GCSE Drama - Commedia & Pantomime

GCSE Drama - Commedia & Pantomime

The aim of this scheme of work is to introduce students to the devising process through practical exercise, research and log book entry, using Commedia Dell’Arte and Pantomime as a stimulus.


This could be used in Year 9 to get a ‘taste’ of devising a full length piece at KS3 ready for GCSE KS4 or could be used as a practise or assessed devised component in Year 10 or 11. This is especially helpful for weaker students who need a firmer underpinning in devising or would benefit from a more structured approach.


In the first instance students look at ‘Alota Chocolata’ from 10 GCSE Plays available here.
However any Commedia / Melodrama script could be used.

  • Full scheme of work

    Lesson Objectives & Activities:


    Week 1: To be introduced to AQA GCSE drama and the course content. To get to know the teacher and interact with peers. Recap on drama skills. Analyse their work. Activities - Introduction on the content of the course and how lessons/terms will run. Diary recording and a look forward to tasks and trips. Skills needed for improvisation & characterisation, Diary entries.


    Week 2: To look at style period & genre. Analysis of play. Review of play. Themes & issues. Introduction of first ideas. Activities -  Students will review the trip analysing the key elements needed for the written paper. Exploring the characters within the play. Diary entries


    Week 3: To develop understanding of the Commedia style and relate it to contemporary pantomime in terms of characterisation and movement and plot. Activities - Watch video of commedia style as well as PPP on the link between the two genres. Short extract of Alota Chocolata. Diary entries. Written evaluation.


    Week 4: To decide what ‘shape’ their improvisation will take. Students will create a panto with commedia characters. To create characters.

    Activities - Students will decide on style and genre of their play and what their target audience is. They will experiment with movement and voice.


    Week 5: To develop their play and the plot. To be sure of style, period and genre. To produce a written character analysis. Activities - Students will be given a simple structure: Initial Crisis, First recovery, Happy interlude, Worse crisis, Final recovery, wedding. Diary entries. Written development of pieces.


    Week 6: To develop character by research and rehearse their performance. Activities - Whilst rehearsing students will have help refining their character with different drama techniques: Hot-seating & research into the background to their character.


    Week 7: To develop audience communication. To rehearse their play. Activities - Whilst students carry on with the rehearsal process, attention will be given to how effectively they are communicating with their audience and each other. This will be followed up by written practice questions.


    Week 8: To decide on technical elements. To rehearse their play. Activities - Students should have already had ideas for the technical elements of their play, this week will focus on these elements and again the written practise of this.


    Week 9: To rehearse and clean their performance for assessment in the following week. Activities - This week students will rehearse their performance in preparation of the final assessment.


    Week 10: To perform their improvisation for controlled assessment Activities - Students will perform their improvisation for final summative assessment in front of an audience according to the AQA mark scheme.


    Week 11: To watch the DVD of their performances and evaluate strengths, weaknesses and notes for improvement. Activities - Students will watch the DVD of their own work and others for evaluation. Some lessons will be dedicated to written practise questions according to the AQA guidelines.


    Week 12: To evaluate and analyse their work for written assessment. Activities - Students will need to write and evaluate their practical work throughout the course, this week they will concentrate on evaluating their work and practice questions for written elements.

  • Includes:


    • Full scheme of work / overview week by week
    • Log book for students, which includes key vocabulary and even tips for analyse and evaluate live theatre.
    • Full set of lesson plans, starting lesson by lesson, then week by week as students devise and rehearse.
    • 2 Powerpoint presentations on both Commedia Dell’Atre (25 slides) and Pantomime (14 slides) with links to video clips.