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La Retraithe Sixth Form

Drama and Theatre

Studying Drama and Theatre at the La Retraite 6

Exam Board: Pearson/Edexcel

Entry Criteria: 5 GCSE Level 5 grades including Drama, English Literature and English Language

Why study this course?

This course will not only develop practical skills in Drama but will enrich aesthetic awareness of theatre. Through a combination of analysis, discussion and active participation, students will gain a fuller understanding of the performing arts.

Students should be keen on acting and have some feeling for the visual and technical aspects of theatre. Central to progression and achievement on the course, is the opportunity to visit theatres and to produce and perform students own work and the scripted works of notable playwrights.

The course will bring students into contact with professional theatre practitioners, to further enhance your skills in theatrical expression, review, and analysis.

What will I learn?

Component 1:  Devising.   

They learn to collaborate, co-operate, communicate, and become creative through independent research and exploration of theatrical techniques.

Component 2: Text in Performance.

Students are to perform in two extracts, from published scripts, one group piece and one monologue or duologue. Acting and theatrical interpretation, communicating and developing a rapport with an audience are skills that are developed and refined.

Component 3: Theatre makers in Practice

Written Examination

Students write responses in timed conditions after working practically as a performer, designer, director, and audience member. Evaluative and analytical skills are developed, besides a perceptive and enquiring stance and understanding of theatrical, creative aesthetic and technical aspects.

How will I be taught?

Students are taught for 6 lessons per week and by two teachers in the department, Mrs Masoliver and Miss Clarke. Lessons combine practical activity and theoretical and evaluative written tasks.

The main teaching space for A Level Drama is a purpose-built studio which is used for lessons, workshops, and examination performances. We also make use of a dance studio space, equipped with mirrors, dance barre and portable stage lighting.

How many hours a week of private study are recommended?

Average 6 hours per week, though more time during rehearsal periods in Autumn and Spring terms.

You’ll enjoy this course if…

If you enjoy acting, directing, exploring, devising, collaborating, communicating, analysing, and evaluating…. consider opting to study A level Drama and Theatre.

All areas of the course both curricular and extra-curricular will inspire and develop your inquiring mind and expressive disposition. Students do not need to have studied GCSE Drama to be considered for the course.

Course description

Component 1:  Devising.   

Using a key extract from a performance text and a theatre practitioner as stimuli, students devise an original piece of drama with a written portfolio for final examination.

Component 2: Text in Performance.

Students are to perform in two extracts, from published scripts., one group piece and one monologue or duologue.

Component 3: Theatre makers in Practice Written Examination 

After viewing a range of theatrical productions, students compose a written response, evaluating live theatre.

After exploring performance and design elements of August Wilson’s text, Fences, students answer two questions.

After exploring Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, and studying practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski, students develop a directorial interpretation of the text, that is recorded through a response to an examination question.

Enrichment

  • Students visit the theatre regularly (at least once per half term) to review the work of professional productions and develop their creative and aesthetic awareness of the subject.
  • Students have had extensive experience of performing in plays and attending workshops and productions at the Young Vic theatre. Many have also obtained work placements at the theatre.  The school has had a firm relationship with theatre for over 20 years.
  • Students have been successful in becoming members of the National Youth Theatre.
  • Students have achieved distinctions in Guildhall Drama examinations
  • Students have received a variety of workshops from theatre practitioners.
  • Students are encouraged to instruct, perform, and promote the subject to students in lower years.
  • Students direct and stage manage a performance with cast members, as part of La Retraite Theatre Company.

Assessment

Component 1: 

  • Devising.   80 marks. 40% of the qualification
  • Portfolio = 60 marks Performance = 20 marks.
  • Internally assessed and externally moderated.

Component 2: Text in Performance.

  • 60 marks. 20% of the qualification
  • Group performance = 36 marks
  • Monologue/Duologue = 24 marks
  • Externally assessed by visiting examiner

Component 3: Theatre makers in Practice

  • Written Examination: 2 hours 30 minutes. 80 marks. 40% of the qualification
  • Component 3, Section A: Live Theatre Evaluation = 20 marks
  • Component 3, Section B: Page to Stage: Realising a Performance Text. = 36 marks
  • Component 3, Section C: Interpreting a Performance Text = 24 marks
  • Externally assessed.