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The London Program was founded by Professor William Grandgeorge, who took the first group of students abroad in the autumn of 1971.

General Information

London is the ideal city for students of theatre and the arts.  Not only does London offer more productions of plays at a more reasonable ticket price than one could experience in any other city in the world, but the theatre fare is panoramic, encompassing a broad range of periods and styles. A large number of group-attended events are part of each fall’s program. Included at no additional cost to the student, are plays at the Royal National Theatre, the Young Vic, the Barbican Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, as well as the many famous West End Theatres (the Haymarket, Aldwych, Savoy, Fortune, Wyndham) and many smaller fringe theatres.

In addition to plays, the group also attends modern dance at Sadler’s Wells, concerts at Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall, an opera at the Coliseum, and a ballet at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

Because so much theatre is centered in London, students are able to benefit from the wealth of actors, designers, playwrights, directors, and critics who are available to serve as guest lecturers and workshop leaders for the program.

In addition to the varied theatre opportunities available, many historical sites, galleries, and museums are visited by the program. Students are also encouraged to explore London and its riches on their own.

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Courses of Study

British Theatre & Performing Arts
Humanities 310 3 semester hours

Fulfills a requirement for Interdisciplinary Core Concentration in British Studies; Cross listed as Theatre 332. One of these two required of all students.

A study of the  performing arts in England through exposure to a broad range of theatre, dance and musical events and venues. The course emphasizes the historical development of various performance traditions. Theatre tours, classroom discussions, guest speakers, reading and writing assignments provide historic context and critical perspective.
Shakespeare & The Elizabethan World
Humanities 320 3 semester hours

Fulfills a requirement for Interdisciplinary Core Concentration in British Studies; free elective

Critical analysis of selected comedies, tragedies, and histories and their connection to the Elizabethan world. Plays chosen reflect the current productions of the London and Stratford theatre season, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Shakespeare’s Globe Company. The course examines the continued relevance of Shakespeare’s plays and those of his contemporaries to our current world. This study includes field trips to the restored Globe Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, and other sites that allow Shakespeare to be seen within the context of his time.
Society and Shelter in Britain
Humanities 330 3 semester hours

Fulfills a requirement for Interdisciplinary Core Concentration in British Studies; free elective

A study of the development of English culture through the interaction of architecture, urban planning, social organization and history. The course addresses the overlay of cultures and ideas in England through the use of sites from various periods from prehistoric (Stonehenge, Avebury) through the developments of the industrial age (St. Pancras railway terminal), and the development of the London suburb.
Culture in Contact: British Heritage and its Impact
Humanities 399 3 semester hours

Fulfills a requirement for the Interdisciplinary Core Concentration in British Studies; Cross listed with Theatre 490. One of these courses required of all students.

Accompanied by lectures in English history, art, and culture, the bulk of the course is an on-the-street workshop exploring British culture through its historic sites, museums and galleries. This course includes tours of London, Greenwich, Windsor, Hampton Court, St. Albans (Verulamium), Canterbury, Bath, and York. In addition to class assignments, students are required to visit a number of sites on their own and maintain a journal record of their experiences/observations.
History Through the Museums of England
Humanities 430 3 semester hours

Fulfills a requirement for the Interdisciplinary Core Concentration in British Studies; free elective

Using the vast museum resources of London, the course studies the changes in European society through the visual arts, starting with the Elgin Marbles and Egyptian collection in the British Museum and ending with the modern art in the Tate Modern gallery on the South Bank. The course will emphasize how museums shape our perceptions of the past and our understanding of ourselves, through their holdings, organization and presentation.
Acting Workshop
Theatre 312 3 semester hours

Fulfills a requirement in the Core Concentration in London Theatre. Prerequisite: Two semesters of introductory acting courses or their equivalent and a serious commitment to acting as a profession.

Advanced study of experimental theatre techniques. The aim of the work is to expand the creative range of the actor by developing his or her physical and vocal equipment, releasing the imagination so that the actor is able to bring new freedom and new depth to his or her work, whether in the experimental or traditional theatre.
Theatre Design Workshop
Theatre 322 3 semester hours

Fulfills a course requirement in the Concentration of London Theatre. Prerequisites: Theatre 120,220

Advanced design in scenery, costume, or lighting. Each student submits a plan for his or her course of study, augmented by museum visits and research checklist, using various resources available in London. Productions viewed by the program are discussed. Occasional guest lectures by London designers. Ordinarily, the goal of this study is a major design project of portfolio quality.
Theatre of Shakespeare
Theatre 330 3 semester hours

Fulfills a course requirement in the Core Concentration in London Theatre

Critical analysis of selected comedies, tragedies, histories, a trip to Stratford upon Avon, a study of The Globe Theatre and of contemporary production techniques. The plays studied reflect the announced seasons of local and nearby London theatre production companies.
Modern Theatre and Drama
Theatre 331 3 semester hours

Fulfills a course requirement in the Core Concentration in London Theatre

Examines the ideas and practices of the modern theatre. Beginning in the late nineteenth century with realism and the anti-realism rebellion, the course follows the major theories, plays and practitioners that shaped theatre in the 20th century. Class attendance at London stage productions and guest lecturers supplement the study.
British Theatre & Performing Arts
Theatre 332 3 semester hours

Fulfills a course requirement in the Core Concentration in London Theatre

Study of current trends in European performance based on the experience of a wide range of plays, concerts, dance, and other performance events in London. Classroom discussions, reading and writing assignments, as well as tours and guest speakers, bring the viewing activities into academic perspective.
Seminar in Directing Problems
Theatre 341 3 semester hours

Fulfills a course requirement in the Core Concentration in London Theatre. Prerequisites: Successful completion of a Directing class; directing experience, or consent of the instructor

Study of specific problems of play direction as seen in current productions of the London season. Analysis of each production’s directing problems and solutions. Guest lectures by British directors, whenever possible, supplement the study.
Cultures in Contact: British Heritage and its Impact
Theatre 490 3 semester hours

Fulfills a course requirement in the Core Concentration in London Theatre. Cross listed with Hum 399. One of these two courses required of all students.

Accompanied by lectures in English history, art, and culture. The bulk of the course in an on-the-street workshop exploring British culture through individual visits to historic sites, museums and galleries. Tours of London, Greenwich, Windsor, Hampton Court, St. Albans (Verulamium), Canterbury, York, Bath, Salisbury and Stonehenge. In addition to class assignments, students are required to visit a number of sites on their own and maintain a journal record.

Independent Study
Independent studies in Theatre or other academic disciplines of the University may be taken by special arrangement with appropriate faculty. Students from other colleges or universities may also have an independent study supervised by a member of their own college faculty.

For more information about study abroad:

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Accommodations

The London Branch of Roger Williams University is currently housed in Pickwick Hall, located in Bloomsbury on Bedford Place, a quiet street between Russell Square and Bloomsbury Square. It is within easy walking distance of major underground stations and bus routes, as well as post office, grocery, and other shops. Pickwick’s pleasant and helpful staff provides a simple breakfast, use of 2 kitchens and laundry facilities. There are also computers, wireless, and classroom space for many of the program’s courses. Additionally, each student receives a weekly food allowance and a twelve-week Travelcard for all public transport (Zones 1 & 2) around the city.

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Library Facilities

A small library of reference books is housed at the London campus. Students may arrange to have lending cards issued to them by a local London library. These cards extend borrowing privileges to all seven libraries in the Westminster group, including the Central Reference Library on St. Martin’s Lane, which holds London’s largest collection of theatre and literature books. Students are encouraged to visit The British Library which is within walking distance to view its rare book collection and exhibits.

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Academic Credit

Roger Williams University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.  In the liberal arts program, each course is valued at three semester hours of credit, and the normal academic load for each student is fifteen semester hours.  Two courses are required of all students in this Program: British Theatre and Performing Arts and Cultures in Contact.  Each participating student is to enroll in three additional courses.

Transferability of courses for students not normally enrolled at Roger Williams University is the responsibility of the student and should be arranged with the student’s academic advisor before the submission of an application.

Students not familiar with the theatre program at Roger Williams University are asked to give careful consideration to the program’s goals before applying.  The plan of the Theatre Program is based on the premise that a student cannot have a complete introduction to the theatre without a balance of studying theatre, doing a great deal of theatre, and seeing fine professional theatre.  The primary purpose of the London Program is to provide the opportunity to see some of the finest theatre in the world.  Interesting courses are offered, opportunities for further travel are made available, and the development of an understanding of British culture is strongly encouraged.  Attendance at the many group events is required. These experiences provide the background for the lectures and discussions in almost every course.  The course of study may be taken in one of four ways:

  1. As a theatre major
  2. As a minor or area of core concentration
  3. As a concentration in British studies
  4. As a semester of free electives

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Tuition & Fees

The cost of participating in the London Program is the same as the cost of room, board, and tuition at Roger Williams University at its campus in Bristol, Rhode Island. This fee includes the cost of tuition, room and board (breakfast and a modest food allowance for lunch and dinner), the cost of many planned group events (performances, field trips, special events), a comprehensive lab fee of $1000 which covers all tours and special expenses, including the week-long Britain Tour, and the cost of all travel within central London. This fee does not include such incidental expense as laundry, personal items, books, etc. This fee also does not include transportation to and from London, although inexpensive group-rate flights are arranged for students who request it.

All regular forms of financial aid for college students on the home campus apply to the London Program. Students from other colleges and universities interested in applying for financial aid should contact the financial aid office on their home campus.

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Application Procedure

The London Program originally established to provide the curriculum of one semester in the junior year, for theatre majors at Roger Williams University is now is open to all other majors within the University. It is also available to theatre students from other colleges and universities. 

Students interested in this study of the arts in London should commence the application process for receiving a place well in advance of the April registration deadline,  as space in the Program is limited.   Students should also secure precise statements regarding the transferability of individual courses from their major advisor before submitting an application. 

Address requests for application forms and all inquiries concerning the Program to:
Jeffrey Martin, Director, The London Program
Roger Williams University
Bristol Rhode Island, 02809-2921. 

Telephone: (401) 254-3628  
Fax: (402) 254-3634
E-mail: jmartin@rwu.edu

Forms can also be accessed online.

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