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Our Summer Program in London, England, U.K.


Contemporary British Drama


Location Londond, England, UK
Dates July 26th, 2014 - August 21st, 2014
Credits Offered

3 Credits

ENGL 388.62, THEA 397.47, ENGL 780.51 or THC 710.56

CUNY Tuition is NOT included in the Program Fee.

Application Deadline

March 17th, 2014 - for students applying for the STOCS grant.

March 21st, 2014 - for all other students

We encourage you to submit applications early!

Financial Aid

Pell, Tap, Gilman, Student Loans

Program Fee

$ 2,550.00 (estimate)

Program Fee includes housing, theatre tickets, excursions and international health insurance.

AIRFARE is NOT included in the program fee. All students are responsible for arriving at their study abroad location by the first day of the program, this may mean flying the day before.

We encourage you to submit payments early!

Payment Schedule

$ 350.00 Application Fee due with all application documents.

$ 2,200.00 Program Fee Balance due by April 28th, 2014

This 4-week course will explore the diversity of theatrical offerings in London as it aims to give students a wide-ranging, diverse, and historically rich understanding of British theatre as it is practiced today in both traditional and experimental venues. We will attend 12 plays, ranging from performances of Shakespeare and Restoration Comedy to classics of the modern British stage and contemporary works by leading dramatists. We will be especially attentive to the complex ways in which certain British theatrical institutions – the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, the Old Vic, the Haymarket, and the Donmar Warehouse – present quite different styles of production based on varying aesthetic aspirations.

In addition to attending performances, the class will meet several times each week to discuss each theatrical production. We will draw on published texts of performed works as well as relevant critical and theoretical writings. Among the topics we will tackle are: Can one recreate the experience of the original production of a given theatrical work – and should one aim to do so? What contemporary concerns are brought to bear on performances of Shakespeare? Why did Realism and Naturalism dominate the British stage throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and the early 1960s? How were such traditions challenged in the Absurdist theatre of Becket and Orton's antic farces? What was the Angry Young Men movement, and in what ways did the feminist playwrights react against such works? What concerns characterize British playwrights today? How do the various elements of a given theatrical production - text, music, props, scenery, the choices of individual actors, directorial aim – shape the performance?

A key feature of the class will be a regular engagement with the daily critical reception of current theatrical productions as published in London newspapers  and online, in which heated controversy and lively debate are the norm. (Links and reviews will be posted on our class blog.) The class will participate in guided tours of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, recreated on London’s South Bank, and of the National Theatre, which houses several performance spaces. When possible we will meet with actors, directors, producers, and critics in order to explore the often hidden mechanics of the theatrical production. We'll likely take a which trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to see performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company in their summer home. In london,  the Summer 2014 theatrical season promises to be an exciting one, whether in the West End (the equivalent to Broadway), repertory (National Theatre, Shakespeare Globe Theatre), festivals (Camdem), or the Fringe (equivalent to Off-Broadway). Possible

Possible productions include works by Shakespeare, Friel, Beckett, Shaw, Wilde, Bennett, Armitage, Pinter, Hall, Eldridge, Haley, and Stephens, among others. Students will be expected to comment regularly on our class blog during the four weeks of the course, but, in order to maximize the cultural experience in London, formal written work (which includes three short theater reviews and a final 12-page paper) will be due a month after the London part of our class is concluded.

Students will be housed in the Nido Student Living, Spitalfields (, in exciting East London. Classes will be held at another Nido location, at King's cross. Both locations include 24-hour security, wireless internet access, a gym, and a cafe-restaurant. Everyone will also gather for two group meals, a welcoming meal and a final class dinner, at local London restaurants.


Academic Inquiries

Prof.Sylvia Tomasch

Administrative Inquiries

Office of Education Abroad

English Department
Phone: 212-772-5743
E-mail: stomasch

E1447, Mon - Fri 9:30 am - 5:30pm
Phone: (212) 772-4983
Fax: (212) 772-5005

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