charlesj
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Hiya; I'm currently taking Drama (& theatre studies), psychology and English Language at A-Level, and I'm doing really well in Psychology and English (A/B grades in tests.) but Drama... I'm not doing so well in.

Now, I act as best as I can, which is fine; but the problem is that my teachers only ever focus on the acting. And that's great, but I want to know how to WRITE the essays. I believe I'm on AQA, and I have one written exam at the end of next year. I have three questions: One on a live theatre evaluation, one on "page to stage" in which I have to write about the play Equus, and one where I have to write about-- well, I don't even know WHAT I have to write about, but the play that we're studying is Lysistrata. (Which I hate, but only because of how childish it seems, and how everyone else ((there's five of us)) finds it to be hilarious.)

My problem here is that I am not very confident when it comes to acting, I took Drama because it was the only other subject I could take that wasn't Literature (yuck) that involved me having some form of creativity, and so I focus more on the writing side. But my teachers don't teach me how to write the essays!!

So I suppose what I'm asking here, is how the heck do I write the essays for this subject? How can I get an A? Hell, even a B! Can someone give me some advice, because I'm not brave enough to ask my teachers.
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s4b3rt00th
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******** your way through.
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charlesj
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Currently doing that and it's getting me a C... But if my acting sucks, I REALLY don't wanna fail because of that.
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persephone_
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I did Drama and Theatre Studies at A Level and probably the simplest piece of advice I could give you is to treat the written aspects not too much unlike how you would treat texts in English Literature (as much as that might disappoint, haha). That is to say, think about the social, economic and political contexts the plays were written in and meant to represent, think about key themes and motifs, and analyse analyse analyse. The only big difference I ever noticed between doing this and getting a good grade for it with novels or poetry in Eng Lit and succeeding the same way with plays in Drama was that Drama required consideration of the performance aspects. It seems obvious, but it's easy to forget when you're sitting and thinking/writing about a play based on its written form, as is often the case when revision rolls around. Think about use of space, physicality, vocalisation, set, sound, lighting etc. etc., what the stage directions say and why, what all that suggests or reflects about the characters in any given scene both in their relationships to each other and their status or state of mind as individuals, and what impact any effect or choice seems to seek to have on the audience vs the impact it actually does have (those in themselves can be different, particularly when dealing with plays that were written in a very different context to now). Bring in any relevant practitioners and theatrical theory and consider meanings and the creative choices made through that particular lens.

Obviously exactly how you structure an essay and what you choose to focus on will vary with the question, and it's down to you to think about what themes and elements are most relevant and important to discuss, but generally I would always say to just go in with the constant expectation that any creative choice - any decision made to include or instruct something, especially repeatedly - was made for a reason, and whether the one you suggest was the real, conscious intention of the playwright or not, if you can explore the impact it has on the experience of watching the play performed, link it to some contemporary context and the key messages of the play and back it up enough, you're onto something.
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charlesj
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(Original post by mermaidy)
I did Drama and Theatre Studies at A Level...
Thank you !!
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