GCSE Drama

Why should I study this subject?

If you love all things theatre and want to perform then this is the course for you!

If you love all things theatre but don’t want to perform then this is also the course for you!

GCSE Drama has a practical and creative focus. You will develop your skills in performing and creating drama, designing set, costume, lighting, sound and more. Through drama, you will explore a variety of issues affecting our society today. The course offers the opportunity to stage some of the most famous and influential contemporary plays, to experience work of a variety of theatre practitioners and to visit the theatre to see and critically analyse live productions. You will also be able to build on your social and personal skills such as teamwork, listening, concentration, communication, self-awareness, problem solving, self esteem and confidence.

What will I study?

The course requires you to work practically and creatively. You will build on a range of social skills as well as performance skills. You will extend your ability to create drama and theatre (working from a script and a stimulus), either in a performing or production role. You will also be required to write about drama and to develop your powers of analysis to become an informed critic. The course will involve taking part in drama productions, as well as studying plays and playwrights.

In the first stages of the course, you will develop your devising skills and practically explore how to create drama from a variety of starting points. Through the further study of Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud, you will gain a practical understanding of the key features of Epic Theatre, Naturalism and Theatre of Cruelty. Technical Theatre workshops will enable you to explore set, lighting, sound and costume design.

As the course progresses, you will practically explore the set text, DNA by Dennis Kelly, from the perspective of a performer, director and designer. You will apply your knowledge in well-structured written responses which will focus on character and scene analysis, structure, content and style as well as interrogating the production elements of set, lighting, sound and costume design.

In the latter part of the course, you will enhance your performance and/or technical skills and complete an externally assessed group or individual scripted piece. You will also watch a live performance and analyse and evaluate the ways in which different performance and production elements are brought together to create theatre.

The course is made up of three components:

Component 1: Devising – 40% of final grade
You will create, develop and perform a devised piece based on a stimulus. Analyse and evaluate the devising process and performance via a written Portfolio.

Component 2: Performance from Text – 20% of final grade
Scripted performance to a visiting examiner. A group performance or a monologue/duologue. You must perform/design two key extracts.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice – 40% of final grade
Section A: Bringing Texts to Life – DNA questions. Section B: Live Theatre Evaluation

You may complete Components 1 and 2 as a performer or designer or a combination of both of these roles.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1 is internally assessed and externally moderated (coursework) in two parts: 1) a portfolio covering the creating and developing process and analysis and evaluation of this process. This takes the form of written evidence between 1500–2000 words. 2) a devised performance or design realisation.

Component 2 is an externally assessed (either by visiting examiner or by examiner assessing a recording) performance or design realisation of two extracts from a published script.

Component 3 is externally assessed through a one and three-quarter hour written examination. The examination is in two sections. Section A consists of one question broken into five parts (short and extended responses) based on an unseen extract from the chosen performance text and Section B consists of two questions focusing on your ability to analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance you have seen. You are allowed to bring in theatre evaluation notes of up to a maximum of 500 words.

What skills will I learn?

Your performance and design skills will be developed and enhanced. You will learn how to apply knowledge and understanding when making, performing and responding to drama. You will develop an understanding of theatrical conventions and develop a range of theatrical skills along with an understanding of how to apply them to create performances. You will learn about the roles and processes undertaken in contemporary professional theatre practice.

Many of the skills learnt within the course are transferable. You will develop a multitude of skills, including collaboration, communication and an understanding of how to amend and refine work in order to make progress. You will learn how important it is to be approachable as a person and how to manage time carefully, along with the development of your self-confidence.

Being creative is a great way to get your brain to think differently and take different approaches to situations. You will show and reveal your creativity when developing ideas. You’ll learn how to organise and enhance your skills as a creative practitioner. You’ll also learn the skills to work effectively as part of a team. You will develop key life skills – confidence, independence, teamwork and collaboration skills, as well as self-discipline, motivation and commitment.

How will they subject help to develop my sense of character and culture?

GCSE Drama will help you to become a confident member of society, to celebrate diversity, to achieve your aspirations through creativity and commitment and help you to secure a better understanding of your own values. All of this will be achieved through the study and creation of theatre performance and/or design from a range of cultures and styles, touching on topics that challenge your perspectives.

Where can this subject take me?

This GCSE can lead to further study in Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts at A Level or Level 3 BTEC and then at degree, and may lead on to a career in the performing arts industries.

However, Drama is not just about performing. The skills that you gain from this subject can help you in any career that requires teamwork, communication,
listening skills, creative thinking, problem solving and cooperation. Students who have previously studied GCSE Drama have gone on to study law, medicine and engineering.

Where can I find out more?

What other subjects complement my learning in this qualification?

The Curriculum Team

Mrs M Cutler
Subject Leader of Performing Arts
Mrs C Hunt
Teacher of Performing Arts
Ms S Preston
Dance Instructor