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.
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.
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.
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.
“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