Theater Students Pilot New IB Curriculum

Penzi Hill '20, Christian Fusco '20, Julia Carrigan '20, and Lexi Lazar '20 perform their play in the Green Room. (photo by Kim McGlynn)

George School Theater students are part of a pilot project for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization to test a new curriculum for their global theater arts program. One of their four tasks within the IB Theater curriculum is to create a collaborative performance project that is seven to ten minutes long.

The students spent twenty-two hours together over a weekend intensively designing, generating, and shaping their theatrical creations. They worked in groups of two to six, challenged themselves as theater-makers, and studied theater itself as a form of communication and the importance of collaboration within this art form.

Each student acted in the finished project and contributed to the piece in another major way of their choosing. Their performances used dynamic lighting, sound and music modulation, and movement in addition to the acting. The performances were shared with the community on Thursday, January 16, 2020.

“I am so grateful to have the time and energy to create such powerful pieces of theater over one intense weekend. It was a lot of hard work, but we came out with some pieces of theater we were really proud of,” said Julia Carrigan ’20. “It was super fun to be able to share our work with the community.”

“They had a problem to solve. The ticking clock of the weekend deadline and the comradery among students helped them decide that the art and the project’s goals were more important than them individually,” said Mo West, head of the Arts Department. “This is a great example of the IB Program’s inclination for self-examination and how it promotes a learner profile of self-understanding, as well as the importance of collaborative learning.”

When the new IB curriculum is put into effect this upcoming fall, these performances may become exemplars for future students. George School is one of twenty schools around the world to pilot the new theater curriculum.

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