One of the best ways to study theatre is to create it. You'll get some hands-on experiences creating theatrical projects in class, working on after school productions, and working on productions at local theaters. You'll explore all of the different elements that make up a theater production (directing, lighting design, set design, costume design, stage management, etc.) and gain skills in as many areas as interest you. Theatre is such a wonderfully varied discipline that there are many things that you can get interested and involved in. You can help paint sets, design posters, write scripts, direct improv, teach workshops, buy props, sew costumes, create characters, just to name a few - get ready to get busy! As with all of our work, you'll gain insight through investigating both theory and practice. That means that you'll study some ways of doing the work then try out those ideas on your own to see how they work. Read up on the ideas surrounding the activity then get to it! Get in and play!
According to the IB Theatre Guide you'll gain experience with the following elements:
Preparing for performance
- The dramaturg: look at the world surrounding the play: What theories might influence the work? How do the elements of a play interact?
- The director: How does a director plan a show? What is involved in a director's concept? How does a director use drawings and other materials to explain his/her concept?
- The performer: How does a performer use personal planning, communication skills, voice, body, movement, focus, relaxation?
- The group ensemble: How does the performance ensemble use cooperation to build an ensemble? What will you experience as an ensemble member?
- The spectator: You'll respond to the productions you'll see at school and elsewhere and connect them to your own developing work
Creating the performance
- Varieties of approaches to performance.
- Rehearsal techniques/systems.
- Practical knowledge and skills specific to theatrical practices from around the world and/or from different historical periods. In years past we learned how to make masks, create Commedia characters, and perform African dance and drums. Each year we gain new performance skills together.
- Performance analysis - look at how a play works by examining its pieces.
- Post-performance analysis: the impact the performance leaves on spectators.
The production process
- Design and technical skills (learn how the pieces of a play come together through design).
- An awareness of creative processes, conventions and techniques relating to theatrical practices from around the world and/or from different historical periods.
- The aesthetic and symbolic choices made in production: the impact these have on a performance.
During the course there will be many opportunities for you to learn the processes of theater but you'll also have to investigate things on your own. DON'T WAIT TO BE HANDED A TOOL AND BE TOLD WHAT TO DO - GO EXPLORING (WITH GUIDANCE) ON YOUR OWN AT SCHOOL AND OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL. Theater groups (including our own) are always looking for willing helpers.