‘Drama is life but with the dull bits cut out’, Alfred Hitchcock
Here at Finborough we are passionate about the Performing Arts and introduced A Level Drama in September 2011. We offer a range of opportunities for all pupils to be involved, whether as a performer, designer or critical observer.
Who is the course for? What can it lead to?
Students who have completed GCSE Drama or have a keen interest in developing skills in performance and the theory behind drama. It can lead to entry into Higher Education courses such as degrees in drama, theatre studies, performing arts but also other general courses at university. A Level Drama develops skills for life including; teamwork, creativity, problem solving, confidence building, self-expression and as such is suitable for a variety of different career options.
What will I study? How will I be taught?
You will learn performance and directing skills in practical workshops and will study plays from different societies and eras. You will also discover how to evaluate live performance, and use practitioners’ ideas in your own performance. You will be taught through a combination of workshop activities, rehearsals, theatre visits and performances. You will create and perform your own work, and learn and practice directing skills.
How will I be assessed?
You will begin by exploring two contrasting plays and discovering about a recognised theatre practitioner. The approach is predominately practical with a high level of analysis. Through assessment of your written and practical coursework you will be expected to evidence your understanding, practical skills and ideas.
We will also visit the theatre to review plays and here you will learn how to critique all aspects of a production. At the beginning of the A2 year, you will embark on an exciting project where you will draw on all of your experience, research and ideas to create an original piece of theatre. You will be assessed on your rehearsal process, your performance and asked to write a detailed evaluation.
For your written exam, you are given the wonderful opportunity to explore a play from the point of view of a Director, develop your own production ideas and write a critique of a historic play you have seen, drawing comparisons with the plays original performance context.
Is the course for me?
You need to be enthusiastic about acting and theatre: watching it, doing it, talking about it and writing about it. Team-work is an essential element to the course. Students need to be reliable in their attendance and punctuality, they need to like working creatively in groups and enjoy sharing and experimenting with ideas.
There needs to be a willingness and independence in taking direction and developing both practical and academic skills. If you love drama and the theatre and are able to commit your time and energy to your work, you will have a great time on this course!
Student performances will usually take place in professional theatres in Suffolk – The Apex, Bury Theatre Royal and Dance East. You will be invited on several trips to the theatre and so you have experience to draw upon in your work. Recently we have run residential trips to New York and London, giving students the opportunity to take part in Master classes with professional actors, take backstage tours and see outstanding West End and Broadway productions.