The Threepenny Opera
The OCR GCSE specification has two routes or options, each comprising two elements.
Route 1: coursework (60%) and written paper (40%)
Route 2: coursework (60%) and practical exam (Realisation Test) (40%)
Coursework is assessed through two Assessment Units, which constitute approximately 20 hours of classroom work. Unit 1 is based on script, Unit 2 on stimulus, issue or theme. Each Unit is rounded off by a Summative Task or performance, which as a guideline takes up about five of the 20 hours.
This article provides material and approaches for these units of coursework. My key aim will be to develop the students’ knowledge, understanding and competence in the seven areas of study of the OCR GCSE specification. To achieve this, I use source material from Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera, providing content for Assessment Unit 1 based around text. However, the approach I will be taking would equally allow the material to be the content for Unit 2, based on a stimulus, issue or theme.
The focus for the unit. The focus here is to provide material on which to base Unit 1 or Unit 2, which leads into working with the genre of political theatre and introduces Brecht’s ideas on performance style – gestus, representation rather than character, and the actor clearly showing and drawing attention to what they want the audience to note.
This scheme of work is also typical of how I introduce design for theatre with GCSE students. The approach is distinctive from the traditional theatre arts approach, which tends to work with the theoretical. In this scheme of work, the set design is the starting point, and is used to engage the students with the text.
Number of Lessons: n/a