How does an actor play and breathe life into his role? How does a director give life to the ideas in the play? How do you interpret a plain script into a stunning visual performance? If you’d like to learn how to do all of the above and more, this A Level is for you. You will be shown the wonderful diversity in theatre and will learn to analyse, interpret and create imaginative, stylish and effective theatre. You will explore both the practical and theoretical aspects of Drama, including dramatic performance, exploration of theatre text in context, and analysis of live theatre.
All students studying A Levels must have at least five GCSEs at grade A* – C (grade 9 – 5) in academic subjects, including English Language at grade C (grade 5). Two of these must be B grades (grade 6). Having studied GCSE Drama, Dance or Expressive Arts would be an obvious advantage, but is not essential. All applicants must successfully pass an audition.
WHAT DOES THE COURSE INVOLVE?
The course demands practical, creative and communication skills in almost equal measure. You will extend your ability to create drama in both a performing and a design role. You will also be required to write about drama and develop your powers of analysis to become an informed critic. The course will involve taking part in drama productions and visiting the theatre, as well as studying plays and theatre practitioners.
In the AS year, as part of a group, you will explore and perform an extract from a performance text in the style of a recognised theatre practitioner. You will also work more independently and perform either a monologue or a duologue to an examiner. A written portfolio accompanies this unit, documenting and evaluating the rehearsal process.
We also study a modern text through a series of practical workshops that look at how you bring a text to life from ‘page to stage’ both as a performer and a designer. We will also visit the theatre, learning how to critically evaluate and analyse the production values of a performance.
For the full A Level, you will also embark on an exciting project where you will draw on all of your experience, research and ideas to develop an original piece of theatre. This is assessed by an examiner and includes a written portfolio. You will also study a second play (a more classical text) and re-imagine it for a contemporary audience in the style of a recognised theatre practitioner.
HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?
In both the AS and the full A Level, you will be assessed through a range of practical performances to an examiner, written coursework and a written exam at the end of each year.
WHERE CAN I GO NEXT
The majority of A Level students go on to university. Some students study a combined degree in English and Drama. Other students choose specialist degrees in Performing Arts/Creative Arts, or go on to accredited Drama schools for intensive practical training.
There is an increased awareness in universities and in the general workplace of the many positive attributes and transferable skills offered by a Drama qualification. Some students go on to teach English and Drama. Some become performers or technical practitioners themselves and some even set up their own theatre companies. Others simply use their skills and qualities they have learnt and developed on the course to help them progress along another career path.