London is one of the most exciting theatre centers in the world, and the focus of this course will be on live performance. The “London Theatre Experience” will provide an incomparable opportunity to learn about a wide range of dramatic forms, acting styles, theatrical conventions, and performance spaces. We will attend three performances each week, produced by companies such as the Royal National, the Royal Court, and Shakespeare’s Globe; we will also see a diverse selection of pieces staged in the historic theatres of the West End (London’s equivalent of Broadway) and in Fringe Theatres, smaller and sometimes “converted” spaces in pubs, warehouses, and even out-of-doors (London’s version of “off”—and “off-off” Broadway). Class meetings will consist primarily of discussions about the productions we have seen; once each week, Michael Billington, distinguished theatre critic for the Guardian newspaper, will lead the conversation. Readings for the class will include select plays and contextual material to prepare us for theatre viewing; written work will consist of responses to performances. Class field trips are likely to include a backstage tour of the Royal National Theatre and a visit to the theatre collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. (Note: Tickets and tours will be arranged in advance; costs are covered by program fee.)
English Major and elective credit in the Theatre Arts major or Theatre Arts minor.