ISH has a strong tradition in the theatrical arts, well reflected in the curricula and extra-curricula offering of its drama department. At the heart of the drama curriculum is the aim to provide a deeper understanding of how drama relates to society and the world. Drama is a compulsory subject in the middle school years from grades 6 to 8. In these years the drama programme aims to develop social and personal communication. Students enhance their performance skills by learning to use body and voice as a form of expression. Students also perform cooperative work with peers in small and large groups, developing their interpersonal skills in an ensemble environment. The usage of various theatre elements as well as an appreciation of the role theatre plays in societal situations are also key curricula components.
Students of grades 6, 7 and 8 are required to study Drama. The 6, 7 & 8 Drama Courses are deliberately broad, allowing for flexibility of teacher and students, dependent upon experience, background, interests and ability. By the end of the three years 6 students will have experiences in movement and exercise, improvisations, critiquing of work, group dynamics, stagecraft and script work.
The 9 & 10 Theatre Courses are designed as two separate classes, allowing for new students to become involved, while at the same time, providing unique and challenging opportunities for students who have had previous drama experience as well as those who have not. Students build upon the concepts and skills learned and acquired in the middle years with the further exploration of different theatre genre or conventions. Students are further required to study and analyse texts, discussing their themes, concept and playwrite’s intent. Students maintain a journal throughout the 2 years, in which they reflect on their own work as well as gather information for further study and explore new areas of theatre.
Grade 11 – 12
The 11-12 IB Theatre is a continuous course over a 2 year cycle. Students will be exposed to a variety of theatre traditions, concepts and practical work which lead to their final assessments in year 12. Curricula components introduced in the pre-IB programme, such as the study of theatre genre and conventions are explored at a deeper level and new components, such as the exploration of various stimuli for production (e.g. music, art work, literature, kinesthetic, etc.) are added. Students work to create pieces of theatre for the community, giving due emphasis on providing elements entertaining to the various constituents of an audience (children, peers, adults). The yearly IB theatre trip to London gives students the opportunity to participate in an IB TAPS weekend, comprising 3 days of IB Theatre driven workshops, a tour of the city and the attendance of 5 productions in the West End, National and various other theatre venues.
From grade 9 onwards Theatre is a as an elective course to those students who have an interest beyond the middle school drama program. The course is a pre-IB course which prepares students for the rigorous IB Theatre program. Venturing above and beyond the middle school programme students explore various theatrical forms & traditions in their historical cultures as well as develop critical analysis skills in relation to theatrical context.
The IB Theatre course is designed to encourage students to examine theatre in its diversity of forms around the world. This may be achieved through a critical study of the theory, history and culture of theatre, and will find expression through workshopping, devised work or scripted performance. Students will come to understand that the act of imagining, creating, presenting and critically reflecting on theatre in its past and present contexts embodies the individual and social need to investigate and find explanations for the world around us.
At the core of the theatre course lies a concern with clarity of understanding, critical thinking, reflective analysis, effective involvement and imaginative synthesis—all of which should be achieved through practical engagement in theatre.
The ISH Theatre department is a member of ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association), an organization that promotes Theatre throughout the world.