Drama & Theatre Studies
Head of Department: Mr T S Edwards
Exam board: WJEC Eduqas
Qualification name: Drama and Theatre Studies
Qualification codes: GCE A Level 601/8554/5
What you will study
Component 1: Theatre Workshop
Learners participate in the creation, development and performance of a piece of theatre based on a reinterpretation of an extract from a text chosen from a list supplied by WJEC. The piece must be developed using the theories of an influential theatre practitioner. Learners must produce a realisation of the performance or design; and a creative log.
Component 2: Text in Action
Learners participate in the creation, development and performance of two pieces of theatre based on a stimulus supplied by WJEC: a devised piece and an extract from a text in a contrasting style chosen by the learner.
Component 3: Text in Performance
This covers a specified extract of text, details of which are released during the first week of June, one year before the examination.
How you will be assessed
Component 1: Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated (20% of A Level)
Learners are assessed on either acting or design.
Component 2: Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner (40% of A Level)
Learners are assessed on either acting or design. They must realise their performance live for the visiting examiner and produce a process and evaluation report within one week of completion of the practical work.
Component 3: A two-and-a-half hour written examination (40% of A Level)
Sections A and B, Open book: Two questions based on two different texts, one written pre-1956 and one written post-1956.
Section C, Closed book: The extract of text required for answering the questions will be printed on the examination paper, with a series of questions.
Why choose drama and theatre studies?
Drama at Barnard Castle School continues to develop and thrive. The subject is enjoyable, blending physically demanding practical work with complex theoretical analysis of texts and themes. Students are taught to think critically and independently, writing essays to a high standard, developing teamwork and creating exciting and mature original theatre using the ideologies of practitioners such as Artaud, Brecht, Stanislavski and physical theatre practitioners such as Frantic Assembly, Gecko and Theatre Ad Infinitum. The course is fully accredited and is accepted as such by all universities.
Knowledge and experience of drama is useful, but not a prerequisite of studying the course at A Level. The course is a combination of both practical and theoretical and analytical work, and the theory exams require a good standard of English and English literature, preferably a grade B or above at GCSE.
Related subjects at Sixth Form
Drama can be studied alongside any number of subjects, although it does perhaps best lend itself to English literature, ethics and philosophy, classics, art, modern foreign languages and English language. The course is also sometimes chosen as a contrasting skill set, alongside sciences or maths.
Where could it lead?
Drama is particularly useful as a skill set for jobs requiring public relations or ‘performing’ in a role – teaching, law, journalism, media and management all require confidence and teamwork, key skills developed by the course. It is also important for any students wishing to pursue a career in the arts.
Further important information
The course is demanding and challenging, asking for considerable commitment outside the timetabled day, especially during peak performance periods. It is by no means an ‘easy option’ as it develops a wide range of skills and abilities, requiring the application of complex theoretical ideologies to a number of texts. Students are given the opportunity to see a wide variety of live theatre; several of our visits are researched and motivated by the students themselves as part of their own enrichment and in response to group interest. We also often attend workshops run by leading theatre practitioners including Scene Productions.