Hello and welcome to Reigate College’s Performing Arts Department.
My name is Neil Hadley and I’m the course leader for the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (the equivalent of three A Levels) and the BTEC Level 3 Diploma (the equivalent of two A Levels) in Performing Arts. Whichever course you’re doing, you’ll be spending a lot of time with us studying Acting, Musical Theatre and Movement, so I’m really looking forward to meeting you and personally welcoming you to our department in September.
Before then I’d like you to complete a series of tasks and activities over the coming months to get you ready for starting the Extended Diploma or Diploma course. These activities should all be completed independently from home, but because group work is so important in Performing Arts, we’ll take some time in September to come together and share what everyone’s learnt. Please also use this time to keep up with all the latest performances being released on-line.
All of the tasks should be completed by Choices Day on 25 August. Please throw yourself into them, and above all, enjoy them!
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:
2: For each of your three texts, spend some time researching
the context in which they were written and then have a go at annotating a
section of each one.
As well as
completing these tasks, don’t forget to keep making the most of the many
opportunities to watch plays and musicals online for free.
Aim High – 1 July
From 1 July
Once you’ve taken part in the College’s first ever Virtual Introductory Day on 30 June, you will be asked to complete a more formal Aim High task (posted here) that it is mandatory for all new students to complete before Choices Day on 25 August.