An introduction to theatre and performance in London and Stratford-upon-Avon: styles, traditions, and contexts. The Stratford portion of the tour features plays by the Royal Shakespeare Company on its main stage and in the smaller Swan theatre. The London portion comprises a wider variety of plays, from classic to contemporary, performed at the National Theatre, at the outdoor Globe, on the West End, and on London's experimental Fringe.
The schedule includes daily lectures and discussion groups, occasional workshops with actors or voice coaches, and backstage tours. It also allows free days to explore important sites such as Shakespeare's birthplace, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and the British Museum
This study tour aims to expose students to what is widely regarded as the best theatre in the world, to introduce them to a wide classical and modern repertory of plays, and to reinforce what we teach in the English and Theatre departments: that plays exist only in potentia, as scripts for performance, and that to study them simply as literature is to overlook their cultural importance and adaptability to various social and political contexts.
Students will be asked to make daily journal entries, which should demonstrate their growing awareness of how to view, discuss and contextualize performances. We shall require a final paper in which students evaluate the three or four performances which made the greatest impact on them. Furthermore, we shall ask for written accounts of at least four additional (non-theatrical) cultural experiences, such as visits to museums or historical landmarks.
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Last update: 14 March 2010