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Playwriting in London

What can you expect to do in a 14-week playwriting program in London? Reinvent yourself as a writer in a city with a rich dramaturgic history.

How about an in-depth study of the structure; the beginning, middle, and end; originality; characters, conflict, imagery, and the pitch? Most importantly, you write a freshly conceived full-length play or two one-act plays while living in one of the most historic and theatrical cities in the world.

“The Program raised the bar for what I believed I was capable of achieving as a writer and left me with experiences that I will not soon forget ... from experiencing Shakespeare at the Globe, to viewing spectacular theatre in world-renowned venues ... London was everything I hoped it would be and more."  
— Bethany McHugh

Program Overview

The tutor leads structured lectures on the elements of playwriting and dramaturgy three times a week in Bloomsbury. As the semester progresses, the creative work of you and your classmates becomes the subject of readings, in-class workshops, and critique.

At the end of the semester there will be a rehearsed reading of a section of your play.  You will be able to cast the actors from the RADA program having had the chance to watch them at work in one of their Shakespeare play projects. The audience is made up of all the students in the London program together with faculty members and guests. This is a crucial part of the London program when everyone comes together at the end of the semester to celebrate the work that has been achieved.    

Curriculum

Your semester abroad consists of your core program course and two additional companion courses, completing a full-time, 16 unit semester.

Advanced Playwriting (Core)

IDWPG-UT 1050 | 8 units

This is an advanced course for students with some playwriting experience. The central aim is to guide the students toward reinventing themselves as writers. In this process, students will learn to reappraise famous plays of the past and analyze the plays of their contemporaries, including their fellow students. Students initially are taught the process of playwriting (especially in relation to UK practice), from development to stage to printed page. Guest speakers for the course are drawn from British playwrights and/or other leading practitioners in the field. This overall approach will lead to a reexamination of the basic elements of playwriting, including the creation of story, character, and theme. Students complete this course with a clear idea of their interrelation and, more particularly, of how original stories can be invented, original characters created, and original themes put into dramatic harness. Along with the study of further dramaturgical elements, students are encouraged to look at their plays from the perspective of the actor, the director, the designer, and the audience. By the end of the semester, students complete the first draft of a freshly conceived, full-length play or the second draft of a one-act play for the stage.

The Arts in London: A Cultural History

IOART-UT 1301 | 4 units | Instructor: Richard Williams

This course offers a wide-ranging introduction to London’s history and contemporary developments and explores the capital through field trips to galleries, museums, and places of iconic interest. Lectures and visits by practicing artists, as well as discussions and debates, stimulate interest in a wide spectrum of the arts, including architecture, music, photography, painting, the applied arts, and aspects of performance. 

British Cinema: London on Film

IFMTV-UT 1020 | 4 units | Instructor: Amy Sargeant

This course examines the role that the capital has played in British film from the early, silent years to today. Many directors have used the iconic status of London as either the protagonist or backdrop in films of different genres, from the silent era to World War II documentaries, from the “swinging London” of the 1960s to the social satires of the 1980s, and from gangster films to romantic comedies. The course explores the significance of this world city and its representation of Britishness. It also provides the opportunity, where possible, of exploring the real locations and venues where films were shot.

Studies in Shakespeare

ITHEA-UT 700 | 4 units | Instructor: Mandie Wright

The focus of this course is Shakespeare’s text as performance.  The study aims to uncover clues apparent to an Elizabethan actor and consider how this might inform current theatre practice.  Each sessions is a discrete unit, each with a separate focus blending academic and theatrical in areas such as adaptation and sources, style and interpretation, structure and genre, mythology and history.  The course encourages students to develop a working knowledge of the canon and read as widely as possible.  A chance to specialise comes in the final presentation which is in the form of a production proposal based on the experience of the course.  Work is enhanced by a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, a performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company, a visit to the Globe theatre and opportunities to view a wide range of recorded productions.

Theatre in London

ITHEA-UT 662 | 4 units

A selection of theatrical productions is chosen to give students a feel for the breadth and depth of London theatre during weekly theatre visits to the West End and fringe theatres. Each production is viewed and analyzed as a whole, but the many and varied elements that go into making London theatre supply a different focus each week. In addition there are occasional field trips to sites of theatrical interest with a guest speaker or two thrown into the mix each semester to discuss his/her work (from writing to directing to acting to designing), to share knowledge and expertise and to help demonstrate how high-quality parts are needed to make a high-quality whole.

Program Dates

Spring 2017

Playwriting in London has been cancelled for Spring 2017.

Fall 2017

Check-in Date: August 30, 2017 (not earlier)
NYU Welcome and Orientation: August 31 - September 3, 2017
Tisch Orientation: September 1, 2017 
Classes Begin: September 4, 2017
Fall Break: October 27 - November 5, 2017 
Last Day of Classes: December 11 or 12, 2017 (tentative)
Final Presentations: week of December 11th (tentative)
Check-out Date: December 15, 2017

Spring 2018

Check-in Date: January 24, 2018 (not earlier)
Spring Break: March 30 - April 8, 2018
Check-out Date: May 18, 2018

Admissions

Prerequisites:

Dramatic Writing Majors: Playwriting I (DWPG-UT 30)
Film/TV Majors: Fundamentals of Dramatic and Visual Writing (FMTV-UT 33)
NYU and Visiting Students: College level experience in dramatic writing

Deadlines:

Fall 2017: The application for fall 2017 is now closed.

Spring 2018: Friday, September 15, 2017 at 5:00pm ET. 

For more information please view our Admissions Calendar.

Application:

Please read the following admissions information before starting your application.

Expenses

Visit the NYU Global website for tuition rates and fees.

Additional Fees:

Theatre in London Fee: Approximately $500

Please review the Tisch Special Programs cancellation policy.

Visit the NYU Office of the Bursar for additional information on tuition and fees.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are opportunities for financial assistance to study abroad.

Please review the Scholarships and Financial Aid for Study Abroad page for more information.

Housing

Visit the NYU London website for housing options and descriptions.