Course Overview 2020-2021
The Advanced Higher Drama course builds on the work done in National 5 and Higher Drama by engaging you all in enhanced application of Drama and Production Skills, and by allowing you to expand study of their choice of specialism. The course also develops extensive knowledge and understanding of 20th century/contemporary theatre theory and practice and builds students’ academic research skills and theatrical repertoire to facilitate your transition into further study.
The course consists of three units – Drama Skills, Production Skills in the form of a timed assignment on observing and commenting on live theatre and finally an interactive and monologue Performance. In addition there is also an externally marked Dissertation (research) project which you must plan and research independently.
The first two units will focus on enhancing skills developed during National 5 and Higher courses and will require the students to engage in your own independent research of theatre practitioners, with a particular focus on the work of Antonin Artaud, Berthold, Brecht and Konstantin Stanislavski.
Mr Thomson will lead discussion and the direction of practical work, but also allow you to use time in class to lead practical workshops and explore their ideas and research further with assistance when needed.
As much of the work is self-directed and independent of the classroom environment, you will be required to demonstrate an even more mature approach to learning and initiative. You will require an enquiring, critical and problem-solving approach to your learning and build on your own experience of the Higher course. As well as this they will need to choose your own area of specialism according to your specific interest. You will be using academic research and analysis skills and complete regular written and practical assignments throughout the course.
Regular evaluative discussions will take place between Mr Thomson and yourselves on a predominantly informal basis.
Learning outcome one: Drama Skills has 2 outcomes and these are assessed throughout the first unit. Following the final practical performance for this unit, there will be a written evaluation assessment under exam conditions. We will then collect all generated written and video evidence and assess these to give the student a pass or fail.
Learning outcome One:
1.1 Exploring ideas for a drama in response to a variety of methodologies, theatre practices and texts of one or more key practitioners.
1.2 Developing ideas based on research informed by one or more practitioners.
2.1 Planning, researching and devising drama informed by practices and methodologies of one or more theatre practitioners.
2.2 Applying complex drama skills within a presentation.
2.3 Evaluating their drama.
Learning Outcome two: Production Skills has 2 outcomes and these are assessed throughout the second unit(which can be done concurrently with Drama skills) . Following the final practical performance for this unit, there will be a written evaluation in Learning Logs. We will then collect all generated written and video evidence and assess these to give the student a pass or fail.
Unit Two outcomes:
1.1 Researching the theories and practice of one or more key practitioners.
1.2 Developing complex production skills, informed by research of one or more practitioners.
1.3 Applying complex production skills informed by research of one or more practitioners.
2.1 Analysing the use of complex production skills in a current performance.
2.2 Analysing aspects of a performance that reflect or contrast with the theories, methodologies and practices of one or more key practitioners.
There are three elements for the final assessment for the course: Performance, Assignment and Dissertation. These are all marked externally by the SQA (with a visiting examiner for Performance).
Performance: this element carries 50 marks in total, of which are allocated to the practical assessment of Acting, Directing or Design.
20 Marks are given for the Assignment, done under examination conditions is a question based on live theatre.
Acting: The student must perform in two contrasting roles – one of which must be a 3min monologue (20 marks) and another interacting with other performers (30 marks). The marks are awarded in five different areas for both pieces.
Directing: The student must prepare a weighty section (eg. an Act) of their selected play text for production, and be able to direct a 40 minute rehearsal of around 3 pages from this section of the play. The marks are awarded in five different areas for this rehearsal and the body of preparation work the student has collated.
Designing: The student must design and build a scale model of the set for a chosen text as well as taking on two further production roles in approaching this text. The marks are awarded in two different areas for the scale model and the body of preparation work the student has collated.
Dissertation: This element carries 40 marks and these are divided into three areas: A Analysing theory and performance examples that explore a chosen issue. B Synthesising by comparing and contrasting different ways the issue has been explored. C Expressing an argument developed as a through-line of opinion leading up to an evaluate conclusion.