Single Semester (Fall or Spring)

Academic Credit

Students performing in The Tempest, Fall 2007Students receive a full semester of Sarah Lawrence College academic credit (15 credits) for each semester of the program. In addition to the curriculum of courses below, students participate in regular tutorials, master classes and excursions.

Students who come for either the fall or spring semester take the following courses:

Scene Study: Shakespeare (2 credits)

Each term, various plays—comedy, history, and tragedy—will be selected. Particular attention will be given to textual analysis and verse speaking.

Scene Study: High Comedy (2 credits)

Students will 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)

Students will study with members of the Theatre de Complicitè subject to their availability, to examine twentieth-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 will 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)

The 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)

The course will be directed to general movement exercises involving muscular coordination and control.

Stage-Fighting (1 credit)

The course will train students in realistic stage combat with emphasis on safety, control, period styles, and technical virtuosity.

Theatre History (2 credits each semester)

Students performing in Dr. Faustus, Spring 2007This course introduces students to a selection of texts but gives emphasis to British plays since the 16th century. During the fall semester, the course is introduced by classes devoted to the works of the Greeks, especially Euripides and Sophocles, and to 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. It is linked to regular visits to the theatre by students. Plays are discussed in class, and students must submit critiques of all the required productions.


An important supplement to the curriculum are the regular tutorials (conferences), where students study individually or in small groups with members of the faculty. These are devoted to improving the acting ability of the students.

Master Classes

In addition to Classwork, a number of master classes will be held. These are given by leading members of the Theatrical Profession. Those giving Master Classes in recent years have included, David Leveaux, Henry Goodman, Ben Kingsley, Jeremy Irons, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Juliet Stevenson and Max Stafford-Clark.


Eight theatre visits are arranged as part of the Dramatic Criticism course. These visits are arranged in close consultation with the leading theatre critic responsible for teaching the Dramatic Criticism course. The excursions will include visits to performances at Shakespeare's Globe and by the Royal National Theatre.

On London

"BADA is the appropriate venue for the serious actor to question whether he is meant for the stage. Voice, movement and stage fighting classes probe dimensions unexplored by most university curriculums, while Shakespeare, High Comedy, Modern and one-on-one tutorial acting classes with esteemed theatre personalities provide a training that is unparalleled." —Past London program participant