LONDON THEATRE PROGRAM
The London Theatre Program is BADA’s undergraduate Conservatory Acting Program in London sponsored by BADA and Sarah Lawrence College.
The London Theatre Program is designed for dedicated students who are passionate about their work, theatre, and language. Students may enroll in the One Semester Program in either the Fall or Spring. Students interested in immersing themselves more deeply in British conservatory training should explore the Year Long program which runs from Fall through to Spring.
The Program is open to Juniors and Seniors enrolled at any accredited American college or university.
The One Semester Conservatory Program runs in the Fall and the Spring. The first eight weeks include classes in:
- Scene Study: Shakespeare This practical acting course enables the students to search for, find, and explore the structure of Shakespeare’s texts in a physical and active way. The aim by the end of this course is for the students to have achieved a deeper connection with the drama of the words. This course will give students a greater sense of confidence in Shakespeare’s language and students will find they can speak the text more naturalistically even while honouring the given demands of the structure. This course looks at various plays—comedy, history, and tragedy and gives particular attention to textual analysis and verse speaking. No formal written work. (2 credits)
- Scene Study: High Comedy This is a practical acting course designed to give students a dynamic, sensitive and physical approach to acting in High Comedy, enabling them to play with increased confidence, openness, precision, understanding and skill. Students will work as a group on exercises which will lay a foundation for the detailed scene study work of these complex and witty texts. The course will give each individual the opportunity to put into practice the core principles of working on High Comedy from Restoration through to Wilde, Coward, and Orton in a highly supportive collaborative atmosphere, and gain a strong understanding of what makes this material so rewarding and exhilarating to act. No formal written work. (2 credits)
- Scene Study: Modern Physical Theatre In this course, students study with a member of Complicité (subject to availability) and will study exercises influenced by the teachings of Jacques Lecoq and Philippe Gaulier. These studies will include many improvisations which look at the actor’s presence in the space and their dynamic of play. Students will look at the relationship between the physical body and text and how one informs the other. In the second half of the semester the group will either examine a 20th-century European Text or the half mask. (2 credits)
- Voice In this course students will be taught the fundamentals of Voice covering the topics of Body, Breath, Voice, Articulation, Support, and Voice to Text. There will be a focus on physical awareness and release through developing alignment and centering. Breath control is explored to assist in the opening up and freeing of the Voice. The Voice is developed in its range, resonance, timbre and expression. Effective Articulation is taught. Students will learn to apply this knowledge by using practise exercises given in every class with which they can develop their speaking voice for the stage, TV, screen or radio. Coaching within voice classes help the student to explore and develop an authentic connection of Voice to Text. Text work covers the elements of Rhetoric, Rhythm, Sound, Text Structures, Meaning, and Thought. As speaking language is a physical activity, some exercises are interactive. Exercises will be done together with the group as a whole, in smaller groups, pairs and individually. As students gain in vocal confidence through their practical voice work a deepening connection to and ownership of language in performance will emerge and grow through the regular application of their acquired knowledge. (1 credit)
- Movement By using movement work, group games, imaginative and observational work as tools to build the ensemble, students are encouraged to be free and strengthen their bodies. This provides the student actors with the ability to transform physically into the different characters they play. This class also enables the students to free their voice and unlock physical habits and tensions which may inhibit their bodies and therefore their ability to be free. The Period Dance element allows the students to transform physically and imaginatively into other eras and to link this to the work in their Shakespeare and High Comedy classes. (1 credit)
- Stage Fighting: Hand to Hand Combat Led by one of the leading fight directors in Europe, this course trains students in realistic stage combat with emphasis on safety, control, period styles, and technical virtuosity. The students will learn and be able to perform a large body of practical fight techniques and will gain a working comprehension of all the relevant safety principles and be able to apply them in practical situations. Students will also gain an understanding of their personal areas of strength and areas requiring further focus with a clearer judgment of their own personal rehearsal arc with regards to the illusion of violence in performance. Students will also have a more acute understanding of how to integrate character into action and action into text by the end of the course. (1 credit)
- Theatre History This course explores the development of comic theatre in England from Ben Jonson to Joe Orton. Students will develop a good knowledge and critical appreciation of seven English plays and acquire the interpretative skills that allow a more informed appreciation of such works. Particular attention will be paid to text and to the theatres for which these works were written. Students will also gain an awareness of the historical, social and cultural context from which these works emerged. The plays, which will include works by Congreve, Goldsmith, Wilde, Coward and Orton are some of the same texts that students will be working on in their High Comedy acting classes. (2 credits)
- Dramatic Criticism This course introduces students to some of the best live theatre available in London – one of the world’s most exciting theatre cities; and it will also visit the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford. Students will discuss the role of theatre criticism in the United Kingdom, and the way it is changing in the Digital age. The course is also intended to sharpen a students’ personal critical and observational skills in respect of performance, design and production choices. Students are encouraged to develop fresh ways of watching, thinking and writing about theatre. (1 credit)
The final five weeks of the course are devoted to:
- Acting in Performance For this course students will rehearse and perform productions of major British and European classical works. After eight weeks of classes, students are split into companies and begin the five week rehearsal period. Each company is led by a British Theatre Director. This culminates in a final performance at a working London theatre. During the rehearsal period students continue their voice and movement work with a warm-up class each morning. Voice and Movement faculty also come into rehearsals and support the students’ process thus helping to further develop the core foundations for the modern actor. (3 credits)
Additionally, the first eight weeks of classes include
- Tutorials An important supplement to the curriculum are regular one-on-one tutorials. In tutorials, students study text and speeches of the students choosing individually with the Dean who is also a professional actor. These sessions are devoted to improving students’ acting abilities and encouraging students to explore and independently lead on making a range of creative choices whilst building on their portfolio of audition pieces.
- Weekly theatre visits Explore London’s cutting-edge and experimental theatres along with traditional theatres (including a trip to see the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford)
- Weekly Masterclasses with leading UK theatre practitioners, including actors, directors, and designers from the British and American stage.Recent Masterclass instructors include: Francoise Baptiste, Jenny Beavan, Brian Cox, Bryan Cranston, Bob Crowley, Sope Dirisu, Brandon Victor Dixon, Julian Glover, Henry Goodman, Greg Hicks, Fiona Shaw, Owen Teale, Deborah Warner, Sam West, Elliot Barnes-Worrall.
In the Fall term of the Year Long programme, students take the same classes as the One Semester version of the London Theatre Program. In the Spring Semester, students work and attend all classes as their own group. They will now build on all of their foundational skills from the Fall, whilst introducing a variety of new disciplines and techniques while learning to create a strong sense of ensemble.
The first eight weeks include classes in
- Shakespeare This course enables students who have mastered the basic requirements of Shakespearean performance to explore Shakespeare’s language more deeply through scene work and physical approaches to theatre, alongside rigorous text work. Students will create pieces in response to Shakespeare, giving them ownership of something quite unique. Students will develop a series of skills that help to unlock characterisation. (2 credits)
- Dramatic Criticism Led by a leading theatre critic, this course focuses on how being a constructive critic has benefits for the students as practitioners. Students will look at how taking risks can aid creativity and the role of a critic. The course explores and discusses topics such as; How to watch a theatre production, how do we look at a work of art? How do we decide what is good and bad art? How can that be applied to our own work as practitioners? (1 credit)
- Theatre and Culture This course focuses upon how we study dramatic texts by placing them within their historical, critical and social contexts. Students will study four plays from different periods and then use this work to investigate the performance history and critical reputation of each play. The course will visit those places in London that are associated with the plays they are studying as well as visiting the theatres linked to them in order to learn more about the ways in which performance spaces and theatrical styles changed from the sixteenth century to the modern day. Students also will be introduced to the skills of textual research, including the use of libraries and specialist collections that hold primary and secondary sources. (2 credits)
- Stage Fighting: Rapier and Dagger The Spring semester will encompass the foundational safety principles, and a broad corpus of techniques, for rapier and dagger, building to choreography and the opportunity to set that into a short scene. Students will strengthen their practical, physical partnering skills and gain a more acute understanding of how to integrate stage fighting into performance. (1 credit)
- Voice This course builds on the technical acquisitions of the first semester where the class focus was on the understanding, practice and fluent delivery of the basic components that go to make up spoken voice work – alignment, breath, tone, articulation and range. In this semester, how to apply these skills in the acting equation takes centre stage, where there will be much more emphasis on hands on work on student monologues and voice support for the Solo Performance course and the Acting for Screen course. Students learn how to develop important seamless links between technique and interpretation as required in performance. (1 credit)
- Movement This course allows students to explore a character’s journey through the use of play. Using Shakespeare plays and characters students will explore concepts of ‘use of space, elements, animal qualities, rhythm and energy levels’. Students will also be introduced to dance styles from that period as well as exploring more contemporary dance interpretations. (1 credit)
- Acting for Screen This course emphasises building confidence and ease in front of the camera and in the on-set environment. Students explore and learn the principles of screen acting technique and learn the actor’s and film set vocabulary. They become familiar with the logistics of performance on set and begin to assume responsibility for their own creative choices. At the end of the course, students are given a professionally edited video of their on-screen scenes. (2 credits)
- Flying Solo – Creating a One Person Show Creating a work for solo performance can be one of the most rewarding and empowering experiences in an actor’s life. This course will guide students through the process from the initial response to authorship, rehearsal strategies, practical challenges and performance choices. The actor/audience relationship will be analysed and explored. Led by a specialist in solowork who has taken productions to London’s West End, on domestic and international tours, and annually to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the course will encourage and develop self-confidence, motivation, stamina and versatility. The course will culminate in a short showing for faculty and student peers. (2 credits)
The final five weeks of the course are devoted to:
- Acting in Performance, Devised Shakespeare The final production leads on from the Shakespeare class. By using the skills and tools developed through the sessions, students (working alongside the director) will create their own full length work based on a Shakespeare play. This will be performed in a London theatre. (3 credits)
Recent Acting in Performance, Classical productions include:
Additionally, the first eight weeks of classes include
- Tutorials An important supplement to the curriculum are regular one-on-one tutorials. In tutorials, students study text and speeches of the students choosing individually with a faculty member with whom they have not previously worked who is also a professional actor. These sessions are devoted to improving students’ acting abilities and encouraging students to explore and independently lead on making a range of creative choices whilst building on their portfolio of audition pieces.
- Weekly theatre visits Avant-garde productions in unusual spaces along with the traditional
- Weekly Masterclasses with leading UK theatre practitioners, including actors, directors, and designers from the British and American stage.
Housing for BADA’s London Theatre Program is provided, maintained and serviced by Anglo Educational Services. Each semester students are allocated secure and modern accommodation in one of two locations in the heart of London, both with excellent transport links for getting to BADA and exploring the city. Both locations have weekly professional housekeeping service, wireless internet access and secure entry systems.
Landward Court comprises of 26 two-and-three bedroom apartments and is situated a few minutes’ walk away from Marble Arch, Oxford Street and London’s West End.
Westburn Place comprises of 6 four-bedroom townhouses around a private and gated courtyard and is located only five minutes from Kilburn Park Tube Station which has direct links to Oxford Circus within minutes.
All accommodation has central heating and comes with a private kitchen fully equipped with a stove, fridge, washing machine and microwave oven, spacious living area furnished with sofas, flat screen TV and telephone for incoming calls, a private safe for valuable items and wireless internet access.
BADA’s London Theatre program takes place in an historic Crown Estate building in one of London’s most prestigious residential areas which is home to a number of national embassies and ambassadorial residences.
Inside BADA you will find a full range of facilities including 6 teaching spaces, each named after a different playwright, a Library, a collection of recorded performances, a private Green Room for students to relax or study in-between classes and a canteen open daily from 10am-2pm, offering delicious home cooked classics like spaghetti bolognese and freshly made sandwiches and bagels.
There are also designated computer and printing facilities for students and wireless internet connection available throughout the building.
Studying abroad with BADA enables you to train and live in the theatrically vibrant city of London.
BADA is located beside the beautiful Regent’s Park, perfect for walks between classes and springtime picnics. BADA’s location offers easy access to the theatre’s in London’s West End and it’s only a short walk from Camden Town, famous for its bustling markets, coffee bars, health food stores, art house cinemas and distinctive shops.
BADA also lies close to Primrose Hill (home to many actors, directors, writers and other celebrities) and the perfect place to get a panoramic view across London.
Studying in London enables you to take advantage of the cultural riches of one of the world’s great cities, with a history that stretches back more than 2,000 years, and also travel easily around the rest of the United Kingdom and Europe during the one-week midterm break.
Recent London Theatre Program faculty members include:
The Spring 2018 London Theatre Program fees are:
Application fee (non-refundable) $50 Tuition
(includes all academic expenses, trips, tickets, master classes)
$27,220 Accommodation/Room $5,600 Room deposit (against damages) $200 Study abroad medical insurance* $250
*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.
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.
Please contact your home institution as to how their refund policy and fee protection plan applies while studying at BADA.
For questions about Study Abroad, please contact:
Sarah Lawrence College
Office of International Programs
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, NY 10708-5999
T: 914 395 2305 or 800 873-4752
For further information or any questions regarding the London Theatre Program, please contact:
British American Drama Academy
Christina Ibironke, Programs Manager
T: +44 207 487 0730