Increasing Confidence And Communication Skills

Exam Board and Specification Codes: Edexcel (9DR0)

Why Study drama and Theatre a-level?

Drama and Theatre is a popular subject as it complements many others, particularly the Arts and Humanities subjects. Even if pupils are not planning on studying Drama and Theatre beyond A-Level, it not only broadens knowledge of and deepens an interest in theatre, but can also increase confidence, communication skills and encourage analytical discussion.

Experience or knowledge of theatre is not an essential entry requirement, but students wishing to take the subject should be creative and have the ability to use their imagination. As the students need to work together as an ensemble, to create their practical pieces, it is very important that the students commit to the rehearsal process.

What is Covered by the Course?

Every effort is made for the course to be as creative and as practical as possible. It is also important to create a healthy group dynamic and consequently a supportive, nurturing environment.

There are two practical components with some coursework and there is a written exam at the end of Year 2. The practical exams will be performed in a professional theatre space and are interchangeable, depending on the group's needs.


It is important that the students feel comfortable working with each other practically and so time is spent working on and improving their practical skills. We will look at a variety of practitioners and stimuli, including text and plays seen, to develop their ideas and to increase their creativity.

The focus is on practical work which reflects 21st-century theatre practice and develops students’ skills that support progression to further study of drama and a wide range of subjects. The components are designed to engage students and encourage creativity:

Component 1 – Devising

Students work in a group, as either a performer or a designer, to create a piece of exciting theatre, linked to a selected extract and practitioner. The students perform their work to an invited audience, in a professional theatre. Students are also assessed on their portfolio, which explores the development of their ideas and research. The portfolio can either be written or can be approached verbally.

Component 3 – Theatre Makers in Practice

Students are required to answer a question on live theatre, for which they can refer to notes, and two different plays, linking one with a practitioner. When exploring the texts students do so practically and take notes, which can be revisited for their exam. In YEAR 1 we will focus on one text. We will see a variety of plays, which will help students with their practical work, as it will inspire their creativity. Live theatre will also enable them to answer exam questions on acting, to other production elements; such as lighting and costume.


We will continue to see Live Theatre and explore a variety of plays, which will enable the students to not only find a play that is suitable for the group to perform but also help the students find a suitable monologue too.

Component 2 – Text in Performance

Students explore a text practically and theoretically. They are taught to explore the interrelationship between performance text and influential theatre practitioners. Students work as a group on a selected play, as performers or designers, and perform their piece. They are also required to prepare either a monologue or a duologue, from a different text. Their practical performances are performed in front of an invited audience, in a professional working theatre. Throughout this unit students make notes on their development of ideas etc.

Component 3 – Theatre Makers in Practice

Students explore a selected complete performance text as theatre makers and consider how it might be realised from ‘page to stage’. Students also attend many live theatre performances, that they interpret, analyse and evaluate. Being in the heart of London means that students can easily access a wealth of theatre from Fringe to the West End. The course tutor helps the students develop a variety of dramatic and theatrical skills, enabling them to grow creatively, critically and imaginatively.

In Year 2 we will look at the play 'Woyzeck' by Buchner and the students will look at how they could make their production relevant to a modern audience. They will also link their performance to Brecht and look at the context of the play.

How is it Examined?

Component 1 – Devising

Internally assessed and externally moderated; 80 marks; 40% of the qualification.

Component 2 – Text in Performance

Assessed by a visiting examiner; 60 marks; 20% of the qualification.

Component 3 – Theatre Makers in Practice

Written exam; 80 marks; 40% of the qualification.

Related University Courses and Careers?

Drama not only helps students to obtain acting skills, but also listening and communication skills, which are vital for academic life and many subsequent careers. As our pupils grow in confidence, they learn to analyse performances critically and give and receive constructive feedback. For example, pupils are invited to study and critically assess the work of established theatre practitioners such as Stanislavski and Brecht, in order that they gain knowledge and understanding of how drama communicates to an audience.

Theatre Studies works well with all Arts and Humanities subjects and any field where communication skills are important.