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Drama and Theatre A Level  



6 or above in English literature and an evidenced interest in drama ideally with some extra-curricular experience.


A Level Drama will help you develop a creative and analytical framework for making, performing, interpreting and understanding drama and theatre.  You will develop an understanding and appreciation of how social, cultural and historical contexts of performance have influenced the development of drama and theatre.  You will study a minimum of 5 playtexts from a range of diverse playwrights.


  • Students will need to show knowledge and understanding of the ways in which theatre is made from a variety of perspectives; as a director, practitioner, critic, performer, designer and historian.
  • Students must be prepared to take part in practical work every lesson comprising of a range of activities from discussion to vocal and  physical exploration. 
  • Written work in the form of research, workshop logs and portfolios, intention concepts as well as the two 2-hour written exams, comprises a large proportion of the assessment.
  • Students are expected to attend rehearsals outside of school hours, organised by their group.
  • Students are expected to take a personal, extra-curricular interest in the theatre and take every opportunity to experience live work.  
  • All drama and theatre students are expected to attend social theatre trips.

Drama A level requires long hours of hard work and dedication.  In return the A-level will develop your skills in understanding and expressing your response to the world around you.  You will foster skills that universities look for: collaboration, practical and academic communication, critical thinking, decision–making, independence, emotional intelligence, creativity and self-expression.  


Exam board: OCR



Type of Assessment



Component 1 

Practitioners in Practice  

Exploration and performance 

Written report (2000 words) 

Portfolio (3000 words)

In lesson assessment and rehearsals after school


Coursework completed independently


Component 2 

Exploring and Performing Texts 

Performance exam & written performance concept

 Performance minimum time of 20 mins



Component 3  

Analysing performance

 Written exam on two plays and live theatre

 2 hours 15 minutes


Component 4  

Deconstructing text for performance 

 Written exam answering two questions on directing a text

 1 Hour 45 minutes


 Students must study a minimum of five texts that must represent a range of genres, styles and periods.  These will be selected by the school that you study at. 

Component 1- Practitioners in Practice (40%, internally-assessed exploration, performance and approx. 5000 words written report and portfolio)  

Section 1: You will research and explore practically the work of 2 Theatre practitioners and one extract from a text completing a research report on your findings. 

Section 2: You will create a devised performance influenced by your findings from section 1, creating a play which applies the style of two practitioners, as well as a written portfolio.

Section 3: You will perform the final, polished devised piece for an audience  

Component 2- Exploring and Performing Texts (20%, externally marked performance exam by visiting examiner and written concept) 

You will study one performance text in its entirety and work collaboratively to perform part of the play.  The creation and realisation of the performance will involve realising your artistic intention through performance.  You will explain this intention in a written concept document which will be sent to the visiting examiner a week prior to your examined performance. 

Component 3– Analysing Performance (20%, externally marked 2 hour 15 minute written exam) 

Section A: You will study 2 different texts joined by a common theme and explore them practically in order to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the written exam, of how the texts can be rehearsed and interpreted in performance. 

Section B: You will visit the theatre to write about the production in an exam essay in which you will evaluate and analyse the production.  

Component 4– Deconstructing Text for Performance (20%, externally marked written paper) 

You will practically study a set text by the exam board exploring the possibilities of staging the text through the role of the director.  You will deconstruct, analyse and interpret the text in depth and write your responses to the questions in the exam in both annotation and essay form. 

Both the above exams are closed text (where books are not allowed). 


Drama A level can lead you to many pathways at university and into industry.  Some students go on to study drama and theatre studies/performing arts at a higher level and progress to working in theatre, television and film. For others, the A-level has also proved invaluable in the journalistic, teaching and legal professions.  Many employers now actively seek those who have studied the arts and the creative industries have moved into first place to be the fastest growing economic sector in the UK, responsible for 5.6% of jobs, and worth £76.9bn to the UK economy.  The interpersonal skills developed are transferable to any sector.  Russell group universities value Drama as an A level subject.