Shakespeare in London Program (BADA)




What better place to study Shakespeare’s plays in detail while taking full advantage of the opportunity to live and study in the city where Shakespeare’s works were first performed at the Globe Theatre? Students will see a considerable number of these works in performance at Shakespeare’s Globe and other prominent London theatres, as well as at Stratford-upon-Avon.

At the heart of this program lies the fruitful interaction between text, performance, and context. It also pays close attention to those cultural, social, and political developments in England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Contemporary ideas about racial and national identities, gender, and social class that necessarily inform Shakespeare’s work will be explored. Students will gain an understanding, both from text and in performance, of how Shakespeare is viewed through the cultural prism of our own times.

Semester Curriculum

The Shakespeare in London program runs only in the spring semester, and students receive a full semester of Sarah Lawrence College academic credit (15 credits). Students take the following courses:

  • Shakespeare’s Plays
    Explore the work of William Shakespeare, the most successful playwright of the late Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, paying particular attention to the construction of these dramas, the creation of character, and the developing use of language.
  • Culture and Society 1580–1612
    Examine the cultural context in which Shakespeare was writing for the Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre. How does that influence follow through to our present time?
  • English Politics 1580–1612
    Investigate the relationship between drama, theatre, and politics in the last 20 years of Elizabeth’s reign and the first decade of the new Stuart dynasty. What does that relationship give to our reading of the plays today?
  • Writing About Theatre
    Led by a prominent national theatre critic, this class explores the various current performance traditions in British theatre, particularly in respect of Shakespeare.
  • Acting Shakespeare
    How does an actor tackle Shakespeare's complex texts? Discover the difference between studying the words on the page and standing them up on your feet.
  • Space and Place in Shakespearean Production
    Trace the development of theatre spaces in London: the movement from outdoors to indoors in the Jacobean period and the theatres of the Restoration, 18th and 19th centuries, and into the present. 
  • Weekly lectures given by Shakespeare scholars or theatre practitioners and a workshop at Shakespeare’s Globe.

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 Shakespeare in London Program.


All students will reside in accommodations provided by the Stay Club, Kentish Town. The Stay Club offers many amenities and is within a short walk or a subway/bus ride to BADA’s premises. Detailed information on housing can be found in the program handbook, which will be available in spring 2021.

Cultural Activities & Excursions

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 & Plays

Books are provided for all acting classes. BADA has its own library, from which students may borrow books. The library has computers for writing papers and Internet access during office hours.

The Office of Global Education can provide further information about the program, as well as the names and numbers of program veterans who will be happy to discuss any aspect of the program.

Admission & General Information

Students may apply for the fall semester or spring semester. The completed application for the fall semester is due March 1. The completed application for the spring semester is due October 15.

Tuition & Fees

Students are charged the cost of Sarah Lawrence tuition each semester.

Suggested costs to cover meals, airfare, and personal expenses are available here.

Financial Aid

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 Global Education.