Course Description

The Drama and Theatre course offers you the opportunity to explore drama as a practical art form, in which ideas and meaning are communicated to an audience through choices of form, style and convention. You will create, perform and respond to drama and theatre. In addition you will develop creativity and independence to become an effective theatre maker. It is vital to highlight that the course explores the relationship between theory and practice in a range of theatrical styles and periods and historical, social and cultural contexts. As a theatre student you will have the opportunity to learn how relevant research, independent thought and analysis of live theatre productions can inform decision making in their practical work and put this understanding into practice.

Course Content & How am I assessed?

Component 1 – Practitioners in Performance (practical and theory: 40% – exam board moderated)

Design route available in this component
Students will practically explore the work of theatre practitioners and to use the skills/knowledge gained to explore text and create devised theatre as either an actor or a designer. Students are required to practically explore two practitioners and an extract from a performance text. This component is practically based allowing students to explore and experience the key ideas and methodologies in theatre. Students then use the skills they have acquired throughout the component to create a piece of devised theatre within a performance or design route.
Evidence required from this component is: one research report, one devising journal (presented in a variety of ways to suit the student) and a performance. 

Component 2 – Exploring and Performing Texts (practical: 20% – visiting examiner)

The aim of this component is to use acting skills to communicate the meaning in a performance text to an audience. Students are required to study one performance text in its entirety and work collaboratively to perform part of the text. Students and teachers will collaborate when choosing a text to ensure it stretches, challenges and engages the students. 
Evidence required from this component is: a scripted performance. 

Component 3 – Analysing Performances (written paper 1: 20%)

This component consists of two sections. The aim of Section A is to enable learners to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how extracts from the chosen texts can be rehearsed and interpreted in performance, showing an awareness of characterisation, performance style, genre and context. The aim of Section B is to allow students to analyse and evaluate live theatre. Students will explore how characters can be interpreted and developed ready for a performance. This component is assessed through a written exam but preparation must include practical study. 
Section A will include study of two different performance texts; Nick Dear – Frankenstein AND Timberlake Wertenbaker – The Love of a Nightingale  which explores the themes of heroes and villains.
Students must explore practically the opening 10 minutes of each text and at least three additional scenes from across the text. 

Component 3 – Deconstructing Texts (written paper 2: 20%)

Students will explore the creative possibilities of staging the chosen performance text – the text will be chosen as a group to ensure students are fully engaged, have a vision and challenged. This component is assessed through a written exam but preparation must and will consist of practical study. Students are required to explore the performance text practically through the role of the director. Students will deconstruct the text and explore how any of its scenes can be staged and performed for an audience. Students will analyse and interpret the performance text in depth.

How will the course be delivered?

In year 12 students will deepen and master their knowledge on the different theatre practitioners. They will then begin to explore and complete the work required for Practitioners in Performance. During Year 12 they will also begin to prepare and develop the skills required for Section A and B of Paper 1: Analysing Performances.

In year 13 students will begin to read, analyse and practically explore the text they will present to a visiting examiner for Paper 2: Exploring and Performing Texts. Throughout Year 13 students will also begin to deconstruct texts through the theatrical role of the director, whilst revising for Paper 1: Analysing Performances. 


Playtexts will be selected on the group that have chosen that year and will be shared with you the summer before you begin the course.

Practitioner books: The Frantic Assembly book of Devising, Brecht for Beginners – Micheal Thoss, The Director’s Craft – Katie Mitchell

What could I do next?

Following successful completion of the course you could further your studies by applying for University or Conservatoires that specialise in Drama, Performance, Technical Theatre and Theatre studies. By applying for courses that will continue to develop your skills and knowledge it will open doors to other training opportunities and career routes, such as; a masters, education, critical writing and therapy, as well as working in theatres. If you would rather choose immediate employment then this course may support you in applications to theatre settings; apprenticeship roles within the theatre or theatre companies. The skills you will develop from this course will support you in any role.