The Theatre in the World component of IB Theatre is the aspect of the course most likely to frighten British drama teachers (apart from the specification document itself, of course, which is a convoluted and often opaque chunk of prose). GCSE and A level courses do not require knowledge of world theatre traditions, with the exception of Greek Theatre (which is considered a world theatre tradition by the IBO, and which is an excellent focus for exploration, but it will not provide your students with sufficient contact with world theatre just in itself – you need more).
Depending on your personal areas of interest and the context in which you teach, you might have included some non-western theatre within your KS3 schemes of work, but the expectation in terms of sophistication of understanding within the IB is so high that your KS3 expertise is not going to help you much when teaching the IB. I know that when we first sat down to thrash out a programme of study for IB Theatre, my colleague Richard Coe and I felt nervous about Theatre in the World, but we also felt quite inspired and excited about broadening our expertise in response to the demands of teaching the course.
Getting experts and practitioners in to lead workshops with your students is a fantastic way of introducing them to world theatre traditions, but there is a cost implication, which means that most of us cannot rely on visiting experts to provide our IB students with the breadth of knowledge they require. We have to take it on.
I have developed this scheme of work over the past three years, beginning from little more than a research task in Year 1 to a full exploration in Year 3. I was no Kabuki expert when I first began teaching it, and I am still not an expert now, although I feel much more confident with the material. I had some knowledge of the art form, and an enduring fascination with Japanese culture which has grown as a result of my work developing this scheme. What I aim to do in it is to enable students to use Kabuki-specific terminology with some confidence, to identify key conventions, to be able to talk and write about Kabuki.
Number of lessons 5