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Literature & Performance

Available at Standard Level only and CANNOT be taken alongside Theatre Arts

Literature and Performance allows you to study texts in a more practical fashion, using performance conventions to draw out the meaning in the text. At the heart of the course is the interaction between (i) a conventional literary emphasis on close reading, critical writing and discussion and (ii) the practical, aesthetic and symbolic elements of performance. A distinctive outcome of this “marriage” is the performance of a piece transformed from poetry or prose. In this exciting, creative process text is viewed from different angles in a way that goes beyond what is characteristic of either literary or theatre studies as single disciplines.

The course as a whole examines literary and dramatic texts and seeks to develop intellect, imagination and creativity. It encourages intercultural awareness through a study of texts from more than one culture.

This Course Would Suit

  • Those who enjoy performing or exploring texts by ‘acting them out’ rather than simply reading them.
  • Those wishing to acquire interpersonal skills such as teamwork, communication, presenting, leadership, commitment, problem solving skills, the ability to work under pressure and self-confidence that come from performance. These are vital life and work skills that impress employers in later life.
  • Those wishing to take 2 languages or sciences, but still wishing to take part in drama
  • Those wishing to continue studying more than one art form (as block 6 could now be Music, Film or Visual Arts.)
  • Those who struggle to sit and engage with a text by simply reading it, who would benefit from the opportunity to explore it more kinesthetically.

Literature and Performance Aims

  1. Equip students with the skills to explore critically and imaginatively a range of literary texts and performance possibilities
  2. Develop in students the ability to articulate their responses to literature and performance in a variety of styles and contexts
  3. Introduce students to a range of performance skills
  4. Broaden the perspectives of students through the exploration of texts from differing cultures, periods and genres
  5. Foster a personal and passionate engagement with literature and performance, and by so doing guide students towards a   better understanding of themselves and the world.

Assessment Task

External assessment (3 hours)
Paper 1: Prose and performance (1 hour 30 minutes)
Students answer one essay question from a choice of three concerned with issues
involved in dramatizing a novel. (20 marks)

Paper 2: Poetry (1 hour 30 minutes)
Students answer one comparative essay question from a choice of six. (25 marks)

Written Coursework

Major playwrights in performance
Students produce one piece of writing that incorporates critical analysis of the realization of an extract or a series of linked extracts from a play by a playwright listed on the PLA, as well as reflection on the student’s performance in a staged interpretation of it. (20 marks) The written coursework must be 1,500–2,000 words in length.

Internal Assessment

(20 minutes)
This component is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB at the end of the course. The internal assessment component has two compulsory parts. Performance (5 minutes) and individual oral presentation (15 minutes) (40 marks)

Students present one performance during the course. This must be a transformation based on one or more of the poetry and prose texts studied in class. It must not be based on the texts studied for papers 1 and 2. The individual oral is a structured presentation about this performance.

Assessment Objectives
There are four assessment objectives for the literature and performance course.

1.Knowledge and understanding of texts from different genres and cultures

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of texts and performances
  • Demonstrate an understanding of structure, technique and style
  • Demonstrate an ability to substantiate the points made through appropriate reference to texts

2. Awareness and understanding of literary techniques and performance potential

  • Demonstrate an ability to identify and evaluate the use and effect of literary techniques and performance potential in texts
  • Demonstrate an ability to use the relevant terminology in the analysis and appreciation of the texts studied
  • Demonstrate an ability to realize the performance potential in a text

3. Commitment and ability as performers

  • Demonstrate an understanding of performance skills
  • Show the necessary commitment in developing and presenting performance
  • Demonstrate an ability to express ideas, emotion, character and atmosphere through performance

4. Ability to speak and write effectively about texts and performances

  • Demonstrate an ability to express ideas clearly and in an appropriate register
  • Use the oral and written forms of the language in a range of styles, registers and situations
  • Demonstrate an ability to discuss and analyse texts and their performance potential in a focused and logical manner


Essential - A willingness to participate and take risks, you will have to act for an audience and work in a team. Preferable (but not essential)- Previous experience in performance (Theatre, Dance or performing arts)