Do you have an enthusiasm for performance? A desire to improve on confidence and social skills? Have an enjoyment of live theatre? Good creative/analytical skills?
Would you like to study a practical, artistic and intellectual subject? Participate in various exciting live performances and workshops? Study play texts in a range of different styles and periods? Understand more fully the history of theatre?
A Level Drama has a mix of practical and theoretical work over the two years you will study it. We will push you to be the best performer you can be but will also push you to understand and question theatre, live performance and written plays. You will explore a variety of different practitioners and immerse yourself in this art form where you can experience being an actor, a director and an audience member.
Unit 1: Practitioners in Practice
You will practically study two contrasting theatre practitioners, over the past couple of years we have explored Steven Berkoff, Frantic Assembly, Gecko Theatre, Antonin Artaud and Konstantin Stanisklavski. You will use their approaches to create your own devised performance in response to a stimulus provided by the centre, supported by a portfolio of evidence. You perform the final piece to a live audience.
Unit 2: Exploring and Performing Text
You explore a text chosen by us and work collaboratively in groups to perform the play for a visiting examiner. Texts used in the past couple of years have been, ‘Punk Rock’ by Simon Stephens, ‘Pool No Water’ by Mark Ravenhill, ‘Girls Like That’ by Evan Placey and ‘Emilia’ by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm.
Unit 3: Analysing Performance
You study two plays which share a theme set by the exam board, you explore and perform them practically, looking at technical, design and acting possibilities, interpreting them for an audience. You also see a live performance and analyse it. A written exam will allow you to show what you have learnt and explored. Plays used in the past couple of years for this unit have been, ‘Necessary Targets’ by Eve Ensler, ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ by Joan Littlewood, ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’ by Bertolt Brecht and ‘A Day in the Death of Joe Egg’ by Peter Nichols.
Unit 4: Deconstructing Texts for Performance
You practically explore a text set by the exam board and consider how a director might approach it, creating your own concept for the play. In the written exam you set out your concept and annotate a text extract with your notes. We have looked at, ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller and ‘Stockholm’ by Bryony Lavery over the last two years.
5 in GCSE Drama & 5 in English (or experience in Drama).
“A Level Drama at Friesland really opened my eyes to different kinds of theatre. Before I took A Level Drama I thought I knew the sort of theatre I liked very simple, naturalistic. Through drama at Friesland I was able to experience all kinds of theatre and practitioners I didn’t even know existed. The styles and techniques I learned in my time at Friesland have massively impacted the way I work know, and the theatre I choose to go and watch. Without Friesland’s Drama department, I wouldn’t be an Actor now. That I am sure. Without the support and encouragement from the staff at Friesland I wouldn’t have seen performing and the arts as an attainable career. I am now two years out of professional Actor training, finding my way in the industry and there are so many things I have done since leaving Friesland that I attribute to my time there. A level drama was really where it all began for me.”
Katie Lawson, Drama Alumni 2015, BA (Hons) Acting, University of Northampton.
“A-Level Drama at Friesland gives students the support and freedom to try out and test ideas that they never would have done before. I found the new practitioners we studied fascinating as we explored new, exciting concepts that I hadn’t heard of before. At first the thought of experimenting outside your comfort zone is daunting but the support I was given by the staff and the atmosphere they created in lessons allowed for us to laugh at ourselves for our weird ideas, whilst also growing in confidence and togetherness as a group. The course is filled with chances to perform as well. Even in theory lessons, we were able to get up and act out scenes in a script in order to gain a better understanding. A-Level Drama at Friesland helped me grow as both an actor and a person and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves drama.”
Matt Gray, Drama Alumni 2018, BA (Hons) Drama and Theatre Arts, University of Lincoln
“A level drama encouraged me to experiment and try brand new techniques and approaches that were way out of my comfort zone, but left me feeling so rewarded with how it pushed me to become a more versatile and open-minded actor and person. I think the fact you’re working with a group of people who are equally just as passionate about drama, just makes the lessons so much more fun and productive. One of the main things that impacted my time, was how caring, supportive and driven the teachers are. If you ever have a problem with workload or are unsure on something, they’re always so welcoming and try their best to provide the best support you need. Everyone is helping you grow in so many ways, even just in confidence, and I couldn’t recommend it more!”
Imogen Watson, Drama Alumni 2020, BA (Hons) Drama and Theatre Arts, University of Birmingham.