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Drama and Theatre

Subject Area: Visual & Performing Arts
Level: TWO-YEAR A Level
Exam Board: AQA
Syllabus No:

What do I need to study this course?

Grade 4 in GCSE English is essential with a preference of grade 5. You don’t need to have studied theatre or a related subject at GCSE level but if you have a qualification in drama or performing arts then this should be at grade 4/merit or higher. We recognise that students may have gained experience of theatre and performance in other ways through private training, drama schools or amateur companies. Please speak to us at enrolment or contact the department if you have any queries about your suitability for this course.

A level Drama & Theatre is a fantastic course for anyone who has a genuine passion and interest in how live theatre performance is made. It is perfect for students who have a creative imagination and who enjoy working with people to understand how theatre can reflect the world around us and the people who live in it. The skills developed on a theatre studies course are wide ranging. You will have the opportunity to develop and perform characters; analyse texts and live performances; direct extracts of play texts; design the lighting, set or sound for a play; and devise your own original performance. Whether working in the theatre is your aim or not, these skills can be applied to any job role in your future.

What will I study?

Practical Assessments (60%)

There are two major practical assessments which require you to work with scripted plays and devise your own theatre from a stimulus. You will specialise in one particular field: either acting, stage, lighting or sound design. Working in small groups you are expected to study and apply a range of techniques used in the theatre by contemporary practitioners such as Kneehigh, Gecko and Frantic Assembly. Practical exams involve very intense rehearsal periods, writing a working notebook and a reflective report, and a performance in front of an examiner in one of our three theatre spaces.

Written Exams (40%)

At the end of the course you will sit a written exam which will test your creative skills in making theatre and your ability to demonstrate how live performance can have an impact on an audience. You will study two set texts, presenting your own ideas as to how these plays would be produced in terms of acting characters, directing scenes, stage design, lighting, and sound aspects. You will also write about a live theatre experience and analyse the key components of theatre making and how it can impact on an audience. Evening visits to the theatre are also an essential part of this course. We regularly run visits to theatres in Leeds, Manchester, Bolton and Liverpool.

What next?

A level Drama and Theatre will provide you with an invaluable set of transferable skills (teamwork, creative thinking, and self-expression) which can be applied to any career, not just in the theatre. You may consider choosing to continue your studies at an accredited drama school, but students can progress onto degree courses in drama, directing, acting, theatre design, and arts administration, as well as many other creative subjects. Some of our students go on to careers in law, teaching, healthcare, business, and even veterinary science or the army!

Did you know?

Shakespeare’s Globe is the only building in London allowed to have a thatched roof since The Great Fire in 1666.