* See the Program Schedule page for a more detailed itinerary, including information regarding travel to and from the program site.
The Duke University Department of Theater Studies, the Duke English Department, and the Duke Global Education Office for Undergraduates offer a two-course, six-week program at University College London, under the rotating direction of Sarah Beckwith, Bradley Rogers and Jeff Storer. The director teaches the program with a distinguished group of British theater practitioners and scholars. Students take classes and live in a residence hall of University College London (UCL), in central London.
The Duke in London Drama Program offers intensive study of drama in performance in the theater capital of the world. The program is based on the assumption that the only way to study drama properly is through seeing performances, not just reading scripts. It is designed to fit the needs of two types of students:
- Theater Studies majors who want a broad exposure to a variety of theatrical productions and want tostudy with some of the leading British theater practitioners.
- English, humanities and other majors who have an interest in theater and wish to study drama not through reading scripts but through seeing productions and taking class with the people involved in creating those productions.
Students in the program see and study over twenty productions over the six-week term. In addition to classes offering background on and discussion of the plays seen, students come to understand the writing, directing and acting process through their classes with the London faculty and through participation in scene work.
Leadership of the Duke in London-Drama program will rotate between professors Sarah Beckwith, Bradley Rogers and Jeff Storer. In addition to the faculty leader, students meet with leading British theater professionals.
So that every student understands drama from an actor’s or director’s point of view, all students are required to participate in two scenes coached and evaluated by a noted British actor. In recent years, acting workshops and scene work have been supervised by Rory Kinnear and Paul Ready, leading actors with the National Theatre of Great Britain and William Houston, leading actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Students are not graded on acting ability, but on the ideas and effort they bring to their scene work. Students in musical theater are offered the opportunity to participate in a master class in musical performance led by Michael England, Musical Director of Spamalot and a leading musical theater performer (recently this has been Olivier Award winner Daniel Evans, star of Sunday in the Park with George and Gavin Creel, currently starring on Broadway in Godspell).
There is no prerequisite for the program except the desire to learn more about drama and theater and the commitment to participate actively in the program. The program continues to welcome undergraduate students from all disciplines who have a lively interest in theater. While the program counts toward the English and Theater Studies majors, it continues to welcome engineers as much as English majors, pre-meds as much as future performers. We also welcome undergraduates from other colleges and universities. In the past our roster has included students from Yale, William and Mary, University of Michigan, Michigan State, Emory, Wesleyan, Wake Forest, and Point Pleasant.