This post is part of our #PAA5Years Scholarship celebration. In honor of 2016 being our 5th year of operation we’re offering scholarships to favorite programs in FIVE different destinations. Today we’re highlighting London where our RADA and West End Training…
Performing Arts Abroad is working in collaboration with Shakespeare’s Globe to offer a unique summer acting intensive exploring the performance of Shakespeare’s work through classes in movement, voice and speech, text interpretation, stage combat, and more. Classes will take place on the Globe premises, where you will train with London theatre professionals and get a behind-the-scenes look at the Globe’s summer productions. The course will culminate in a final presentation of work on the stage of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the Globe’s indoor candlelit theatre.
In addition to the course at the Globe, Performing Arts Abroad will be offering full on-site support including airport pickup, housing, orientation, city tours, attendance at three theatrical performances, a weekend trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon to explore Shakespeare’s birthplace, grave, and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), and much more.
“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.”
Performing Arts Points of Interest
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.
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.
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
PAA Home Base
All training for this program will occur on the premises of Shakespeare’s Globe, which sits very near the original site of the theatre back in the early 17th century, on the south bank of the River Thames now near the iconic 1,000 foot-long Millennium Bridge. You will never forget the moment you step through the large doors into the open-air theatre that is a replica of the space from 300 years ago, and on this program you will get to call this space home.
About the Location
London is one of the most important cities in the world for acting and theatre, and Shakespeare’s Globe is one of its most iconic performing houses. Perhaps no other area in the world can boast the variety and quality of theatre performance-and technical skill one may find in the theaters of London.
In addition to the vibrant theatre 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.
Also included in this program is a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon, the quaint countryside town where Shakespeare was born and is buried.
Participants will be housed in apartments located within London Underground zones 1-2. The apartments or “flats” will be located near all basic amenities, including public transportation, post office, grocery stores, and pharmacies, among others. Participants will share a flat with other program participants, and the size of the flat and number of rooms will vary from unit to unit. All flats will have their own bathroom, a kitchen for cooking meals, a washing machine, and a common room with a television.
Performing Arts Abroad works with a local housing provider to secure flats for each session, and more specific details—including the address for your session’s housing, the number of rooms and roommates in your flat, and the projected commute time from your flat to the Globe Theatre (45 minutes or less)—will be communicated as part of the pre-departure process.
You will share a room with one or two other participants of the same sex training in the Globe program with you. The program will have at least 5 participants, and we hope for 15-20. Your flat will have around six people in it with three or four rooms.
A Day in the Life
The Participant Experience
As you walk through the doors, you emerge through a short gauntlet and the space opens up before you. The stage, flanked by two giant columns, towers before you and draws your eyes up to the balcony and past the roof to the open air and clear blue sky above. Audience box seats almost entirely encircle the stage in several levels going straight up, but the real draw is the open yard for standing. You walk straight up to the stage and find yourself eye level, looking up at where the actors will be standing in just a few minutes’ time to begin the play. This is your home for two weeks of acting training, and your instructors will have acted on this very stage…
For two weeks, you will have the unique opportunity to train with London theatre professionals at Shakespeare’s Globe and immerse yourself in the incredible history of the place. You will visit Shakespeare’s birthplace and grave in the charming town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, where you will attend a performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company and get a backstage tour. Your study will conclude with a final performance on the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse stage, lit by candlelight.
You will book your flight to arrive at Heathrow Airport in London 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 30 minute housing orientation with the housing supervisor. 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
The rest of the program will be spent focused on training at the Globe. You will spend the Saturday between the weeks exploring Stratford-Upon-Avon where you will see Shakespeare’s birthplace, grave, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. You will receive a backstage tour of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and attend a production there as well.
All the World’s a Stage!
The Globe Theatre opened in 1997 as a reconstruction of the original theatre where Shakespeare performed his plays. It sits very near the original site on the south bank of the Thames River. The Globe hosts a robust season of performances, lectures, and demonstrations, both on its iconic open-air Globe Theatre and in the recently opened Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
Our summer acting intensive at Shakespeare’s Globe focuses on bringing the words of Shakespeare to life through a variety of performance practices. You will participate in workshops and classes focusing on many aspects of performance, such as voice and speech, movement, stage combat, Elizabethan dance, text interpretation, and more. You will also attend several shows, visit the Globe’s Exhibition and enjoy a backstage tour of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The training will culminate in a final private workshop sharing of scenes on the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse stage lit by candlelight.
We have also booked an in-depth backstage tour of the Globe Theatre, as well as a Playing the Globe workshop with a Globe Practitioner on the Globe Stage. These are both contingent on timing and availability of the busy spaces, and will be confirmed closer to the start date.
Founder and Executive Director
Reynolds graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 with a degree in Theater and African and African American Studies. For an honors thesis Reynolds filmed, edited, and produced a full-length documentary in Kenya with Haba na Haba, a group using performance for education and social change in the slums of Nairobi. This project earned him the Forum on Education Abroad Undergraduate Research Award. A year later, Reynolds organized a trip to bring Haba na Haba to the United States for a tour of St. Louis and Washington University. Immediately after graduation, Reynolds worked in Rwanda as a filmmaker for Millennium Congregations, an interfaith organization connecting communities of faith in the United States with development projects in Rwanda’s Bugesera District. Reynolds then served two years with Teach for America, teaching in the South Bronx and receiving a Masters Degree in Education from Hunter College. He completed a second graduate degree in African Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington, and his Masters thesis focused on the impact of donors on the creative process of Theatre for Development (TfD) groups in Kenya.
Reynolds has traveled extensively in Africa, spending time in Ghana, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also studied acting, voice, and movement at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Reynolds is a two-time Rhodes Scholarship finalist, the inaugural recipient of the Dred and Harriet Scott Award for the Advancement of Human Rights, and the winner of two research fellowships. He was also a Dialogue Fellow for the Xenia Institute, has twice served as the co-director for the Roosevelt Institution’s International Diplomacy Center (Washington University branch), and was president of the Graduate Students of African Studies (GSAS) at Indiana University.
Reynolds lives in Northampton, MA with his wife Julia who is a professional costume designer and all around wonderful person. In his free time Reynolds likes to play his guitar, go hiking, act in local productions, hit the karaoke bars, sing with his dog Captain (the best doggy singer in the universe), and play various yard games such as KanJam, cornhole, “cups”, and Kubb.
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 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.”
“It was amazing to meet people from all around the world that share with me passions and dreams. This goes over any cultural difference. The city was great and the classes very interesting and useful, I hope to have the chance to do another program like this again!”
Just one unforgettable experience. I made friends for life and I discovered what kind of path I want to make in my career. I also discovered things about myself I didn’t know before. I wish it never ended.
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There are no sessions of this program currently available for enrollment.