a spectator, a performer or a designer. While the practical element to this course is crucial, students will be doing far more than performing. They will be introduced to different play texts and practitioners and explore them from different points of view (performer, director and designer).

In terms of written work (40% of the course), students will:

  • attend and evaluate live theatre performances
  • use this experience to write about the purpose and role of theatre in modern society
  • develop their own original production idea for a classic play, from the acting style to the set, props, costumes, sound and lighting design

In terms of performance (60% of the course), students will:

  • devise their own short play in small groups (write it, perform it, and then evaluate it)
  • perform a short monologue/duologue from a published play
  • perform as part of a group in an extract from a published play

Students are required to work in groups for the majority of the practical assessment, and in order for them to understand how collaborative theatre works.

Term 2
Students will be introduced to the methodologies of various practitioners and begin to study the performance texts for Sections B & C of the written Component 3, exploring both texts from the point of view of a Performer, Director & Designer. They will sit a mock exam paper during this term.

Term 3
Students will be introduced to the process of devising in preparation for Component 1.

Year Two

Term 1 – Devising (Internally Assessed Examination).
Students will formally begin the devising process for formal examination and begin to create their own directorial concepts for Section C of the written paper.

Term 2 – Text in Performance (Externally Assessed Examination).
Students will rehearse and perform scene extracts and independent Monologue/Duologues for formal examination.

Term 3 – Theatre Makers in Practice (Externally Assessed Examination).
Students will prepare for the written exam and do a full mock paper before the actual exam in June.

Assessment

Component 1 (Devising) – worth 40% of the overall A Level grade
Practical Presentation (10%)
Record of process & evaluation (30%)
(Includes 3000-word Written Coursework Portfolio)

Component 2 (Text in Performance) – worth 20% of the overall A Level grade
Performance of a play extract (10%)
Performance of a Monologue/Duologue (10%)
(Includes a 500-word ‘explanation of intentions’ document)

Component 3 (Theatre Makers in Practice) – worth 40% of the overall A Level grade assessed by a 2.5 hour written exam paper
Section A: Live Theatre Performance Evaluation
(Includes 500-word document of theatre evaluation notes)
Section B: Page to Stage-Realisation of a Performance Text
Section C: Interpreting a Performance Text

How the course is delivered

Students have four lessons a week that combine practical classes with academic theoretical lessons. Extracurricular rehearsal time is required in addition to regularly timetabled lessons.

Departmental Enrichment

Students must attend professional theatre performances. In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in the College productions; gain experience operating sound and lighting equipment; and participate in workshops with professional theatre companies.

What can I do now that would help prepare me for this course?

  • Attend as many theatrical performances as possible in any style or genre.
  • Gain as much performance experience as possible in any style, period or genre.
  • Read articles in The Stage. In addition, read reviews of theatre performances in the national newspapers.
  • Read scripts of plays from a range of historical periods and genres.
  • Read books on theatre related topics such as theatre design or theatre directing.

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