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
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.
The Globe Theatre Photo by Lori Shearer
Your semester abroad consists of your core program course plus 2-3 additional companion courses, completing a full-time, 16 unit semester.
Core courses meet Wednesday through Friday. You must select companion courses that meet on Mondays or Tuesdays. For questions about scheduling and registration, please contact email@example.com.
IDWPG-UT 1049 | 4 units | Instructor: Clare Bayley
This is an intermediate 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.
ISPEC-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.
IFMTV-UT 1020 | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert
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.
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.
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.