A level Drama and Theatre offers you the opportunity to learn about every angle of theatre-making, including acting and all elements of theatre design. You will study the work of key theatre practitioners and use these skills to bring your own theatre productions to life.
Developing written communication is also important and you will learn how to structure compelling and well-crafted written arguments. You will watch inspirational live theatre and explore a wide range of styles and genres in practical work, creating performances that move and inspire the audience. You also develop teamwork, presentation and communication skills alongside developing analytical, problem-solving and written skills. These are recognised and valued by universities and future employers as desirable skills, enabling graduates to be influential in their roles and to make a difference in the workplace.
Most A level lessons and performances at St Helen’s take place in the Studio Theatre.
You will be taught by one drama teacher from Abingdon School and one from St Helen’s.
Component 1 (40%): Devising
- Devise an original performance inspired by the work of a contemporary theatre practitioner
- Write an accompanying piece of coursework reflecting on the devising process (3000 words)
Component 2 (20%): Group performance and monologue
- Perform a key extract from a play (as part of a small group)
- Perform a monologue from a different play
Component 3 (40%): Written exam, 2 hours 30 minutes
- Evaluate a live theatre performance that you have studied
- Write about how you would stage a contemporary text you have practically explored
- Write about how you would interpret a classical text in relation to a theatre practitioner
Students are taught by one drama teacher from Abingdon School and one from St Helen’s.
Component 1 (40%)
Component 2 (20%)
Component 3 (40%)
A* in A level Drama and Theatre in 2023
A*–A in A level Drama and Theatre in 2023
“The practical elements allow us to have fun while we’re learning which makes all the material very engaging.”
“Studying drama has helped me develop my creative thinking skills and working as a team, especially in devising, as listening to everyone’s thoughts creates the best piece possible.”
Your creative work will be inspired by professional theatre makers. Regular theatre trips and visiting theatre companies, along with livestreamed and online performances will give you access to a range of contemporary productions. Recent theatre trips have included The Crucible, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Peter Gynt all at the National Theatre, Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights livestreamed from Bristol Old Vic, Kneehigh and Emma Rice’s Flying Lovers of Vitebsk at Bristol Old Vic, The Jungle at the Playhouse Theatre, Dead Dog in a Suitcase at Cheltenham Everyman, Jane Eyre and The Merchant of Venice. Events beyond the classroom include workshops with visiting theatre companies and professionals from the world of theatre, television, radio and film, designed to help you build bridges from school into the professional world.