Shakespeare Programme provides
an opportunity most undergraduates taking Shakespeare and theatre courses can
only dream of: the chance to spend a tern studying some of the world's richest
and most important plays not just in the classroom and the rehearsal room but
in the great theatres of London and Stratford, and not just with leading academics
but with major classical actors and directors. This is a demanding option, as
well as an unbeatably stimulating one: living, thinking and breathing English
drama, twenty four hours a day, in the heart of London, takes levels of application
which our students are often surprised to find they can sustain. But this has
proved to be a uniquely rewarding programme for all its students, sending them
back to the United States with their outlooks broadened, their levels of excitement
and attainment in their studies raised to new highs, and their skills enhanced
— whether as
theatregoers, as writers, as performers or as critics." —
Professor Michael Dobson, Academic Chairman for The
The course brings together students
who are majoring in Drama/Theatre Studies and/or English enabling those with
practical skills and those with training in literary criticism to learn from
each other and benefit from their different but complementary approaches to
Shakespeare and the study of drama.
The program is held each fall term and lasts fourteen weeks. Thirteen weeks are spent in London where academic classes are held at the BADA headquarters at 14 Gloucester Gate near Regent's Park. The facility is convenient to all aspects of Central London. Taught by faculty drawn from a variety of British universities in London and beyond, as well as some of the finest actors and directors of the British stage, all students share a common core of work (one course on Shakespeare exploring plays across the canon; a course on dramatic criticism analyzing plays seen every week in London; and a course on theatre history or another Shakespeare course). Students may pick one to three additional courses from a list including The 19th Century English Novel; Acting Styles (Comedy); Acting Shakespeare; Playwriting; Directing; Shakespeare's Comedies, Shakespeare's Contemporaries, and Professional Field Experience (internship). Each week all students take part in an excursion to the theatre and discuss the productions with a leading theatre critic as part of the course in dramatic criticism. All students participate in regular tutorials and there are a number of master classes and talks by guest speakers. Students have a one-week break during this period and our students use it to explore Great Britain, Ireland, or Continental Europe.
During the fall term BADA's London Theatre
Program (Sarah Lawrence College) is also in residence at the BADA facilty. Shakespeare
Programme students and LTP students share flats in the convenient housing provided.
Shakespeare students offen attend the end of term LTP productions. Both programs
celebrate Thanksgiving together.
The program includes a week at the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon, using its facilities and library (containing the archives of the Royal Shakespeare Company). Students attend performances at the Royal Shakespeare Company and there are lectures from the faculty members of the Shakespeare Institute and the Department of English of the University of Birmingham as well as sessions with actors and other members of the Royal Shakespeare Company (such as Andrew Wade, Head of Voice). Students may also make a number of excursions to places associated with Shakespeare and the Elizabethans such as Ann Hathaway's Cottage, Charlecote Park, Warwick Castle, Compton Wynyates and Chipping Norton for a traditional British pantomime.
The faculty for the program's academic work are selected and supervised by renowed Shakespearean scholar Michael Dobson, Academic Chairman. The Academic Chairman engages teachers of the highest academic caliber and teaching ability. Acting and directing teachers are chosen by Ian Wooldridge, the Dean of the British American Drama Academy.
Our administrators are devoted to the smooth
running of the program. At Skidmore College Barbara and Lary
Opitz handle the American administration backed by the resources of the
illustrious liberal arts college that also accredits the program. In London
the program's manager, Jennie Hollier, and BADA's director, Carolyn Sands, supervise
the day to day running of the program.
All courses are validated for academic credit by Skidmore College and the credits are transferable to all participating universities and colleges. Admission to the program is in the hands of the Skidmore College Shakespeare Programme Director and the Academic Chairman.
In the 2005-2006 academic year, the program began on September 2, 2005 and ended on December 9, 2005.
Bringing together English and Theatre students from all over the United States, The Shakespeare Programme demonstrates that the theatre is the home for drama. Taught by a talented faculty and respected theatre professionals, students are exposed to an intensive study of Shakespeare's plays and the history of his era linked to contemporary productions of his works in some of the world's greatest theatres.
"The expertise of the Faculty was outstanding!...always impressive in their knowledge and opinion."
"Our last session, in which we had a tour of The Globe and acted onstage was one of the most memorable experiences of my life."
"I had a wonderful learning experience and a fantastic time in London. I am so grateful for all the theatre I was able to see."