Collaborative Theatre Project

Weighting: SL 40% and HL 25%

Introduction

Students at SL and HL collaboratively create, stage and perform an original piece of theatre (lasting 7–10 minutes) created from a starting point of their choice. The piece is presented to an audience as a fully-realized production. The audience is selected by the students.

Formal requirements of the task

Each student submits the following for assessment.

  1. A completed cover sheet.
  2. A project report (a maximum of 10 pages of written text and images*) plus a list of all sources used.
  3. A video recording of the final piece (7–10 minutes maximum).

*To help define the scope of this portfolio document, the written text contained within the project report must not exceed an indicative maximum of 4,000 words. It is not expected that the submitted work will reach this upper limit and students should by no means feel under pressure to meet it.

Teachers must ensure that their students are appropriately prepared for the demands of this task through the careful planning and delivery of the “collaboratively creating original theatre” syllabus area. It is particularly important to ensure that students, before beginning this task, have the opportunity to develop effective performance skills in the use of body and voice. It is also essential that students are provided with the chance to explore the approaches of at least one professional collaborative theatre company who create original theatre prior to undertaking this assessment task. Students, however, are not required to refer to professional collaborative theatre companies in their project report.

Key terminology for the task

Ensemble
In this assessment task students work with other members of the theatre class to form an ensemble of between two and six theatre-makers. In instances where there is only one theatre student in the class, that sole student may work with peers that are not in the theatre class (such as theatre students from the year below, or other students who are not taking the DP theatre course) as long as the ensemble size does not exceed six. In instances where there are two (or more) students in the class these students must work together and no other individuals from outside the theatre class are permitted to be involved.

Collaborative creation of original theatre
The collaborative creation of original theatre involves an ensemble who work together practically to examine and develop ideas from a starting point in order to generate theatrical material that is then developed and structured into a piece of theatre (lasting 7–10 minutes). The piece of theatre is prepared for production, rehearsed and performed to an audience. The piece of theatre that has been created is not necessarily scripted in traditional forms. Unlike play text–based theatre written by a playwright(s), collaboratively created theatre is often developed by the performance and production team that also stage and present it. The collaborative creation of original theatre is also often referred to as devising.

Starting point
The starting point provides the inspiration for the collaborative creation of the piece of theatre. It gives a focus to the initial stages of practical exploration. For this assessment task, the starting point must be one of the following:an eventan idea, issue, question or themean image or photographa non-dramatic textan objecta persona piece of musica site (place/location)a piece of street art, a graphic novel or a comic strip.As theatrical material is drawn out of the starting point and practically explored and developed, the focus and subject matter of the piece will become clearer to the ensemble and they will discover the areas of interest that yield the most possibilities. As a result of this development, the subject matter of the final piece may move away from the initial point considerably. It may be useful for students to record the process of evolution of the theatre piece from starting point to final production as a reminder to help them at a later stage with their reflection on collaboration.

Theatre-maker intentions
Students are required to collaboratively formulate intentions for the piece of theatre (200 words maximum). These must be agreed by the ensemble and should include the following:the chosen starting pointwhat the piece will address or explorethe target audience for the piecethe performance space and the positioning of the audiencethe effect the ensemble aims to have on their target audience.

Performance skills
Performance skills relate to the use of body and the voice. Skills relating to the body might include, for example, the placement and movement of performers on stage, the use of face, gesture, posture, body language or manipulation of objects. Skills relating to the voice, for example, might include pitch, pace, pause, tone, volume, accent, emphasis or intonation. These lists are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive. Overall, students should consider the effect their performance will have on an audience.

Project report
The project report (10 pages of written text and images, with written text not exceeding 4,000 words maximum) is a written account of the student’s involvement in the collaborative project, demonstrating the student’s ability to reflect upon and evaluate the process of collaboratively creating the piece and their own artistic contributions to the final performance in order to fulfill the ensemble’s intentions. A cover sheet is provided by the IB for this task and a completed cover sheet must be submitted for each student.

Moments in the piece
In the project report and on the completed cover sheet, students are required to identify moments in the video recording of the final piece to evidence how they used their performance skills to effectively contribute to one moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) and to evidence their specific individual artistic contributions as creator, designer and/or director. A moment is defined as a short and concentrated theatrical instance that is chosen by the student to evidence their specific contributions. Each moment must not exceed 2 minutes maximum.

Artistic contributions as creator, designer and/or director
Although the process of creation and presentation is collaborative, each student should also individually contribute artistically to the development and staging of the piece to help achieve the ensemble’s intentions. These specific individual artistic contributions may be in terms of creating, designing and/or directing material and should directly contribute to effective moments that will be clearly visible in the final piece. Students need to be aware that, due to the collaborative and experimental nature of the work, not all artistic contributions will make it into the final piece. With this in mind, students need to be proactive in ensuring they make numerous individual contributions to serve the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions during the process and to support the cooperative realization of the final piece. Each student should keep a record of the collaborative process of creation and of their own specific artistic contributions.AudienceThe audience for this task can be fellow classmates, peers or an external audience selected by the student. Students will need to consider appropriate ways of gathering feedback from the audience following the performance of the final piece, in order to gauge the extent to which their theatre-maker intentions were met. Approaches to gathering feedback might include a talkback, a survey, a focus group or other methods as defined by the students and depending on the nature of their intentions.

Task details

Students should approach this collaborative task from the multiple perspectives of creatordirectordesigner and/or performer.

Collaborative creation

Working as an ensemble of 2–6 individuals from the theatre class, students create and perform a piece of original theatre that is developed from a starting point. The overall intentions, structure and content of the piece must be collaboratively decided and devised by the ensemble.

Each member of the ensemble is required to perform in the final piece and will be assessed on the use of their performance skills. Each member of the ensemble is also required to individually contribute to the development and staging of the piece as creator, designer and/or director and will be assessed on how effective these specific artistic contributions were in achieving the ensemble’s intentions. As such, the ensemble should be sure to create theatrical material which will allow for the assessment of each individual ensemble member’s performance skills and specific individual artistic contributions as creator, designer and/or director.

The collaboratively created original piece of theatre (lasting 7–10 minutes) must be presented to an audience as a fully-realized production.

Teachers should present this task to students as a creative brief for a small collaborative low-budget touring theatre company which is required to create a 7-10 minutes maximum piece of theatre that could feasibly tour. This approach may help to prevent students from adding too many unnecessary layers to their work in terms of production elements (scenic and technical) unless essential to the theatre-maker intentions of the ensemble and the artistic contributions of individual group members.

Technical support

Students should be responsible for choosing and using any production elements (scenic and technical), approaching this work with clear attention to health and safety requirements. During the performance, teachers or students who are not part of the ensemble may operate any technical production elements on behalf of the ensemble, the use of which must have been specified by members of the ensemble.

Suggested process

Inquiring

  1. Students form ensembles and practically explore the chosen starting point collaboratively.
  2. Students collaboratively form theatre-maker intentions for the piece of theatre they want to create (200 words maximum).

Developing

  1. Students collaboratively create, generate and develop theatrical material.
  2. Students organize and structure the material into a piece of theatre, led by the theatre-maker intentions for the piece.
  3. Each student develops and applies their own individual performance skills.
  4. Each student contributes artistically to the development and/or staging of the piece during the process of creating to help achieve the ensemble’s intentions. These artistic contributions may be in terms of creating, designing and/or directing material and must directly contribute to effective moments that will be clearly visible in the final piece.

Presenting

  1. Students prepare and rehearse the piece of theatre for production.
  2. Students perform the final piece (lasting 7–10 minutes) to a live audience.

Evaluating

  1. Students gather feedback from the audience to guide their evaluation of the extent to which the piece fulfilled the ensemble’s intentions.
  2. Each student reflects on the process of collaboratively creating and performing the piece and considers the extent to which the ensemble’s intentions were achieved.
  3. Each student reflects on how they used their performance skills (body and/or voice) to effectively contribute to one specific and effective moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) visible in the video recording. This moment must not exceed 2 minutes.
  4. Each student also reflects on how their own specific individual artistic contributions to the development and/or staging of the piece as creator, designer and/or director (outside of their performance moment described above) effectively supported the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions in one moment seen in the video recording. This moment must be a different moment in the piece to the one described above and must not exceed 2 minutes maximum.

Structuring the work

Each student in the ensemble is required to submit a cover sheet, an individual project report and a video recording of the full performance for this task, the details of which are as follows.

Cover sheet

A cover sheet is provided by the IB for this task and a completed cover sheet must be submitted for each student as part of the upload of assessment materials. Failure to submit the cover sheet will result in the work not being marked. The cover sheet records the following information for this task.

  1. How the student can be identified in the video recording (including a screenshot of the student).
  2. The ensemble’s chosen starting point for the piece.
  3. The collaboratively written theatre-maker intentions.
  4. The page count of the submitted report. All text images, annotations, labels and citations must be included in the overall page count.
  5. The length of the submitted video recording.
  6. The specific beginning and ending time codes which direct the examiner to the student’s two chosen moments in the submitted video recording.

Project report

The project report (10 pages of written text and images, with written text not exceeding 4,000 words maximum) is a written account of the individual student’s involvement in the collaborative project. The project report should demonstrate the student’s ability to reflect upon and evaluate the collaborative creation of the theatre piece.

Students will need to be carefully guided in their selection of the two moments from the video recording. They must ensure that the two moments they select will provide sufficient evidence of their performance skills and their individual artistic contributions respectively, as well as meeting the requirements of the task and providing sufficient opportunities for them to address the assessment criteria.

The list of sources used is excluded from the page count.

The project report is assessed on screen and students must ensure that their work is clear and legible when presented in a digital, on-screen format. The work should be created using a common page size (A4 or US Letter), be typed in a legible sans serif 12-point font and use standard margin sizes and single spacing. The project report may also contain legible handwriting.

Each student should adhere to the following structure in the project report. Please note: the structure of the project report does not necessarily follow the chronological process followed by the ensemble during the collaborative creation of the final piece and should not dictate the process.

View full table

SectionFocusRecommended maximum lengths
1The collaborative creative process and performance
Each student provides their own individual explanation of how the piece was collaboratively created by the ensemble, referencing significant instances from the process. Please note: reflecting on the collaborative creative process does not mean that students should see this as an opportunity to complain, blame or criticize other members of the ensemble.After the piece is performed, and with reference to audience feedback, each student evaluates the effectiveness of the final piece as a whole, explaining how they consider the ensemble’s intentions were achieved.
5 pages
2Individual contributions to the performance
After watching the video recording of the final piece, each student explains how they used their performance skills (body and/or voice) to effectively contribute to one specific and effective moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) visible in the video recording. The chosen moment must not exceed 2 minutes maximum and the time codes for this moment must be stated on the cover sheet. Each student must clearly state which element(s) of “TEAM” they will be addressing in the chosen moment.After watching the video recording of the final piece, each student explains how their own specific individual artistic contributions to the development and/or staging of the piece as creator, designer and/or director (outside of their performance moment described above) effectively contributed to the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions in one moment seen in the video recording. This moment must be a different moment in the piece to the one described above and must not exceed 2 minutes maximum. The time codes must be stated on the cover sheet. Each student must clearly state which role(s) they made their artistic contributions in (creator, designer and/or director) for the one moment.
5 pages

Academic integrity

Students must ensure their assessment work adheres to the IB’s academic integrity policy and that all sources are appropriately referenced. A student’s failure to appropriately acknowledge a source will be investigated by the IB as a potential breach of regulations that may result in a penalty imposed by the IB Final Award Committee. See the “Academic integrity” section of this guide for full details.

Use of images and other visual evidence

Students are encouraged to include carefully-selected visuals such as mind maps, storyboards, diagrams and designs throughout the project report. They may also include their own photographs and other images as necessary, ensuring they are all of an appropriate quality. All images and other visual material must be clearly labelled and appropriately referenced to acknowledge the source, following the protocol of the referencing style chosen by the school. The labels, which are included in the overall page limit of the project report, should contain the minimum information to ensure the examiner understands the significance of the visual evidence.

Video recording

The full performance of the theatre piece must be captured in a video recording that is submitted for assessment (lasting 7-10 minutes) by each member of the ensemble. This must be a continuous, single-camera, unedited record and must capture the full presentation of the piece from the best vantage point possible. The video recording device must not be switched off during the performance.

As the one single video recording is used to assess the effectiveness of the performance skills and artistic contributions of each member of the ensemble it is crucial that all action can be clearly seen and heard in the recording. The video camera should avoid unnecessary panning or zooming during the performance.

In preparing to video record the assessed piece teachers are encouraged to allow students time to walk through their performance prior to filming to give the operator of the video recording device an indication of how the space will be used and the most appropriate way of positioning the camera to frame the whole performance from a fixed position.

Ethical theatre-making

DP theatre students must be supported in maintaining an ethical perspective during their course. Schools must be vigilant to ensure that work undertaken by the student is appropriate for the context of the school and the age of the students. Students should be guided to make ethical and responsible choices when it comes to the use of ideas or language that could be deemed offensive, inappropriate or inflammatory.

In addition, student work for this assessment task must not:

  1. damage the environment
  2. express ideas or use language which incites or condones prejudice or discrimination
  3. glamorize the taking of illegal drugs
  4. inappropriately reference socially taboo subjects
  5. incite or condone intolerance or hatred of others
  6. include excessive or gratuitous violence
  7. make reference to, or represent, explicit sexual activity.

Assessment procedures

Teachers are required to meet with students at each stage of the assessment process to discuss the progress made to date, and to verify the authenticity of the coursework being created by each student. The key outcomes of these one-to-one interactions, which might be formal meetings and/or informal discussions in the classroom, must be summarized by the teacher on the DP theatre Coursework authentication form (6/TCAF), which is submitted to the IB as part of the upload of external assessment material.

The procedure for submitting the assessment materials can be found in Diploma Programme Assessment procedures. Students should be informed that where the project report exceeds the maximum page limit and/or time limit, examiners will only assess the work that falls within the prescribed limits. Submitted work must not contain any appendices as these will not be read by examiners.

External assessment criteria—SL and HL

View full table

Collaborative projectMarksTotal
AThe collaborative creative process and performance824
BIndividual contributions to the performance8
CEffectiveness of individual contributions seen in the video recording8

A: The collaborative creative process and performance

Evidence: cover sheet, project report and list of sources

  1. With reference to significant instances from the process, to what extent does the student explain how they consider the piece was collaboratively created by the ensemble?
  2. With reference to audience feedback, to what extent does the student evaluate the effectiveness of the final piece as a whole, in relation to how they consider the ensemble’s intentions were achieved?

View full table

MarkDescriptorPossible characteristics
0The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.
1–2The student lists the ways in which they consider the piece was collaboratively created by the ensemble. The student comments on the effectiveness of the final piece as a whole, listing the ways in which they consider the ensemble’s intentions were achieved.Limited
Irrelevant
Simplistic
Superficial
3–4With reference to significant instances from the process, the student outlines how they consider the piece was collaboratively created by the ensemble. With reference to audience feedback, the student considers the effectiveness of the final piece as a whole, in relation to how they consider the ensemble’s intentions were achieved.Adequate
Attempted
Underdeveloped
Uneven
5–6With reference to significant instances from the process, the student describes how they consider the piece was collaboratively created by the ensemble. With reference to audience feedback, the student appraises the effectiveness of the final piece as a whole, in relation to how they consider the ensemble’s intentions were achieved.Good
Accurate
Focused
Relevant
7–8With reference to significant instances from the process, the student explains how they consider the piece was collaboratively created by the ensemble. With reference to audience feedback, the student evaluates the effectiveness of the final piece as a whole, in relation to how they consider the ensemble’s intentions were achieved.Excellent
Discerning
Insightful
Thorough

B: Individual contributions to the performance

Evidence: cover sheet, project report and list of sources

  1. To what extent does the student explain how they used their performance skills (body and/or voice) to effectively contribute to one moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) visible in the video recording? [This moment must not exceed 2 minutes maximum and the time codes must be stated on the cover sheet.]
  2. To what extent does the student explain how their specific individual artistic contribution(s) to the development and staging of the piece as creator, designer and/or director effectively contributed to the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions in one moment seen in the video recording? [This moment must be a different moment in the piece from the one described above and must not exceed 2 minutes maximum. The time codes must be stated on the cover sheet.]

View full table

MarkDescriptorPossible characteristics
0The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.
1–2The student lists the ways in which they used their performance skills (body and/or voice) to effectively contribute to one moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) visible in the video recording.The student lists how their own specific individual artistic contribution(s) to the development and/or staging of the piece as creator, designer and/or director effectively contributed to the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions in one moment seen in the video recording.Limited
Irrelevant
Simplistic
Superficial
3–4The student outlines how they used their performance skills (body and/or voice) to effectively contribute to one moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) visible in the video recording.The student outlines how their own specific individual artistic contribution(s) to the development and/or staging of the piece as creator, designer and/or director effectively contributed to the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions in one moment seen in the video recording.Adequate
Attempted
Underdeveloped
Uneven
5–6The student describes how they used their performance skills (body and/or voice) to effectively contribute to one moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) visible in the video recording.The student describes how their own specific individual artistic contribution(s) to the development and/or staging of the piece as creator, designer and/or director effectively contributed to the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions in one moment seen in the video recording.Good
Accurate
Focused
Relevant
7–8The student explains how they used their performance skills (body and/or voice) to effectively contribute to one moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) visible in the video recording.The student explains how their own specific individual artistic contribution(s) to the development and/or staging of the piece as creator, designer and/or director effectively contributed to the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions in one moment seen in the video recording.Excellent
Discerning
Insightful
Thorough

C: Effectiveness of individual contributions seen in the video recording

Evidence: cover sheet and video recording

  1. To what extent do the student’s performance skills (body and/or voice) effectively contribute to a moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) seen in the video recording (as specified by the student in section 2(a) of the project report)?
  2. To what extent do the student’s own individual contributions to the artistic development and/or staging of the piece as creator, designer and/or director (as specified by the student in section 2(b) of the project report) effectively contribute to the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions within the context of the whole video recording?

View full table

MarkDescriptorPossible characteristics
0The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.
1–2The student’s use of performance skills (body and/or voice) makes a limited contribution to the specified moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) seen in the video recording.The student’s specified contributions to the artistic development and/or staging of the piece make a limited contribution to the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions within the context of the whole video recording.Limited
Irrelevant
Simplistic
Superficial
3–4The student uses their performance skills (body and/or voice) to moderately contribute to the specified moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) seen in the video recording.The student’s specified contributions to the artistic development and/or staging of the piece moderately contribute to the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions within the context of the whole video recording.Adequate
Attempted
Underdeveloped
Uneven
5–6The student uses their performance skills (body and/or voice) to competently contribute to the specified moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) seen in the video recording.The student’s specified contributions to the artistic development and/or staging of the piece competently contribute to fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions within the context of the whole video recording.Good
Accurate
Focused
Relevant
7–8The student uses their performance skills (body and/or voice) to effectively contribute to the specified moment of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) seen in the video recording.The student’s specified contributions to the artistic development and/or staging of the piece effectively contribute to the fulfillment of the ensemble’s intentions within the context of the whole video recording.Excellent
Discerning
Insightful
Thorough

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