DRAMA (A Level and IB)
“Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it; it is a rehearsal for the revolution.” - Augusto Boal
Both Drama options in the Sixth Form inspire students to become independent and confident theatre-makers. These skills are combined with engendering strong academic nous: an ability to laterally analyse is key to forming cohesive awareness of fundamental cultural, interpersonal and social constructs, and have led to impressive university destinations for our graduates.
In the A level specification, practical creativity is emphasised alongside collaboration, analytical research and deeply-embedded theoretical understanding. Students learn through first-hand experience; by seeing and critiquing others’ live theatre and in making new theatre for themselves. In the process, they are introduced to a wide range of theatrical styles through workshops exploring numerous set texts from a wide range of social, historical and political contexts. This affords a bold explorative journey which consistently equips students with a wider awareness of resilience, flexibility, negotiation and compromise for life.
The IB course is focused on theatre as a form of creative and cultural enquiry. Topics are studied as much through workshop praxis as research in private study. By centring on the symbiosis of ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’, the course enables rigorous, holistic and personalised dramatic exploration. The course encourages you to explore the international diversity of arts practice and differing historical viewpoints, as seen through self-constructed drama and communicated by theatre practitioners across genres. This demands pro-active collaboration between you and your teachers in all aspects of the course, including Theatre in the World, Making, and Performance. You will need to be able to research, positively engage in practical work, and to regularly record your progress in a journal. From these, you complete a Director’s Notebook, a Research Presentation, Collaborative Project, and a Solo Theatre Piece (Higher Level only and not necessarily as a performer). In the ‘on stage’ world, study embraces a range of skills from acting to dramaturgy, from set design to sound. ‘Off stage’ it incorporates a host of managerial and production skills from publicity to event management and accounting. Spirit of openness to taking risks is key to success in all of these endeavours.
Both of these qualifications open doors into the world of theatre, film, broadcasting and digital media. The student will gain a wide understanding of the different skills involved and also gain intellectual comprehension of how ‘action research’ impacts on development in these converging spheres. Other professions relying on the confident use of interpersonal skills such as law, advertising, museum curating, teaching and politics are well served by the groundwork of completing these courses.
Beyond the classroom
Alongside course study, there are numerous visits organised to local and London theatres, and the department offers students the chance to participate in enrichment through school productions such as: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’; ‘Oh! What A Lovely War’; ‘The Crucible’; ‘The Tempest’, ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘Oliver!’. We encourage a sense of passion for drama and to gain a better understanding of life in the industry, we often enhance our teaching with visiting workshops from outside practitioners and professionals.