IB Theatre

IB Theatre Syllabus 2020 - 21_docx.pdf

IB Theatre Syllabus

Instructor: Ms. Kristina Cummins Room:  Drama

Email: kcummins@osd.wednet.edu 

Phone:  (360) 596-8043

Course Description:  

This yearlong course is one of the IB elective choices for students pursuing an IB diploma or Certificate with an interest in the dramatic arts. Students will explore the roles of CREATOR, DESIGNER, DIRECTOR, PERFORMER, and SPECTATOR through scene work, one act productions, an independent research project, and devising theatre.  Maintaining a theatre journal is a must!  This course will not count as English credit.

Major Assignments and Projects:

The following assignments are required for the course:

IB THEATRE ASSESSMENTS – listed on next page

Scene Work Devising Theatre

Directing Playwriting

Independent Research Presentations Class One-Act

Duo Scenes and Monologues Short Film

Voice Acting / Radio Plays Newspaper Theatre

IE Conference (VIRTUAL - Registration due December 11) - All students are encouraged to participate!


Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts-for Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind by Anna Deavere Smith

Materials:  Students need to bring the following to class daily:

Composition book or spiral notebook

Pens / Pencils

Play Performances:  The best way to learn about theatre is to experience it.  Students are expected to see at least one production over the course of each semester and write a review of the show.  As most theatres are closed during the pandemic, there are opportunities to watch a streamed performance or view performances filmed and produced.  This can be a show produced at CHS, or another local high school, community, or professional theatre.  


Theatre is heavily based on building ensemble and the art of creative storytelling.  The audience is a key component of this work.  This will be challenging during distance learning; however, there are unique ways to still experience theatre.  Our Zoom classes are essential, as we will be playing theatre games, rehearsing, discussing important issues and topics, and  creating both a safe and BRAVE space as we build community.  Students will also be given some Wednesday work to read a chapter from our text and respond.  These chapters are short and should inspire each student in developing their artist self.

Class will consist of Zoom class sessions (synchronous learning opportunities) followed by work time and online assignments (asynchronous learning opportunities).  Attending our Zoom classes is vital to a student's experience; however, if there are obstacles preventing a student from attending, it is important to communicate with me.  

Zoom classroom etiquette and behavior expectations will be shared the first week of school and revisited throughout the course.  It is important for students to show up and bring the best of themselves for our class time together.

COMMUNICATION will be key this year!  Don’t hesitate to email me or to ask questions and share concerns.  I also ask that you consider sharing your celebrations as well!  This year we are extending patience and grace, along with a high standard of effort and engagement.



Performance Materials:  In order to establish the best environment possible it is important that all students feel comfortable being a part of the audience.  Many award winning theatrical plays, scenes and monologues have objectionable words, subject matter and situations.  Please don’t bring material that is inappropriate for a classroom situation into the classroom.  If you personally find something that is being presented objectionable in any way feel free to step outside the classroom, you may cut the material from your selection or talk to me personally so that a suitable solution can be found.  It is important that we work together to create the most creative environment possible, in which all feel comfortable and learn.  Creating this classroom environment is an important task for all of us!

Environment and SafetyTo have a truly meaningful experience in this course, it is important that we observe two types of safety rules:  physical and emotional.  Our basic physical safety rule is no unplanned bodily contact.  Without this rule someone may come to physical harm.  Just as important are emotional hurts.  You and your peers put yourselves on the line when you present for each other.  You openly share yourself with us and then allow others to comment on your expression.  To preserve the integrity of and maintain positive feelings about your work, the following rules apply to all comments about presentations:

  • Respect the effort of each member of the class

  • Appreciate the choices made by each person

  • Be constructive in any criticism

  • Include positive responses as part of any full critique

  • Focus your comments to the individual presenting (i.e. do not compare people)

  • Limit discussion to in-class only (our work is confidential)

In this class we become a family!  It is essential that we care for each other well and work together for the common goal of a meaningful production.

Rules and Regulations of the Capital High School Theatre:

We are fortunate to have a nice performing arts facility and it takes cooperation from all of us to maintain it.  Upon entering this theatre you hereby agree to abide to and enforce the following rules:

  • No food, drinks, or gum in the space at any time

  • No feet on the seats, seat arms or backs

  • Do not climb over the back of the seats

  • Persons may be backstage or onstage with permission only

  • Students may only be in the space with supervision

Grading and Evaluation:  We are implementing the new National Core Art Standards

Student progress will be evaluated using a standards-based assessment system.  Instead of earning points for individual assignments, you will earn your letter grade on how skilled you are in the following areas:

*Engaged Learning (25%): assesses participation and involvement in class activities, journal responses, and script reading reviews.  Everyone is expected to be an active participant when appropriate AND respectful members of the audience when observing others perform.  Leadership points are also assessed in this category. 

*Performance: (75%) assess students’ creative process, performances, and reflections.  All assessments are graded on rubrics. These assignments can be redone since they are linked to standards, with teacher approval and within the same time/unit as the standard was addressed – with the exception of the IB Assessments. 

Work will be assessed on a 4 point scale. 



Percentage in Skyward


Advanced - consistently exceeds proficient level of standard(s).

A =           92.5 – 100%


Proficient with partial success at advanced level.

A-=           86.67 – 92.49%

B+=          80.84 – 86.66%


Proficient - Consistently meets standard(s).

B =           75.0 – 80.83%


Basic but partial success at proficient level

B- =          66.67 – 74.99%

C+=          58.34 - 66.66%


Basic - Inconsistently meets standard(s).

C =           50.0 – 58.33%


Below basic but partial success at basic.

(C) C- = 41.67 – 49.99%*

(C) D+= 33.34 – 41.66%*


Below basic - Rarely meets standard(s).

(C) D = 25 – 33.33%*


The work does not reach a level identified by the descriptors above.



An asterisk on the Skyward report means that students have not yet been assessed in this area or is in the process of being assessed, but not yet entered – it is not a missing assignment.


Our grading motto is:  4,3, 2, or REDO.  We expect students to show at least “Basic” understanding of a concept; otherwise, they must revisit the assignment.

*FINAL COURSE GRADES: All students with percentages of 25% - 58.33% will receive a "C" for the course. Any percentage below 25% will receive an Incomplete for the class. This is a district and School Board decision for the Standards Based Grading Scale.

IB Theatre Requirements:

Theatre in the Making

Independent Project


Theatre in the World Theatre in Performance

Theatre in the Making:



PROCESS: Uncover the pathway to performance by investigating theory and practice


  • Skills to make theatre

  • Observe and reflect different theatre practices

  • Explore Theatre in the Making from different perspectives

    • Dramaturg

    • Director

    • Performer

    • Group Ensemble

    • Spectator

Theatre in Performance:


PRODUCT: Apply practical theatre skills in performance

  • Participate in a wide range of performances styles and tasks

  • Self-reflect on your performance and the spectators’ engagement

  • Understand and appreciate the collaborative nature of theatre

  • Appreciate the commitment and dedication to realize a performance

Theatre in the World:

  • UNIVERSALITY: Explore theatre traditions and practices from a range of cultures around the world; investigate the historical and cultural context of theatre.

    • Study two different contrasting practices from more than one culture/historical period

    • Examine a non-text practice

    • Ability to research and analyze performance traditions from a variety of cultures and traditions

    • Appreciate the political, social, aesthetic and intellectual context from which theatre evolves and to which it contributes

    • Skills to argue and debate the significance of theatre practice to the lives of particular communities within a specific historical and cultural context.

IB Assessments:

JOURNAL:  Your record charting development, challenges and achievements.

Purpose is to support and nurture development and reflection.


  • Connections between different areas of learning in this course

  • Objective review of work (yours and others)

  • Experiences that illustrate personal growth and understanding of theatre

  • Challenges and obstacles

  • Debate theory and practice in their own work

  • Space for experimentation

  • Critical responses to external productions

Ask yourself, “Why am I including this?” and “How is this a reflection of my experience of theatre, my discoveries in theatre and the development of my knowledge, understanding and skills?”


DIRECTOR’S NOTEBOOK (35%):  “Students … choose a published play text they have not previously studied and develop ideas regarding how it could be staged for an audience”  (IB Theatre Guide).

RESEARCH PRESENTATION (30%):   “Students … plan and deliver an individual presentation (15 minutes maximum) to their peers in which they outline and physically demonstrate their research into a convention of a theatre tradition they have not previously studied”  (IB Theatre Guide).


COLLABORATIVE PROJECT (35%):  “Students… collaboratively create and present an original piece of theatre (lasting 13 – 15 minutes) for and to a specified target audience, created from a starting point of their choice” (IB Theatre Guide).