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DRAMA AND THEATRE

A LEVEL

What a performance! Learn the art of stagecraft and put on a show with Xaverian.

The word theatre comes from the Greek word ‘Theatron’, meaning the ‘seeing place’. It is the place where people come to see the truth about life and the social situation. The theatre is a spiritual and social x-ray of its time. At the core of the subject, Drama and Theatre is about how we effectively communicate with each other. How we develop our speaking skills so we can be better understood. How we develop our physical abilities to have control and presence. We develop our emotional control and empathy so we can better understand each other and the world we live in.

On this course, you will become Performers, Directors and Designers, exploring how the great theatre makers approach drama, and how varied and unique the creation of theatre can be. Are you interested in educating through story and song like Kerry Frampton or Bertolt Brecht? Do you want to transport an audience to a different world like Mike Shepherd or Emma Rice? Create something powerful that calls out for social change like Augusto Boal or Abbi Greenland? Or express formidable emotion though dance and new language like Amit Lahav or Antonin Artaud?

Don’t worry if you haven’t studied Drama at GCSE. What we’re looking for is resilient, hard-working students with a passion for creativity.

LESSON TIME!

At Xaverian, Drama and Theatre is all about growing into your theatrical role – whether as an actor, producer, technician or designer.

During today’s lesson your Curriculum Leader, Mr Mitchell, will take you through an exercise to understand how you create your character through analysing the playwright’s work.

Through experience, your actor’s toolkit becomes an indispensable resource. It’s there to help us create characters unlike ourselves that will help fully immerse our audiences in the story we’re presenting.

Today you’ll be breaking down a script to think through how you’d perform a role.

You’ve got to be a super sleuth as an actor, working with your director to interpret what the playwright meant by taking cues through subtle hints and nuances.

First think through the character’s physicality. Body language, gesture, facial expressions, stance, posture, mannerisms all play an important part in characterisation.

How would that character sound? Accents, volume, enunciation, pace and pitch are important to be believable.

And what are this character’s traits – such as their personality, vices and virtues. Is this character happy or sad?

You’re now starting to understand the character. And to gain additional inspiration we often reference the work of theatre greats such as Stanislavski, Brecht or Berkoff.

Put all this knowledge together and you’ll rock your audience.

Analysing characters will be a regular feature of your time as a Drama and Theatre student at Xaverian. Prepare to make fast friends with yellow highlighter pens and circled phrases as you bring scripts to life!

Play Video

What’s next?

Accordion Content

Popular roles for those devoted to Drama include:

  • Actor
  • Choreographer
  • Community arts worker
  • Music producer
  • Presenter
  • Runner
  • Talent agent
  • Theatre manager

Alternatively you might want to teach – your skills acquired from this course will be very handy in inspiring tomorrow’s leaders. Or you might want to get into a communications-related career – such as journalism.

Drama and Theatre is genuinely a life-changing experience, so many of our students go on to study performance-related degrees. There are lots of universities that specialise in drama and dance courses – and on the Complete University Guide website, our neighbours the University of Manchester were number two in the UK as we wrote this (between Glasgow and Warwick).

The University of Manchester offers Drama, Drama and Film Studies and Drama and English Literature.

Other Xaverian students have gone on to Law, Acting, Psychology, English and Creative Writing courses. You’ll be expert in communications through your Drama and Theatre A-level so you might also consider PR and Marketing courses to put your skills to the test in a whole new world.

Theatre Workshop: 

Practical Examination & coursework

Text in Action: 

Practical Examination & coursework

Text in Performance: 

Written Examination

Entry requirements:

Six good passes at GCSE including two at grade 6 or above

Course specific entry requirements:

Grade 5 from English (4 will be considered)

Course duration:

2 years

Assessment methods:

Exams & coursework

Course type:

Linear A-level

Exam board:

Eduqas

You will be working in a practical setting, exploring texts, theatrical conventions and performance techniques. You will also evaluate and respond to a director’s approach to production by writing about the rehearsal process, technical and design elements, the historical context of theatre, and the impact of the performers on the audience.

With over 15 productions staged each year your Drama teachers are committed to getting the very best out of you, and offer practical support with rehearsals, written coursework and audition preparation for university and drama school.

The reputation Xaverian has is amazing, and I feel like the approach the College has to teaching was more suitable for me. I enjoyed my Drama lessons the most as I was able to express myself and build my confidence. The tutorials also help prepare you for university and also get you thinking about the career you want to do in the future.

Lara Morris, Drama and Theatre

Why study Drama and Theatre at Xaverian?

Every year, our casts are made up of current Drama students as well as those who are not studying Drama at A-level. It does not matter how much experience you have; everyone is welcome to get involved in extra-curricular productions through the Enrichment programme. Some of our performers have never even been in a play before.

Over the last three years, we have performed productions of comedies such as The Importance of Being Earnest, Two and The 39 Steps alongside more political performances such as Animal Farm.

Teachers Mr Mitchell and Miss Cotter are subject specialists with industry experience, and a track record of successfully supporting students through Drama School auditions. 

As such, ex-Xaverian Drama students currently work within theatre, television and film, including for the BBC and ITV, and with The National Theatre, the RSC and many other theatre companies.

Ex-students are always welcome back to help nurture new talent, creating a Xaverian Drama network of contacts for those who want to work in this field. Recently we were proud to see ex-student Wunmi Mosaku win Best Supporting Actress at the BAFTA Awards.

RELATED COURSES

If you’re considering DRAMA and theatre you might also want to check out:

COMPLEMENTARY COURSES

YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING COURSES ALONGSIDE DRAMA AND THEATRE:

English Language/Literature

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