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Drama and Theatre Studies

'Like smoking, naturalism, can damage your health' Berkoff

'Art should comfort the disturbed and disturbed the comfortable' Cesar A. Cruz.What do we study?

At Sixth Form, Drama and Theatre Studies students are auteurs. By now, most students have a prior knowledge and embodied experience of being storytellers, entertainers and educators when creating and performing for an audience. Auteurs are both authors of their own work and adapt the work of others. Students become theatre practitioners themselves who take the theories and practices of renowned dramatists and use these in the creation of their own work, or the adaptation of an established text. In doing so, they construct new meanings and purposes for engaging an audience. By the end of the course, students have developed a fierce theatre literacy.

A Sacred Heart High School Sixth Form Drama student is a professional theatre practitioner in their own right who embraces the extreme; taking risks on stage while appreciating the history of theatre. It is important that students appreciate the social, historical and cultural contexts which dramatic styles have been born out of. While each style and form are a product of their time, it is also a reaction to the dramatic style that came before it. As such, our set texts are classics – Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. From here, students embrace the contemporary through a range of key practitioners when making and performing theatre. These practitioners include: Steven Berkoff, Frantic Assembly, Kneehigh, Katie Mitchell, John Godber, Punchdrunk and Antonin Artaud.

Beyond the Curriculum

At Sixth Form, students attend up to 10 pieces of live theatre a year. This includes a range of West End, major theatre companies and fringe theatre performances of both classic and contemporary work all around London. Live theatre forms the basis of everything taught in the classroom and is a living (albeit ephemeral) example of the theory taught in class. How can you cook if you have never been in a kitchen? The same theory applies to Drama – how can you make theatre if you don’t go to the theatre?

Students also participate in a range of workshops from companies and artists around London including The Bush Theatre, The Lyric Hammersmith, The Little Angel Theatre and Splendid Productions. Students also begin to attend opportunities tailored to their individual interests. In previous years students have attended Donmar by Design and participated in the National Youth Theatre summer holiday program as a costume designer.

Where it might lead 

The Sixth Form Drama experience prepares students for a range of university degrees and careers pathways both in and outside the performing arts through the creativity and skills learnt throughout the course. These degrees include History, International Business, Anthropology and Psychology.

Students regularly go on to study Drama, Drama/English and film at university and speciality performing arts schools. Past students’ study at Bristol University, Essex University, Birmingham University and Royal Holloway University. Students have also successfully auditioned for the Central School of Speech and Drama, Arts Ed and East15.

Mode of assessment: 40% written exam, 30% devised performance, 30% acting performance