Theatre and Music
Theatre is a composite art that is forever evolving in new forms. It nourishes, sustains and extends the
human spirit. It is a means of exploring society and relationships within it. Through it, there may emerge possibilities for individual and communal understanding. Theatre is about transformation. It is the application, through play, of energy and imagination to frame, reflect, expose, critique and speculate. These activities should engage and develop the sensibilities of all the students who participate in them. By studying theatre, and engaging with it practically, students will discover how elusive, fascinating and varied theatre can be.
At one extreme, theatre is national, institutionalized and commercial, while at the other it is provincial,
subversive and experimental. The Diploma Programme theatre course is designed to encourage students to examine theatre in its diversity of forms around the world. This may be achieved through a critical study of the theory, history and culture of theatre, and will find expression through workshopping, devised work or scripted performance. Students will come to understand that the act of imagining, creating, presenting and critically reflecting on theatre in its past and present contexts embodies the individual and social need to investigate and find explanations for the world around us.
The theatre course emphasizes the importance of working individually and as a member of an ensemble. Students are encouraged to develop the organizational and technical skills needed to express themselves creatively in theatre. A further challenge for students following this course is for them to become aware of their own perspectives and biases and to learn to respect those of others. This requires a willingness to understand alternative views, to respect and appreciate cultural diversity, and to see the varied role that theatre plays in reflecting these. As a result, the theatre course can become a way for students to celebrate the international and intercultural dynamic that inspires and sustains some forms of contemporary theatre, while appreciating the specifically local origins that have always given rise to performance, and which, in many parts of the world, still do.
At the core of the theatre course lies a concern with clarity of understanding, critical thinking, reflective
analysis, effective involvement and imaginative synthesis—all of which should be achieved through
practical engagement in theatre.
Difference between SL and HL
Theatre students at both SL and HL are presented with a common core syllabus that encourages the development of certain skills, attributes and attitudes, as described in the “Objectives” section of this guide. Due to the nature of the theatre course, there may be no great difference in the complexity or artistic merit of the work produced by students at SL and HL. However, the difference in recommended teaching times at SL and HL signals a clear distinction between the demands made on students. It is expected that students at HL will use the extra time available to develop their personal research and practice in theatre, and to extend their understanding of the ideas, practices and concepts encountered during the course. The differences between the requirements of the theatre course at SL and HL are outlined in the table below.
Theatre and Prior Learning
The theatre course at both HL and SL requires no previous experience in drama or theatre. Since the
course is designed to enable students to experience theatre on a personal level, achievement in this
subject is reflected in how students develop, extend and refine the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for studying this art form. Students’ individual ability to be creative and imaginative, and to
communicate in dramatic form, will be challenged and extended through the theoretical and practical
content of the course.
The theatre course provides a relevant learning opportunity for a diverse range of students as it lays an appropriate foundation for further study in theatre, performing arts and other related subjects. In addition, by instilling discipline, and refining communication and group-work skills, it offers a valuable course of study for students who may wish to pursue a career or further education studies in areas unconnected to theatre.
Students at both HL and SL should keep a journal from the outset of the course. This is the student’s own record, charting development, challenges and achievements, and, as such, students are free to determine what form it should take (written, audio and/or visual). The aim of the journal is to support and nurture development and reflection, and it is expected that much of the students’ assessed work will emerge from it. Students should also be encouraged to explore connections between different areas of learning throughout the course. The journal is not directly assessed or moderated but, since what it contains will reflect the sensibility of individual students, and will contain their responses to the different areas of learning, it should be regarded as a fundamental activity of the course.
IB Theatre at Uplands
At Uplands the IB Theatre course is approved holistically focusing on the three core components of the curriculum. In the s each of the core components are explained. The nature of the course demands that from year to year, the choice of texts, theatre practices, methods of performance will change and timing of projects will change. However, each theatre experience will be used to enhance the students understanding of the nature and components of the art form.
Course activities include participation in practical theatre experience, critical evaluation of external productions and dramaturgy research. Independent projects will allow students the opportunity to focus on their individual areas of interest.
Uplands is an active member of The International School Theatre Association and students regularly attend and host International Theatre Festivals and IB Theatre Arts Symposiums.