The number of students completing drama and theatre studies is growing each year. The students will follow the Edexcel Specification. Throughout the course, students will explore play texts practically and complete written coursework based on their experiences, complete scripted and devised performances as performers or designers and finally complete an exam based on a script chosen by the centre. Drama and theatre studies also gives students the opportunity to visit the theatre and complete workshops to develop their understanding and skills further. The complete A level is divided into four units:
Unit 1 – Exploration of Drama and Theatre. Students will study two complete plays through a variety of practical workshops, which look at specific aspects of the play. They will then create a set of exploration notes (3000 words) based on the work that they have covered, consolidating their understanding of the play and the activities completed. This will be assessed by the teacher.
Unit 2 – Theatre Text in Performance. This is the practical exam for the AS course and students can choose to be a designer or a performer throughout. There are two parts to this exam:
Performers complete a monologue or duologue from a fully published play and perform this to a visiting examiner and an audience
Designers assign themselves to a performer and demonstrate their skills in lighting, sound, costume, make up or set to help the performer develop their performance. Designers are expected to produce a portfolio of evidence for their concept and present this to the examiner on the exam day.
Performers complete a 15 – 60 minute performance of a published play and perform this to a visiting examiner and an audience.
Designers assign themselves to a performance group and demonstrate their skills in lighting, sound, costume, make up or to develop the performance and realise their vision. Designers are expected to produce a portfolio of evidence for their concept and present this to the examiner on the exam day.
Unit 3 – Exploration of Dramatic Performance. Students are expected to create a unique piece of theatre based on a stimulus which is provided by the centre. Each year students are provided with challenging material to ensure they can gain high marks. They are assessed internally on four different areas; Research, Development and Structure, Performance and Supporting Written Evidence Document.
Unit 4 – Theatre Text in Context. This is the final written exam for the A2 course. It is split into three different sections. Sections A and B focus on the Greek play Lysistrata, students look at the play through the eyes of a director, creating students own concept as well as providing rehearsal strategies for your actors. Section C focuses on a Shakespearean performance chosen by the centre, allowing them to view their performance and compare it to the original production.