Nine undergraduate students from the College of Communication and the Arts recently traveled to London, England, on a five-day study abroad trip. Theatre in London, a course within the College's Theatre program, explored the vitality of British theatre and its history by exposing students to key theatre locations, top-tiered performances and specialized acting workshops.
The course introduced students to London's theatrical history and traditions, evoking an immersive experience as they toured one of the world's theatre capitals. The group's itinerary included touring the National Theatre and Globe Theatre; visiting Windsor Castle, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the British Museum; experiencing London's theatrical scene; and attending performances of 42nd Street, The Play That Goes Wrong, and Macbeth to name a few.
Samantha Dyar, a sophomore Theatre major, chose to study abroad because she wanted to see more of the world without leaving for a semester. The ability to combine a shorter trip with rich historical background allowed her to experience the universality of theatre in an international setting. Dyar highlighted an acting workshop as one of her favorite moments: "A member of the Mischief Theatre Company was able to directly work with us. She showed us new acting techniques, skills and even gave us instant feedback."
Students supplemented their education in the classroom with a variety of tours, performances and experiences. Elizabeth Boucher, a junior Theatre and English double-major, loved touring London through the course's special theatrical lens. "The trip reminded me that theatre is truly universal," shared Boucher. "Storytelling is powerful everywhere."
Associate professor Peter Reader, the course's leader and instructor, noted the trip's impact on the students. "The students were awed particularly by the National Theatre, both in concept and in scale. One student even mentioned the visit was life-changing," shared Reader. "In Great Britain, theatre is a cultural tradition supported by the government. The National Theatre actually scales ticket prices so that anyone can afford a performance – they loved that idea."
The students' tour of the National Theatre included visiting the backstage area, handling stage props, attending a rehearsal and learning more about how the National Theatre makes its performances affordable and accessible.
For Claudia Emanuele, a sophomore double major Theatre and Creative Writing, the trip was an unforgettable experience both personally and career-wise. "I know I'm definitely going into the right profession. Theatre is an art form that expands hearts and minds. It's a valued form of expression," said Emanuele. "I was able to see its impact in other countries. In my professional life, I want to make an impact in the theatrical community and invite people from all walks of life to the theatre."
For over 10 years, the Theatre program traveled to London, England for various study abroad trips expanding students' understanding and appreciation of the arts at home and abroad.
For more information about the Theatre Program, please contact Associate Dean Thomas Rondinella at email@example.com.