Drama and Theatre Studies

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This is a busy and exciting course approached through dynamic exploration of how theatre theory and practice relate. You investigate a number of contemporary texts and styles in detail considering the contexts in which they have been written and performed. The emphasis is on practical discovery with plenty of opportunities to take part in performances. You are assessed through projects in scripted and devised work, and through one written exam on set texts and theatre visits. If you like discussing ideas, working out how to perform them, to be active and enjoy performing, this course will engage, inspire and challenge.

  • Workshops exploring different acting styles
  • Theatre visits and trips
  • Modern and classical plays
  • Opportunities to work with practitioners
  • Devising theatre
  • Practical assessments alongside written exams
  • Lessons take place in an intimate and fully equipped workshop space

PLEASE NOTE: In contemporary and classical texts, playwrights engage with difficult ideas and actions as a means of exploring, understanding and challenging assumptions about the world we live in. The plays we teach may have challenging themes. Potential students should take this into account when choosing courses.

Ellie Williams

Studied: Classical Civilisation, Drama & Theatre Studies, & Textiles + AS French & EPQ (2012-2014)

Progression: Theatre Production: Arts and Stage Management, University of Winchester

After Varndean, Ellie took a gap year and embarked upon a winter 5 month ski season as a Chalet Chef in the French Alps. This provided her with not only a break from education but also a chance to meet new people and gain independence. Following this, as well as working part-time, she undertook a 5 week interrailing trip around Europe. In 2015, she started a degree in Theatre Production, but soon realised university wasn't for her and, after much deliberation, left after completing just the first year. A challenging decision as she went against the tide of her peers.

A random application resulted in her landing a job as Cabin Crew for British Airways and following an intense 5 week training, she began flying around the world, serving people at 35,000ft. After a year, she then moved back to working as a Chalet Chef for the 2017/18 winter ski season.

Ellie is now currently working in London for an events company, where she started out as Events Coordinator and after just 4 months has been promoted to Marketing Coordinator. As part of this role, she gets to travel and she enjoys being part of an intimate team where her contributions are valued.

She is also training and fundraising for a cycle from London to Amsterdam in 2019 for a cause close to her heart.

Ellie says: "Although I didn't realise it at the time, all the varied jobs I've had have only added to my skills and experience, and contributed to me getting my current career. My employers saw it as a positive thing that I had achieved so much in a relative short space of time, had the courage to try new things and be an independent thinker. My future plans are now to own my own business, perhaps a ski company. I would recommend choosing the subjects you enjoy because you will thrive from doing so. When choosing what to continue to A Level, I didn't know whether to choose Textiles or French, as I knew French was the more academic option. But I'm so glad I chose Textiles because I enjoyed the chance to be creative and it showed when I gained a grade A. Never be afraid to try something new, even if you’re not sure it will suit you. You never know where it will lead."*

Course Essentials

Courses Available
A Level
Entry Requirements

PLUS
Grade 5 in GCSE Drama
OR
A background of successful experience in Productions
How The Course is Assessed
60% practical coursework, 40% written exam
Career Pathways
The course gives a thorough preparation for students entering Higher Education or employment, developing creative thinking and independent learning skills alongside practical skills in theatre and drama. Many students progress to drama related degrees, others to degrees such as Law, Psychology, Film Studies, English and History. The course helps create independent students, critical thinkers and effective decision-makers – qualities which can make students stand out as they progress through education and into employment.
Transferable Skills
A level Drama and Theatre develops a number of transferable skills; research, independence, teamwork, critical analysis, communication and presentation skills; time management; problem solving, drive and determination, IT skills.
Other Information
You must be prepared to commit to practical acting workshops, researching cultural contexts, writing essays and workbooks, attending rehearsals and going on theatre visits. Expect to spend around £75 per year on visits – often to London. You can specialise in acting, design or direction.
Enquiries To
Gill Lamden: gcl@varndean.ac.uk