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Theatre Arts IPP - Tips

theatre IPP
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#1
ro_1293x

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Hey there :)

I definitely noticed that there is quite a lack of Theatre Arts students, or at least ones experienced enough to hand out tips and experiences. My exams are May 2012 so can't say that I'm am an all-knowing guru of Theatre Arts wisdom but I do have a teacher who has been teaching IB Theatre for a couple years and he's produced good results. Plus I'm just really passionate about it so it helps.

So anyways more specifically this post is about the Independent Project Portfolio because I just finished mine and man was it fun, but a lot more work than I had expected and I hoped that I could offer up a few words of advice for any first/second years who haven't yet started devising their project or haven't yet started writing it up.

First off, let me say option A is a great option (over option B) and if anyone asks I will definitely try to persuade them to choose it but it's definitely up to you and your interests and playing to your strengths.

Which option to choose?
The IPP can take a lot of forms You can direct, write a script, hold a workshop, act/monologue, or handle lighting, set design, costumes etc. for a performance. Then of course you have to write about it :) About 2000 words for SL and 3000 for HL (not very sure about SL word limit)

-Option A: Devising a Practice, can take form in a lot of ways. You can create a monologue, write a script for others to act out, or direct a performance or something along those lines (always have a good meeting with your teacher when you have a good idea of what you want to do first so have help to build on your ideas). Now when you try to figure out which option to choose, Option A gives you a lot of freedom to actually practise all of the skills you've been learning over the past year or two in Theatre Arts or even longer if you've been doing theatre for a while now. It's invigorating to be in control when you're probably used to being the student and just listening or studying rather than DOING. Personally I feel option A is better because it's more interesting so you are likely to do well.

-Option B: Exploring Practice (for HL students). This, to me, really seems like a whole other RI but with more actiong I guess. You have to do a lot more in-depth research about specific genres/practices or techniques than you would in Option A and these practices are specifically supposed to have had an IMPACT on the development of theatre (yes, IB said so.) Example of the types of research question: How did Artaud’s theories influence the development of western theatre? Alternatively, how did theatre from other cultures influence Artaud’s theory and practice in theatre?

My teacher actually advises against Option B as well, so all of my classmates have chosen Option A as well and the stuff we have come out with has really been amazing and the experience was one of the best of my IB career.

If you choose Option A:
Then you are in luck, I can offer you a lot more help because I chose option A and so did my entire class :)

I chose to direct a performance (based on a very loosely-written script of my very own making). The process of how you arrive at your IPP is different for everyone. A classmate of mine is a brilliant writer and he had a really different and interesting idea for a script. He spent his whole summer after DP1 researching 3 stories of well-known female characters from different genres and time periods and stories and combined them into one riveting plot with a new twist so his script was his main focus.

I took about 2 months total to put up my production (that is not including the initial script). The reason for this is because my script was very basic with a few dialogues. It was basically a character transformation and I knew I wanted it to be done in a realistic fashion, so I obviously focused my IPP around directing seeing as there was little to my script but I just knew what idea I wanted to work with. It took a lot of time from when I first casted my actors to the final product because a lot of adjustments have to be made, you realize half way through when somethin is or isnt working and things have to be adjusted accordingly. I did my lights, set, and sound and projections (I recorded some stuff beforehand) all by myself, well mostly by myself because I had a very specific vision -- and its this vision that is going to get me my 7.

So basically my biggest tip is BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT. Don't wait for your teacher to sit and prompt you about all the random aspects about your performance because when you find yourself drawing a blank and having to sit and re-think your whole idea in order to figure out all the little details, you lose your flow and waste a lot of time. Ideally you want to finish your IPP slightly early on in the 2nd year only because the other internals/externals are time taking, but it's quite difficult for first years to come up with astounding IPPs because you really need experience, so the best thing to do is when the time comes and your idea for your IPP hits you, whether its remaking a well-known/little-known play or writing your own or doing a monologue... be sure about what it is you are trying to acheive. Ask yourself:

-Why do I want to do this, what does it mean to me? (passion is key! if you don't why you are doing something than no one else is going to know.)
-What am I trying to make the audience feel or think? (afterall, the whole goal of theatre is to touch the audience on some level)
-How am I going to achieve this? (What type of genre, acting techniques, style of writing - narrators, charaterization, sets, lighting...etc.)
-What is a general outline of how I am going to go about doing this? (Going back to the point before this) This can go for option A or B really, a basic brainstorm of your idea and how you are going to tackle it... are you going to research the difference between Realism and Naturalism to choose which style is better for your play? Are you going to design a basic set for your play? Are you going to work on a draft of a script, if so what is the basic beg. middle, and end of the play?

Once you are really clear about all these points, well you are definitely on your way.

Last tip!

Whichever option you choose, keep really detailed notes throughout your process and if you do keep a journal (we didn't, but IB says you should) refer back to it often if you can. If you sit down to write your IPP weeks after you finished your performance or workshop or whatever it may be, you may realize that you can't remember every little detail. When you note down from the beginning the ideas you have and why you have them and keep noting down as your thought process changes or you decide to add things in -- you have a really good starter for your essay. You can clearly see how you went from the beginning to the end and trust me, it's a hell of a process.

It's loads of fun and definitely the best part of IB Theatre, so make the most of it and enjoy it :)

Hope this was helpful, if you have anymore questions about any other part of theatre arts or even about the IPP because I know I ramble alot and can sometimes lose my readers, do PM me!

Edited by ro_1293x, Apr 03, 2012 - 13:42.


#2
hphgrw

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Hey, thanks for the help. Okay, I'm just glad that I am not the only one who has noticed the significant lack of people from IB Theatre Arts. Is it really not that popular of a class? Mine only has 6 people but I wasn't sure if that was just my school or if it being that small is normal. I know quite a few people have told me that Theatre is one of the hardest classes just because of how much time it takes out of class, which is true. But I don't think it is that bad, but maybe its just because I love it. So did you do your IPP by yourself or did a group of people from your class all work together? We have a small class but I'm not sure I want to try to work with all of them, especially since some are less experienced, and we don't work well together as a whole collective group when it comes to devising.

#3
ro_1293x

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Hey, thanks for the help. Okay, I'm just glad that I am not the only one who has noticed the significant lack of people from IB Theatre Arts. Is it really not that popular of a class? Mine only has 6 people but I wasn't sure if that was just my school or if it being that small is normal. I know quite a few people have told me that Theatre is one of the hardest classes just because of how much time it takes out of class, which is true. But I don't think it is that bad, but maybe its just because I love it. So did you do your IPP by yourself or did a group of people from your class all work together? We have a small class but I'm not sure I want to try to work with all of them, especially since some are less experienced, and we don't work well together as a whole collective group when it comes to devising.


Hey no problem, glad it was of some use.

Well my class was only 8 people and we were the first IB drama students because even since we were in 9th grade we were the only group to really be into theatre, but now our juniors have started to take interest and the IBDP 1 batch is a bit larger.
To be honest a smaller class works better, I mean in some schools they might really stress on arts, ours never did we were just lucky to have two really great teachers to motivate us and I've been working with roughly the same group of people since our 9th grade year so we are pretty close and in sync but I know what you mean. It can be really difficult to work with people who are either too controlling or just do absolutely nothing. And depending what you chose for your project you can avoid many people or people at all. I worked with only 3 people, only 1 had a big role the other 2 were more supporting roles and didn't have much to do except learn their cues and the girl I worked with happens to be one of my best friends and really talented, so I got lucky.

I have heard of schools combining their IPs though we didn't... we actually produced 8 separate peices. Two were monologues, one was a play that involved everyone, and the others were just with a few main actors. if its the case that you guys combine IPs like maybe you have written the script and now a classmate is directing it, then it might be a bit more difficult. For us it was very clear who was in charge when and who's vision it was so no one really got in the way of each other. But it can be really stressful putting up a production or something alone you most likely WILL need participation from your class, so try to learn from the experience. And start early. We had 8 peices to do in one year, needless to say it was hard! In a way certain people ended up being in certain people's plays mostly because other people weren't available for certain roles. And because a few of us were acting in other's IPs we couldn't start our own.

And theatre is hard. It's hard if you aren't organized, hard if you are the kind of person who needs extra guidance, and hard if you don't love it. So at least you have one thing down. I mean there may have been some disorganized people in my class who get lost easily, and the only reason they are even going to pass is because they love it. But things like the RI and TPPP can take a little more out of you but they are essential to get your marks, obviously. So try to just stay on top of everything because we ended up doing EVERYTHING within one month which was in the middle and after our mock exams leaving us like 10 free days before actual exams started. But most of us still did pretty okay I think. I'm not sure if anyone will get 7s. I'm relatively certain I'll get a 7 on my PPP, and my teacher hinted that my IPP might have been a 7. But I really screwed up my RI for lack of time, and for some reason everyones TPPPs were just okay. And my teacher is a TPPP examiner so he's extra strict with us.

Edited by ro_1293x, May 16, 2012 - 06:28.


#4
Duyan

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Good advise! I actually took note of your last comment ro-1293.

My advise:

Start early with your work. It pays to be early and it gives you enough time for revisions.
When in doubt, ask your teacher. If the teacher is not available, look for other forums to help you or guide you in the process. BUT choose wisely.
Never give up!!! Along the way, you will feel frustrated and down - rest. Your body and mind can only go to a certain point. Then go back slowly till find your groove.

It works! Cheers man!






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