Recently in class we have been preparing for the Theatre Performance and Production Presentation. This is always something that I feel has to be practices, and once they have had one go they are ready to embark on the real thing.

This blog will look at some ways that I enable students to understand the task.

What is an image? This is always something that leaves them slightly stumped. So, I always give various examples for them. For example images can be:

  • annotated script
  • play bill
  • poster from a production
  • a photo from a workshop
  • notes on make-up designs
  • photo of you acting
  • image from a play you went to see
  • plans for a rehearsal
  • a through line of action from a character you played
  • a storyboard
  • an image from the internet that illustrates a feeling, theme idea

Below are a few images my students have used:

Mask making

This shows a student making her mask for the performance of ‘The Birds’.


This student worked a lot with Laban and physicality in theatre. He did source this image too.


This annotated script drew on Stanislavsky and Realism. This was used to illustrate techniques and theory applied and then also refer to working with others.

To prepare my 1st year IB Students for the TPPP I asked them to prepare a 5 minute presentation that answered the question ‘What is Theatre?’

The guidelines I provided them with were:

What is theatre?

This will be from your own life experience and knowledge, and will be presented in any way you like using movement, sound, images, others, set (no set), costumes (no costume), mask (no mask), film (no film) acting, visuals etc.

Your presentation will be 5-7 minutes long and needs to draw on everything you have done in the time you have been studying IB Theatre. The focus will be on the last 5-6 months, but can refer back to previous understandings for examples to compare understandings and perspectives.

You will present to the class and will then have questions from your audience. Your presentation, and written reflection on your performance and audience response,  then needs to be shared with the teacher.

The students did a very interesting job. Here is a little about what they did:

Student 1: Had a power-point with multiple images, words and areas of world theatre, technical theatre and aspects of performance for the actor. His presentational style was that of a knowledgable professor and therefore a performance in itself. He also used a light and smoke machine to illustrate other technical aspects.

Student 2: This student started off explaining from a personal perspective what theatre meant to her. She then used lights and minimal set to perform in Korean, a very moving piece. She went on to speak about emotional acting and about the story and the actor’s connection to the role.

Student 3: Started with his back to us, then words appeared on the screen in time to the music, which he moved to, punctuating the words that appeared. The movement changed into a character’s performance when the music changed, and the words focused more on aspects of applied theory and world theatre practices.

I will not tell you in any more detail about them, but I will say that the presentations did bring out ToK debate questions. For example:

  • Is a live actor needed on stage for an act of theatre to take place?
  • Is dance or performance with only movement theatre if there are characters and a story?
  • What is the difference between dance and theatre?
  • Is an audience needed for an act of theatre to take place? Does someone need to be watching?

Which are all excellent to get students thinking about Synthesis in Theatre, all the aspects of the course (TIM, TIW and TIP) and gets then reflecting fully on their work.

Good luck with your own TPPPs.