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  • 1.  IB Theatre

    Posted 02-20-2014 13:50
    We are looking at adding IB Theatre to our IB schedule. Does anyone have experience in teaching IB Theatre?

    John Perry
    Drama/ Humanities Instructor
    Atherton High School


  • 2.  RE:IB Theatre

    Posted 02-21-2014 14:44
    Hi John,

    We currently have IB Theatre.  As with all things, there are some positives and negatives.  There are four assessments with IB Theatre at the moment.  These assessments will have changed before you start a course.  So, as you look into the course, make sure you are asking about the new assessments. 

    Things I love:  the course focuses on exploring theatre from around the world--much of what I am teaching now, I wasn't exposed to until college.  We've worked with Bunraku, Image Theatre/Thaetre of the Oppressed, Absurdism, and Greek Theatre.  Of course there was minor attention paid to Absurdism and Greek theatre in high school, but nothing in depth. 

    There is a huge focus on exploring theatre in the world and devising theatre.  This means I get approval for a great number of field trips and workshops for my students.  Also, my students are working on devising/creating original site-specific work for their independent projects. 

    I got to go to a level three training for IB in the fall.  It was the best professional development I have ever attended.  I came away with a plethora of ideas to implement with my actors right away, and more ideas to explore on my own for use later.

    Things which can be problematic:  The four assessments include a great deal of research.  Many of the books about the theatrical genres and their conventions are out of print, very expensive, or hard to find.  With my school's lack of resources and my students' lack of access to computers outside of school the research is difficult.  We are slowly building up our library, but as it is, most high school libraries don't carry many books about or plays from world theatre.

    If you have more specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them.  I think we can send private mail from the forum, but I'm just checking this out, so I'm not sure yet!

    Amy Sidwell
    Drama Department


  • 3.  RE:IB Theatre

    Posted 02-22-2014 14:42

    Hi John, 
    I have been teaching IB Theater for over 25 years and I love the freedom it allows me to introduce students to world theater, acting styles and theater production.  As Amy said there are pros and cons to any program.  I don't have as much difficulty with computer access or libraries for my students since we have major universities here in Orange County, CA  and that allows for my students to be able to get great resources for research. 

    The course is changing and there will be new assessments for 2016 which means you have to start in fall 2014 since it requires 2 years for the higher level theater assessment.  I am going to the next training in March but what I see from the information I have, they are changing some of the assessments to reflect more playwriting and production--more of a practical approach than theoretical. 

    The IB program emphasizes the discovery of information  and the enlightenment of the student researching a theater tradition (say Bunraku theater) and experiencing it in class by making a puppet and performing a scene as a puppeteer the student can discover how other cultures create theater.  In this type of lesson I go on to show them how this form was incorporated in "The Lion King" and then have them research other forms of puppet theater.  They have presented some amazing forms to share with the class.  So, it is about the excitement of learning and performing and extending that learning. 

    As Amy said too, I am able to include many field trips to add to the enrichment of the class and I often tap into the area theaters to chose the theorists or traditions I want to teach each year.  IB allows you to make your own choices so it is not a prescribed curriculum --it simply states to teach 2 to 3 different theater traditions/cultures/theorists.  

    It is the "original" Common Core.  
    Kathy Cannarozzi-Harris
    Chairperson Of Visual And Performing Arts
    Mission Viejo High School

  • 4.  RE:IB Theatre

    Posted 02-23-2014 20:00
    Hello! I have been looking for information regarding IB Theatre. I do not teach in an IB school so I was wondering how difficult it is to implement in a school that only offer AP, DE, and Honors?

    Victoria Kesling Councill
    Theatre Teacher
    New Kent County Public Schools


  • 5.  RE:IB Theatre

    Posted 02-24-2014 11:05
    I've been teaching a sophomore prep class leading into IB Theatre since 1991-92.  Another teacher handles our actual junior/senior IB classes.  It does have its frustrations, especially since we teach a larger number of students than the program seems to have been designed for, so getting all of their exam work done on time is a chore.  But the rewards are so great that we embrace the challenges.  The creative level on which IB students must work almost staggers the imagination, and these kids usually rise to meet expectations.

    I do recommend that anyone teaching IB Theatre get some IB-provided training.  At one point, they changed the curriculum on us, and my colleague and I felt that we could scope it out from the curriculum guide alone.  Nope.  For the first time, we had kids failing the exam.  So we went for training in the new curriculum, and we've had a 100% pass rate ever since.  We're pretty sure now that any time they change the curriculum, we want to be officially trained in the new requirements.  (Besides, the training was amazing - our session was in Montreal, and involved teachers from places as far removed as England and Uruguay, so the professional networking and peer idea exchanges that went along with the official training sessions made the experience even more useful.)

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, though, but I believe, in reference to the most recent question, that IB courses can only be offered at IB member schools.  But IB approves new schools all the time - talk to your principal or head of school, and whoever runs your guidance office, and see if you can get on board.

    Jeff Grove
    Theatre Teacher
    Stanton College Preparatory School
    Jacksonville, FL

  • 6.  RE:IB Theatre

    Posted 03-31-2014 23:17
    Hi John:

    I've been working as an IB theatre teacher for about five years now.  What would you like to know?

    Tal Gribbins