Program Details

For five hundred years, the performance of plays in London has been the cultural heartbeat of England. This course will examine the changing role of theatre in society by taking a close look at the current theatre scene in London and the legacy which has
Location:
London, United Kingdom
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Summer

Program Overview

Program Description:
Contemporary Theatre and Drama in London takes a case study/field research approach to studying the relationship between Theatre and Society by focusing on the current theatre scene in London. We will study and attend a variety of English and British plays and consider how they reflect changing social values and theatrical styles. Particular emphasis will be placed on recognizing trends in contemporary British playwriting and on developing critical thinking and writing skills. In addition to regular theatre-going, the course involves reading, multiple writing assignments, and a final exam. Flexibility in planning course activities is essential. For the three-week period of the course, four 'off' days will be determined. On all other days, students will be expected to be available for unexpected opportunities and changes in plans.

For five hundred years, the performance of plays in London has been the cultural heartbeat of England. This course will examine the changing role of theatre in society by taking a close look at the current theatre scene in London and the legacy which has led to it. Through attending plays, site visits, lectures, discussion, and writing exercises, we will study representative plays from Shakespeare up to the present day. Our primary 'text' will be the city of London itself. An intellectual curiosity about the stage-audience relationship and a willingness to experience various styles of performance are the only prerequisites.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: 1. To gain an understanding of the complex relationship between theater and society through a case study focused on the city of London. 2. To develop analytical and writing skills useful in the practice of theater criticism and to apply those skills to writing about London plays in performance. 3. To become familiar with the development of English/British drama and the history of theater in London from the Elizabethan era to the present day. 4. To experience the diversity of styles and subjects which characterize contemporary theater culture in London.
Setting Description:
Housing & Meals: Students will be housed in student apartments with access to kitchens. While a few group meals will be included in the program cost, students will need to budget for the majority of their meals. Cultural Activities: The course is based on frequent theatre-going excursions to such important London theatres as the National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, the Royal Court Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, the Old Vic, the Almeida, as well as West End playhouses and fringe venues. Other possible excursions include backstage tour of National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe exhibition, afternoon tea at the Orangery at Kensington Palace, a ride on the London Eye, a day trip to Bath, Cambridge, or Oxford, and visits to the National Gallery, the Tate Modern, Victoria & Albert Museum, Museum of the City of London, Westminster Abbey, and other sites.
Cost:
Cost of program will be posted on program site in December

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