A Level Drama and Theatre Studies
I believe drama is an essential part of child development. It provides the key skills, confidence, discipline and imaginative freedom that is becoming increasingly essential in this day and age. From Greek amphitheatres, to Shakespeare, to Hairspray: I love every part of what is has been, is now, and will be
Ms Chappell (Teacher of Drama)
Exam Board: EDEXCEL
Entry Requirements: 8 or more GCSEs at grades A*–C including GCSE English, and minimum grade C in Drama or Distinction in BTEC Level 2 Performing Arts.
If Drama was not previously taken at GCSE or BTEC level, please speak to a course teacher about your experience and passion for the subject.
Drama and Theatre Studies not only develops performance skills, it improves creativity and communication, builds team work, confidence and promotes leadership and independent thinking. For this reason it is highly valued by universities when students apply for degree courses especially Law, English, Media and Drama. Throughout the course, students will perform in a variety of plays, study influential practitioners, look at the history of drama and participate in numerous vocal and movement workshops. Students will work with visiting professionals and see live performances such as plays, as well as physical theatre, dance, gigs and stand-up comedy. Learners will have access to the Academy’s Theatre, Dance and Drama studios as well as the recording suite, for voice work. There will also be the opportunity to work within the local community and in professional theatre spaces.
Whilst many students will take on drama and/or music because they’ve had some experience of performance, the range of careers that link to an interest performance is of course far wider. The world of theatre and performance includes roles beyond the professional actor or singer.
- Back Stage (for example, stage management, stage hand, production assistant)
- Front of House (for example, box office assistant, catering)
- Support (for example fundraising, marketing and PR, artist manager, talent scout)
- Production (for example, director for theatre, radio or film, choreographer)
- Creative (for example, script writer or editor, prop maker, make-up artist, costume designer, set decorator)
- Education (for example community arts worker, voice coach, drama teacher)
- Technical (for example lighting designer, sound technician)
Many companies value a drama qualification because of the broad skillset that it gives you. It is worth thinking laterally about the professions where performance skills will be valued, for example a barrister or MP would theatrical training a definite plus.
Entry & Training
Many of the roles have allied degree courses that can be studied at university or drama school. It’s worth taking the time to check out the detail of individual courses as there will be a wide range of approaches from the theoretical to the vocational, with plenty of combination in between.
Application for degrees varies according to the institution. For drama schools there is an audition process that will include monologues and a song. For university you will need to participate in a group workshop/audition and undertake an interview. You may also need a portfolio for some of the design based courses.eg costume or lighting design. For all courses you will be expected to demonstrate a passion for the arts such as seeing shows or reading plays.
Top universities or drama schools include:
- Royal Central School of Speech & Drama
- Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)
- Trinity Laban Conservatoire
- Guildhall School of Music & Drama
- Rose Bruford College
- East 15 Acting School
- Guildford School of Acting
- Royal Holloway
There are a number of apprenticeships in the theatre industry run by specific companies or venues, and plenty of entry level jobs that will be a good way of getting experience and making contacts.