Twelve days, eight plays! London's theatrical culture is famous for its history and its vibrancy. Some of the most gifted playwrights, actors, set designers, and directors in the English-speaking world thrive there today, just as they have for 500 years. In this class we will explore the exciting work produced by today's most important artists, as well as the rich heritage of performed drama that lies behind it. We will immerse ourselves in London's theatrical world, attending as many plays as possible in the course of the term. Most important, we will focus on what distinguishes London as a "theatrical city": its history, its approaches to performance and interpretation, and its inexhaustible pleasures.
"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." --- Oscar Wilde
We will immerse ourselves in London's theatrical world, attending as many plays as possible in the course of the term. Most important, we will focus on what distinguishes London as a "theatrical city": its history, its approaches to performance and interpretation, and its inexhaustible pleasures.
London, The Theatrical City
(ENGL 3990; 3 credits)
Undergraduate students, both UVA and non-UVA from any major are encouraged to apply for participation in this program. Upon successful completion of the program requirements, students will earn three credits for ENGL 3990, which carries full credit toward the English major at UVA.
- See as wide an array as possible of the various kinds of performance available on the London stage, from classic to contemporary works, from the Royal Shakespeare Company to pub theater. In the past, students have seen the Royal Shakespeare Company in Love's Labours Lost, Keira Knightley's London stage debut in a modern version of Molière's The Misanthrope, acclaimed actor Mark Rylance in Shakespeare’s Richard III, a highly experimental piece staged in an old factory by The Shunt Collective, and John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation at the Old Vic Theater.
- Meet London theater professionals and learn from them how they go about translating dramatic texts into performance, addressing questions of interpretation and dramaturgy.
- Understand the role of London theatre not only in Great Britain's national culture but also in the global literary and dramatic public sphere;
- Practice both textual analysis and performance criticism;
- Work towards excellence in analytical essay writing.
Stephen Arata | email@example.com
Professor in the English Department at the University of Virginia, Prof. Arata specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature. He has spent considerable time in London as a researcher, theatergoer, and tourist, and looks forward to sharing one of the world's great cities with UVA students.
Lisa Goff | firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Professor in the English Department and American Studies Program at the University of Virginia, Prof. Goff specializes in cultural studies. An expert in urban landscapes and a lover of cities, she has extensive experience teaching in study-abroad programs..
Accommodation and Meals
Faculty and students will stay at the Citadines Hotel near Covent Garden. One of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, it is within easy walking distance of London theaters. Each room has a kitchenette and wireless internet. Welcome and departure meals will be included in the overall cost.
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.
Passport and Visa
All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program. Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program return date. All students must consult gov.uk for information about visa and other entry requirements. International students should meet with their International Student Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process.
Health and Safety Information
All students considering Education Abroad should consult the Students Abroad section of the U.S. Department of State’s web-based travel resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health web resources to research health, safety, and security conditions; visa requirements; immunization requirements; and recommendations on staying healthy and safe in their target destination(s). Students should also carefully review the UVA Education Abroad Health & Safety Abroad web page. Parents and guardians are strongly advised to review all of these resources, as well. UVA students and visiting students enrolled in UVA Education Abroad programs are subject to the University of Virginia’s Policy on Student International Travel.