A Level: Drama and Theatre
Course title: Advanced GCE in Drama and Theatre
Exam board: Edexcel
Subject specific entry criteria: Grade 6 in GCSE Drama. If you have not studied GCSE Drama, you will need to be able to prove a performance level that is appropriate for A Level.
The course is designed for students who enjoy exploring plays practically as well as understanding the context of when and why they were written. Students will learn about Drama and Theatre studies from numerous aspects; as directors, designers and performers.
The course is made up of three components. In Component 1 and 2, there is an option for students to be assessed as either a performer or theatrical designer.
Component One consists of the study of one complete performance text and one theatre practitioner. Students will use this as a starting point to devise their own original performance in a group.
Component Two requires students to study two contrasting texts from a performer’s perspective. Students will then perform a monologue/duologue from one key extract from the first text and a group performance from one key extract from the second text.
Component Three consists of a written examination lasting 2 hours 30 minutes. This takes the form of 4 questions split between three sections; a live theatre review, a response to one text from the point of view as a performer and designer and a response to a further text from a director’s perspective, using a practitioner’s influence.
Component One: Devising (9DR0/01) – coursework and practical performance. 80 marks available – 40% of the course. Component one comprises of a portfolio (3000 words) and a devised performance. This component is internally assessed and externally moderated.
Component Two: Text in Performance (9DR0/02) – practical performance.
60 marks available – 20% of the course. Component two is the practical examination and is assessed by a visiting examiner.
Component Three: Theatre Makers in Practice (9DR0/03) – written examination.
80 marks available – 40% of the course. Component three is a written examination and therefore externally assessed.
Progression to the further study of drama falls mainly into 2 pathways post-18: a traditional university-based drama degree or a drama school based professional training course, many of which are to degree level. Drama Schools admit students on the basis of an audition process and the main focus of admission is the potential for training, and therefore future employment in the industry.
Direct links to Drama: Acting, directing, stage management, arts administration, drama teaching, drama therapy, production assisting, presenting, stage design. Other careers: Law, social work, journalism, marketing, administration, HR, architecture, teaching.
How to succeed in Drama and Theatre
A continued interest in drama through extra-curricular involvement in drama societies, productions etc. is desirable. An active interest in watching theatre, reading play texts and researching practitioners and playwrights is recommended. A strong work ethic, ability to self-motivate, work within a team and voice your own directorial ideas are essential.