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 London Theatre Program for either the Fall or Spring semester.
The Program is open to Juniors and Seniors enrolled at any accredited American college or university.
To start an application, or for information about applying to the London Theatre Program including application deadlines and auditions, visit the London Theatre Program page at Sarah Lawrence College.
If you’d like to be notified about future London Theatre Program semesters, please sign up for our mailing list.
Please prepare the following for your audition:
- Some words about yourself: your name, age, what school you attend, when you began studying acting and why, what you know about the London Theatre Program, why you are applying to the program, and how you heard about the program.
- A memorized speech by Shakespeare or one of his contemporaries, in verse, no longer than 2 minutes.
- A memorized speech from a modern or contemporary text, no longer than 2 minutes.
One speech should be delivered in close-up, the other in a mid-shot (waist up); it can be either way round. Each individual meeting will last no more than 15 minutes and will include a chat with Ben Naylor, Dean of BADA.
The London Theatre Program runs in both 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. Memorisation is a requirement of this class. (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. Memorisation is a requirement of this class. (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. Some memorisation might be required. (2 credits)
- Voice Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of Voice Studies: body, breath, voice, articulation and the connection of voice & text. There will be a focus on: physical awareness and release through alignment and centring; breath control, explored in the opening up and freeing of the voice; the development of tone, range, resonance and expression; effective articulation.
Students will learn how to apply this knowledge in the delivery and interpretation of text for all performance platforms. The course will be taught through group, pairs and individual exercises with space for individual coaching and feedback on prepared texts. As students gain in vocal confidence through their practical work and its regular application a deepening connection to and ownership of language in performance will emerge and grow. Memorisation will be required. (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. Preparation outside of class time is a requirement. (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. A weekly written journal is a component of the class. (1 credit)
- Theatre History This course explores the representation of individuality and diversity in theatre by reading a range of play-texts from different periods. In the classes each text will be explored both in its unique value and by considering links to cultural practices, social institutions, historical periods, and the representation of character. Asking ourselves how far theatre and performance offer a response to changing social and cultural issues of gender, race and class identity and how far different generations renegotiate such responses. Each week the course will offer a main text and an extract from a parallel text as well as critical reading to support class discussion.A presentation and paper are components of the class. (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. 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. Formal written work is a component of the class. (1 credit)
- Tutorials/Audition Technique An important component of the curriculum is regular small group tutorials focused on audition technique and preparation. Students work on self-selected text and speeches with a member of the Faculty who is a professional practitioner. 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.
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. At the beginning of rehearsals there is an introduction to dramaturgy to explore the play. During the rehearsal period there are daily warm ups. 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
- Weekly theatre visits Explore London’s cutting-edge and experimental theatres along with traditional theatres
- Masterclasses and Q&As 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.
This is a sample timetable for the first eight weeks of the London Theatre Program (click the image to expand).
Students Arrive: Saturday 9th September Classes: Monday 11th September – Friday 3rd November Break: Monday 6th November – Friday 10th November Rehearsal Period: Monday 13th November – Friday 8th December Production Week: Week of Monday 11th December End of Term: Friday 15th December Students Must Vacate Housing: Saturday 16th December
Students Arrive: Saturday 20th January Classes: Monday 22nd January – Friday 15th March Break: Monday 18th March – Friday 22nd March Rehearsal Period: Monday 25th March – Friday 19th April Production Week: Week of Monday 22nd April End of Term: Friday 26th April Students Must Vacate Housing: Saturday 27th April
Housing for BADA’s London Theatre Program is provided, maintained and serviced by The Stay Club. Program students are housed in The Stay Club Kentish Town location along with students from universities and other programmes in London.
The Stay Club Kentish Town has wireless internet access, 24 hour staffed reception, and 24 hour laundry facilities, as well as an on-site cafe, cinema, gym, discotheque, and spacious common areas for studying and socializing. Students live in studio flats with kitchenettes. The Stay Club offers weekly social events including discos, cinema nights and cultural celebrations.
The Stay Club Kentish Town is located just a few blocks from the Kentish Town Underground station on the Northern Line and bus lines offering direct transportation to BADA and all central London Locations. It is a 15 minute walk to the world-famous Camden Market and a 20 minute walk to Hampstead Heath, a large and ancient park that contains spectacular views from one of the highest points in all of London.
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, and a private Green Room for students to relax or study in-between classes.
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 theatres 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.
The London Theatre Program faculty is comprised of distinguished actors and directors as well as leading teachers from Britain’s foremost drama schools. To learn more about our current Faculty, please visit our Faculty page.
The London Theatre Program fees are the equivalent of one semester of Sarah Lawrence College tuition which includes all academic expenses, trips, tickets, and masterclasses.
For more information about current tuition, fees, and estimated expenses, please visit the Sarah Lawrence College website.
London Theatre Program Refund Policy
All fees for the London Theatre Program are paid directly to Sarah Lawrence College in accordance with their refund policy and tuition refund insurance. More details are available at http://www.slc.edu/offices-services/student-accounts/
Please contact your home institution as to how their refund policy and fee protection plan applies while studying at BADA.
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.
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
Seth Dranginis, Marketing & Development Manager
Please visit our Covid-19 page for information on protocols and mitigations currently in effect at BADA.
Recent productions from Acting in Performance: