Production Proposal in Detail
PRODUCTION PROPOSAL ~ In Detail
Students at SL and HL choose a published play text they have not previously studied and formulate a vision for the design and theoretical staging of the entire play text for an audience. The student’s ideas are presented in the form of a production proposal. The student is not required to stage the play.
Formal requirements of the task
Each student submits the following for assessment.
A production proposal (a maximum of 12 pages of written text and images*) plus a list of all sources used. *To help define the scope of this portfolio document, the written text contained within the production proposal must not exceed an indicative maximum of 4,000 words. It is not expected that the submitted work will reach this upper limit and students should by no means feel under pressure to meet it.
Teachers must ensure that their students are appropriately prepared for the demands of this task through the careful planning and delivery of the “staging play texts” syllabus area.
It is particularly important to ensure that the students have had access to live theatre performances, in person or digitally, in which they have witnessed first-hand the use of effective performance and production elements on stage. Live theatre productions can be used by the teacher to demonstrate how performance and production elements are used by theatre-makers to fulfill their intentions and to create moments of tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”). A student, however, is not required to refer to such live theatre performances in their production proposal.
Key terminology for the task
Play textA play text is the text of a dramatic work that has been written for theatrical performance. For this assessment task the play text must be a published work that has an ISBN (International standard book number). Students are permitted to work with play texts written in any language. Any descriptions of plot or direct quotations, however, must be translated into the language in which they are being assessed.
Ideas in the play text
In this task students are required to identify the key ideas presented in the play text. Ideas, which will differ depending on the specific play text chosen, might feasibly include concepts, issues, meanings or themes. This list is neither prescriptive nor exhaustive. Students must mine for these ideas embedded in the play text rather than carry out a detailed analysis of the literary or theatrical devices employed by the playwright. Please note: as the author(s) of the text, the playwright might be one person, more than one person or in some cases a theatre company.
Students are required to identify specific intentions for their work. Theatre-maker intentions refer to the student’s interpretation of what they consider to be the key ideas of the play, their decisions regarding how they will stage this interpretation and what effect they intend this to have on an audience. Within their intentions, students must also identify their choice of performance style (for example, naturalistic, surreal, and so on) and their choice of performance space for the proposed staging.
Staging (using performance and production elements)
Staging refers to the proposed choice and use of performance and production elements in performance space to fulfill stated theatre-maker intentions in a theoretical production of a play text. Performance elements are defined as the performer’s use of body (such as face, gesture, posture, body language or manipulation of objects, for example), voice (such as pitch, pace, pause, tone, volume, emphasis or intonation, for example) and the placement and movement of performers on the stage.Production elements are defined as scenic and technical components (such as the design of the space, set, props, costume, lighting, sound and/or special effects, for example). These performance and production elements are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive and are subject to the nature of the production and the specific theatre-maker’s intentions. Students must explain the effect the performance and/or production elements they have selected will have on an audience.
Moment in the play
In this task, students are required to identify a moment in the play text and explain how they will use performance and production elements to create tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”). A moment is defined as a short and concentrated theatrical instance that the student determines to be significant and appropriate for demonstrating their theatre-maker intentions on stage. This could be as short as a single stage direction or as long as a specific scene. The chosen moment must provide the student with enough material to adequately fulfill the criteria of the task.
A production proposal communicates the student’s vision for the feasible staging of a play text for a live audience (a maximum of 12 pages of written text and images, with written text not exceeding 4,000 words maximum). It explains how performance and production elements could potentially work on stage to fulfill theatre-maker intentions. The proposal should be written in the first person and contain visual production design ideas and images to help communicate the student’s vision. As the production proposal articulates a vision for the final staging of the play text, students are not required to consider a hypothetical rehearsal process in this task.
Students should approach this task from the two perspectives of director and designer.
Selecting a play text
In consultation with the teacher, each student chooses a published play text they have not previously studied. The teacher may recommend play texts that they consider to be suitable for a student’s interests or help the student to select their own. The chosen text must allow them to successfully fulfill the assessment requirements and criteria of the task. Students should have little or no previous experience of researching or practically engaging with the published play text they
selected for study. It is permissible, however, for students to select play texts they have not previously studied that have been written by playwrights they have previously studied or encountered.
The key to success in this task is for students to select a text that excites their imagination and that they would be passionate about transforming into action.
The play text must remain unaltered. Students are not permitted to edit, make additions or alterations to the original printed work. They may, however, in communicating their vision for the staging of the selected play text, add additional moments of action on stage or introduce additional elements of design if this will help them to realize their vision for the staging. In every case this should be appropriate to the play text and students must clearly identify and justify these additions.
The student’s production of the play text does not necessarily have to be set within the original
practice or style for which it was originally intended by the playwright. Students may wish to set the play in a contrasting practice or style in order to bring out a particular idea or theme appropriate to the work.
Once the appropriate play text has been identified, students should follow the suggested process for assessment outlined below.
Each student explores the chosen play text and identifies key ideas presented in the entire play text.Each student formulates their own appropriate theatre-maker intentions for the staging of the entire play text.
Each student considers how they would employ production elements to meet their stated theatre-maker intentions for the entire play text, proposing overarching visual production design ideas to communicate the look and feel of the proposed production as a whole.
Each student chooses a specific moment in the play text and envisions how this would be staged, providing details on how both performance and production elements would fulfill the stated theatre-maker intentions and effectively create tension, emotion, atmosphere and/or meaning (“TEAM”) for an audience.
Each student prepares a production proposal (12 pages of written text and images, with written text not exceeding 4,000 words maximum) plus a list of all sources used.
Structuring the work
The production proposal (12 pages of written text and images, with written text not exceeding 4,000 words maximum) communicates the student’s vision for the feasible design and staging of a play text for a live audience, explaining how performance and production elements could potentially work on stage to fulfill theatre-maker intentions. It should be written in the first person and present the student’s personal responses, ideas and intentions for the proposed staging of their selected play text. Students should be as precise and specific as possible when discussing performance and
production elements. The use of subject-specific terminology may help to achieve such precision.
The page count must be stated on the first page of the production proposal. All text, annotations, labels and citations must be included in the overall page count. The list of sources used is excluded from the page count.
The production proposal is assessed on screen and students must ensure that their work is clear and legible when presented in a digital, on-screen format. The work should be created using a common page size (A4 or US Letter), be typed in a legible sans serif 12-point font and use standard margin sizes and single spacing. The production proposal may also contain legible handwriting.
Students should adhere to the following structure, giving consideration to the criteria weighting for each section.
Focus and Recommended maximum lengths for each Criteria
Criteria A - Ideas and intentions
a. Each student explains the key ideas presented in the entire play text. They write with close
reference to the play text, using specific examples from the text to support their explanations.
b. Each student uses their interpretation of the play text to develop and explain their theatre-maker intentions for the staging of the entire play. 2 pages
Criteria B - The proposed design
The student presents their production designs visually with an explanation and justification of the performance space and how they would employ production elements to meet their stated theatre-maker intentions. These are overarching design proposals for the look and feel of the production as a whole rather than a detailed analysis of any specific moments in the play. 4 pages
Criteria C - The proposed staging of one moment of the play
Each student envisions how they would stage one specific moment in the play, explaining how they would use both performance and production elements in this moment of the play to effectively create tension, emotion, atmosphere, and/or meaning (or “TEAM”). These are detailed proposals for staging one specific moment in fulfillment of the theatre-maker intentions. As students are expected to discuss both performance and production elements in this section they must be sure to fully justify the exclusion of either one if they choose to eliminate them from their vision for the staging of the specific moment (for example, the removal of performers from the space entirely, or the staging of a moment without the use of any set or lighting). 4 pages
Students must ensure their assessment work adheres to the IB’s academic integrity policy and that all sources are appropriately referenced. A student’s failure to appropriately acknowledge a source will be investigated by the IB as a potential breach of regulations that may result in a penalty imposed by the IB Final Award Committee. See the “Academic integrity” section of this guide for full details.
Use of images and other visual material
Students are expected to include carefully selected visuals such as mind maps, storyboards, diagrams and designs throughout the production proposal. They may also include their own photographs and other images as necessary, ensuring they are all of an appropriate quality. All images and other visual material must be clearly labelled and appropriately referenced to acknowledge the source, following the protocol of the referencing style chosen by the school. The labels, which are included in the overall word limit of the production proposal, should contain the minimum information to ensure the examiner understands the significance of the visual evidence. All text, annotations and labels must be included in the overall page count.
Teachers are required to meet with students at each stage of the assessment process to discuss the progress made to date, and to verify the authenticity of the coursework being created by each student. The key outcomes of these one-to-one interactions, which might be formal meetings and/or informal discussions in the classroom, must be summarized by the teacher on the DP theatre Coursework authentication form (6/TCAF), which is submitted to the IB as part of the upload of
external assessment material.
The procedure for submitting the assessment materials can be found in Diploma Programme Assessment procedures. Students should be informed that where the production proposal exceeds the maximum page limit, examiners will only assess the work that falls within the prescribed limits. Submitted work must not contain any appendices as these will not be read by examiners.