However, this subject is not solely about acting and we are not interested in simply training actors. It helps to encourage your self-awareness and confidence. It enables you to understand yourselves and the world in which you live. It encourages you to think freely and not be afraid to ask questions or air your views. You will learn to communicate effectively with each other and to value trust and co-operation.
You will be expected to study and research the theory in the same manner as any other subject, which is with background reading and essay-writing. The practical work is an integral part of our teaching and you will be expected to volunteer your own free time to extend your performance technique through rehearsals, or to enhance your knowledge of live theatre through regular theatre visits or workshops. At present we study AQA A level Drama and Theatre Studies. The new draft specifications for this course is as follows:
Drama and Theatre
Study of two set plays and analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers
Creating Original Drama (Practical)
Process of creating and performance of devised drama (assessed through working notebook and devised performance)
Making Theatre (Practical)
Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts from three different plays and reflective report analysing and evaluating the theatrical interpretation of each; performance of extract three.
40% of A2, 80 marks: 3 hour written examination - one question
from each of three sections
30% of A Level, 60 marks: practical performance, working notebook (40 marks, devised performance (20 marks), externally moderated
30% of A level; 60 marks: performance of extract 40 marks, reflective report 20 marks, externally examined by AQA
A level Drama and Theatre Studies can lead on to further study in drama as well as in many other subjects. The course is a good preparation for students who would like to pursue a career in the arts but it will also help you to develop skills that are needed in a wide range of careers. The practical element of the course will help you to become more confident; it will promote team-building and communication skills, as well as being a lot of fun. Students enjoy the fact that drama entails working creatively and in pairs or groups and you will discover that there is a lot of satisfaction to be had out of presenting your work to an audience whether you are interpreting the work of a successful playwright or devising and presenting your own original ideas. The critical and practical skills and experiences that you will acquire during your Drama and Theatre Studies course are all good ‘life skills’ that you will be able to draw upon in the future.
This AQA A level has always been highly regarded by the major academic institutions. Our students have gone on to study courses in a wide range of arts and humanities subjects as well as in drama and related subjects at degree level at, amongst others: Oxford; Bristol; Durham; Birmingham; Warwick; King’s College, London and Edinburgh universities. In addition, some of our students have successfully auditioned for the following Drama Schools: Guilford Conservatoire of Music and Drama; Drama Centre, London; Bristol Old Vic; Central School, London; ALRA. Some students choose Drama and Theatre Studies at A level as a contrast to their other A level courses. Past students who do this have also gone on to study Mathematics (at Oxford University); Physiotherapy; and Pharmacy. In addition to drama specialist careers, the skills that you acquire will prepare you for a variety of other careers: the legal profession; the world of business and industry; the media; the caring professions; indeed, any job where communication and self confidence is necessary.
Since 2006 we have had state-of-the-art facilities, teaching in a purpose built Performing Arts block which contains classrooms; a Drama library; and a black box studio space, equipped with stage lighting, sound and projector. We also have a 355-seat theatre where all practical examinations take place as public performances