Hello and welcome to the Performing Arts Department at Reigate College.
My name is Neil Hadley and I’m the course leader for BTEC Performing Arts (Acting). I’m looking forward to welcoming you in person to our thriving department at the start of the academic year. In the meantime, I’d like you to complete a series of tasks and activities over the coming months in preparation for you joining us.
These activities have all been designed for you to complete by yourself at home, but there’ll be the chance to share what you’ve learnt with other students in September, so please be sure to make the most of each one – and above all enjoy them! Remember, too, there are lots of excellent productions available on-line at the moment for you to watch and learn from.
All of the tasks should be completed by Choices Day on 25 August.
The tasks will be released here in three phases:
Explore your Subject – 4 May
back to the Performing Arts Department!
of our Performing Arts courses here at Reigate College is a great way to start
your journey towards your chosen career in performing arts. During
your two years here, you’ll develop and improve your performance skills, as
well as the skills and attributes needed to run a successful performing arts
those who are thinking of a different career path, you’ll find that the
confidence, creativity, team-working and presentation skills you’ll gain
through studying Performing Arts will be hugely valuable whatever you do.
of Performing Arts is vast! The following are some activities you should be exploring
now in preparation for studying any of our Performing Arts courses – in order
to be successful, it’s important you stay up to date on how the industry is
progressing, as well as having an understanding of its foundations.
Understanding live theatre today
To get an
insight into theatre today, you should be reading newspaper articles and
reviews as widely as possible. Of course, with all UK theatres currently closed
due to the Coronavirus, you’ll need to go back in time a little to read
reviews, but with a little research you will be able to find a huge number
reading the newspapers and websites suggested below, you’ll find a lot of
interesting material about how live theatre has had to adjust as a result of
Coronavirus; as well as this, you should also look to consider other issues
that are affecting the Performing Arts, such as funding and royalties, and also
look at jobs offered, openings, closings and training.
For this activity, we would like you to write two
One review should be of a live play that you’ve seen.
The second review should be of a play that you’ve been
in (this could be a piece of assessed performance work, or piece that you have
done for fun or professionally.)
Please produce each review in a report-style format
using sub-headings that highlight:
Experience live theatre for yourself
In order to understand live theatre, there’s nothing like watching it for yourself! Right now, there are so many live stage performances available to watch through YouTube and elsewhere, so watch them – and as many as you can!
As you watch more performances in a variety of genres
(plays, musicals, classical productions etc.), you should begin to build up an
understanding of contrast in live theatre.
You should complete this section of tasks by 1 June.
Get Going – 1 June
You should complete this section
of tasks by 1 July.
Reading a play/musical/libretto is an important part
of the understanding and development of performance. The text indicates the
movement of the actors, their tone, position etc. which all adds an extra level
of detail. It may also include the lighting and setting of the furniture, as
well as the sound effects required for the full assessment of the play.
1: Read three
plays, one of which must be a musical. If you’re not sure what to choose, read
the following article, which lists 25 plays all actors should read (some of
which are available online as free e-texts):
Here are some tips to make the most out of reading a
Read with a pencil in your hand so you can make
notes if necessary
Visualise the characters
Contemplate the setting
Research the historical context
Sit in the director’s chair (can you find an
equivalent chair at home to sit in?)
It’s also really important to read the play aloud:
Plays are written to be heard
If you can, ask your family to read it with you –
reading in a group is more fun!
Listen for how characters use language that sets
them uniquely apart
Plays we’ve explored on Performing Arts courses include:
by Dennis Kelly
Remembered Hills by Dennis Potter
Awakening by Steven Sater
Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol
Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht
Brothers by Willy Russell
You may like to take a look at the Performing Arts galleries section of the Reigate College website to see photos from some of these performances:
preparation for the BTEC Level 3 course in Performing Arts: Acting, you will
need to learn and perform a set monologue. This will improve your rehearsal,
line knowledge and performance skills, which are all essential for the
TASK 1: Please learn the below monologue
from Shakespeare’s As You Like It in
preparation for a workshop lesson:
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms. Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part.
website will help you will the context and meaning:
If it’s helpful, you may like to download and print the monologue here.
In order to help with your rehearsal and performance skills,
please do some research and annotate the above monologue with notes on context,
character, meaning and performance.
All about Method?
Performing Arts: Acting course, one of the things you’ll learn about is acting
styles and techniques. In preparation for this, we’d like you to go a bit
deeper in understanding performance by doing some research into Method Acting.
TASK 3: Firstly, please watch the following
think about some of the tips for and against Method Acting.
If you can get hold of them, the following two books are really useful reading in preparation for the course:
Performing Arts at Reigate College
the course, Performing Arts students at Reigate College have many exciting
opportunities to take part in performances, workshops, masterclasses and trips.
If you’ve not already seen it, take a look at the Spring 2020 ‘Spotlight on Performing Arts’ to get a flavour of some of the things you might be involved with (NB The later events on the What’s On Guide were not able to go ahead due to the coronavirus).
looking forward to welcoming you to another exciting year of Performing Arts at