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Theatre EE possible topics (?)

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So I'm a junior just starting the EE process and we have proposals do next week, I came up with a few but I just wanted an idea from other IB students of which seems the most viable.



-->An analysis of various adaptations of the play ‘West Side Story’ and how the variations reflect the society in which they are created.


-->How do adaptations of ‘West Side Story’ differ, and how does that reflect on the society in which they are created?




-->An analysis of the use of archetypal characters  in modern television and how they represent different faculties of the personality.



-->How do different television characters portray archetypes and how do those reflect on our society?





-->An analysis of the racial tension portrayed in ‘West Side Story’ and how it relates back to society’s view on immigrants in the first half of the twentieth century


-->How is racial tension portrayed in ‘West Side Story’ and how does that reflect society’s view of immigrants in the first half of the twentieth century?



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Hi! (just a disclaimer, some of the things I say seem harsh but I don't mean them in a rude way or anything I'm just being blunt)


i just want to start with that I am in the same position as you-- basically I'm just researching and thinking of ideas so nothing I say will guarantee you an A but I'll give it a go?


Firstly, my theatre teacher advices everyone to avoid musicals like the plague. For every single assessment during Ib theatre, she recommends my class not to use a musical as your central play/topic/theatre piece because any marker will not take you seriously. That being said, my EE is going to be about Rocky Horror so talk to your teacher but follow your heart too, because the EE is going to be a pain to do if you hate your topic or you're constantly regretting not choosing West Side Story.


Before reading the rest of this, can you please read the EE criteria because I think you have missed the point of a theatre EE. A theatre EE explores theatre and the nature of theatre (plays/genres/practitioners/lights/sound/staging/ideas to an extent/other aspects of theatre). If you still think your ideas are ok, go to google scholar or something like jstor and search your key words and see what articles come up.


Your ideas about modern television are a no. Scrap them. Film and stage acting are worlds apart and theatre (as a subject) does not extend to modern television.


Your last 2 ideas about racial tension seem a lot more like a literature essay (and could defiantly be done for a literature EE if you're interested in researching that) but they are not suitable for a theatre EE.


Your idea about how adaptions of WSS reflecting the society that made it is just not right and I can't really explain why. Its kinda to lit EE but at the same time not lit EE enough to be included in what I would say is suitable for a lit EE and it's defiantly not a theatre EE


Back to your first idea-- it could work.


Scrap the part about reflecting society because how would you investigate that? I'm pretty sure one of the criteria is that the question is answerable and at the moment, that part is not answerable because you will need to see as many productions of WSS (or whatever other play you decide on doing) as many times as possible before you hand in your EE and unless you have the time and funds to fly to Broadway, The West End, Asia, Europe and more or you have the ability to time travel, you can't really research that part except through secondary research and I feel that might be hard to find specifically about one play to the level of depth you need.


The way you're starting, analysing various adaptions of WSS, is ok.


One way to analyse various adaptions it is to is find 2 productions with 2 different directors and 2 different casts. You need to be in contact with the directors, cast and audience (survey/email etc). To write your EE, you need a question obviously-- How does (director 1) and (director 2) use (aspect of theatre) in their production of (play) to (your point)? or How is the use of (Practitioner 1's ideas) used in (director 1's) adaption of (play) a superior way of exploring (your point) when compared to (director 2's) adaption of (play) drawing on (practitioner 2's ideas). Or something like that.


If your heart's set on WSS, maybe do a comparison to Romeo and Juliet so you're drawing on different genres and then compare the two.


Keep in mind, WSS is overdone, the markers have probably seen a live production of it and have probably seen the film so that won't work in your favour. By doing WSS, unless your essay is actually incredible, you will not be a standout essay and the marker will probably be thinking about Natalie Wood instead. (same with R&S obviously)


I think the most important things to think about when coming up with your idea for your EE are

  • is this what the syllabus wants?
  • is my topic explicitly about theatre? (so like mines about Rocky Horror but I can't talk about the film because its a theatre EE)


Hope this helps (and makes sense because I'm not sure it all does)!!

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no offense but none of these ideas makes for a "theatre" essay...
you need to focus more on the technical aspects of theatre. whether it's acting or costuming or staging ect ect. society has nothing to do with theatre, that would make for a sociology or anthropology essay. The only time you might be able to use it in the essay is if you want to talk briefly about the history of the play and where and how it developed.
well it's being about half a year so i'm sure you are aware :) 

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