At Marylebone, we approach teaching Drama by instilling knowledge, skills, collaboration, independence and creative thinking. We champion original thought and encourage analytical approaches. We believe that students have the answers if we ask the right questions. Teachers are knowledgeable about theatre in all its forms and encourage students to take this knowledge and run with it to create original work. We offer students an opportunity to excel in every aspect of theatre, from scriptwriting to lighting, to costume as well as performance and have excellent links to The Royal Court, The Donmar Warehouse and Central School of Speech and Drama. There are many opportunities for students to get involved in extracurricular Drama, from lunchtime clubs to highly polished whole school productions. Our newly refurbished theatre offers state of the art technical facilities and is a wonderful place for students to be creative.
Key Stage 4 GCSE. Years 10-11
Why Choose Drama?
- If you enjoyed KS3 Drama.
- If you enjoy working with other people.
- If you enjoy a subject that allows you the independence to create your own ideas and performances.
- If you enjoy being creative and collaborative.
GCSE Drama will help you gain confidence, work in a group and develop your leadership skills. Drama is highly regarded by universities and employers as a subject that gives students the creativity, problem-solving and teamwork skills that are so highly sought after.
UNIT 1: DEVISING A PLAY – 40%
Devising is an exciting and challenging opportunity to work collaboratively with others to explore a range of stimuli in order to create an original performance piece. Devising is essential for the development of new theatre and performance; it allows for personal development and exploration. Students will develop skills in group work, research and negotiation, while also developing creativity, performance and design skills. Students will consider the impact that they can make on an audience, as they develop the ideas that they want to communicate.
UNIT 2: PERFORMANCE – 20%
Performance texts have been at the core of drama since the inception of theatre. The need to hand down stories has been fundamental to human development and for thousands of years, people have written, performed, watched and enjoyed innumerable plays. In this unit, students will choose 2 extracts, a monologue and a duologue to perform to an external examiner.
UNIT 3: WRITTEN EXAM – 40%
Students will take a written exam, which they will prepare for across the two years that will include:
- An evaluation of a live professional piece of theatre.
An exploration of a set text where students will understand and write from the perspectives of an actor, a director and a designer. Students will create and write about their designs for set, lighting, costume and sound and also understand the play’s context and original performance conditions.
Key Stage 5 A Level. Years 12-13
The course is rooted in the application of Dramatic theories in relation to acting, designing, devising and directing.
From Brecht to Berkoff, Paperbirds to Frantic Assembly, Artaud to Stanislavski: you will explore the ideas and concepts of key players in theatrical history to create and develop original theatre, performances from text and your skills, knowledge and understanding of Drama and Theatre Studies.
Component 1: Devising – Students will devise an original performance piece, using one key extract from a contemporary play and the methodologies of a recognised theatre practitioner as stimuli. This is a student-led component with the teacher acting as facilitator and examiner. Students are assessed on their performance (10%) and a 3000-word portfolio that describes and evaluates their process and performance. (30%)
Component 2: Text in Performance – A group performance of one key extract from a performance text chosen and directed by your teacher. A monologue or duologue performance from one key extract from a different performance text chosen by students and self-directed with support from your teacher – both performed to a visiting examiner. (20%)
Component 3: Theatre in Practice – A 2.5 hour written paper in which you: A) Write an evaluation of live theatre. B) Practically explore and study Machinal by Sophie Treadwell – enabling students to write about how it could be realised for performance as an actor and designer. C) Practical exploration and interpretation of Woyzeck by Georg Buchner, in light of Brecht – enabling students to write about how they would reimagine this seminal text for a contemporary audience. (40%)
Skills Gained from Taking this Course
As an actor, you will develop the vocal and movement skills that impact the range of characters you are able to perform.
As a designer, you will root your ideas about set, lighting, sound and costume firmly in a concept that communicates the impact of the plays’ social, cultural, historical and political context.
As a director, you will create your own concept for a full production of Woyzeck using the methodologies of Brecht and gaining a deep understanding of German Expressionist theatre.
The work you will undertake challenges you physically, emotionally and intellectually. You will develop as a reflective practitioner to understand more deeply the impact of Drama in our society in a local, national and international context.
St Marylebone Entry Requirements:
To gain entry into the sixth form at St Marylebone School, students must gain a minimum of five 9-6 grades at GCSE and a 5 grade in English and Maths GCSE.
Subject Specific Entry Requirements
Grade 6 in English Literature GCSE or English Language GCSE,
Grade 6 in Drama GCSE, OR successful suitability test.
Students need to be:
- Confident performers
- Able to analyse texts
- Have good evaluative skills
- Be able to work in a group and independently
If you are made an offer, you will be expected to complete the following before your first lesson in September:
Write a 500-word evaluation of a piece of live theatre you have seen, either live on stage or via a streaming service. Focus on one specific moment, and how all the performance and design elements combined to create an impact for you as an audience member.
Buy and read a copy of Machinal by Sophie Treadwell, available at the Main site library (ISBN 978-1-85459-211-8).
Resources Needed for this Course:
- Machinal by Sophie Treadwell, available at Main site library (ISBN 978-1-85459-211-8).
- A folder and notepad.
- Comfortable practical clothes i.e. Leggings or Jogging bottoms.