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England, Summer 2017

Contemporary British Theater

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Summer 2017

I) Summary

Location: London, England

Dates: July 8 - August 5, 2017

Credits Offered: 6 credits
Undergraduates: ENGL 388.62 (3 credits) or THEA 397.47 (3 credits) and ENGL 352 (3 credits)
Graduates: ENGL 780.50 (3 credits) or THC 710.56 (3 credits) and ENGL 715.68 (3 credits)

Application Deadline: Due to housing constraints, applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until March 20, 2017 the April 6, 2017 extended deadline. The program may be filled before the deadline; we encourage you to submit applications early!

Financial Aid: TAP, PELL, student loans

Scholarships: Chancellor’s Global Scholarship, Gilman

Program Fee: $2,455.00 (estimate) includes housing, theater tickets, excursions, and international health and travel insurance. TUITION and AIRFARE are 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.

Payment Schedule: $350 application fee and deposit is due with the application. $2,105.00 (program fee balance; estimate) is due three weeks after the student has been admitted to the program. Payments must be made with certified check or money order. NO CASH, PERSONAL CHECKS OR CREDIT CARDS.

Students are responsible for meeting the payment deadline regardless of funding source, i.e. Macaulay Opportunities Fund, loans, or any other type of financial aid. Late fees will be applied to all delayed payments (see Education Abroad Application Instructions and Policies).

II) Program Description

This four-week, six-credit program will explore the diversity of theatrical offerings in London and vicinity, providing a wide-ranging and historically rich understanding of British theater as it is practiced today in both traditional and experimental venues.  The 12 performances we attend will encompass works of Shakespeare and Restoration comedy, classics of the modern British stage, and contemporary and experimental offerings by leading dramatists.

Throughout the program, we will consider the complex ways in which written texts are changed as they come to life in performance through the creative imagination of playwrights, directors, and actors in interaction with audiences.  We will explore how British theatrical institutions, such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theater, the Old and Young Vic, the Globe, the Haymarket, the Almeida, and the Donmar Warehouse, present different styles of productions based on varying aspirations, from the aesthetic to the political.  We will also engage with the critical reception of current theatrical productions as published in London newspapers and on line, in which heated controversy and lively debate are the norm.  In short, this program encourages individual and collective encounters with a representative selection of performances across the historical spectrum through the experience of world-class theatrical productions.

The summer 2017 British theatrical season promises to be an especially exciting one.  Complete information about the offerings will not be available until late March, but in 2016 students saw classics such as Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, and Hamlet, contemporary farces such as The Play that Goes Wrong, experimental productions of 1984, The Threepenny Opera, Unreachable, and Yerma, and a marathon of early Chekhov plays, Platonov, Ivanov, and The Seagull. This coming summer, the theatrical possibilities will likely include works by Birch, Brean, Carroll, Cookson, Cartwright, Firth, Fraser and Rourke, Porter, Wilde, and of course Shakespeare, so the 2017 program should be as equally wide-ranging and stimulating as in the past.

To make the most of these opportunities, we will draw on published texts of performed works as well as relevant critical and theoretical writings.  While students need hard copies of each play (most available for purchase in London), links to reviews and other materials will be posted on our Blackboard site.  Our schedule will typically consist of a morning classroom discussion followed by attendance at an evening performance of the same play.  At least four plays will be by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, thus providing an opportunity for deeper study of these early works and their cultural contexts.  Also included in the schedule are guided tours of the Globe and National Theaters and, whenever possible, meetings with actors, directors, producers, scholars, and critics in order to explore the often hidden mechanics of theatrical production.  Also planned are a walking tour of Shakespeare's London, an overnight trip to his birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, to take advantage of the RSC's summer season and visit sites important in his life, and a visit to one of the most impressive royal Tudor residences, Hampton Court Palace with its gardens and maze.  

Even with our busy schedule, most activities will be organized for Monday through Thursday, allowing time for study and for exploration of London and beyond.  During the four weeks of the program, students will be expected to comment regularly on our class blog.  Formal written work will include four short reviews (2-3 pages each) completed during the course and a longer research essay (10-12 pages) due by the end of August.

Students will be housed in single rooms with bathrooms in the PURE Student Living residence (, centrally located between Clerkenwell and The City, close to tube stations, bus lines, and trendy Angel, Shoreditch, and Brick Lane.  This location includes 24-hour security, wireless internet access, laundry facilities, and kitchens and other communal spaces.  Class will be held in a meeting room at PURE.  Everyone will also gather for at least two group meals, a welcoming get-together and a final class dinner, at local London restaurants.



ENGL 220; for English majors, ENGL 252

Credits & Grades

Students in this program will receive both credits and letter grades. Grades will count toward their Hunter GPA.

III) Costs of Attendance

Tuition (Undergraduate) $1,650.00
Tuition (Graduate) $2,550.00
Program Fee
$2,455.00 (estimate)
Not included in Program Fee (estimates):
Airfare $1,200.00
Meals $1,000.00
Books $160.00
Local transportation $100.00

TOTAL Undergraduate

$6,565.00 (estimate)
TOTAL Graduate $7,465.00 (estimate)

IV) Further Inquiries

Academic Inquiries
Faculty: Prof. Sylvia Tomasch
English Department
Office: HW1306
Phone: (212) 772-4052

Administrative Inquiries
Education Abroad Office, Room E1447
Office Hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm Mon-Fri
Phone: (212) 772-4983
Fax: (212) 772-5005

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