Board of Exams Adds New Plays by Writers of Color to GCSE and A-Level Drama | drama and dance

Theater college students may have the chance to check a extra various curriculum on the GCSE and A-level with the addition of 4 new performs by writers of colour.

The AQA, England’s largest examination board, says the texts are a part of a sequence of measures to replace and revise their {qualifications} to make sure they higher mirror the variety of scholars and their lecturers.

New GCSE-level performs will embrace a Francis Turnly thriller based mostly on the true story of Japanese residents who had been kidnapped by the North Korean regime within the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties.

Tanika Gupta’s The Empress, which tells the story of Queen Victoria’s relationship along with her servant Abdul Karim and an Indian nanny named Rani Das, may also be added to the GCSE curriculum.

The brand new A-level texts embrace a transforming of Three Sisters of Chekhov by Inua Ellams, set in Nineteen Sixties Nigeria, and The Convert by Danai Gurira, which tells the story of a younger Shona who flees an organized marriage by convert to Christianity.

The panel’s GCSE drama score already consists of the well-known theatrical adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses, which reverses conventional racial stereotypes and reveals racial prejudice from a special perspective.

Texts can be out there for examine from September, with exams two years later. AQA is scheduling free on-line coaching occasions to offer lecturers a sensible toolkit to organize for and train the brand new texts.

The analyzing board may also present data on the social and historic background of every textual content and can handle subjects comparable to stereotypes, accents and casting. It is going to additionally look at train texts at the moment within the curriculum, with a concentrate on equality, range and inclusion.

Sandra Allan, Curriculum Director for Artistic Arts at AQA, stated: “We selected these items due to the wealthy alternatives they’ll present our school and college students to discover a various vary of subjects, together with racial and social points.

“Nevertheless, we all know that simply including new items will not deliver higher range to the curriculum by itself, so we will not cease there. We have to make it as straightforward as doable for colleges to begin instructing these performs.

“That is why we’re offering a whole lot of new assist and sources, and we actually hope that school and college students will get pleasure from these new additions to our theater {qualifications}.”

AQA isn’t alone in updating its curriculum. Prior to now yr, the OCR examination board has launched quite a few new works, together with the 2019 Booker Award-winning novel Woman, Girl, Different by Bernardine Evaristo in its GCSE and A-level English Literature programs.

It follows the criticism that the curriculum in England isn’t inclusive sufficient and must adapt to higher mirror trendy society. Analysis by academic charity Educate First, revealed in 2020, discovered that college students can full their GCSEs and depart highschool in England with out finding out a novel or play by a non-white writer.

The 4 new items

the large wave by Francis Turnley highlights the kidnapping of younger Japanese residents by North Korea. From 1979 to 2003, the play covers the mysterious disappearance of 17-year-old Japanese schoolgirl Hanako. This echoes the real-life expertise of Megumi Yokota, who was simply 13 years previous when she was kidnapped by a North Korean agent in 1977.

the empress by Tanika Gupta begins in 1887, when Rani Das and Abdul Karim arrive on the Tilbury docks in London from India. The play covers the true story of Queen Victoria’s relationship along with her servant and Hindi instructor Karim, in addition to the experiences of Indian handmaids like Das, who got here to Britain throughout the nineteenth century and had been handled as second-class residents. .

the conversion in Danai Gurira is the story of a younger Shona named Jekesai who escapes an organized marriage by changing to Christianity and turning into a servant and pupil of an African evangelical. Impressed by George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, the American-Zimbabwean playwright’s play considers problems with racial, political and non secular identification and assimilation, exploring the cultural and non secular collisions attributable to British colonialism.

Three sisters by Inua Ellams sees Chekhov’s iconic characters transferred from provincial Russia to Nineteen Sixties Owerri Nigeria, the place the nation is getting ready to Nigerian civil conflict, a battle that has seen japanese Nigeria briefly declare a brand new republic known as Biafra. Michael Billington of The Guardian described the play as “a surprisingly vivid account of the civil conflict and a direct assault on British neocolonialism”.

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