Shakespeare in Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

An intensive training in classical acting requires an amplitude of body, voice, spirit and imagination: as such, it may be seen as the ultimate challenge for an actor.

For over 20 years, Tisch London has maintained an exclusive collaboration with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), offering actors a rigorous, full-time semester to channel the expressiveness and depth of Shakespeare’s work. 

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Program Overview

Under the direction of RADA’s Associate Director, Geoff Bullen, develop the skills necessary for the performance of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. You spend three days a week throughout the semester within the prestigious RADA facilities, whose halls have housed such notable alumni as Sir Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Mark Rylance, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Phoebe Fox, Gemma Aterton, and Taron Egerton.

The emphasis of this practical program is on learning through the performance of Shakespeare: with work on sonnets, verse scenes, monologues, play projects, and a studio production; as well as classes in Voice, Physical Performance, Speech, Song, Dance, Clown and Armed Combat. The combat training you receive at RADA will provide you with a three-year certification from the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat.

In addition to your RADA training, you will spend two days a week taking classes at NYU London. Housing is mere moments from campus, and London’s incredible culture is at your fingertips.    

Core Curriculum

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

Shakespeare in Performance: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Core)

ITHEA-UT 481 | 8 units | Instructors: RADA Staff

This intensive course aims to immerse the student in the world of Shakespeare, while developing skills necessary for the performance of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, under the guidance of RADA’s Emeritus Director of Actor Training, Geoff Bullen; Course Coordinator Vivian Munn; and members of the RADA faculty.

Emphasis is on performance in four key elements: Shakespeare’s Prose and Clowns; a “pocket” presentation of a sixteenth-century Masque; Shakespeare Our Contemporary, in which a play is examined in terms of contemporary sensibilities; and, finally, an ensemble studio presentation of a single play before an invited audience.

There are classes and presentations in verse scenes, sonnets, and speeches; and classes in voice, physical performance, contact improvisation, combat, cultural context and Alexander technique. Students receive one-on-one tutorials and feedback with key staff. This course, with its emphasis on performance, makes great demands on students’ time and concentration, requiring vivid and accurate processing of material within short periods of preparation. During the course, students are not required to audition, and participants have equal opportunity within the allocation of roles and assignments, regardless of gender or ethnicity.

The Arts in London: A Cultural History

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. 

British Cinema: London on Film

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.

Studies in Shakespeare

ITHEA-UT 700 | 4 units | Instructor: Kate Beales

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 | Instructor: Ellis Jones

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.

“I gained the confidence to make bold acting choices and to commit to them. Looking back over my college career, I see my semester in London as the most significant and important time in my training.” —  Skyler Gallun

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Program Dates

Spring 2021

Student Arrival: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 (not earlier)
Student Departure: Friday, May 21, 2021

Arrival and departure dates are subject to change.

Admissions

Prerequisites:

Tisch Drama Majors: Four semesters of studio training or equivalent.
NYU and Visiting students: One year of college or professional training.

Note:

  • Students from all professional studios in the Tisch Undergraduate Department of Drama are encouraged to apply, not just The Classical Studio.
  • Students do not need to have any prior training in Shakespeare to be eligible for the program.

Spring 2021

Application Deadline: Friday, September 18, 2020 at 5:00 PM ET.

For more information please view our Admissions Calendar.

Application: Acceptance to the program is by audition/interview as well as application review. Please read the following admissions information before starting your application.

Expenses

  • Academic Year 2019-2020 Full-time Tuition, 12-18 unit flat rate per term: $27,964

Additional Fees Include:

  • Nonrefundable Registration and Services Fee: $1,312
  • Theatre in London Fee: Approximately $510
  • NYU Housing: Visit the NYU London website for options and costs

Please review the Tisch Special Programs cancellation policy.

Visit the Office of Global Programs for additional study abroad costs.

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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.