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Theatre Studies IB Extended Essay Topic Ideas: Spotlight on Criteria

theatre studies extended essay topics

The hallowed halls of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) echo with the whispers of knowledge and the resonant voices of theatre studies, a discipline dedicated to understanding humanity through its most emotive and performative form. 

The extended essay, a sacred rite of passage for the IB acolyte, offers a chance to delve into the depths of artistic expression and emerge with newfound wisdom, ready to illuminate the world. 

As a tribute to the art of theatre, we have chosen to present these topic suggestions in a manner that mirrors the very essence of theatre itself. 

In the pages that follow, you will find an array of IB EE theatre studies topic ideas unveiled through the creative structure of a theatrical script.

Our intention is to inspire you, the reader, to immerse yourself in the world of theatre IB EE subject as you explore these ideas, engaging with the topics on a deeper, more personal level. 

By experiencing these suggestions as a script, we hope to ignite your passion and creativity, encouraging you to dive into your extended essay with the heart and soul of a true dramaturge.

With the stage now set, let us raise the curtain and embark on this thrilling journey through the realm of theatre studies IB extended essay topics.

Act I: Unveiling the IB Extended Essay Criteria 

Scene 1: Formulating the Research Question – The Protagonist’s Call to Adventure 

Like an intrepid hero embarking on a journey, the research question serves as your compass, guiding your exploration through the uncharted territory of theatre studies. 

Scene 2: Context and Scope of the Essay – Painting the Backdrop 

To captivate your audience, the context and scope of your essay must be skillfully crafted, delving into the intricate details of your chosen topic while maintaining a coherent and cohesive narrative. 

Scene 3: Critical Thinking and Analysis – The Heart of the Performance 

The art of theatre lies in evoking emotion and thought, and so, too, must your essay. Engage your audience with a dazzling display of intellectual dexterity and analytical prowess. 

Scene 4: Presentation, Structure, and Organization – The Choreography of Ideas 

A truly memorable performance is one that flows seamlessly from scene to scene. Your essay, like a well-choreographed dance, must guide your reader gracefully through the twists and turns of your investigation. 

Scene 5: Engagement and Reflection – The Encore

As the curtain falls, the audience longs for a glimpse of the performer’s soul. In your essay, reveal your passion, your dedication, and your growth through a heartfelt reflection on your journey.

Act II: The Dance of Ideas – Historical Topics 

ib ee theatre studies

Scene 1: The Renaissance Resonance – Evolution of Theatre

Research question example – How did the Renaissance breathe life into the art of Commedia dell’arte, transforming it into a vibrant, living tableau? 

Addressing IB extended essay criteria – Allow the spirit of the Renaissance to infuse your essay, boldly exploring the colorful tapestry of theatrical history while masterfully weaving in the threads of criteria. 

Scene 2: Shakespeare’s Legacy – The Bard’s Linguistic Alchemy 

Research question example – How did Shakespeare, the great wordsmith, spin the English language into gleaming strands of poetic expression that still shine brightly today?

Addressing IB extended essay criteria – Embrace the spirit of Shakespeare, deftly crafting your essay to reveal the Bard’s genius while adhering to the esteemed criteria that guide your pen.

Act III: The Mirror of Society – Cultural and Sociopolitical Topics 

Scene 1: The World’s Stage – Theatre Reflecting Crisis

Research question example – How did theatre’s chameleon-like nature reflect the tumultuous landscape of society during the stormy days of World War II? 

Addressing IB criteria – Skillfully navigate the stormy waters of wartime theatre, showcasing your analytical prowess while remaining steadfast to the guiding criteria of the extended essay.

Scene 2: The Mind’s Eye – Portrayal of Mental Health 

Research question example – How have the shadows of mental health emerged from the wings of obscurity to take center stage in theatre over the past 50 years? 

Addressing criteria – Let your essay illuminate the complexities of mental health in theatre, sensitively exploring the topic while heeding the call of the IB criteria.

Act IV: Behind the Curtain – Performance and Production Topics 

Scene 1: The Digital Revolution – Technology’s Impact on Theatre 

Research question example – How has the symphony of digital technology harmonized with the art of theatre, reshaping the way productions are staged in the 21st century? 

Addressing IB extended essay criteria – Conduct your investigation with the precision of a maestro, expertly orchestrating the elements of criteria as you explore the intersection of technology and theatre. 

Scene 2: A Clash of Techniques – Stanislavski vs. Meisner 

Research question example – What are the fundamental contrasts between Stanislavski’s System and Meisner Technique, and how do they manifest in the performances of the actors who embody them?

Addressing IB criteria – Choreograph a dance of ideas, gracefully comparing and contrasting the acting techniques while keeping in step with the IB criteria.

Act V: The Critic’s Eye – Theatre Theory and Criticism 

Scene 1: The Fourth Wall Broken – Immersive Theatre and Audience Relationships

Research question example – How does the alchemy of immersive theatre shatter the fourth wall, challenging the traditional boundaries between audience and performer? 

Addressing IB extended essay criteria – Craft your essay like a skilled illusionist, deftly demonstrating the magic of immersive theatre while adhering to the incantations of the IB criteria. 

Scene 2: The Timeless Classics – Reinterpreting Antiquity for Modernity

Research question example – How do the phoenix-like adaptations of classic plays, such as Antigone, rise from the ashes to engage contemporary audiences while maintaining their connection to the original source material and themes?

Addressing IB EE criteria – Let your essay soar like a phoenix, skillfully analyzing how modern adaptations breathe new life into classic plays while remaining true to their roots. Unveil the secrets behind the enduring appeal of these timeless masterpieces, all the while adhering to the esteemed criteria that govern the theatre studies IB extended Essay.

Encore: The Final Thoughts – A Standing Ovation for Theatre Studies

theatre studies ib ee

Scene 1: The Ever-Changing Landscape of Theatre

As you embark on your theatrical journey through the extended essay, remember that the world of theatre is a living, breathing organism, constantly evolving and adapting. Let this fluidity inspire your exploration, as you uncover the myriad ways in which theatre has responded to and shaped society throughout history. 

Scene 2: The Power of Collaboration and the Individual

Theatre is an art form defined by collaboration, bringing together the talents of playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and countless others. As you delve into your chosen topic, consider the unique contributions of each individual, and how their collective efforts create a singular, unforgettable experience for the audience. 

Scene 3: Theatre as a Reflection of Humanity

Theatre holds a mirror up to the human experience, reflecting our hopes, fears, and dreams. 

In writing your extended essay, strive to capture the essence of this reflection, demonstrating not only the impact of theatre on society but also the deep, personal connections that can be forged through the power of performance.

Scene 4: The Legacy of the IB extended essay in theatre studies 

As you take your final bow, remember that the knowledge and insights gained through the extended essay will shape your understanding and appreciation of theatre for years to come. 

Carry this legacy with you, and let it inspire your continued exploration of the wondrous world of theatre studies.

[The end]…or not?

Thank you for the ovation, we’re thrilled to return to the stage for an encore performance!


Should you find yourself in search of further inspiration or a more personalized approach, our service is here to assist you. We can suggest a range of unique and captivating topic ideas tailored to your specific interests and requirements within theatre studies, ensuring that your IB extended essay journey begins on the right foot.

Need help with your IB EE?

From research and analysis to structuring and editing, our skilled mentors will be by your side, helping you craft an exceptional extended essay that not only meets the stringent IB criteria but also reflects your passion for theatre studies.

Venturing into the extended essay world can be daunting, but you need not walk the path alone. Our team of experienced writers and experts in theatre studies is ready and eager to provide you with guidance and support while writing your extended essay.

With our dedicated service as your guiding light, let the curtain rise on your unforgettable journey into the fascinating world of theatre studies IB extended essay. Break a leg!

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