Theatre Arts is definitely in my opinion the interdisciplinary group 6 subject. There can be aspects of film, dance, music, and visual arts throughout the course. Which is why I suggest theatre arts be taken by a student who is ready to explore different mediums of art.
I felt comfortable choosing theatre arts because I did well in IGCSE drama. I would later learn that would be far from the truth. Yes, doing IGCSE drama did prepare me for some of the disciplines and assessments of theatre arts. However those two subjects have two completely different principles. Drama as a subject helps learn the performance possibilities of a text and other stimuli, and devise dramatic material of their own. Theatre on the other hand as a subject focuses on the process of producing theatre, the cultural significance of theatre, and different methods of presenting theatre.
Getting into more detail here are some tips to survive and hopefully achieve a 7 in theatre arts hl/sl :
1. Understand why you are doing theatre
In most cases the students doing theatre are interested in the performance aspect of this. If you are one of these students please know that yes you will be performing but you will also be analyzing and dissecting other performance types as well as your own. Once you understand and figure out your end goal it will make doing all the assessments easier. I suggest asking your theatre arts classmates this as well to help formulate your bond with them. Also to get different perspectives on the benefits of doing theatre. I chose to do this subject because I love performing. I also knew that the research skills that I would learn will be beneficial.
2. Make mistakes and learn from them
Do not expect a 7 on your first assessment. Instead expect to learn what you can learn to get a 7. Take constructive criticism from your peers and use it to better your work and always remember, pressure makes diamonds.
3. Communicate with classmates
If you’re lucky your theatre arts classmates will have been students you have already worked with at some point so there should be an established bond. If you haven’t worked with your theatre arts classmates before then create a group chat with everyone and find out more about each other (you can try breaking the ice by asking ib/ theatre questions). I also suggest joining international ib groups and communicating with other theatre students across the world to learn more about how this subject is taught at different schools.
4. Watch lots of live theatre productions
This is probably the most important tip, watch a lot of live theatre productions. This can be done online and in person. This is very important especially in task 2, the director’s notebook (production proposal for new syllabus) because you have to expand on thoughts and ideas you have developed about past live theatre productions. You can watch some live productions online through national theatre and BroadwayHD.
5. Have a theatre arts journal
This can be the book your school provides but either way have a place to write notes, not type, write. This will help you organize your thoughts for your different assessments. I suggest dividing the journal into sections for the different assessments to keep it organized but maybe I am just a neat freak.
Overall don’t stress theatre arts is a completely passable subject so long as you are disciplined and want to put in the effort to pass. I wish you all the best and may you all get 7s.
You may also like…
- Regins’s overview on Theater HL and SL
- VY’s tips on Visual Arts