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Drama

Introduction

The drama course offers students the opportunity to extend practical and analytical skills. The key features are:
• emphasis on practical drama
• developing directing and devising skills
• individual and group performance work
• creativity and independence, allowing students to become effective theatre makers.

Summary of course content

There are exciting new developments in this subject which allow students to identify the interrelationship between performer, designer and director. There is a chance to study performance texts which combine those selected by us as a centre alongside prescribed choices made by Edexcel. The previous four units have now been developed into three components which are explained below.

Topics covered

• Exploration of two plays through practical application and analytical study, including interpretation, language and creative responses which are assessed through the written examination
• Experience of live theatre
• Experience group performance to an audience
• Interpretive decision-making and opportunity for devising
• Contribution to a monologue or duologue
• Creative interpretation of original texts

Assessment

Component 1: devising – 40% of A Level
Students are required to devise a piece of theatre inspired by a stimulus set by the centre. This unit is divided into two parts: performance and a documented portfolio of process.

Component 2: text in performance – 20% of A Level
A group performance/design realisation of a key extract from a performance text and a monologue/duologue assessed by an external examiner.

Component 3: theatre makers in practice (written examination) – 40% of A Level
A two-hour thirty-minute examination assessed through three sections: live theatre evaluation, page to stage (realising a performance text) and interpreting a performance text.

How the course differs from GCSE

The new specification has been written to allow for a smooth transition from GCSE to A Level. Students continue to explore and interpret a number of performance texts, developing performance skills and discipline. The course also allows students to understand and analyse theatre history and its developments in the 21st Century.

Skills acquired

• Acting
• Performance skills
• Design realisation
• Vocal/physical characterisation areas
• Understanding of play production and performance
• Evaluation and research – theatre history and developments

Where the course leads

The course leads smoothly to any university course in drama, performing arts, English, media, communication, etc. It provides a solid foundation for any career involving performance, whether theatre, film, media or public relations, law, sales, customer-based industries and personnel.

Special entry requirements

Previous experience and some dramatic knowledge are essential. It is expected that students will be willing to give the necessary time and commitment to rehearsal and productions. Students should have obtained a grade 4 or above in English Language and Literature and a grade 6/7 in practical areas within drama. Students with minimal drama experience should discuss the course prior to uptake.

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