Emily Rice participated in PAA’s RADA Summer Training intensive in the Summer of 2015. She is from Grass Valley, California and studies Theatre Arts with a concentration in Acting and a Minor in Music at Sonoma State University. During my time in London…
Performing Arts Abroad is continuing a longstanding relationship with the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London to offer a unique acting course especially designed for PAA called “Devising Theatre.” Classes will take place on RADA premises, where you will explore the principles of storytelling and devising by weaving together original works while taking classes in voice, movement, music, and clowning; all with dedicated members of the RADA faculty, led by the internationally-renowned RADA tutor and director, Gary Lagden.
The course is limited to 10 persons in order to maximize the personal development of the individual, so apply soon to reserve your spot!
In addition to the course at RADA, Performing Arts Abroad will be offering full on-site support including airport pickup, housing, orientation, city tours, attendance at three theatrical performances (including the iconic Globe Theatre), and much more.
To view and download the bio for the RADA course leader Gary Lagden, please click here.
“I loved the RADA short summer course! I know more about acting and theatre than before the program started and I’ve met some amazing people whom I’ve created friendships with! Not only did I get to learn from teachers at one of the most prestigious drama schools in the world, but I also got the chance to explore a city with an incredible history, immerse myself in its culture, and gain a new piece of global perspective. This was a great experience that I’m glad and grateful to have had and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I thoroughly enjoyed myself the whole time. A dream come true and quite inspiring, really.”
Performing Arts Points of Interest
English National Ballet
The English National Ballet is one of the four major ballet companies in Great Britain alongside The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and the Scottish Ballet. The company employs an internationally diverse group of dancers and a symphony orchestra known as the English National Ballet Philharmonic. The company has performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London as well as international tours. The English National Ballet offers classes ranging from beginner to advance as well as dance workshops.
One of the many famous West End theatres, Queen’s Theatre is in the Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square area of London. The theatre is most notable for housing the world famous musical Les Miserables since 2004 after its run at the Palace Theatre for 19 years prior.
Royal Court Theatre
Hailed by the New York Times as “the most important theatre in Europe,” the Royal Court Theatre is located next to the Sloane Square Station. The theatre is known for being a huge proponent and supporter of local playwrights in order to cultivate an authentic, diverse selection of plays for the public.
“The undisputed epicenter of new writing in this country.” -Time Out
“It’s hard not to rave about the Royal Court.” -Guardian
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre was built in 1599 by William Shakespeare’s company the “Lord Chamberlin’s Men” and was rebuilt in 1614 after a fire destroyed the original. The latest version of the theatre, renamed “Shakespeare’s Globe,” opened in 1997. Travel back in time and attend a Shakespeare play in the unique open-air theatre.
Hailed as one of the most exciting, innovative dance spaces The Place, is a space that houses the London Contemporary Dance School, the Richard Alston Dance Company, and a 280 seat theatre. The Place offers classes, workshops, and other professional development opportunities for artists young and old. Performances are open to the public year round as well as festivals and special events. The Place is a member of the European Dancehouse Network aimed to support UK artists.
The Rivoli Ballroom is one of the last remaining ballrooms preserved in the 1950s style architecture. The ballroom attracts an eccentric, enthusiastic crowd looking for a fun night of dancing and dressing up from “night out” clothes to David Copperfield inspired costumes. Open infrequently to the pubic, check the website and Facebook to find out their next event.
The Rivoli Ballroom has been a location for many TV shows, movies, and music videos. Musicians such as Kings of Leon, Florence and the Machine, and The White Stripes have used the ballroom for music videos and gigs.
PAA Home Base
All training for the “Devising Theatre” intensive will take place at RADA’s headquarters on Gower Street. The building has a number of facilities available to students, including three in-house theatres, a box office and foyer bar, scenic art workshop, including paint frame, costume workroom and fitting rooms, student offices, sound studio with three associated control rooms, multiple acting studios, a property making department, media suite fitted out with industry standard equipment,, library with over 25,000 books, costume store with over 17,000 costumes, a dance and fight studio, a refectory (cafeteria), and specially equipped rehearsal studios.
About the Location
London is one of the most important cities in the world for acting and theater, and RADA is arguably its most prestigious training-ground. Perhaps no other area in the world can boast the variety and quality of theater performance-and technical skill one may find in the theaters of London.
In addition to the vibrant theater scene, you will have the chance to explore the historical, political, and cultural landmarks of the city with other participants. From Big Ben to Westminster Abbey, learn what it means to call London home. London is a worthwhile destination for even a short visit, and the ideal place for an intensive training course in acting.
Housing is in a hostel down the street from RADA and the Russell Square tube station, and rooms will be shared with other program participants of the same sex.
- Fast and free WiFi throughout the hostel
- 24 hour lounge with foosball, pool (billiards), and big-screen TVs
- Continental breakfast every day from 7-10 a.m. for just 4.50 GBP
- Food for purchase from noon to 10 p.m. every day
- Snacks available in 24 hour vending machines
- Laundry facilities open 24 hours (2.00 GBP to wash, from 0.50 GBP to dry)
- 24 hour reception with Duty Manager available to help with any issues
- Travel shop where you can buy tickets to local attractions
- Basic amenities such as grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, etc. will be easily accessible from the hostel.
A Day in the Life
The Participant Experience
For your first few days in London, there will be adequate time for relaxing and exploring the city. Enjoy this, because it is the calm before the storm! From the moment the instruction starts, you will be immersed in the rigorous training at RADA from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and as late as 9:30 p.m. in the final days. Your training will focus on classes in voice, clowning, music, movement, storytelling, monologues, taught by a variety of RADA instructors specializing in each subject and led by your course leader Gary Lagden. You will also be working on devising your final performance with daily rehearsals led by Gary. Your final day will feature your performance of the devised piece, followed by a feedback session and celebratory reception where you will be presented with an official certificate of training from the RADA course leaders.
You will book your flight to arrive at Heathrow Airport in London (LHR) between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on the arrival date. Our Site Director Anna will be waiting at a pre-arranged meeting point where the group will gather. Once the last person reaches the meeting point (around 1:00 p.m.), Anna will travel with all of you to the housing where everyone will be given a welcome pack. You will have 30 minutes to drop off your bags and freshen up, and then you will gather for a quick housing orientation. After this, Anna will lead the group on a walking tour of the neighborhood and will point out important sites such as ATMs, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. Following the neighborhood tour, you will be encouraged to go to bed to try and adjust to the new time zone!
The next day, you will join a one-hour orientation about the program, health and safety, the city of London and British culture, followed by a Welcome Meal at a local pub or restaurant. Following the meal, the group will view the performance collection at the famous Victoria and Albert Museum. The rest of the day is yours for exploring London on your own with a Hop On / Hop Off bus pass we will provide!
A Typical Day
After you settle in, the remainder of your program will be spent focused on training at RADA and devising a final performance. Evenings are mostly free, but we also provide tickets for the group to two theatrical productions in London.
To view and download the bio for the RADA course leader Gary Lagden, please click here.
The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) is arguably the most prestigious training center for actors in the world. RADA’s alumni include such notable performers as Vivien Leigh, Peter O’Toole, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emma Watson, Tom Hiddleston…and many more. .
“Devising Theatre” is a chance to explore creative movement, clowning, voice work, improvisation, and more, offering a unique opportunity to be taught by members of this distinguished faculty: teachers adept at bringing text to life with fun and excitement.
Deb is the primary PAA contact for all participants once they have applied to their programs. She processes applications, conducts applicant interviews, communicates with overseas partners regarding acceptance decisions, orchestrates all pre-departure preparation, supports participants while they are on their programs, and oversees re-entry counseling as she ushers them into joining the ranks of our fabulous PAA alumni.
Deb grew up at a small, independent school surrounded by the languages, music and cultures of students from around the globe. Her passion for exploration has brought her to many out-of-the-way places such as studying variable stars at a Nantucket observatory, flying a small plane over the skies of New England and mapping ancient lava flows in southern Arizona. Without a doubt, though, her favorite place is anywhere in a theater. As an award-winning stage manager, Deb has collaborated on productions throughout the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts and always enjoys challenging and innovative theater. She happily admits to an obsession with all things organizational and considers a trip to the office supply store a totally valid form of therapy.
She has studied and traveled extensively in England and Scotland, has journeyed through parts of France and currently shares her space with cats, humans, and far too many books.
Erin Hardee Patterson
Erin advises everyone who expresses interest in PAA’s programs. She responds to e-mails, answers questions submitted in online forms, makes and receives phone calls about our programs, and communicates with those who begin an application.
Erin Hardee Patterson earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy at Berklee College of Music, and her Master’s in Music Therapy from Florida State University. Her professional adventures as a cellist, singer songwriter, board-certified music therapist, event coordinator, admissions professional, project manager, and newly trained birth doula have helped her to live all over the United States – from her home state of Virginia, to New Orleans and Maine, to Tallahassee and Vegas (to name just a few!). In addition to her US travels, a ferocious case of wanderlust inspired Erin to travel to The Netherlands, Canada, Germany, France, and Belgium. (The wanderlust is no joke – this bio was written on a plane!). She enjoys practicing her conversational French and American Sign Language, and has aspirations of one day carrying on conversations in Spanish (hopefully on a beautiful balcony in Spain). Erin is a new transplant to the Northampton, MA area with her firefighter/paramedic spouse Max, their dog Eleanor, and 3 very fat house cats. She is passionate about tiny humans, music, yoga, beautiful bodies of water, succulents, two steppin’, empowering families to have joyous, satisfying births, and being a smiley muppet.
London Site Director
Anna supports all participants on our programs in London, acting as the main point of contact throughout their stay in the United Kingdom. She coordinates airport pickup, arranges housing, leads cultural excursions, and manages the 24-hour onsite emergency phone.
Anna holds a B.A. in English and German from Ca’Foscari University of Venice. The Italian village where she was born was never enough for her and from a young age she decided she wanted to see the world and meet a lot of people from different cultures. Fascinated by foreign languages and traveling she first studied abroad in London when she was in high school and then at Humboldt Universität in Berlin a few years after. New York City holds a special place in her heart, ever since she was an intern at the Italian Cultural Institute there.
After volunteering and working for the not-for-profit association AFS Intercultural Program helping hundreds of high school students enroll and prepare for their experience abroad, she moved to London and focused on working with university students. She loves West End musicals, fashion, drinking green tea, spending time at the V&A museum, studying Korean and backpacking throughout Southeast Asia.
“I had a wonderful time in this program, I was introduced to many new things and was kept very active throughout the whole trip. I liked getting to work with professionals in the acting industry in London, it made me realize that I have more options than just the states for work.”
“I found this program really fun and it was great to get a taste of a city I’ve always wanted to visit : London! I made lifelong friendships and had some amazing experices!! I would definitely recommend studying abroad through PAA!”
“I had a great time while studying abroad. I learned so much. I would honestly do it again if given the opportunity. I met a lot of amazing people and I hope that what I learned serves me well in the future.”
From the blog
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|Session||Application Deadline||Start Date||End Date|
|Summer 2018||May 25 2018||Aug 17 2018||Aug 26 2018|
Important Summer 2018 Dates
Apply today — How the process works
Submit a simple online application
Schedule a live video interview with a Program Coordinator
Upload program specific materials to an online portal
Receive your aceptance decision and begin your journey!
How the process works
To apply, click the “Apply Now” button on this page. You will fill out a simple initial application online and pay a deposit that is refundable if you are not accepted. Otherwise, this deposit will be applied toward your overall program cost (not an additional fee). We will review your initial application and contact you within a few days to let you know if we are inviting you to the final step. At that point, we will open an online portal for you and ask you to upload the following materials:
- Resume / CV
- Audition video (optional)
- Your availability in U.S. Eastern Time for a 30 minute video interview with your Program Coordinator.
- The Skype interview is our first face-to-face impression of you. Show up on time, dress well, and be personable.
- Make sure your resume is up to date and includes all relevant theatrical experience.
- If you have a video showing your performance abilities (optional), it should highlight the performance style you do best, and should be a high quality video with a strong opening. As this is a devising theatre course, performances outside the box are encouraged. Videos with other performers are fine, as long as you clearly identify yourself. We prefer videos to be uploaded to an online platform such as YouTube to allow us to easily share with the dance studio supervisors.
Participants must be 18 or over the day they begin the program.
GPA / Student Status
There is no GPA requirement for this program, students and non-students are welcome to apply.
There is no foreign language requirement for this program, all instruction is in English.
We give preference to applicants with at least one year of theatre experience. An audition video showing your current skill level is helpful, but not required.
We are looking for open-minded, flexible applicants who can clearly convey their passion for theatre and an acute interest in international travel and exposure to new ideas.