Between October 12 and 15, ten of our High School students, represented CAISL at the first ever ISTA Deep Dive Theatre Festival in Geneva. Both teachers and students got the opportunity to work with some of the top minds of the IB program, especially the IB Theatre program, naturally, but not limited to that. The artist pool was comprised of 3 Chief Examiners of the IB DP – one of which was the Chief Examiner for all of the Extended Essay. The people who designed the IB Theatre Curriculum and guide were all working with both our students and the teachers. It was truly special to watch the way our students, the youngest group at the festival by a wide margin, stepped up to the challenges that were presented to them and rose above not only the bar but the highest expectations we could have for them. Socially, emotionally and academically the growth was palpable. Observing the students during their workshop sessions was amazing. They showed maturity, deep interest when speaking with the artists, and exemplary collaboration skills with students from the other schools. And the pieces that they created, developed and presented fully autonomously on the last day were testament to the work done throughout the previous two days. Impressive is an understatement.
There’s no better way to demonstrate the incredible value of this experience than to quote the students:
"This ISTA festival was one of the best experiences in my academic career so far. This festival gave me (literally) a deep dive into what a pursuance in drama in IB would look like, and I had never had something click in me faster than those days. I loved the division of the ensembles, but the managing of still having full group activities to keep a connection with all students there was very well-planned. I believe that all the sessions were very well linked in order for us to use them all in our final performance, and everything we learned will continue to be valuable throughout my life regarding theatre."
"This was 100% a valuable learning experience (it wasn't overwhelming like I thought it would be, but just the perfect amount of content), the theme was pretty clear, the ensembles were clear/built a really strong collaborative community (who I felt comfortable around) + their sessions were really well linked to each other and the final purpose (our performances). The way the artists taught us were also super effective, with a mixture of a bit of lectures (for notes), but then also getting up, interacting and moving around (perfect balance). Overall, the festival was really well organized, and I really do feel like it taught me so much, which then also increased my confidence."
By Mr. António Andrade, Secondary Drama and IBDP Theatre Arts Teacher