Theater Studies


Course Length: Full academic year (30 weeks)
This Year's ScheduleClick here to view


Overview of the Course

We will study an assortment of different performance texts representing a range of social, historical and cultural contexts to enhance students’ understanding of theatrical form traditional realism to Broadway theatre of the 1940s/50s, and more innovative work from the the present day.

The course will be divided into six areas: Ibsen/Chekov; Priestly/Shaw; Miller/Williams; Shaffer/Beckett; Stoppard/beckett; Churchill/Pinnoc, thus taking us on a journey of development from the Belle Époque to the present. 

Through both the texts and online theatre productions we will examine how plays were originally performed, and students will be given the chance to study. 

Aims of the Course

The main aim is to study an assortment of different performance texts representing a range of social, historical and cultural contexts to enhance students’ understanding of theatrical form traditional realism to Broadway theatre of the 1940s/50s, to more innovative work from thel the present day. The course will be divided into six areas: Ibsen/Chekov; Priestly/Shaw; Miller/Williams; Shaffer/Beckett; Stoppard/Beckett; Churchill/Pinnoc, thus taking us on a journey of development from the Belle Époque to the present. Through both the texts and online theatre productions we will examine how plays were originally performed, and students will be guided  with regular, consistent written exercises to develop ways of talking about theatre,  and improve their own expression. 

Homework Expectations

Students will attend a one-hour webinar, where they will type in the chat box. They will be asked to read manageable sections of the texts of the plays over the course of a few weeks. Through class discussion and homework, they will be given the opportunity to:
  • Reinterpret an extract from a text to develop and demonstrate their creative abilities.
  • Understand theatres at Work
  • Delve into the craft of playmaking
  • Discover elements of the performance
  • And develop ways of Talking about Theatre: The Critical Audience
Throughout the year, students will be encouraged to collaborate with readings and bring their interpretations to the lessons.

How It Supports Your Child's Education

For UK students and others doing UK-style IGCSE exams, this unit will These skills are relevant to many IGCSE English Literature exams in the UK, anyone studying Drama, or anyone studying for a higher Arts Award (Bronze upwards).

For US students, this course provides one credit for high school English. 


Who Teaches Theater Studies?

Jenny Wells holds a degree in History of Art and English from the University of York, and an MA from the Open University. She home educated her children, and has been teaching History of Art and English GCSE and A Levels at an independent Oxford sixth form college for over twelve years, including being an A level examiner for History of Art. She has a special interest in teaching and encouraging students with specific learning needs.
See all courses taught by Jenny