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AS/A Level Course Content

A level drama and theatre - edexcel

At A level, our students study a range of different plays, put on devised and scripted performances and explore the work of different styles and practitioners. The A level is split into 3 components and offers students the change to experiment, create, perform, analyse, evaluate and experience live theatre. We go on at least one theatre trip per year and have had workshops with professionals such as Frantic Assembly and Splendid Theatre Company.

Component 1: Devising

Worth 40% of the overall A level grade, this unit of work asks students to prepare a devised performance in response to a stimulus and in the style of a specific theatre practitioner. Students will explore themes, characterisation and consider the impact of their work. They write a portfolio of the development process and document their journey from idea to performance. Recent performances have included a piece on the Suffergettes and a performance on the dynamics, pressures and issues surrounding gender in the workplace (derived from Macbeth), both in the style of Frantic Assembly.

Component 2: Text in Performance

Worth 20% of the overall A level grade, this is a performance exam in which students show the visiting examiner a scripted group performance written by a professional playwright and deliver a monologue or duologue taken from another text. This is great preparation for auditions. Rehearsals will sometimes take place outside of lessons. Previous performances have included: Mrs Klien by Nicholas Wright , Cotton Wool by Ali Taylor, Lilies on the Land by The Lions Part, 100 by Christopher Heinman, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and Medea, adapted by Mike Bartlett.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice

Worth 40% of the overall A level grade, this is a written exam in which students write four essays. Students spend time in lessons practically exploring these texts in preparation for the exam. Section A requires students to write an analytical review of a play they have seen and evaluate its merits in light of a given statement on the impact of theatre on modern audiences. Section B requires students to write an acting essay and design essay which detail how they, as actors and designers, would bring to life their first set text (Machinal by Sophie Treadwell or That Face by Polly Stenham). This analytical response references the context of the play, themes, issues and performance style. Section C asks students to become the directors and to direct a second set text in the style of their chosen practitioner. Students explore the methodologies of the chosen practitioner and create their own interpretation of the text, this year we have been studying Woyzeck by Georg Buchner in the style of Punchdrunk.

Further information: A level Specification