AS level drama/theatre studies Watch

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sheepgirl
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#1
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Is anyone here starting AS theatre studies in setptember? Is there anyone who has already done the AS level? Whats the course like? have you enjoyed it? I'm relaly excited for starting it in 2 weeks time!
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happydinosaur
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I have just finished the A2 and got an A. The course was half fun and half stress. For AS I studied A Midsummer Nights Dream and Shadow of a Gunman plus good old Stanislavski (who I really do not like at all) and a devised piece about the plague which was fun and I was lucky to get on well with my group despite not bring friends with any of them before the course. For A2 I studied Marat/Sade (such a difficult but amazing play) and Hedda Gabler (again love it..Ibsen <3) and chose to perform Dr Faustus for my practical. I liked this part of the course (A2 practical) because it allowed for us to really put our own style to a great play.
sophieD
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(Original post by sparklyteacosie)
I have just finished the A2 and got an A. The course was half fun and half stress. For AS I studied A Midsummer Nights Dream and Shadow of a Gunman plus good old Stanislavski (who I really do not like at all) and a devised piece about the plague which was fun and I was lucky to get on well with my group despite not bring friends with any of them before the course. For A2 I studied Marat/Sade (such a difficult but amazing play) and Hedda Gabler (again love it..Ibsen <3) and chose to perform Dr Faustus for my practical. I liked this part of the course (A2 practical) because it allowed for us to really put our own style to a great play.
I studied marat sade and hedda gabler too! i preferred hedda i think, but marat sade certainly was an interesting challenge! did u see Peter brook's version?

As for studying it for A level i'd definately recommend it, although as sparklyteacosie said, it can be stressful around practical times, rehearsing etc, it was definately my favourite A level, as it was the most varied and most fulfilling, in my experience.
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Joe_JBB
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I've just finished AS, and am about to start A2. I found Theatre Studies is my hardest, but favourite, subject, and I did absolutely tons of work for the exam, and managed to get an A which I was especially proud of because the teachers were questioning if I was on target for my B.

I studied A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shadow Of A Gunman (I didn't actually like this play in itself, but loved all the Irish history that we learnt surrounding it), and Stanislavski (Some of his techniques were interesting, but I didn't enjoy him mainly because I'm not a big fan of naturalism). For the devised piece, my group did something about some woman who killed her baby and whether she was evil or mentally disturbed.

The thing I found hardest at AS was mastering the essay technique, as I'd had years of English essays (plus I was studying English Literature), so it was hard to get away from that. But I did love doing the essays, because ou could explore different ways of performing every character, or create loads of different set designs and lighting effects etc. which you wouldn't be able to do in practice because it would take too much time and money.

I'm looking forward to A2 even more because we're studying Brecht (YAY!), and get to perform an actual play (I'm keen on Psychosis 4.48 by Sarah Kane at the minute, but no-one else in my class seems to be )

So yeah, go for it, it's AMAZING!

Joe
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happydinosaur
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(Original post by Joe_JBB)
I've just finished AS, and am about to start A2. I found Theatre Studies is my hardest, but favourite, subject, and I did absolutely tons of work for the exam, and managed to get an A which I was especially proud of because the teachers were questioning if I was on target for my B.

I studied A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shadow Of A Gunman (I didn't actually like this play in itself, but loved all the Irish history that we learnt surrounding it), and Stanislavski (Some of his techniques were interesting, but I didn't enjoy him mainly because I'm not a big fan of naturalism). For the devised piece, my group did something about some woman who killed her baby and whether she was evil or mentally disturbed.

The thing I found hardest at AS was mastering the essay technique, as I'd had years of English essays (plus I was studying English Literature), so it was hard to get away from that. But I did love doing the essays, because ou could explore different ways of performing every character, or create loads of different set designs and lighting effects etc. which you wouldn't be able to do in practice because it would take too much time and money.

I'm looking forward to A2 even more because we're studying Brecht (YAY!), and get to perform an actual play (I'm keen on Psychosis 4.48 by Sarah Kane at the minute, but no-one else in my class seems to be )

So yeah, go for it, it's AMAZING!

Joe
The essay technique was the biggest challange for me. Most of my group felt that too. Not because it is difficult or anything because it is actually really simple. I just really hate the way it all focused around writing how you would do things. I don't think those thing should be written about in essays in exams they are things you do in practice. So that was a huge challange but I must have mastered it eventually. The trick is not to write what you actually think because then you just go off the point and get lost so as fantastic as your idea may be it just won't be what they are looking for. I eventually learn't to write what they want to see written and then you get a better grade.

I studied marat sade and hedda gabler too! i preferred hedda i think, but marat sade certainly was an interesting challenge! did u see Peter brook's version?

As for studying it for A level i'd definately recommend it, although as sparklyteacosie said, it can be stressful around practical times, rehearsing etc, it was definately my favourite A level, as it was the most varied and most fulfilling, in my experience.
I loved Marat/Sade because in terms of the exam about staging ideas there were just SO many possibilties. I did see the Peter Brook version. We watched it before we were given the play and everyone got really scared but me!! It just appealed to me because of the way it was staged and the techniques as I was familiar with them whereas a lot of the group hadn't had as much exposure to that kind of theatre. I do like Hedda though. Went to see the Richard Eyre version in London earlier in the year. Was so amazing!!
Amzybaby24
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i got a B and have jsut finished A2!

As - I STUDIED...

*tARTUFFE BY mOLIERE
* ROYAL hunt of the sun - peter... ?
*Huis Clos - Satre

A2 -

*Also ibsen but not hedda, we did "a doll's house"
*Oedipus (god it's long!)
*Waiting for Godot

Our devised piece took a historical turn and was heavily based upon berkeoff's work, it was about the holocaust
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happydinosaur
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(Original post by Amzybaby24)
i got a B and have jsut finished A2!

As - I STUDIED...

*tARTUFFE BY mOLIERE
* ROYAL hunt of the sun - peter... ?
*Huis Clos - Satre

A2 -

*Also ibsen but not hedda, we did "a doll's house"
*Oedipus (god it's long!)
*Waiting for Godot

Our devised piece took a historical turn and was heavily based upon berkeoff's work, it was about the holocaust
Oooh Berkeoff..I would have liked to have looked into his work.

I would have loved to do Oedipus too. Oh its such a classic. Did some workshops based on it years ago and really wished that they had developed further.
Joe_JBB
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Oooooo I love Steven Berkoff stuff, we looked at him for a couple of lessons (not officially part of the subject though), although I don't think I'd be able to do one of his plays, because I'd watch his version and want to copy it!

Joe
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Joe_JBB
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Oh yeah, I haven't worked out how to quote yet BUT...sparklyteacosie, did you really find you had to write what they were looking for? :confused: For me, Theatre Studies seems the only subject where I can actually express my own ideas and opinions, rather than regurgitating other peoples, and writing what examiners want. I felt that whatever my idea was, as long as I justified it, it was fine.

Joe
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happydinosaur
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(Original post by Joe_JBB)
Oh yeah, I haven't worked out how to quote yet BUT...sparklyteacosie, did you really find you had to write what they were looking for? :confused: For me, Theatre Studies seems the only subject where I can actually express my own ideas and opinions, rather than regurgitating other peoples, and writing what examiners want. I felt that whatever my idea was, as long as I justified it, it was fine.

Joe
Well I felt I had to do that to an extent. For unit 2 atleast (AMSND and Shadow of a gunman) I kept getting a D for the paper everytime I took it even though I was jusifying my answers etc etc and when I got my papers back but the last time I took the exam I tried to get any crazy ideas I had which would have been fine if I was actually directing it myself and go for something simple clear and on the mark scheme. One of my teachers marks that paper and therefore when she started teaching me basically explained that to do well I should forget trying to stretch myself as I would in the real situation and just go for something straightforward. Mainly because this is obviously easier to write and thus easier to mark and if it is on the mark scheme then you will get marks for it. It is sad but the way to do well is to write not to create theatre but to pass the exam. Such a good job that the real world of theatre is not like that. I don't care. I have my A. Didn't even need an A in theatre studies. Drama is just like any other subject, you just need to know what is needed to pass the exam.
happydinosaur
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My other thought on A2 theatre studies is that studying Brecht is fun. It was for me because it took hardly anytime until we all came to the conclusion that Brecht was doing nothing new, and really his theories are pants!! Lessons were spend picking holes in everything he 'believed' because really all he did was say things people were already doing but put lots of spin on to it all.
sophieD
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i did the caucasion chalk circle for my practical exam and one thing i learnt is that brecht's theory and practice are very different. Brecht said himself "if it works on stage, throw away the theory". Whether or not i agree with what he wrote, i cetainly had a lot of fun in rehearsals, because we could use loads of props, sing songs around a piano and take on loads of different character roles. I enjoyed it so much im considering doing a module @ uni about him!
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happydinosaur
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(Original post by sophieD)
i did the caucasion chalk circle for my practical exam and one thing i learnt is that brecht's theory and practice are very different. Brecht said himself "if it works on stage, throw away the theory". Whether or not i agree with what he wrote, i cetainly had a lot of fun in rehearsals, because we could use loads of props, sing songs around a piano and take on loads of different character roles. I enjoyed it so much im considering doing a module @ uni about him!
I used a lot of 'Brechtian' techniques in Dr Faustus (simple set/costume, props that don't fit the play and a polystrene head as Helen of Troy and sock puppets for Alexander the Great) It was fun but I just think what he wrote was just him putting into writing everything which had been done before. I suppose he did put his own theory to how it should be used and why but sometimes I just think a pure brechtian approach is just pants.
Amzybaby24
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i did dr f for eng lit, its a fantastic play, marlow is so much better than shakespeare!
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glitterdreams
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oh dear looks like im going to have a different take on things at uni! I didnt do any of the plays mentioned above apart from a midsummer nights dream at A2 and essay technique???????
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siobhan_k
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ye i luv berkoff. at AS we studies metamorphosis which was really gd. brecht is also one of my favourite.
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Billistic
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Ask your teacher to do "East" by Stephen Berkoff for your scripted play. Best play EVER, so much that I got 100% on my performance. Woop!
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happydinosaur
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(Original post by Billistic)
Ask your teacher to do "East" by Stephen Berkoff for your scripted play. Best play EVER, so much that I got 100% on my performance. Woop!
Not a fan of East. Just doesn't appeal to me.

I seem to prefer a less contemporary style as I have most enjoyed working on Faustus (Marlowe) Volpone (Jonson) and I am about to begin the rehersal process for Sheridans School for Scandal. Really looking forward to that as I have little experience of restoration comedy at the moment.
Melana
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I've just finished AS with Edexcel (grrrrr)

Drama is briliant at giving you confidence - you will change lots over the year, but don't expect it to be easy - at all. It's sooooo not.

We did A Doll's House and My Mother Said I Never Should for the coursework, then Macbeth for the practical. It is so much fun, and you learn so much, and gain some great friends actually!
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Emma-Marie
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First of all I just wana say hello! Well done to evertone who did well in there AS & A2 drama & theatre studies exams, its a great subject but its hard!

I'm just about to start my A2 and we're studing the trojan woman, and i cant find any study guides or plot summarys anywhere. Can anyone give me a pointer in the right direction??? Thanks Love Emma xxx
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