Drama & Theatre Studies

How does an actor bring a role to life on stage? What influences the way a director approaches a script? How do you evaluate the success of a
live theatre performance? Where do you start when creating your own performance piece?

In Drama and Theatre Studies, we will learn to do all of the above and more. You will explore the diversity of the world of theatre and learn to analyse, interpret and create imaginative performances. While this A Level is academic, it is an active, creative course which aims to nurture your enthusiasm for theatre, as a performer, director, writer and member of the audience.

“Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion and the beginning of morality” Ian McEwan

Through drama, pupils encounter good writing, talented authors and meaningful characters. They learn self-discipline by memorising lines, attending rehearsals and working to deadlines. The risk and excitement of live performance encourages them to take responsibility while working as part of a team, whether on stage or providing technical support. Drama can provide the most memorable experiences in a pupil’s school career and foster a lifelong appreciation of the arts.

Lower School

The introduction of core dramatic techniques and theatre conventions provides pupils with the tools to explore a range of stimuli: music, poetry, art, stories, plays and issues. This history of theatre is also brought to life through practical improvisations. Pupils are encouraged to become creative thinkers, clear communicators and confident performers.

Middle School

At GCSE the drama student learns to evaluate as well as to create and perform. They devise work that explores themes and issues, as well as taking a script from the page to the stage through either acting or design. They begin to work more critically by becoming theatre reviewers in their own right.

“Drama has helped me to grow, not only as a performer but also as a person. It has filled me with confidence and ambition, and affirmed my love for the subject which I had never loved that way before” Year 11 drama student

Sixth Form

The theoretical study of practitioners, theatre history and theatrical genres underpin practical explorations, encouraging you to interpret text in challenging and innovative ways. You will perform published scripts, and you will learn to devise and write your own work. The course provides you with transferable skills, including team work, problem solving and the ability to deal with challenging situations, that are desirable in
many different careers. 

We currently study the Edexcel syllabus and offer the two-year linear course. This is comprised of the following components:
1. DEVISING 40%
• Creating an original piece of theatre based on a stimulus and a key practitioner. Students can take the role of performer/designer/director.
• A portfolio evidencing the devising process and evaluating the final product.
2. TEXT IN PERFORMANCE 20%
• A group performance of an extract from a professionally published play
• A monologue/duologue from a published play.
3. THEATRE MAKERS IN PRACTICE 40%
(WRITTEN EXAM)
• Evaluation of live theatre
• Deconstruction of a text from page to stage in light of the work of a key practitioner.
• Interpreting a performance text and re-imagining a directorial concept.

To give an idea of the exam results which pupils at Ipswich School achieve at A Level, we have provided an average of the results in Drama and Theatre Studies over the most recent three year period (2015, 2016 and 2017).
Drama and Theatre Studies - % A*- B = 100%

“Thank you for letting us have so much freedom; I don’t think many drama teachers would be brave enough” Sixth Form student

In drama, with great risk comes great reward.