THE BRITISH AMERICAN DRAMA ACADEMY
The British American Drama Academy was founded in 1983 by Anthony Branch and Carolyn Sands and enables students from overseas to study theatre with leading teachers from Great Britain. BADA prides itself on its close ties to the professional theatre and its programs are based on the abundant resources of the theatre world that exist in London, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Oxford. BADA's teachers come from the front ranks of the theatrical profession and many regularly work for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre.
Ian Wolldridge, formerly Artistic Director of the Lyceum Theatre Company, became Dean of the Academy in the fall of 1996. Other BADA teachers have included Norman Ayrton, Simon Callow, Brian Cox, Alan Rickman, Rosemary Harris, Jane Lapotaire, Fiona Shaw, Deborah Warner, Richard Cottrell and Sean Mathias.
During the winter months, BADA is based in London at Groucester Gate near Regents Park where the Academy offers a number of courses including an undergraduate program presented in association with Sarah Lawrence College. In the summer BADA moves to Balliol College, Oxford where it presents the Midsummer in Oxford courses for students at all levels in association with the Juilliard School and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). BADA is registered as a non-profit making charity in both Britain and the United Stated and has Sir Derek Jacobi as its Patron. BADA alumni include Orlando Bloom, Jennifer Ehle, David Schwimmer, Paul Giamatti, Oliver Platt and Paul Rudd.
Skidmore College, which accredits the Shakespeare Programme, is a highly respected liberal arts college for men and women founded in 1903 and registered as a four-year degree-granting college in 1922. In keeping with the College's founding principle of linking theoretical with applied learning, the Skidmore curriculum balances a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences with preparation for professions, careers, and community leadership. Skidmore offers more than sixty degree programs, including majors in both traditional liberal arts disciplines and preprofessional areas. Education in the classroom, laboratory, and studio is enhanced by cocurricular and field experience opportunities of broad scope. The Theatre Department offers an opportunity to pursue the serious study of the theatre arts within a liberal arts setting. Courses afford training in the basic demands of the discipline as well as the opportunity for advanced study, practical production experience, and off-campus internships in the professional theatre. Professor Lary Opitz, Skidmore director of the Shakespeare Programme, is a playwright, director, actor (AEA) and designer (United Scenic Artists) with a rich background in the professional theatre and international touring. Associate Director Barbara Opitz serves as Assistant Director for the Dean of Studies Office and teaches Movement for the Actor in the Theatre Department.The department is the summer home of SITI (Saratoga International Theatre Institute), founded by Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki.
INSTITUTE AND THE SHAKESPEARE BIRTHPLACE TRUST
The Trust and the Institute began formally to offer programs jointly in 1990, though the Trust had earlier contributed extensively to courses previously organized by the Institute alone. The courses deal with the plays in the current repertoire of the Royal Shakespeare Company and provide programs of play visits, lectures by members of the academic staff of the Institute and the Trust on plays to be seen and on more general topics, seminar classes on the productions, information on earlier productions of plays being seen, and the opportunity to discuss plays and roles with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company involved in the productions.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust came into existence after the purchase of Shakespeare's Birthplace as a national memorial in 1847. The Trust is an independent non-profit charity whose aims, set out in the Act of Parliament under which it operates, are to promote knowledge and appreciation of Shakespeare's work and to maintain the Shakespearean properties (Shakespeare's Birthplace, Ann Hathaway's Cottage, Mary Arden's House, New Place, and Hall's Croft) as part of the national heritage. The administrative headquarters of the Trust is the Shakespeare Centre. This is situated next door to Shakespeare's Birthplace, which also houses its library, records office, and educational facilities. The Trust is active in the educational field, arranging courses, lectures, and study facilities for students and teachers at all levels. It also promotes exhibitions and occasional concerts and organizes the annual Stratford Poetry Festival. Its library, comprising the combined collections of the Trust and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, is a major resource for Shakespearean study.
The Shakespeare Institute is a postgraduate and research center of the University of Birmingham, founded in 1951 by Professor Allardyce Nicoll. It offers opportunities for full-time or part-time research for the degrees of M. Phil., M. Litt., and Ph. D., and a one-year course in Shakespeare Studies, leading to the degree of MA. This course includes study of critical and theatrical history and of textual and editorial problems as well as work on the plays and poems themselves. Workshops on the plays in performance are conducted by members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the course emphasizes plays in the company's current repertoire. The Institute has always had a strongly international flavor, welcoming students and visiting scholars from the Commonwealth, the United States, Europe and other parts of the world, as well as from Britain. The Institute has a large research library, with great strength in Shakespeare and the drama of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Publications from the Institute include Shakespeare Survey, The New Penguin Shakespeare, The Penguin Shakespeare Library, and the earlier volumes in the Stratford-upon-Avon Studies Series. A number of volumes in the new Arden Shakespeare, The Revels Plays and other series have been prepared by scholars working at the Institute and The Revels Plays Companion Library and the microfiche project Shakespearean are now edited here. The Birthplace Trust organizes a series of visits, classes and events for the Shakespeare Programme while students are in Stratford.
THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
The internationally famous Royal Shakespeare Company brings together the finest actors, directors and designers in the world to work on the greatest plays in some of the most superb theatres available. The RSC operates a repertoire system under which actors take on the challenges of several demanding roles in a season consisting of range of plays including those of Shakespeare as well as classical theatre of all periods. The Company aims to provide a fresh insight into well-known plays, new and distinctive approaches to neglected texts and plays of merit which have never been seen before. In addition to West End theatres in London and tours throughout Great Britain and the world, the Company operates three uniquely different theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon. The largest, the world famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre, built in 1932, has recently been completely redecorated and refurbished. The Swan Theatre is an atmospheric galleried playhouse while The Other Place provides a modern and intimate theatre space. Recent years have seen a steady stream of award-winning RSC productions transferring to the stages of the West End and Broadway including such productions through the years as Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables. While in Stratford, students attend a number of RSC productions, take RSC workshops (such as a voice class), meet production directors, designers and actors, and visit various RSC facilities (such as the costume department).