This is the second lesson of our next topic for the Drama GCSE, here is how it is laid out;
The Drama GCSE consists of a written part and two practical parts.
The written part is an exam with three questions, A, B and C.
- A is an analysis of a performance we have done, i.e. the Chinese theatre performance (here). There are four sub-questions: description of performance, application of skill, analysis of improvements and overall outcome. This part is compulsory.
- The next part is a choice between parts B and C. B is an analysis of a script, and C is an analysis of a watched performance. We haven’t been given the sub-questions for B, because we are going to do C, however the performance we are going to see (The Woman In Black) is going to be around March, so we haven’t gone into detail on these sub-questions either.
The practical parts will be one of the around 12 areas of theatrical studies (lights, acting, sound, set design, etc.) and will be sent to the exam board. The second (and last) will be performed at the end of year 11 (summer 2014) and will be performed live for the examiner. Although this could be on any subject, we like top use scripted, because less can go wrong.
That is why we are doing scripted now. We are doing it early so we can get used to doing it, and if the marks are good, we can use it as another of the parts (i.e. techies will have it under technical rather than scripted, and actors under acting – the rules are weird) so it may even go towards our overall grade. This means that it will be important, both if we do well or if we fail completely, which may happen, as I am a techie and have been cast as an actor.
At the end of the last post, I said that my group had been having trouble over which play to do; The Merchant of Venice or Animal Farm. At the beginning of the lesson I arrived with a long list of Shakespeare scenes which seemed long enough and contained only four characters – with no women. We then had a conversation with our teacher about which performance we should do. Then, however, Tom had a brain-wave and said we should do Oedipus, by sophocles. This was a controversial decision in the group, as it revealed a split, with TS and I being neutral, JA being heavily Animal Farm and Tom being full on for Oedipus. We therefore decided we would have a run through for both of the plays, and then decide after.
The reason why we had such a dilemma was due to the possibilities housed by each piece to be original and contain good techniques. Animal Farm contained many characters, and so mask-work could be used, and Oedipus is a Theban play, and so was first used with all the cast wearing masks, so we could use it there. When I mentioned these notions to the rest of the group, my comments were satirized to “as long as it using masks, I’m in” and “it doesn’t matter about the performance standard, as long as there is masks, we’ll do fine.” Despite this, there are other reasons why I stayed neutral. Both pieces are amazing in their own right. Both stories are interesting and both would be fun to experiment with. The satiric take on communism from Animal Farm makes it a great play to study, and the story of Oedipus is a classic with a plot that strikes the mind as weird, yet leaving a sense of mystique in the mind. They are both great pieces, but I digress.
In the end, we decided to go with Oedipus. This was because we all thought they would both be great to study, however Animal Farm had too many characters for our group of 4 people and there are musical interludes which we wouldn’t be able to do, making it a bit harder for us to pull off. We then set about reading it with characters, assigning me messenger, TM Oedipus, TS as the shepherd and JA as the leader. After this ran on into break, the lesson ended. This was when we realised how far into it group 1 were into the performance – they had already picked a play and a scene and had rehearsed it, although we had barely looked at a scene. We then understood we had to step up our rehearsal process, and left trying to feel as confident as possible.
The final play choices were:
The Importance Of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde, group 1
Oedipus The King – Sophocles, group 2
Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me – Frank McGuinness, group 3
It looks like we’re going to have fun this term, I hope you’ve enjoyed this, and I hope you enjoy the term too
Pictures from izquotes.com and anonymousartofrevolution.com