Drama A Level - Edexcel - Theatre in Context EXAM 2014

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KrisTuffour
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Hi GUYSSS, i'm doing the Edexcel theatre in context exam on jun 12th (i think) and im just checking to seee if anyone has got any tips/revision sites/ techniques for writing to share???

Im doing doctor Faustus and we went to see a production of Hedda Gabler at the wyvern Theatre in Swindon
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Sloppy Jumpers
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Hello, moved your thread into study help - you should get some responses there!
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Legohead
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Hmm. I'm doing this horrific exam too. Except, we've studied Henry V.

It's actually a difficult exam in the sense of pleasing the examiner. The most important thing is to just know the original performance and the modern interpretation inside out. This is because they could obviously specify a question towards design or acting style, yet it is still possible to talk about both/all elements within the same essay. Therefore, it's good to go in knowing as much as you can and already having an idea of how you will structure the actual essay. I'm sure you've heard of SEAL??

Statement
Example
Analysis
Link

That can obviously be used in any question really. We've been told by our teacher to be careful when comparing to the original: the modern day interpretation should be the dominant part of the answer and comparison to the original performance should not be used as lengthy responses because effectively, the question will be referring to the "21st Century" in some way. This is just what we've been told anyway.

We've been told to aim for about 5 points and to choose key moments/scenes. So for an example, I would say "Design doesn't overpower the role of the actor: design compliments them. Jude Law, wearing..., and encompassed by a bright white spotlight etc, made his delivery of..., much more heroic and powerful reinforcing the might behind a King etc, etc. The audience truly felt a sense of... Yet, Law's physicalisation of a firm grounding and cutting gestures etc...In Shakespeare's time, even though the design would have been impossible to such an extent as seen in the 21st Century, the recognisable acting style," and blah blah blah. That's kind of how we've been told to write our answers and have always suffered the brutal incessant reminders of always linking back to the question and ensuring that we link back to the original after we've described the modern performance.

Familiarise yourself with the play thoroughly and know key quotes which you could even use as examples in your writing. There are probably key moments between Mephistopheles and Faustus, (I think that's the name), which you could take quotes from to back up explanations of set design, costume, acting style - whatever it is.

Really, what is key is detail. Throughout we've been told to talk about the audiences reaction - the audience of today and the audience of the original when it's relevant.

I appreciate I've waffled a lot. It's actually nice for me to reflect and try and work out what I need to do too. I have no idea if any of it is helpful at all. I'm sorry if not.

This is is mainly Section C stuff - but really, it's the same throughout the whole paper. Half of the battle is knowing what you're talking about but the other half is talking the examiners language. Edexcel have an Exemplar which is 57 marks - an A* - so it might be worth studying them for a while to see how they've structured their answers. In terms of revision sites, I have no idea for Drama. I'm a massive fan of past papers and mark schemes.

Anyway. I've probably written the equivalent of the 30 mark essay so...I hope it's something at least.
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KrisTuffour
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When's your exam date? June 12th?

My teacher has also recommended that we choose 5 key scenes and explain these in detail to whatever the questionis asking, like you said its usually acting styles or design. I think the comparison to the original performance conditions should be very succinct and not too much of a history lesson lol.

I think i'm going to start analysing past papers as i've already looked at the mark schemes. I just have to adapt my writing style to make it easier for the examiner to understand my ideas and concepts for Faustus.

Thanks for going into detail though, I can relate most of the knowledge that youve talked about to my exam. I really appreciate it. Its good to waffle sometimes because you can also see how much you know yourself like you said.

My only question is: would you recommend taking one side of the question E.g answering the side of acting style and why thats more significant or answering it in a way which mixes both of them and as you said how they compliment each other?
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CeeJay96
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I'm doing Woyzeck, which is by the far the worst thing I ever read . . ever.

My teacher has taught us absolutely nothing, I'm pretty screwed for this exam, even if it is a load of airy-fairy nonsense lol.
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justanothertechie
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Hey - Studying this too! Faustus (Urggh) for Section A & B and Ghosts, by Ibsen, for Section C.

In most past questions I've been hitting 24/30 for Section B and C but literally have no idea how to get above 10/20 in Section A!

I'm gunning for an A overall which means I need around 58/80.

Does anyone know how to 'win' against Section A? I just don't know how to do it with the rehearsal techniques and all...?
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justanothertechie
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Hey - Studying this too! Faustus (Urggh) for Section A & B and Ghosts, by Ibsen, for Section C.

In most past questions I've been hitting 24/30 for Section B and C but literally have no idea how to get above 10/20 in Section A!

I'm gunning for an A overall which means I need around 58/80.

Does anyone know how to 'win' against Section A? I just don't know how to do it with the rehearsal techniques and all...?
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KrisTuffour
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Hi,

Quick question, do you have a Faustus script which is annotated that you can take into the exam?
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justanothertechie
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(Original post by KrisTuffour)
Hi,

Quick question, do you have a Faustus script which is annotated that you can take into the exam?
Yes - just finished mine yesterday! We got new ones for over half term, to write out notes up into neat, ready for the exam
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sabrineshaw
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Hey, I'm just wondering if anyone on this thread has a document of their fully prepared concept for Section B as my class including myself feel most unprepared for section B, we all have concepts but can't seem to be getting very high marks for any of the one's that we've given in. If not a prepared document, can anyone give some tips for section B specifically. We're doing Lysistrata by Aristophanes.

Thanks
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justanothertechie
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(Original post by sabrineshaw)
Hey, I'm just wondering if anyone on this thread has a document of their fully prepared concept for Section B as my class including myself feel most unprepared for section B, we all have concepts but can't seem to be getting very high marks for any of the one's that we've given in. If not a prepared document, can anyone give some tips for section B specifically. We're doing Lysistrata by Aristophanes.

Thanks
Once you get the hang of it, Sections B and C are fairly similar. Basically if you think of it this way you should be alright...

Point, Evidence (Contemporary), Evidence (OPC) and explanation (why it's different and why you changed it)

I've been getting 24/30 so could upload some samples tomorrow if you want?


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sabrineshaw
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(Original post by justanothertechie)
Once you get the hang of it, Sections B and C are fairly similar. Basically if you think of it this way you should be alright...

Point, Evidence (Contemporary), Evidence (OPC) and explanation (why it's different and why you changed it)

I've been getting 24/30 so could upload some samples tomorrow if you want?


Posted from TSR Mobile
Yes please, that would be very helpful! Thank you
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justanothertechie
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You're more than welcome - I'll upload them tomorrow!
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lizzy126
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hi, I'm in the same position my drama teacher has taught me nothing about Woyzeck and I'm stressing out about the exam. my drama teacher told me we can write rehearsal techniques on our script. however this seems like cheating to me as you can go on the edexcel website and get example papers and write down all the successful answers on your script, is he correct?
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KrisTuffour
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(Original post by lizzy126)
hi, I'm in the same position my drama teacher has taught me nothing about Woyzeck and I'm stressing out about the exam. my drama teacher told me we can write rehearsal techniques on our script. however this seems like cheating to me as you can go on the edexcel website and get example papers and write down all the successful answers on your script, is he correct?
You could do that but there's no guarantee on what the question type will be. . . E.g Designer/ director related or an importance question like 'Special effects take the place over acting' or something similar
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KrisTuffour
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Also, does anyone know what order they are going to do the exam in?

My drama teacher told my class to do it in the CBA order (lol) because that way if you run out of time, you'll run out of time on the less significant questions in terms of marks... that is if you eve run out of time
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CeeJay96
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(Original post by lizzy126)
hi, I'm in the same position my drama teacher has taught me nothing about Woyzeck and I'm stressing out about the exam. my drama teacher told me we can write rehearsal techniques on our script. however this seems like cheating to me as you can go on the edexcel website and get example papers and write down all the successful answers on your script, is he correct?
He is correct, fortunately lol You aren't allowed to write essays inside your script, because if an exam adjudicator sees it, or if Edexcel requests for the script and sees it, you'll be disqualified. However you're allowed to write down basic bullet points, so you could bullet point an essay if you really wanted to!

You're also apparently allowed to write all of your directorial intentions and design elements for your own interpretation of Woyzeck on the exam script. Again, you could subtly bullet point an essay here if you really wanted to . .

There's definitely a lot of lee-way for cheating here, so if you're cautious and careful not to get caught, you could definitely do well in the exam. That's what's reassured me, anyway, because I know very little without my script/notes! Lol

(Original post by KrisTuffour)
Also, does anyone know what order they are going to do the exam in?

My drama teacher told my class to do it in the CBA order (lol) because that way if you run out of time, you'll run out of time on the less significant questions in terms of marks... that is if you eve run out of time
That's the way I was told to do it as well.
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LittleAndFierce
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(Original post by justanothertechie)
Hey - Studying this too! Faustus (Urggh) for Section A & B and Ghosts, by Ibsen, for Section C.

In most past questions I've been hitting 24/30 for Section B and C but literally have no idea how to get above 10/20 in Section A!

I'm gunning for an A overall which means I need around 58/80.

Does anyone know how to 'win' against Section A? I just don't know how to do it with the rehearsal techniques and all...?
Section A always has to be spoken about in the context of rehearsal techniques, even if the question does not specifically mention it. I'm studying Woyzeck for Section A&B so while I can't give you any specific examples the same principles would apply to the way I write my answers (I normally get between 16 - 20 in Section A).

I always follow the Point, Example, Explain format for Section A; so the point is your rehearsal technique, the example is then how it is carried out/what the 'cast' do and then the explain is HOW this links to the question. So for example, if the question was on a relationship it would follow this style...

'The relationship between Character A and B could be explored though a 'Genre Swap' rehearsal activity; this would be done through putting the cast into pairs where they would rehearse the Scene [specifically link to your scene/scenes here] in a number of different genres such as melodrama, naturalism and in a soap opera style. This would specifically explore the character's relationship as it would offer a number of interpretations by the cast, for example in melodrama the humorous exaggeration suggests a comfortable relationship while naturalism could suggest a more serious one.'

Obviously this is a bit more detailed than I would normally write as I'm typing and not doing it hand-written but it's all there! For question C though an extra sentence needs to be added which links to your final interpretation, however DO NOT MAKE THAT YOUR FOCUS OF QUESTION C IT STILL NEEDS TO BE REHEARSAL BASED. In the example I gave linking it to a final performance idea needs only to be as simple as 'This would link to my final performance as I want the relationship between Character A and Character B to be very humorous; the melodrama developed in rehearsal emphasising this side of the relationship.'

Also! If at any point you can give a rehearsal technique which would link to a specific practitioner do so! I hope this helps with your Section A and good luck for your exam
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justanothertechie
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(Original post by LittleAndFierce)
Section A always has to be spoken about in the context of rehearsal techniques, even if the question does not specifically mention it. I'm studying Woyzeck for Section A&B so while I can't give you any specific examples the same principles would apply to the way I write my answers (I normally get between 16 - 20 in Section A).

I always follow the Point, Example, Explain format for Section A; so the point is your rehearsal technique, the example is then how it is carried out/what the 'cast' do and then the explain is HOW this links to the question. So for example, if the question was on a relationship it would follow this style...

'The relationship between Character A and B could be explored though a 'Genre Swap' rehearsal activity; this would be done through putting the cast into pairs where they would rehearse the Scene [specifically link to your scene/scenes here] in a number of different genres such as melodrama, naturalism and in a soap opera style. This would specifically explore the character's relationship as it would offer a number of interpretations by the cast, for example in melodrama the humorous exaggeration suggests a comfortable relationship while naturalism could suggest a more serious one.'

Obviously this is a bit more detailed than I would normally write as I'm typing and not doing it hand-written but it's all there! For question C though an extra sentence needs to be added which links to your final interpretation, however DO NOT MAKE THAT YOUR FOCUS OF QUESTION C IT STILL NEEDS TO BE REHEARSAL BASED. In the example I gave linking it to a final performance idea needs only to be as simple as 'This would link to my final performance as I want the relationship between Character A and Character B to be very humorous; the melodrama developed in rehearsal emphasising this side of the relationship.'

Also! If at any point you can give a rehearsal technique which would link to a specific practitioner do so! I hope this helps with your Section A and good luck for your exam

Thank You! Just one question - we've been taught that Section A should be about the play in general, so is Question C about our interpretation?
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LittleAndFierce
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(Original post by justanothertechie)
Thank You! Just one question - we've been taught that Section A should be about the play in general, so is Question C about our interpretation?
Question C sort of works as a bridge between Section A (rehearsal) and Section B (actually performance), so make Question C entirely rehearsal based in regards to the demands of the question and only add a single sentence to link it to your interpretation. In the 'genre swap' example, that rehearsal technique could just be used to say that you want a character to act in a very humorous way, thus exploring the melodrama genre would be important in exploration. Basically only just touch on your interpretation in Question C, do not talk about it in any way shape or form for questions A and B.

Also for Section A there's a source booklet which has 2/3/4 scenes from your play, you talk about how you would explore that specific section of the play through rehearsal. Some questions might be specific, like 'how would you explore the relationship between characters A and B in scene 10 of your source booklet', while other questions might be more general about the scene extracts. My class has always been taught to stick to the source booklets for Section A then talk about the whole play for Section B.

Either way, I hope that explains Question C a bit better
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