Drama and Theatre A Level
Drama and Theatre
A Level Exam Board: AQA
This course requires previous experience of Drama GCSE with a grade 7 or comparable experience of work in the theatre. All students must have an understanding of how to analyse text in performance, as well as be capable of applying methodologies of different practitioners to practical work. Technical candidates should possess secure performance skills, as set texts are explored practically. Given the theoretical and analytical demands of the A Level in Drama and Theatre, all candidates should have attained grade 7 or above in English Language or Literature at GCSE.
Drama and Theatre is widely accepted as a valuable subject for degree courses such as English Literature, Film Studies, Law and Psychology, alongside Drama courses and specialist Drama Schools. Students develop core skills such as creative thinking, analysis, problem-solving and communication, leading to employment opportunities across creative industries, the legal sector, technological innovation and public-facing roles.
Structure of course:
Drama and Theatre is a demanding but exhilarating course, offering students the opportunity to engage with a range of cultural discourses that challenge our perceptions of what constitutes dramatic art, and what it is for. A heavy emphasis is placed on applying theoretical ideas to performance, justifying practical decisions in relation to a practitioner or director’s intentions and creating innovative new theatre.
Component 1: Drama & Theatre: Written examination: 3 hours (40%)
Section A: one question (from a choice) on Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen (25 marks)
Section B: one three part question on a given extract from The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (30 marks)
Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (25 marks)
Component 2: Creating Original Drama: Internally assessed, externally moderated (30%)
Pupils participate in the creation, research, development and performance of an original piece of devised drama, in the style of a selected Theatre Practitioner. Pupils complete a working notebook throughout the devising process (40 marks) before giving their final performance (20 marks.)
Component 3: Making Theatre: Externally assessed by a visiting examiner (30%)
Pupils study and practically explore three extracts from three contrasting play texts. The third extract is rehearsed in the style of a selected Theatre Practitioner, and performed to a visiting examiner (40 marks). A reflective report is completed, documenting the opportunities & challenges of each extract, alongside the pupils’ theatrical interpretations of each.
* Components 2 and 3 can be studied from the perspective of actor, director or designer. Component 1 requires a firm understanding of all three.
“The mission of the theatre, after all, is to change, to raise the consciousness of people to their human possibilities.” – Arthur Miller