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Theatre Studies: A level linear, NO AS qualification at St Richard Reynolds Catholic College

Course description

What is it about?
A level Drama and Theatre is an exciting and inspiring course which prepares learners for further study in Higher Education. This highly practical specification provides learners with the opportunity to work as either performers and/or designers on three different performances. 

In Component 1, learners re-interpret a text to create a piece of theatre which is a combination of the selected text and original ideas. In Component 2, learners engage with a stimulus to create two pieces of theatre: one an interpretation of a text of their choice and the other a devised piece.

Who does it suit?
Are you curious about issues and ideas and have a creative instinct for communicating your views through drama? Are you keen on acting, writing or on the visual and technical side of theatre? Are you interested in going to the theatre to see plays?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, Drama and Theatre Studies is probably for you. The course promotes a balance between practical theatre making and the theoretical understanding of drama and theatre, and suits students with an interest in performance - behind the scenes or centre stage!

Course content

In the first year you will study:
You will study Components 1 and 2 - which are designed to encourage you to make connections between dramatic theory and your own practice. While preparing your practical work, you will explore the work of two theatre practitioners (individuals or companies) of your choice and then apply your research to your performance or design. You will also be required to watch at least two live theatre productions and learn about the processes and practices involved in interpreting and performing theatre.

In the second year you will study:
You will focus on Component 3, where you will explore two complete performance texts and one extract from a third text. There is an exciting and diverse list of texts to choose from; one of these texts will be from pre 1956, and the other is a contemporary text.

In addition to timetabled lessons, this subject requires 3 hours of private study and performance practice per week.

Entry requirements

Minimum 5 GCSE Grade 4 - 9 including English Language and Mathematics.

GCSE Grade 6 Drama or GCSE English Literature. 

It is important that you are interested in gaining a greater understanding of how theatre and plays work, and that you are keen to be involved in performances.



Component 1: Theatre workshop
What's assessed?
Students participate in the creation, development and performance of one reinterpretation of an extract from a text, using the working methods and techniques of either an influential theatre practitioner or a recognised theatre company. They will be assessed on either acting or design, and will participate in the creation, development and performance of a piece of theatre based on a reinterpretation of an extract from a text chosen from a supplied list. Students must produce a realisation of the performance or design, and also a creative log.

Assessment type:
Non-exam assessment - internally marked and externally moderated.

% of A level?
20% of A level

Compenent 2: Text in Action
What's assessed?

Students will be assessed on either acting or design. Students participate in the creation, development and performance of two pieces of theatre based on a supplied stimulus:
a devised piece using the techniques and working methods of either an influential theatre practitiioner or a recognised theatre company (a different practitioner or company to that chosen for Component 1)
an extract from a text in a different style chosen by the student. Students must realise their performance live for the visiting examiner. Students choosing design must also give a 5-10 minute presentation of their design to the examiner.

Students produce a process and evaluation report within one week of completion of the practical work.

Assessment type:
Non-exam assessment - internally marked and externally moderated

% of A level:
40% of A level

Component 3: Text in Action 
What's assessed?

Sections A and B open book: clean copies (no annotation) of the two complete texts chosen must be taken into the examination.

Two questions, based on different texts, one written pre 1956 and one written post 1956.

Pre 1956: The Trojan Women - Euripides; As You Like It - William Shakespeare; Hedda Gabler - Henrik Ibsen; Machinal - Sophie Treadwell; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Tennessee Williams

Post 1956: Saved, Edward Bond; Accidental Death of an Anarchist - Dario Fo; Racing Demon - David Hare; Love and Information - Caryl Churchill; Chimerica - Lucy Kirkwood

Section C (closed book) - the extract of text required for answering the questions will be printed on the examination paper. A question based on a specific from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens. Details of the 10-15 minute extract will be released during the first week of March, in the year in which the examination is to be taken.

2.5 hours

% of A level?


Future opportunities

A level Drama & Theatre Studies is useful for students considering Higher Education in any arts or humanities subject including English language and literature, journalism, dance, music, art and design, and media studies.

Career opportunities for students who study A level Drama and Theatre Studies include: arts/theatre administration, arts journalism, director, actor, designer, playwright, stage management, theatre management, theatrical agent, technicial, broadcasting, media presenting, education, drama therapy and scriptwriting.

Further information

We will watch a range of live performances and performance styles during the course. This will include local and amateur theatre productions and regular theatre trips to watch more mainstream professional performances.


How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 19 September 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years

Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Ms Gemma Conway
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 020 8325 4630
    • Email address: