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2009.06 Edexcel Past Paper Drama & Theatre
Advanced Subsidiary AS

The contemporary world is rich with a choice of various hobbies. Some like playing ice hockey or cards. Someone likes spending their time watching TV shows, while others prefer reading a good book. People unite in interest groups, especially now, when the Internet is of such a big influence on our life.

Some time ago when the interest clubs had their meetings, please tended to share information, even sent letters to the people from other countries. And, of course, hobbies were different at that time. Few centuries ago no one knew about television, movies, computers and etc. But a desire for spectacular was in people’s heart from the ancient times. And that was the time when a theatre appeared.

It is considered that the birthplace of theatre is the Ancient Greece. To the appearance of drama in Greece was preceded by a long period, during which the leading role was given to epos and then lyrics. The birth of Greek drama and theatre is associated with ceremonial games that were dedicated to the gods-patrons of agriculture: Demeter, her daughter Kore, and Dionysus. From ritual games and songs in honour of Dionysus, grew three genres of Greek drama: tragedy, comedy, and satirical comedy.

In the Hellenistic age (VI-I centuries BC.), Classical Greek theatre has undergone significant changes. These changes are associated with the new historical conditions. In the theatre of the Hellenistic era comedy and tragedy are still played.

The origins of the Roman Theatre and drama go back, as in Greece, to the ceremonial games, rich with carnival elements. One of the origins of the Roman Theatre and drama were rural harvest festivals. Even in distant times, when Rome was a small community of Latium, the villages were celebrating holidays due to the end of the harvest. On these holidays jolly rude songs are sung - Festsenniny.

One of the forms of theatrical art of the early middle ages became a church drama.  While struggling against the remains of the antique theatre, against rural play, church tended to use the influence for theatrical propaganda in its goals. Already in the IX century Mass is being theatricalised, the ritual of role reading produced in those episodes from the legends about the life of Christ, of his burial, and resurrection.

After the Middle Ages comes a long process of the development of theatrical art. Italian, German and French theatres appeared each of them has its own characteristics. Up until this day theatrical art is developing across the world and shows new ways in direction, acting, decorations and etc.

Theatre is an art, which first of all teaches how to be human, how to feel and empathize. Nothing influences people as strong emotionally as does the theatre. And only theatre can give and interested person a lively feeling of reality. If gifts its spectators with authentic feelings and emotions.

The beneficial effects of theatrical art on the individual can be multiple closely intertwined paths both in art perception and in training creative skills of young theatre lovers. The pedagogy rather clearly defines their characteristics:

  • Skills of a cultured audience first of all, theatrical play perception skills, as well as the development of the ability to analyze theatrical art play and to adequately explain your attitude to what is happening on the scene.
  • Stage action skills, meaning ability reaching goals of the character in the conditions on the stage.
  • Collective art skills, working in ensemble, ability to communicate logically and interdependently.
  • Expressive behaviour skills, understanding the presence of audience while acting, making an audience to feel like they are a part of the play, complicity and empathy.
  • Dialogical behaviour skill, taking into account the situation of fictional, narrative action that is, identifying the goals and motives of each plot twist of story on the stage.

Edexcel examination board provides students to pass Drama and Theatre course and to complete an exam in this area. The exam includes three sections. Written exam is required only on the last section, the first two sections ask students to write a course work. In the first course work students have to set an original play, in the second to set a play in the form of dialog/monolog, where mostly will be evaluated the originality of text. While completing a written exam, students have to know the history of theatre, theatrical practices, to know how to set plays and so on. Each section is evaluated separately.

Theatre is one of the oldest spheres of human life, which with centuries was a subject to various changes, what continues even now. It is possible that new contacts with an audience will be invented new variations on eternal and classical themes. But the theatre has also its burden, sort of a responsibility – the audience is used to seeing it in a certain way, in its manner, which exists for centuries. There is the auditorium and the stage, there is an exit to make a bow and a theatrical pause, and all this is required, indispensable entourage, which we expect, no matter what play are we going to see.