Drama and Theatre A Level

Board: OCR 2024

About the subject

The course demands practical, creative and communication skills in almost equal measure. You will extend your ability to create drama and theatre, either in a performing OR a production role. Collyer’s has an excellent reputation for the quality of its drama work, with many of our students progressing to the top Universities and Drama Schools in the country.

The Head of Subject works professionally as an actor, lyricist, writer and director. He has over two decades of teaching experience at A level and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Candidates get the opportunity to work on devised, contemporary and classical plays. They will be expected to purchase and read set texts, plus pay for a variety of theatre trips during the course. For extra information contact our subject leader for Drama – nk@collyers.ac.uk

Learning styles

You will also be required to write about drama and to develop your powers of analysis to become an informed critic. Candidates will be assessed on their competence in applied practical skills, their appreciation of plays from a director/designer/actor’s viewpoint, their knowledge of theatrical influences and their appreciation of selected practitioners. The course will involve taking part in drama productions, as well as studying plays and playwrights. (Please be aware that most plays to contain adult themes, which may be considered shocking)

Subject Combinations and Progression

Drama & Theatre provides an excellent addition to any rigorous programme of study. Many students seek to combine their interest in theatre with Film Studies, History, Politics, Textiles, Dance, Psychology, English, Music Technology or Design.

Subject Modules and Assessment

A linear A level course, this subject runs for two years. With all asssesments in the second year.

‘Practitioners in Practise’ – Autumn PRACTICAL EXAM 1 (internal – 40% of the A level): Building on  the Theatre of Catastrophe studied in their first year, students will now explore devised work based on physical and musical theatre conventions. Part of the assessment will be a portfolio of rehearsal notes and an essay on two practitioners.

‘Exploring and performing texts’ – Spring PRACTICAL EXAM 2: Including a proforma, the students will be examined on a performance of a text (15-45mins) of the centre’s choosing.

‘Analysing Performance’ – June WRITTEN EXAM 1 (20% of the Alevel): Students will look at the thematic of heroes/villains in relation to Total Theatre and Renaissance Theatre. They will also analyse ‘live’ performances they have seen (which cannot be pre-recorded).

‘Deconstructing Text’ – June WRITTEN EXAM 2 (20% of the Alevel): Students will study Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’, from the perspective of how they would present the script to an audience.

Subject Entry requirements

4 in English – due to a sizable written element. No previous Drama experience is required. Students can choose between the acting or the technician pathway.