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A STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO THE RESEARCH INVESTIGATION

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Follow the instructions below as best as you can and complete steps 1-4 by
our first meeting in September.
You will submit a first draft of your work by September 15 and the final essay by September
30. There will be no chance to revise it after this date.

DESCRIPTION
The Research Investigation is a formal essay of 2000-2500w at HL or 1500-1750w at SL
where you take the role of the dramaturg for a specific production. A dramaturg is an expert
theater researcher who advises the director of a performance on how a certain production
element should be in its original form.
For example, Director X is putting on an Elizabethan Theater production, ie. Romeo &
Juliette, and seeks your expert advice on how was the costume for a specific role, ie. Juliette
in the style’s original form (Elizabethan times).
A research question for that problem would look like this:
“In a theater production of Romeo and Juliette by William Shakespeare, what should
Juliette’s costume look like, according to social and theater conventions of the
Elizabethan times?”
You have to come up with a question like that and answer the question with your essay.
The same could apply for different theater traditions/styles, different plays within these
styles, and different production roles.
Examples:
“In the Commedia dell’ Arte production of Servant of two Masters by Carlo Goldoni,
how should the actor playing Arlecchino move and speak?”
Or
“In a production of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, what type of set and props
should be used according to the aesthetics of theater of the absurd?”
Or
“How should the stage be constructed in order to reflect the tradition of Noh
Theater in a production of the Damask Drum by unknown author?”

must be based on research findings alone. .-Therefore. the better for your essay. regardless of how much information you find or how much you are interested in the genre. Karagiozi) (Persia/Greece) Vietnamese water puppets (Vietnam) Balinese theater (Indonesia) Commedia dell’ Arte (Italy) Elizabethan Theater (England) Restoration Comedy (England) Comedy of Manners (France) Medieval Morality plays (Europe) Political (Epic) Theater Expressionist Theater Physical Theater Theater of the Absurd 2. Your answer to the question. and NOT on creative interpretations or products of your imagination. ie. The more rigid the rules of the tradition you choose. Kathakali Theater (India) Beijing Opera (China) Noh Theater (Japan) Kabuki Theater (Japan) Bunraku puppet theater (Japan) Shadow puppet theater (i. you first choose a specific theater style/tradition -Then you choose a play that comes from this tradition -Then you choose a production element/role that applies to this play and tradition And finally you formulate a research question that comprises of these three parameters. THE STEPS 1. but you haven’t practiced in class. a modern European play ‘in the style of’ Noh theater. Run a search on the internet on a few of the following theater styles/traditions: It must be a tradition that you are interested in.e. -Without the play-text you will not be able to further your research. which is your essay. Find a play-text from that tradition. -The play must be written for that specific tradition and cannot be an ‘adaptation’ for that style.

or in a library. quotes by theorists. Draw from a variety of Resources. so it is important that there is abundance of sources/information on your topic. not one that would be interesting. people.-This play text you may find online. or order online etc. . magazines. textbooks. Now you can formulate your question. images. such as: Text resources: Books. go back to step 1! 3. cultural centers. Tip: If you cannot find a play that comes from that tradition. CD-Roms. art galleries. abstracts of university theses. professionals. magazine covers. journals. photographs. read it and choose the production element you will research: Directing approaches Acting style/technique Choreography/movement/gesture Vocal training/music Set design Stage construction Costume Mask Make-up 4. Now you have the play/script. research centers. Be prepared to order it from Amazon. Remember all the statements in your paper need to be products of research and not assumptions or products of your imagination. videos. High scoring essays rarely include the ones that are mainly based on the Internet. videos. Make the question one you CAN answer. training schools. experts. audio tapes. examples of research by previous students. glossaries of key terms. audience members. IT resources: Web sites. theaters. nor one you need to use your imagination for. (refer to document Tips for the RI) 5. posters. Image resources: Contrasting theater posters. DVDs. Organizations: Embassies. newspapers. Information can come from different places. discussions. music. Oral resources: Interviews. People: Practitioners. members of the community.

Wikipedia is not an acceptable research resource as it has no academic credibility! You can use it to get a first idea. references that might be in the play from other characters to her garments and so on. but never include it in your bibliography. archeological sites. Lady Macbeth should be wearing a corset made of iron. costume warehouses. Give a lot of examples from within the play. For example Elizabethan costume may generally be like *this*. on a word document. use quotes from the play and justify things from within the play. Keep track of your sources: Record (on your favorites. but as this kind of wood is native only in Japan. public spaces and buildings. OR: Traditional Noh mask may be made out of *this kind* of specific wood. conclusive statement about the viability of the project and the importance of following the aforementioned steps . All pictures must have captions (not included in the word count) explaining what it is they are demonstrating and why it is necessary to be there. Relate your descriptions to the play. Rate your sources as useful/useless. shops. there is no way you can go back and re-trace your research path. on a piece of paper…) every site you visit. scene and costume changes. theaters and theater sites. reliable/unreliable etc. however this must not restrict her mobility and must not press down hard on her diaphragm because she needs to be able to breathe freely in order to project her voice.Resource centers: Art galleries. and every book you consult and every other source of information you use. Write your essay: -Introduction 100-150w: general/introductory information about the genre/style. 6. For example according to Elizabethan fashion. Visuals in a RI must be fully justified and not merely for decoration. -Conclusion 100-150w: Wrapping up the findings of your research. Use your common sense to address practicalities and show an understanding of how aspects of production interact with one another. I propose alternatively the use of *this* material which has similar properties and will create a similar result. about the play and the production element you are focusing on. museums. -Main body: description and analysis of the production element of your choice. but Juliette’s costume for this play must take into consideration the character’s age and personality. If you don’t do it now. You will need this for the critique of your sources (HL) that you will prepare later and for your bibliography. Use pictures/visuals that demonstrate what you want to say. 7.

ALL information you are including – except products of common sense – should be properly attributed and referenced. footnoted. Good luck and have a nice summer  Ms. . bibliography and captions to images. As this is not a creative exercise. Word count for the RI is 2000-2500w for HL and 1500-1750 for SL. so practically. and then the source must feature in your bibliography (including the pictures). everything you say is essentially the product of someone else’s research. Cite your sources. You may always address any questions to me via email and I will try as best as I can to guide you. excluding quotes.8. A pass/fail grade will be awarded to you on the first day back on the basis of having completed steps 1-4. every second or third sentence should appear in quotation marks.

All relevant information is in the following two documents: "A STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO THE RESEARCH INVESTIGATION" and "TIPS for the RI". that will be assessed on the first day of school in September. Don't forget: it is a graded assignment. Ms Thanopoulou can be contacted via email all through the summer. .The Summer Assignment for the IB Theater Arts students is the preparation of the Research Investigation.

This is certainly not a reason to avoid researching a less common tradition. note the difference between: A) “How would a costumier design a costume for Pantalone in Servant of Two Masters?” B) “What are the costume requirements for Pantalone in Servant of Two Masters according to the costuming tradition of Commedia Del'Arte at this time?” Clearly in the above example Question A is addressed to a specific individual (the costume designer) and should be avoided. Question B sets out to research the more general all-encompassing principles of the practice as applied to costumes and is therefore a more satisfactory start to the RI task. such as ‘masks’ or ‘lighting design’ as opposed to general aspects that happen to appear in the chosen piece such as ‘themes of violence’ or ‘socio-political resonance’. La Châtaigneraie) with contributions from: Anthony Cunningham (IB Theatre Teacher. Students should collect. Question 3 (above) concerning research sources is important because it can prove challenging to dig up satisfactory research on some of the more obscure theatrical practices.it should inform a production rather than be a "how to" paper. The ‘specific aspect’ should be a specific theatrical aspect. It is thus strongly encouraged that the RI is not addressed to a hypothetical individual taking on a specific theatrical role. Is there a play/ text /piece of theatre from this practice? 3. American School of The Hague) Firstly let us remind ourselves of the requirements of the RI task: The IB Theatre Syllabus Guide (2007) states on p27: 'Students should select a specific aspect of a play or theatre piece from the chosen theatrical practice to research. .IB Theatre How to formulate a viable Research Investigation Question ‘Hints & Tips’ Sheet for IB Theatre teachers & students compiled by: James Lehmann (IB Theatre Teacher.' So your first questions regarding the RI assignment should be: 1. but students are strongly advised to investigate and consult the available research first before settling on a final RI question. and then formulate a research question to answer. edit and present their research to contribute to a realization of the play/theatre piece from the chosen theatrical practice. For example. International School of Geneva. What sources of research are available to help me write an essay on a specific theatrical aspect of this play/ text /piece of theatre? Question 2 (above) concerning a play/text/piece of theatre is important because there are plenty of perfectly viable practices and practitioners but no play/text/piece of theatre borne out of that practice. What theatre practice or practitioner am I interested in researching? 2. See also the note below about Circular RI Logic. Interesting though these are to research (and perhaps apply to an IP) they should be discarded for the purposes of the RI. The Research Investigation is NOT a creative exercise. and indeed originality is encouraged. it is a research exercise .

...............The ‘RI Question Validation Test’. Formulating a viable question is absolutely essential to meeting the requirements of this assignment successfully! Starting the task with a poorly-worded or inadequate RI question means you are severely crippled from the beginning and have no hope of reaching the higher mark bands in the assessment criteria... do all necessary checking well in advance before submitting a 2........ (theatre practice/practitioner I have chosen) should be applied in the various ways that I will explain in the main body of my essay to the ....... If your RI question cannot be broken down easily into something like the above then it probably lacks a key component of the task and you have little hope of meeting the assessment criteria successfully ...... as indeed do I depending on the day of the week! As always.. (play/text/theatre-piece from my chosen theatrical practice/practitioner) for example.....500 essay that will score poorly because of a fatal confusion in the question...... (play/text/theatre-piece from the chosen theatrical practice/practitioner) Et voila! If your RI question breaks down easily into something like the above then you’re probably good to go write the essay... (theatre practice/practitioner) should be applied in the various ways that I explain in the main body of my essay to the ................. Another thing to be careful of is Circular RI Logic whereby an RI question focuses on a Specific Theatrical Aspect that is already itself a convention of the practice......EPIC THEATRE.. An example of this is: "How should the conventions of Epic Theatre be applied to breaking the 4th wall in Brecht’s Mother Courage?" I advise avoiding this kind of question because otherwise this essay has to discuss how to apply conventions of a practice to a convention of that practice.........go back to the three initial questions at the top of the page and start again! Circular RI Logic. The conventions/theories of .................. (specific theatrical aspect) of a realisation of..LIGHTING DESIGN....... So once you have drafted your question check to see if it can breakdown into the following phrases: The conventions/theories of ......... which makes no sense! Unfortunately it’s often not that clear-cut because it seems to me that something like 'Masks' or 'Chorus' in Greek Theatre can appear in Research Investigations either as a Specific Theatrical Aspects or conventions or both...... BERTHOLT BRECHT’S ’MOTHER COURAGE’.. ... This is something I find students can have real difficulties getting their heads around..................................... (specific theatrical aspect I have chosen) of a realisation of ..