Research Presentation

Weighting: SL 30% or HL 20%

Introduction

Students at SL and HL plan, deliver and video record an individual research presentation (15 minutes maximum) in which they evidence their academic and practical explorations of a performance convention from a world theatre tradition they have not previously studied.

The research presentation is distinctive among the theatre assessment tasks as it requires students to hypothetically cross time and space in order to authentically engage with a dynamic theatre tradition of another culture. As a significant encounter with the unfamiliar, there will be challenges and rewards which will shape the outcomes of this learning encounter differently for each student. Students should be encouraged to view this task as a carefully considered and respectful “opening-the-door” experience in search of cultural insight and creative inspiration, appreciating that to master the skills of the world theatre traditions prescribed in this task would take many years and, in many cases, require total immersion in the culture from which the tradition arises.

Formal requirements of the task

Each student submits the following for assessment.

  1. A video recording of the student’s research presentation (15 minutes maximum).
  2. A list of all sources cited and any additional resources used by the student during the presentation.

Teachers must ensure that their students are appropriately prepared for the demands of this task through the careful planning and delivery of the “exploring world theatre traditions” syllabus area. It is particularly important to ensure that the students have had experience of carrying out academic and practical exploration of at least one other world theatre tradition or practice prior to undertaking this assessment task.

Only the student being assessed may appear in the video recording.

Key terminology for the task

Theatre tradition
A theatre tradition is a theatre practice that has a fixed set of specific performance conventions that have not changed significantly over time.

Performance convention
A performance convention is a significant and identifiable element of performance (body and/or voice) that is usually culturally recognized, accepted and identified as a key feature of the theatre tradition. Performance conventions have a particular function within a tradition and are a key feature of communication to the audience. Many conventions are unique to their theatre tradition, although some may appear in similar form but with significant variations in other world theatre practices.

Traditional performance material
Traditional performance material (written, oral, physical) is traditionally performed within that theatre tradition. The performance material where the convention appears is used by the student to guide their practical exploration of, and  experimentation with, the convention. Please note: the traditional performance material is intended to be chosen and used as an aid to better understanding the chosen performance convention, rather than as material that is to be performed.

Practical exploration
Practical exploration is defined as inquiry and research conducted through practice, using the body and/or voice to explore information, ideas, theories and/or concepts. Practical exploration might involve experimenting with performance techniques, grappling with physical exercises or developing strategies in order to try out ideas or investigate what works. The purpose of practical exploration is to enrich one’s understanding through action.

Research presentation
The research presentation is a 15-minute video recording of the student presenting their understandings and demonstrating their practical and physical explorations for the examiner. The video recording may be captured as three discrete sections over time (one for each assessment criterion) or as one continuous take. The student has free choice to determine their preferred approach to recording this in order to evidence their learning.

Theatre in the world
Towards the end of this assessment task students are asked to consider how their inquiry into a chosen theatre tradition has further developed their understanding of theatre in the world. This involves students reflecting on their own authentic engagement with the theatrical tradition of another culture or historical time period and considering the ways in which their own understandings of and preconceptions about the function, role and value of theatre in the world have shifted and evolved. As internationally minded learners and theatre-makers, students should consider their own previous experiences of engaging with theatre (both outside of school and as part of the theatre course) and consider the degree to which their understandings have been challenged, developed and expanded through this new learning encounter with the unfamiliar tradition. What have they discovered about the role of theatre in their own and other societies? How have their understandings of the aesthetic, communal, religious, social or spiritual role of theatre in the wider world been confronted, advanced and, perhaps, altered? Students should be provided with adequate time and guidance in order to meaningfully and authentically address this vital reflective component of the research presentation task.

Task details

Students should approach this task from the perspective of performer.

Selecting a world theatre tradition

Students at HL and SL carry out research into an unfamiliar theatrical tradition, which must be selected from the following list of prescribed traditions. Each theatre tradition is presented with examples of some performance conventions from that tradition, which students may wish to consider. Alternatively, students may choose another appropriate convention from that theatre tradition.

World theatre traditionsExamples of performance conventions
17th century French farce, FranceConveying textual emotion through the voice.Enhancing meaning and emphasis through rhetorical gesture by stock characters.
Barong (or Rangda) dance, IndonesiaPerforming key characters (such as Rangda or the monkeys) through the body.
British pantomime,United KingdomInteracting with the audience in order to move the story forward through the body and/or voice.Performing stock characters (such as the Dame) through the body and/or voice.
Cantonese, Yueju, or Peking opera (Jingju), ChinaCommunicating meaning through gestures (such as the use of the fan to indicate meaning and beauty) through the body.Communicating mood, meaning and beauty through the use of the water-sleeve (shui xiu) through the body.
Commedia dell’arte,ItalyPerforming a stock character (such as Zanni or Colombina) through the body and/or voice.Performing stock comedic routines (lazzi) through the body.
Elizabethan theatre,EnglandPerforming stylized, heightened dramatic gestures through the body (presentational acting style).Using original pronunciation to create authentic dramatic tension in a monologue through the voice.
Hun lakhon lek puppetry,ThailandManipulating a puppet as a solo puppeteer (such as left hand and head, right hand, feet) through the body.Performing key characters (such as Male, Female, Monkey, Demon) through the body.Performing the movement of the puppeteer for dances through the body.
Jatra, BangladeshDemonstrating the use of masks through the body.Performing dialogue and narrating the story through the voice.Performing key characters through the body.
Kabuki,JapanMiming with props (such as the use of the fan) through the body.Performing symbolic movements and/or gestures (such as the mie, roppo, nanban or walk) through the body.Performing the movement of the onnagata through the body.
Karagöz shadow puppetry,TurkeyPerforming the movements of and/or interactions between key characters (such as Karagoz or Hacivat) through the body and/or voice.
Kathakali,IndiaPerforming dance sequences (such as kalasam or iratti) through the body.Performing facial expressions (navarasas) through the body,Performing hand gestures (mudras) through the body.
Kecak,IndonesiaCreating a specific effect through the voice.Creating a specific environment through movement and the body.Creating rhythmic movement through the body.Performing physically (such as the movement of the monkey army) through the body.
Khon dance drama,ThailandDemonstrating the use of masks (such as the monkey or demon) through the body.Performing specific moments in the narrative (such as the monkey dance, the arrival of the demon or fights) through the body.Performing the movement of specific characters (such as the humans or celestial characters) through the body.
Kyōgen farce,JapanMiming with props (such as kakagoe) through the body.Performing symbolic movement patterns and/or gestures (such as kamae, hakobi, suriashi or shiori) through the body.
Nautanki,IndiaCommunicating key characters through the body.Performing dialogue and narrating the story through the voice.
Noh theatre,JapanMiming with props (such as kakagoe) through the body.Performing symbolic movement patterns and/or gestures (such as kamae, hakobi, suriashi or shiori) through the body.
Pastorela,MexicoPerforming dialogue and narrating the story through the voice.Performing the movements and gestures of stock characters (such as the shepherds or the hermit) through the body.
Punch and Judy puppets,United KingdomCreating vocal effects through the use of the swazzle by the professor for key characters (such as Mr Punch).Manipulating the rod or hand-and-glove puppets through the body.
Rakugo “sit down” theatre,JapanCommunicating transitions between characters being played by the performer (using eye direction) through the body.Communicating transitions between locations in the story (using the comedic walk) through the body and/or the voice.Miming with props (such as the fan or towel) through the body.
Talchum mask dance,KoreaPerforming movements with the water-sleeves through the body.Performing the dance of a specific character (such as the Nobleman, Monk, Lion, Leper) through the body.
Topeng dance,BaliPerforming the movements and gestures of specific characters (such as Topeng Kras, Topeng Tua, Topeng Pajegan) through the body.Performing the movements and voice of the clowns (bondres) through the body and/or voice.
Victorian melodrama,EnglandPerforming key tableaux through the body.Performing the movement, codified gestures and/or stances of key stock characters (such as the hero, heroine or villain) through the body.
Wayang golek puppetry,Indonesia, MalaysiaManipulating puppets as the Dalang through the body.Performing dialogue and narrating the story through the voice.
Wayang kulit shadow puppetry,Indonesia, MalaysiaManipulating puppets as the Dalang through the body.Narrating the action as the Dalang through the voice.

Suggested process

Inquiring

  1. Each student chooses a theatre tradition from the prescribed list. They carry out primary and/or secondary research into the chosen tradition and identify one performance convention from the tradition they wish to explore.
  2. Each student researches the one performance convention they have selected.
  3. Each student presents and video records their work in this area.

Developing

  1. Each student identifies the performance aspect/s (face, voice, gesture, posture movement and/or manipulation of objects) they wish to employ in order to guide their practical exploration of the one convention.
  2. Each student undertakes a process of practical exploration in order to develop an understanding of the performance convention through the body and/or voice.
  3. Each student identifies how the performance convention is employed in traditional performance material from the tradition in order to further guide their practical exploration of the convention.
  4. Each student presents their physical demonstration of how they experimented with applying the performance convention to the chosen performance material. This is not a performance.
  5. Each student video records their work in this area.

Evaluating

  1. Each student reflects on how their practical exploration of the performance convention has contributed to their continuing development as a performer.
  2. Each student reflects on the process they have undertaken and considers how their inquiry into the chosen theatre tradition has further developed their understanding of theatre in the world.
  3. Each student presents and video records their work in this area.

Structuring the work

The research presentation must be captured as either

  1. three discrete sections filmed over time (one for each of the assessment criteria, as described in the suggested process above)or
  2. as one continuous take at the end of the assessment task process.

Each student has free choice to determine their preferred approach to evidencing their learning and teachers should discuss and agree the format for this assessment with each individual.

The intended audience for the research presentation is the examiner and, as such, there does not need to be a live audience invited to the presentation.

  1. Instructions for students completing the task as three discrete sections filmed over time
    • Each section must be video recorded as one continuous take. Editing or adding other on-screen material to each video recorded section is not permitted.
    • Each student may rehearse and record each section numerous times to ensure they are happy with the finished product and that the work meets the requirements of each specific criterion.
    • Each student is permitted to capture sections of the presentation in their own time using their own recording devices or they may choose to capture certain sections in class time, using the school’s recording devices. This should be negotiated with the teacher.
    • The first two sections should be recorded in a formal setting, such as the school theatre space or classroom, while the third section may be recorded in any appropriate setting as determined by the student.
    • It is vital that the voice of the student is audible throughout the entire recording. Students are advised to test their recordings to ensure that the audio is appropriately captured without distortion or distracting background noise.
    • This is an individual assessment task. Only the student being assessed may appear in the video recording and they must be clearly visible and heard at all times.
    • The video recording device must be fixed (either a camera on a tripod or as part of a fixed in-device camera) and students are responsible for assembling the three video recording sections together to make one combined video file (that does not exceed 15 minutes), which is submitted for assessment at the end of the process.
    • Teachers may find that setting and managing deadlines for each of the sections of the task helps the student to manage the tasks effectively and enables the teacher to verify the authenticity of the work being produced in stages.
  2. Instructions for students completing the task as one continuous take at the end of the assessment task process
    • The research presentation must be video recorded as one continuous take at the end of the assessment task process. Editing or adding other on-screen material to the video recorded presentation is not permitted.
    • The presentation should be recorded in a formal setting, such as the school theatre space or classroom.
    • Each student may rehearse and record the research presentation numerous times to ensure they are happy with the finished product and that the work meets the requirements of each specific criterion.
    • It is vital that the voice of the student is audible throughout the entire recording. Students are advised to test their recordings to ensure that the audio is appropriately captured without distortion or distracting background noise.
    • This is an individual assessment task. Only the student being assessed may appear in the video recording and they must be clearly visible and heard at all times.
    • The video recording device must be fixed (either a camera on a tripod or as part of a fixed in-device camera) and must not be switched off at any point during the presentation.

When delivering the research presentation as one continuous take, students must be mindful of the recommended timings and ensure that equal attention is given to each of the three assessment criteria for this task.

All students should adhere to the following structure when delivering their research presentation, regardless of the approach chosen above.

View full table

SectionFocusRecommended maximum timings
1The unfamiliar theatre tradition
With reference to their research, each student explains the unfamiliar world theatre tradition and explains the performance convention they have chosen to explore. Source material should support the student’s explanation of both the tradition and the performance convention chosen, as examiners are interested in ensuring the student’s research is upheld and framed by pertinent evidence from the primary and/or secondary sources explored.
5 minutes
2Practical exploration of the performance convention
Each student demonstrates their process of practical exploration of the performance convention, having worked to develop an understanding of the performance convention through the body and/or voice. They also physically demonstrate how they have experimented with applying the performance convention to traditional performance material from the world theatre tradition. Please note: the physical demonstration is not a sustained theatrical performance, but a demonstration of how each student has practically explored the performance convention, broken it down, experimented with it, embodied it and applied it during their own unique process of exploration.
5 minutes
3Reflection on learning
Each student explains how their practical exploration of the performance convention has contributed to their continuing development as a performer. Each student also explains how their inquiry into the chosen theatre tradition has further developed their understanding of theatre in the world.
5 minutes

Academic integrity

Students must ensure their assessment work adheres to the IB’s academic integrity policy and that all sources are appropriately referenced. When orally presenting in this assessment task, students must clearly distinguish between their words and those of others by either verbally stating a citation or through the use of a visual cue, such as a reference on a keynote slide. This must occur at the point of use in the presentation to ensure there is no doubt when work is attributed to another person. 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 material

Students are encouraged to show slides or visuals during the presentation as they see fit. However, these visuals must be clearly visible in the space with the student (such as projections or printed hand-held images) and not added to the video afterwards. The majority of screen-time should be given to the student directly addressing the lens. All slides, images and other visual material used during the presentation must be included in the uploaded file along with the submitted list of sources.

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 submitted materials exceed the maximum time limit, examiners will only assess the work that falls within the prescribed limits.

External assessment criteria—SL and HL

View full table

Research presentationMarksTotal
AThe unfamiliar theatre tradition824
BPractical exploration of the performance convention8
CReflection on learning8

A: The unfamiliar theatre tradition

Evidence: video recording and list of sources and resources

  1. With specific references to their research, to what extent does the student explain the unfamiliar theatre tradition they have chosen to explore?
  2. With specific references to their research, to what extent does the student explain the performance convention they have chosen to explore?

Students who do not select a theatre tradition from the prescribed list will not be awarded a mark higher than 2 in this criterion.

View full table

MarkDescriptorPossible characteristics
0The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.
1–2The student lists features of the unfamiliar theatre tradition they have chosen to explore.The student lists features of the performance convention they have chosen to explore.Limited
Irrelevant
Simplistic
Superficial
3–4With specific references to their research, the student outlines the unfamiliar theatre tradition they have chosen to explore.With specific references to their research, the student outlines the performance convention they have chosen to explore.Adequate
Attempted
Underdeveloped
Uneven
5–6With specific references to their research, the student describes the unfamiliar theatre tradition they have chosen to explore.With specific references to their research, the student describes the performance convention they have chosen to explore.Good
Accurate
Focused
Relevant
7–8With specific references to their research, the student explains the unfamiliar theatre tradition they have chosen to explore.With specific references to their research, the student explains the performance convention they have chosen to explore.Excellent
Discerning
Insightful
Thorough

B: Practical exploration of the performance convention

Evidence: video recording and list of sources and resources

  1. To what extent does the student demonstrate their process of practical exploration of the performance convention, in order to develop an understanding of the performance convention through the body and/or voice?
  2. To what extent does the student physically demonstrate how they have experimented with applying the performance convention to traditional performance material?

View full table

MarkDescriptorPossible characteristics
0The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.
1–2The student demonstrates a limited process of practical exploration of the performance convention.The student demonstrates in a limited way how they experimented with applying the performance convention to traditional performance material, or uses material that is inappropriate to the tradition.Limited
Irrelevant
Simplistic
Superficial
3–4The student demonstrates a moderate process of practical exploration of the performance convention.The student moderately demonstrates how they have experimented with applying the performance convention to traditional performance material.Adequate
Attempted
Underdeveloped
Uneven
5–6The student demonstrates a competent process of practical exploration of the performance convention.The student competently demonstrates how they have experimented with applying the performance convention to traditional performance material.Good
Accurate
Focused
Relevant
7–8The student demonstrates an effective process of practical exploration of the performance convention.The student effectively demonstrates how they have experimented with applying the performance convention to traditional performance material.Excellent
Discerning
Insightful
Thorough

C: Reflection on learning

Evidence: video recording and list of sources and resources

  1. To what extent does the student explain how their practical exploration of the performance convention has contributed to their continuing development as a performer?
  2. To what extent does the student explain how their inquiry into the chosen theatre tradition has further developed their understanding of theatre in the world?

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 their practical exploration of the performance convention has contributed to their continuing development as a performer.The student lists the ways in which their inquiry into the chosen theatre tradition has further developed their understanding of theatre in the world.Limited
Irrelevant
Simplistic
Superficial
3–4The student outlines how their practical exploration of the performance convention has contributed to their continuing development as a performer.The student outlines how their inquiry into the chosen theatre tradition has further developed their understanding of theatre in the world.Adequate
Attempted
Underdeveloped
Uneven
5–6The student describes how their practical exploration of the performance convention has contributed to their continuing development as a performer.The student describes how their inquiry into the chosen theatre tradition has further developed their understanding of theatre in the world.Good
Accurate
Focused
Relevant
7–8The student explains how their practical exploration of the performance convention has contributed to their continuing development as a performer.The student explains how their inquiry into the chosen theatre tradition has further developed their understanding of theatre in the world.Excellent
Discerning
Insightful
Thorough

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s