Drama & Theatre Studies
Why Choose Drama & Theatre Studies?
Studying Drama and Theatre Studies gives students a diverse understanding of both the theory and practice of the subject. Students explore a wide range of play texts, styles, genres, practitioners and companies. All of which have had a significant impact on the world of theatre that we know today. They are required to think creatively and skilfully about how they want to impact their audience and produce theatre that achieves their intention effectively. Students are given opportunities to view live theatre throughout the course. This supports their own practical work, as well as enabling them to develop their analysis of the plays that they explore. Students are required to work effectively with others throughout the course to produce performances for a live audience. The skill set developed throughout the course facilitates a wide range of subjects and futures careers, teaching students to be disciplined, analytical, creative and cooperative.
What will you learn?
Students will learn a pre-1956 set text, a first 1956 set text and ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’. This involves careful analysis and application of personal directorial ideas on acting, and design elements. Within this students are to come up with their concepts for performance of the text, analysing the use of language, directions, context and performance skills.
Students will learn about and explore a wide range of theatre companies and practitioners, developing an understanding of their work. Students will then apply this to their practical performances, working creatively to create a performance for a live audience. Practical performances range between a reimagined text in the first year, to a devised and scripted performance in response to a stimulus in the second year.
Students are required to see a range of live theatre performances throughout the course and apply ideas to their own work, both practically and theoretically.
Why study Drama and Theatre at Ashmole Sixth Form?
The Drama department is situated in its own building alongside Music. There is a fully equipped Drama studio along with two other rehearsal spaces and a number of practise rooms. These are available to students to use during their study time, developing their independence and love for the subject. The department is equipped with a range of play texts and we are keen to take suggestions from students and increase this further. We have a technician to facilitate all technical elements. Three members of staff with a range of skills and different expertise are on hand to teach and support students throughout their learning, facilitating maximum growth and creativity. Each aspect of the course requires different skills, preparing students for University and their future. These include; cooperating effectively with others, presentational and communication skills, an ability to work to a deadline, creativity and the resilience to use a trial and error approach, problem solving skills, the ability to use your initiative and work independently as well as a team.
We believe in students grasping every opportunity to find out more about the world of Drama and Theatre. We organise numerous theatre trips throughout the year and organise external speakers and workshops to come into school to share their expertise and inspire our students.
Recent visits to the theatre have included:
- Things I Know to be True – Frantic Assembly
- The Tin Drum – Kneehigh Theatre Company
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream – The Young Vic
- Woyzeck – The Old Vic
Workshops have included:
- Complicite – at the V&A
- The Paper Birds – Visited Ashmole
Which subjects go well with Drama and Theatre Studies?
Obvious choices would be English Literature, History as both of these subjects will directly inform Drama. Subjects such as Sociology, Psychology and Media Studies also work nicely to support students in their research of the wider world and understanding of people and society, integral when developing an understanding of characters and their complexity. Drama is also an excellent contrast to Mathematics or the Sciences to give students a completely different outlook and develop a diverse skill set to prepare them for the future.
Where it will lead you?
There are a vast number of employment opportunities following Drama and Theatre Studies. It offers students the skills to go onto take any avenue they wish. These include, journalism, teaching, management opportunities, performing, the public services, voluntary organisations and charitable work, even medicine or law.
For more information on subject content structure please click here for the Sixth Form Information Booklet.
For admissions criteria for each subject please click here for the Sixth Form Prospectus
“I chose Drama as it has been close to my heart since I was young. At Ashmole Academy there are a wide range of resources and opportunities available that allow you to hone your skills and creativity. We have large rooms to allow space for rehearsal and practical activities and highly experienced and skilled teachers. Just in these first terms of my A-level career, we have been to two challenging productions and attended a 3 hour work shop with the drama company Complicité. I feel that through this exposure to professional work and craft, I have a better understanding of the world of drama, not just what is included in the specification.
So far in our course we have started work on the plays “The Trojan Woman” by Euripides, “Chimerica” by Lucy Kirkwood, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” adapted by Simon Stephens (from a book written by Mark Haddon) and “Constellations” by Nick Payne. These all discuss incredibly diverse topics, from Autism to quantum mechanics. We work with these ideas to come up with our own interpretation, giving us the creative license needed to make innovative pieces of drama. For example, coming up with our own ‘concept’ or ‘reimagining’ a chosen play.
One of my favourite topics so far has been my ‘concept’, as this has allowed me to not only explore the theory of acting, but also all of the technical aspects that come with producing a theatre production (for example, lighting).
As a Subject Ambassador, I have the opportunity to pitch any ideas about drama to help optimise how we approach the subject. I also help the younger years with drama and attend information evenings to share my love for the subject with those considering opting for it.
After my career at Ashmole I intend to carry on drama at a specialist school. However, if my plans do change, it will have aided me in how I present myself, e.g. my confidence and my cooperation skills.
Drama is great choice for A-Level as you are given the creative licence to craft your performances, you are able to explore your own strengths and limitations and have your horizons expanded due to the opportunities that are on offer. There is also a great array of people in our community that are welcoming and accepting, you could even go as far as saying our drama community resembles a family."
“Having an interest in the arts from a young age, choosing Drama as an A Level subject was a decision I’m very glad I made. Being given the opportunity to explore and speak out on relevant themes, whether that be social, historical, political, through using a creative approach enhances a deeper understanding of the world and our individual society. As well as this you also gain a deeper understanding of yourself, a highly empowering and valuable skill to hold, not a focus point in other subjects. Each person will have a different perception of a script, thus have a unique interpretation of a character. Through this, I also found that Drama teaches us significant lessons about empathy. Becoming immersed within a story and character leaves you compassionate towards people who are very different to yourself.
Drama offers you a range of approaches to theatre that will influence your own reimagined style. You not only learn about these influences through the active and immersive lessons, but also through exciting opportunities to watch live productions by prestigious theatre companies. Since I began in September, we have covered plays from various time periods and playwrights ranging from 415 BC Greek Theatre all to way to the 21st century. What I find most fascinating is that fact that there are themes and issues from hundreds of years back that are still completely relevant today.
Although being a practical subject for the most part, you also develop a critical and evaluative outlook on your own work and that of your peers work in order to progress throughout the course. Having this support where you and your peers constantly encourage one another to break out of comfort zones, take risks and trying new things adds to the unique environment of a drama classroom. This development of teamwork and communication skills are crucial throughout a creative process, as well as being qualities we need as we grow into adulthood.”
To hear from our former students click here