Become part of London’s great theatrical tradition as you work and study with leading actors and directors from the world of British theatre.
Sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College and the British American Drama Academy (BADA), the London Theatre Program is designed for dedicated undergraduates from Sarah Lawrence and other schools who wish to study acting with intensity in this inspiring and historic setting.
Students take acting classes, master classes, and workshops with leading artists from the British stage, complemented by individual tutorials with teachers. A faculty from Britain's foremost drama schools teaches technical classes in voice, movement, and stage fighting.
Classes in theatre history and theatre criticism, tickets to some of the best productions of the season, and the experience of performing in a professional theatre round out the program.
Students can enroll in either the fall or spring for single-semester study. Those wishing to pursue intense training are encouraged to begin in the fall and continue with the Advanced London Theatre Program in the spring.
The British American Drama Academy enables students from across the world to study classical theatre with leading actors and directors of the British and American theatre by organizing programs with American colleges and universities. This includes the highly successful Midsummer in Oxford program, held each year at Magdalen College in association with the Juilliard School and the University of California at Los Angeles. Sarah Lawrence College's affiliation with the Academy began in 1986.
The Academy's programs are based on its unique and very close relationship with leading practitioners of the theatre. The dean and director of the program is Ian Wooldridge, former artistic director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, Edinburgh, and BADA teachers have included many of Britain's most distinguished actors and directors.
Students receive a full semester of Sarah Lawrence College academic credit (15 credits) for each semester of the program. Students who come for either the fall or spring semester take the following courses:
Scene Study: Shakespeare (2 credits)
Each term, the program selects various plays—comedy, history, and tragedy. Particular attention is given to textual analysis and verse speaking.
Scene Study: High Comedy (2 credits)
In this course, students study selected plays, chosen from major works written during the Restoration, and later periods. Playwrights include Vanbrugh, Congreve, Sheridan, Wilde, Shaw, and Coward.
Scene Study: Modern Physical Theatre (2 credits)
In this course, students study with members of the Theatre de Complicitè, subject to availability, to examine 20th century European texts and investigate appropriate acting styles, including Commedia Dell'Arte and Mask Work.
Acting in Performance (3 credits)
During the last five weeks of each program, students rehearse and perform productions of major British and European classical works. Recent BADA productions have included works by Shakespeare, Wedekind, Barker, Webster, Euripides, Durrenmatt, Pirandello, and Farquahar.
Voice (1 credit)
This course takes an eclectic view of voice teaching, combining the principles of freeing the natural voice, as practiced by Kristin Linklater, with other methodologies that consolidate this approach. Structured exercises are combined with guided vocal discovery to add strength, creativity, and emotional range to the student's natural voice, as well as the development of self-awareness in personal voice usage.
Movement (1 credit)
This course includes general movement exercises involving muscular coordination and control.
Stage-Fighting (1 credit)
The course trains students in realistic stage combat with emphasis on safety, control, period styles, and technical virtuosity.
Theatre History (2 credits each semester)
This course introduces students to a selection of texts but emphasizes British plays since the 16th century. During the fall semester, the course begins with the works of the Greeks, especially Euripides and Sophocles, and works produced in the Middle Ages. Classes conclude with a focus on British dramatists of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
During the spring semester, attention is turned to British and European plays of the 20th century, with particular attention to the works of Beckett, Brecht, Lorca, Pinter, Ionesco, Genet, and Stoppard.
Dramatic Criticism (1 credit)
This course is an introduction to dramatic criticism and includes regular visits to the theatre. Plays are discussed in class, and students submit critiques of all required productions.
In addition to the course curriculum, students participate in regular tutorials, master classes, and excursions:
In tutorials, or conferences, students study individually or in small groups with faculty. These sessions are devoted to improving students' acting abilities.
Leading members of the theatrical profession teach master classes. Teachers in recent years have included David Leveaux, Henry Goodman, Ben Kingsley, Jeremy Irons, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Juliet Stevenson, and Max Stafford-Clark.
The dramatic criticism course includes eight theatre visits, arranged in close consultation with the leading theatre critic that teaches the course. Excursions include visits to performances at Shakespeare's Globe and by the Royal National Theatre.
The Advanced Program is open to students who have completed BADA's London Theatre Program in the fall. Students who attended other theatre conservatory training programs in London in the fall may apply after a successful audition.
This program builds on students’ training in classical theatre. Classes continue on a more advanced level, and students perform in two productions in the spring: a modern and a classical play. Students also explore the techniques required for acting on screen. At the end of the term, students receive an edited video of their performance on film.
Advanced Shakespeare (2 credits)
This course enables students who have mastered the basic requirements of Shakespearean performance to tackle more advanced issues presented by this work.
Advanced Criticism (1 credit)
This course includes regular visits to the London Theatre. A leading theatre critic discusses plays with students, and students must submit critiques of the productions. Particular attention is given to the way in which criticism is written and structured.
Advanced Theatre History (2 credits)
This course focuses on the development of British and European drama in the 20th century. Particular attention is given to the work of British playwrights such as Osborne, Pinter, and Churchill. The course also explores works of European dramatists such as Beckett, Brecht, Lorca, and Pirandello.
Advanced Stage Fighting (1 credit)
In this course, students continue to develop their skills in scene work.
Advanced Voice (1 credit)
This course builds on previous training and develops links between technique and interpretation in preparation for the semester's productions.
Advanced Movement (1 credit)
In this course, students discover how text can affect individual body mechanics and influence the physical choices that are available.
Acting for Film (2 credits)
This course includes on-camera classes that show the variations that must be made when acting on screen versus stage. At the end of the course, students are given a professionally edited video of their on-screen scenes.
Modern Workshop Production (2 credits)
In this course, students rehearse and perform a workshop production of a 20th century play in collaboration with a director and designer/stage manager. Students contribute to the project in direction, design, choreography, etc. The production is presented in a found space. Recent productions have included plays by Sartre, Beckett, and Chekhov at Cecil Sharp House, and a promenade performance in BADA's premises.
Acting in Performance, Classical (3 credits)
The second production is of a major classical work and serves as the finale to the program. Both productions are directed by leading British directors and performed in a London theatre.
Living in London
The London theatre is the principal focal point for drama in the English-speaking world. Nowhere else is there such a diversity of plays or such a range of talent. The resources of London are therefore central to students’ experience in The London Theatre Program.
Students live in apartments located within a 20-30 minute walk from Gloucester Gate. The apartments include fully furnished kitchens where students can prepare their meals. Students are housed in double rooms.
Attendance at performances is an integral part of the program. Master classes and talks with guest artists from the theatre world are arranged throughout each semester.
Books are provided for all acting classes. BADA has its own library, from which students may loan out books. The library has computers for writing papers and Internet access during office hours.
The Sarah Lawrence College London Theatre Program is highly selective, and the number of students is limited. It is open to juniors and seniors enrolled at any accredited American college or university.
The Office of International Programs can provide further information about the program, as well as names and numbers of program veterans who will be happy to discuss any aspect of the program.
All students applying to the London Theatre Program are required to audition. The audition should run no longer than 10 minutes.
If possible, students are strongly recommended to audition in person. Contact the International Programs Office at (800) 873-4752 to set up an audition in a city listed below.
If a live audition is not possible, students can upload a video via YouTube. The video must be set as "unlisted (private)." E-mail the unlisted URL to Cecilia Weisman by October 1.
The audition must include:
- An introduction: who you are, how old you are, what school you attend, when you began studying acting, if you have ever been to London, what you know about the London Theatre Program, why you are applying to the program, and how you heard about the program.
- A brief monologue from Shakespeare.
- A brief monologue from the modern repertory.
- A song. This should not be a major production number; just have fun with it.
Auditions for the London Theatre Program for the Fall/Full Year program will be held as follows:
- Monday, March 7: University of Southern California (Los Angeles area)
- Thursday & Friday, March 10 and 11: Sarah Lawrence College (New York area)
- Saturday, March 12: Northwestern University (Chicago area)
- Monday, March 14: Tufts University (Boston area)
- Tuesday, March 22: Howard University (Washington, DC area)
Completed application forms, letters of recommendation, academic interest statement, study abroad approval, official transcripts, and application fee (guest students only) are due:
- March 1 (for fall and full-year applicants)
- October 15 (for spring applicants)
Room deposit (against damages)
Study abroad medical insurance*
*Students still need to have their own coverage or coverage through the Sarah Lawrence plan to ensure they are adequately covered before they leave the US and upon their return.
$1,960 - $2,590
(Theatre tickets, books, etc.)
|$868 - $1,078|
*This estimate was from a student discount service, as noted in our Handbook, statravel.com, and based on a non-stop flight from New York to London.
Travel expenses before or after the term, and any trips taken during the mid-term break, are not included in this estimate.
Sarah Lawrence College students who normally receive financial aid may apply their awards to any College-sponsored program abroad.
Sarah Lawrence College offers limited financial assistance to guest students on this program. Students should consult their home school's financial aid office for guidance on other financial aid resources.
For more information about Sarah Lawrence financial aid options, e-mail the Office of International Programs.
|Students Arrive||Friday, September 4|
|Orientation Day||Sunday, September 6|
|First Day of Term||Monday, September 7|
|Mid-Term Break||November 2-6|
|End-of-Year Productions||December 9, 10, 11|
|End of Term||Friday, December 11|
|Students Must Vacate Housing||Saturday, December 12|
|Students Arrive||Friday, January 8|
|Orientation Day||Sunday, January 10|
|First Day of Term||Monday, January 11|
|Mid-Term Break||March 7-11|
|End-of-Year Productions||April 13, 14, 15|
|End of Term||Friday, April 15|
|Students Must Vacate Housing||Saturday, April 16|
Students are expected to arrive in London on the Friday stipulated and cannot depart prior to the end of the term. Please note that these dates are subject to change.