AQA A Level Drama Play Guide: The Glass Menagerie

6 AQA A Level Drama How to explore a play for A Level Drama and Theatre SECTION 1 How you will be assessed You will be assessed on your analysis of the choices that create meaning when a text is performed. These include the areas of: When approaching a chosen play, you will be aware of its genre – for example if it is a comedy, tragedy, farce or epic theatre – and its style – whether it is naturalistic or highly stylised, for example, and whether it is modern or postmodern. You will know its form and structure, such as the number of scenes or acts and when its climax occurs. The language of the play could be contemporary and informal, or it might be heightened and poetic, or anything in between. You will explore how the language conveys meaning and emotion to the audience. You will interpret the play’s stage directions and think about which staging con guration would be best to create visual impact. You will consider how the characters might be portrayed through the actors’ skills, including their voices and movements. Throughout, you will be arriving at practical solutions for the challenges of the text in order to make it interesting, meaningful and involving for your audience. In order to produce Drama and Theatre work at the appropriate standard for A Level success, you need to have a clear understanding of what directors, performers and designers do, as well as how to explore scenes and their context. Theatre maker insight Jessica Edwards, director ‘For me, form is always as important as content, because we’re making theatre, and physical bodies are important because we’re all in a space together.’ Key terms Genre: A category of drama, such as comedy, kitchen sink drama, musical comedy or tragedy. Style: The way in which something is performed, for example with realistic detail or exaggerated, abstract or unrealistic. Abstract: Art that is not realistic or literally representative of external reality, but is based on shapes, forms, textures and so on. Naturalistic: Lifelike, believable, realistic. Stylised: Not realistic; done in a particular manner that perhaps emphasises one element of a play or production. Postmodern: A late 20th-century philosophical and artistic movement that challenged common assumptions about art and reality. In drama, it emphasises the lack of objective truth and refuses to supply neat answers to the audience. Climax: The most intense moment in a play, for example the greatest danger or complication often shortly before the resolution. Stage directions: Information in a playscript that is not conveyed in the dialogue. This might include descriptions of the characters, their movements, and the setting, sound effects and lighting. Staging con guration: The arrangement of the stage space and audience, such as traverse, thrust or in the round. Genre Form and structure Character construction Language Style Stage directions Copyright: Sample material