Drama & Theatre

Exam Board

Additional Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE drama if taken and grade 6 in GCSE English literature AND English language. Grade 5 in GCSE mathematics.
Recent performance experience needed if no GCSE drama

Course Content

Why drama & theatre?
This course will provide you with an opportunity to analyse, direct and perform a wide range of plays. The emphasis is on learning from practical work. You will have the opportunity to gain confidence through performing devised and scripted plays. You will learn how to work as a team and communicate effectively, gaining confidence that will help you in all aspects of your life. You will also be able to analyse plays from a performer’s, designer’s and director’s perspective and gain an understanding of the playwright’s intentions. Many students go on to study drama at Russell Group universities or train to be actors at prestigious drama schools.
We offer a wide range of theatre trips which will include experimental and more traditional productions and tours of theatres. You will also take part in workshops run by visiting practitioners like Frantic Assembly and Splendid Productions. Our drama hall is equipped with a full lighting rig and sound system, a conventional proscenium arch stage and moveable seating to create more intimate acting spaces. Productions are well attended and successful. Our teachers are very experienced and have worked professionally in theatre and television.
Course content
You will have the opportunity to study five texts from a diverse range of plays, both classic and contemporary and work with at least two different theatre practitioners.
You will devise your own original piece of theatre as well as being directed in a production and you will explore how to develop your own concept as a director. The emphasis will be on creating a brave ensemble of actors and directors who are not afraid to take risks and develop a wide range of skills.
Mark scheme
Internally assessed - 40%
Performance and coursework
  • An original piece of theatre
  • Writing a portfolio of coursework
Externally assessed - 20%
Text in performance
  • A group performance of a play
  • A monologue or duologue
Externally assessed - 40%
Written exam
Theatre makers in practice
  • A live theatre review
  • Interpretation of the staging of Machinal by Sophie Treadwell
  • Creating a concept for a production of Woyzeck by Georg Büchner

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the headings below.

Where will my lessons take place?

Practical lessons take place in the college hall, which is a fantastic rehearsal space. We are simultaneously time-tabled to an adjacent classroom which enables us to manoeuvre effortlessly between practical and theory work. Analysis of the set texts (Machinal by Sophie Treadwell and Woyzeck by Buchner) take place in the classroom.

Where will I perform?

Performances take place in the college hall, which has tiered moveable seating and a full lighting rig. It is a wonderfully adaptable space, in which we have staged productions in the round, in traverse and in thrust as well as more conventional end on pieces of work.
Exam performances are always well attended by parents, teachers and fellow students.

I took Drama for GCSE how different is A level?

The components you are required to study are not that different; devising, performing, analysing text and live performance. However, the depth of understanding and creativity required to do well is far greater than at GCSE.
Often students have found that at GCSE level they have been the main motivator during group work; studying with others who are less passionate than themselves. At A level the entire cohort is passionate about the subject, which can be both rewarding and challenging.

I didn’t take Drama GCSE, can I still take A level?

Yes, we do not require that you have taken Drama GCSE. However, you must have had a good range of performance experience, otherwise you will struggle on the course.

How will I be examined?

In year 12 you will complete a Devising Unit which is worth 40% of your overall A-level. This is divided into the practical development and performance of a devised piece of theatre and a written portfolio.
In year 13 you will complete the text in performance practical exam, in which you will perform a monologue or duologue and a group piece to an external examiner. This is worth 20% of your overall A level.
Your final assessment will be a written examination, worth 40%, in which you will explore two texts from the perspective of a director, and write an evaluation of a live theatre performance.

Where could taking Drama and Theatre Studies lead me?

Those wishing to pursue a career in acting go on to study at Drama schools such as Rada, Central and Lamda. Others choose a more academic path and will complete Drama and Theatre Studies degrees at Universities such as Manchester and Birmingham. We are always happy to help with audition monologues and interview practice.
However, there are a broad range of future options for Drama and Theatre Studies students and we have alumni who have gone on to Oxbridge, or to study Law, Psychology, English Literature. It is an academic qualification respected by university admissions and seen as reflecting an individual’s resilience, co-operation and creativity.

What skills will I gain?

You will learn industry specific skills in acting, directing, devising and dramaturgy. However, you will also learn transferable skills such as articulating ideas, analysing written text and visual connotations, leadership, collaboration, and refining work for an external audience.

Will I enjoy it?

Without a doubt. Theatre studies is a rare opportunity to really explore your own creativity in a supportive environment.
Hornsey School for Girls
“People take drama a lot more seriously at A level, everyone here is passionate about it. They are studying because they want to and are really invested. It’s so much more fulfilling.
The confidence that drama gives you helps you in every-day life, it’s important and powerful.”
Woodside High School
“Drama is applicable to every single career because when you go in to interviews, seminars or meetings, no matter how business like or academic you are, you have to be able to perform and speak in front of people.
I enjoy Woodhouse - it’s taught me to be autonomous with my studies.”

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