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    Last year my school became an Arts College so it made everyone who was doing separate sciences also take GCSE Music/Drama to give them 'breadth'. I chose drama. We only got half the numer of lessons of any other subject we choose though. In year 10 we had the worst teacher ever and we basically just played games for a year. :mad: He left (probably sacked) and in year 11 we had a pretty decent teacher. She spent the year teaching us the pratical side though (as we had done no coursework in year 10). As a result we have done minimal exam practice. Our first experience of a drama exam was a mock and the majority got D/E grades (I got D!), even though we are a very bright class (you have to be to do sep sci at my school). So, basically we did the Drama GCSE in a quarter of the normal time. I got A/B for my pratical work and I've been predicted a B. I need this as I'm aiming for A*/A in everything else.

    I was just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice for writing 'a drama essay'? In the mock, we all wrote a literature essay as that's all we knew! I'm doing AQA, by the way.

    Many thanks.
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    Sound like you've been a little unlucky with your teachers.

    I think practise is one thing, so maybe do a couple of practise essays and try and get hold of a mark scheme. You'll probably be able to on your exam boards website.

    Another thing our teacher tells us to do is do a proper opening, like what the play is about without re telling the story. So where its set and a little bit about the characters and their history. Referring to character history is important when expaining WHY you'd play a character in a certain way.

    Hope this helps and good luck x
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    In referance to you all writing literature essays. Its not a literature essay where you are studying the play as a piece of writting. You are studying it as a piece of drama, so how it should look on stage to gain the best RESPONSE FORM THE AUDIENCE. In caps because you must refer to the audiences response.
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    Final F needs to return before this drops off the end
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    Are you with AQA and doing the standard last 4 questions on the paper ("using a productiuon you have seen, describe a scene or section which moved you and explain why it did?" sort of questions)?
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    Yes, AQA and my school tends to do the acting side of things rather than design. Not sure about Final F....
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    Yep, we've focused on the acting side. We have barely had time to cover the acting side, so we've been told just to ignore the design questions.

    Thanks for your help so far.
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    wow i feel sorry for you aqa peeps you should come to edexcel, much better!
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    (Original post by mtbab)
    wow i feel sorry for you aqa peeps you should come to edexcel, much better!
    Edexcel is so much easier it is unfair!!! AQA is mean when it comes to A level hence why my mind has melted. GCSE wasn't too bad though but I did design/production element questions as they are easier as I find it difficult to remember actors in productions I've seen but set and costume stick in my mind.
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    Have you seen any performances with school and made notes on them?
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    (Original post by Final_F)
    I was just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice for writing 'a drama essay'? In the mock, we all wrote a literature essay as that's all we knew! I'm doing AQA, by the way.
    Hey. Yeah, my school is also an Arts College, and I'm pretty lucky that my class have been blessed with an excellent teacher!

    Well, she's just given us a Revision Pack, which covers all the things we need. If possible ask whoever you've got for Drama if they can make a copy of the 'Preparing For The written Examination' notes that should be in their AQA Booklet. They've got everything you should need in their.

    Then you'll need to have written notes on the two plays you've seen. So make sure you can write about at least two characters and scenes each from the plays. When writing about a character, write about someone who seems to have gone through a progression, someone who seem to have developed and say how and why with examples, so there's more to write about (i.e. There's no point writing about someone who appeared in just a couple of scenes).
    Also, when talking about character or actors performance, remember to talk about things such as voice(tone, pitch, volume, emphasis etc), character (age, status etc), audience reactions, movement, gesture, pace, characterisation etc. These things are the most important - you're not supposed to be retelling the story!(PS - When answering about an actor, only refer to 'the actor'. Likewise, with 'character', refer to 'the character'.)

    And, when talking about the play in general, remember to talk about things such as the style of production (children’s theatre, naturalistic historical, kitchen sink etc), Communications (period or place of play etc), Set design, Costume (colour, fabric, texture etc), Space and levels, Lights (colours, dim, bright etc), Sound (music etc).

    Talk about the atmosphere, and how it was achieved. Physicalistion, and most of all:
    When you make a point, back it up, say why, give examples, give explainations!

    Before I forget to mention this (it might sound obvious, but so many people forgot to do this in our mock exam), but at the beginning, state what the play was called, where you saw it, when you saw it. Remember also, to try and give a short paragraph at the beginning about the style of the play and maybe a short history of it if you can.

    Also, when writing in general, remember that this is not really about your writing skills - it's more about your analysis, understanding and evaluation.

    Hope that helped! I'll try and type some more later, if I remember some other things that I've forgot here. Best of luck!
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    OK, just remembered one more thing - something that is bound to earn you a few more marks!

    Try as often as you can to include language in relation to drama. For example, use words such as 'proxemics' etc. Also use plenty of relevant quotes, quotes, quotes to, again, back up your points.

    Another thing, make references to famous playwrights but ONLY if they are relevant. For instance, if one of the plays you saw was a Naturalistic piece of drama, try to refer someone such as Konstantin Stanislavsky (who was famous for his Naturalistic style. He wanted the audience to empathise with characters, this is where the 'fouth wall' phrase comes in. If you need more info, just Google him). Also, if a peice you saw was an abstract peice, try reffering to Bertolt Brecht. His style was opposite to Stanislavsky's in that, he wanted the audience to simply be spectators, and not to empathise with poeple on stage, but only sympathise. (Again, for more information, Google him).

    Who? Where? How? When? Why? What? (Effect?)
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    Wow, thanks a lot for your help february star. The two plays our teacher has said to do for the exam are Blood Brothers and The Woman in Black (people saw other plays for English etc.) We have a booklet of info on Blood Brothers, but do you have any idea where I could find info on The Woman in Black? I will probably ask my teacher tomorrow.

    Also, do you have a list of useful drama vocab apart from the usual (tone, gesture etc.)?

    Thanks again!
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    Key to passing section B of AQA drama - What? How? Why? All the way through got me an A in my mock. "In this scene, caroline was was bent over, almost exposing her bosom to Jake. To achieve this, her posture was rigid and taught, suggesting her uptight manner. This was humerous to the audience and served to remind them of the tensiopn between the upper and lower classes"
 
 
 
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