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DRAMA NOTES (WRITTEN EXAM)

There are 3 separate sections in the written examination, each of which relates to prerelease material

Section A (30 marks) You will answer 68 short-answer questions on the


extract from the play you have studied from the pre-release material (20 marks)
and 24 questions on the piece you have devised from your chosen stimulus from
the pre-release material (10 marks). You must answer all questions in this
section.

Section B (25 marks) You will answer one longer-answer question from a
choice of three on the extract from the play you have studied from the pre-release
material

Section C (25 marks) You will answer one longer-answer question from a
choice of three on the drama they have devised from their chosen stimulus from
the pre-release material

The Pre-release Material


You begin work on the pre-release material in December of Year 11.

The Pre-release Material


You begin work on the pre-release material in December of Year 11.
The pre-release material consists of:

Three different stimuli that will be selected from short titles, poems, pictures,
songs, historical events, stories, and so on. You will work in groups of up to 6 to
devise and perform a piece of drama based on one of the stimuli, which will last no
longer than 15 minutes. In the written exam you have to be ready to answer
questions, which expect you to reflect on, and evaluate, all aspects of the devising
process.
N.B. This devised drama is in addition to the ones you do for practical assessment

An extended extract from a play, which can come from a variety of genres, countries and
time periods. You will study the extract in class with your teacher so you have a strong
understanding of both the text and the practical aspects of performing the text. You will
probably do an informal performance (with scripts) of the extract, although this is not
assessed. In the written exam you have to be ready to answer questions which will show
your understanding of the play, its themes and characters, as well as demonstrating how
you might stage it - including lighting, setting, costume and props.

Possible Questions for Section A, based on your pre-released material (30 Marks)
-

Identify one point in the extract where you think a prop could be used effectively,
and say why. [2]
What costume would you suggest for (CHARACTER NAME), and why? [2]
As an actor playing the role or (CHARACTER NAME), how would you deliver the
speech between lines (line number-line number)? [3]
Suggest three features of the relationship between (CHARACTER NAME) and
(CHARACTER NAME) that you would wish to bring our [3]
If you were playing the role of (CHARACTER NAME), at which two points in the
extract would you want to most impact your performance? (Say how you would do
this). [4]
Read the passage of dialogue from lines (line number) to lines (line number), and
discuss how this could be played for maximum effectiveness. [4]
Summarize what you think would be the most important considerations in creating
a set design for the extract. [5]

Possible Questions for Section A, based on the pieces of drama that was devised
from the stimuli
What range of emotions did you try to communicate in your piece based on the
stimuli you choose and how did you do this? [4]
How did you structure your piece based on your chosen stimuli to shape the
message of the drama? [4]
Describe the plot of your piece. How did you structure this plot to make it
interesting for an audience? [3]
How did you create tension in your devised piece? How did you dramatize this? [4]
What style of drama did you use in your devised piece? [4]
What aspects did you deal with in your devised piece? [4]
What message did you try to convey to the audience in your devised piece? [4]
Discuss the characters you created in your devised piece. [4]
What message did you want to get across in your devised piece? How far do you
think you audience was persuaded by this message? [4]
Possible Questions for Section B, based on your pre-released material (25 Marks)
Explain how you would create an appropriate set for the extract. How would your
design help the actors playing to make best use of the space? [25]
As a director, explain the similarities and differences that you would want to create
between 2 named characters in the extract. Refer to specific aspects of the extract
to support you view of these characters. [25]
As an actor, how would you convey the personality of a specific character to the
audience? Make specific references to the extract to support you discussion. [25]
This extract demonstrates shifting attitudes and loyalties between characters. As a
director, select three significant moments in the extract that demonstrate these
changes and discuss how you would want the actors to show them. [25]
Discuss the set you would create for this extract. [25]
As a director, identify three significant pints in the extract where these is potential
for the actors to being out mood changes. [25]
Questions for Section C, based on the pieces of drama that was devised from the
stiumuli (25 Marks)
-

What type of performance space would you choose to stage your devised piece?
How would you use set and lighting in this space to communicate the plays
themes to an audience? [25]
How effective was your devised piece? Refer to at least four specific features of
your work to support you answer. [25]
Discuss your use of pacing and contrast in your devised piece. [25]
How did you create an appropriate mood in your devised piece? [25]
How did you create contrast, pacing and tension in your devised piece? [25]
What dramatic structure did you adopt in your devised piece? How did the
structure relate to the pacing of the piece? [25]

PRE-RELEASED MATERIAL TIPS


Characters:
For each character, make sure that each main character has notes regarding:
Voice
Space
Physicality and movement
Costume
Character type and status
When writing an answer, you must make detail regarding the focus of your answer.
Voice:
Space:
-

Pitch
Pause
Pace
Intonation
Tone
Volume
Tempo

Proxemics (positions on stage in relation to others and others, including the


audience)
Type of stage (Thrust stage, traverse stage, proscenium stage, in the round stage,
etc)
Physicality and Movement:
Pace
Stance
Posture
Facial Expressions
Control
Gestures
Costume:
Colors that symbolize
Fashion relating back to the time era
Character type and status (examples):
Shy
Scared
Dominant
Excitable
lonely
Points to remember for pre-released material:
Always identify and long monologues in the pre-released material.
If there is a given time period, use it in regards to props, costume and set
Make sure you identify each main character
Pick out small habits of each character (fumbling, stuttering on certain words, etc.)

WRITING YOUR ANSWERS


What examiners look for:
Literary approaches to answering questions must be avoided
Do not recount the story to provide detail of the character on focus on how the
character must be seen or heard to convey those traits
Be familiar with dramatic technical terms
Remember:
Read questions carefully
Always relate your answer back to question (Do not lose focus)
Dont waste time providing information that is not asked for
Observe the number of marks
Key terms to mention in ANSWERS
Articulation The clarity or distinction of speech
Chorus A group of performers who sing, dance, or recite in unison.
Conflict The internal or external struggle between opposing forces, ideas, or interests
that creates dramatic tension.
Denouement The moment in a drama when the essential plot point is unraveled or
explained
Development Progression of the plot of conflict in a play
Dialogue Spoken conversation used by two or more characters to express thoughts,
feelings, and actions.
Ensemble The dynamic interaction and harmonious blending of the efforts of the many
artists involved in the dramatic activity of theatrical production.
Farce An extreme form of comedy that depends on quick tempo and flawless timing and
is characterized by improbable events and far-fetched coincidences.
Fourth Wall The invisible wall of a set through which the audience sees the action of
the play.
Gesture Any movement of the actors head, shoulder, arm, hand, leg, or foot to convey
meaning
Inflection Change in pitch of loudness.
Isolation Control of isolated body parts; the ability to control or move one of the body
and the body independently of the rest.
Mannerism A peculiarity of speech or behavior.
Mime Acting without words.
Mood The tone of feeling of the play, often engendered by the music, setting or lighting
(possibly actions created through the actors)
Naturalism A style of drama that developed in the late 19th century as an attempt to
represent real life on stage without artifice; the actions of characters tend to be dominated
by determinism (societal or environmental forces)
Pace Rate of movement of speed of action.
Pitch The particular level of a voice, instrument or tune.
Posture Physical alignment of a performers body, or physical stance.
Satire A play in which sarcasm, irony, and ridicule are used to expose or attack folly or
pretension in society.
Soliloquy A speech in which an actor, usually alone on stage, speaks the inner thoughts
of their character aloud.
Symbolism The use of symbolic language, imagery, or color to evoke emotions or ideas.
Tempo Relative speed or rate of movement in pace over time.
Vocal expression - How an actor uses his or her voice to convey character.
Vocal projection - Directing the voice out of the body to be heard clearly at a distance.
Voice - The combination of vocal qualities an actor uses such as articulation,
phrasing, and pronunciation.