Status: Not Offered in 2018

London Theatre—Live!

London, England, United Kingdom

Program Dates On Campus

Six fall-quarter 2015 seminar sessions on campus Wednesday evenings from 6:10pm–10:00pm, schedule/dates (PDF)

Program Dates Abroad

Arrive Date:  December 16, 2015    End Date:  December 30, 2015

Program Overview

For live theater, there’s no place like London, home to the National Theatre with its three stages, to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Old Vic and Young Vic, the many West End venues, and the vital smaller theatrical companies in the boroughs.  London has also been the center of British movie production for 120 years, and for filmmaking London is like Hollywood and New York combined.  

We’ll begin with seminars held every other week on campus during fall quarter, when we will get to know London via its films and also prepare for our trip by reading about London theaters and reading texts related to the plays we’ll be seeing.  Then we’ll travel to London for two weeks at the end of fall quarter and attend six or more live theater performances at different theaters.  We won’t know exactly which plays we’ll be seeing until the holiday season schedules are finalized in late spring, but we’ll likely see work at the Globe’s new Wanamaker Playhouse, the National Theatre, a West End venue, and at the Almeida Theater and/or the Hampstead Theatre in the boroughs.  We’ll also plan to catch a Christmas “pantomime” musical comedy and a film screening at one of the British Film Institute’s “BFI Southbank” theaters.

In London we’ll have class three or four mornings a week (in a classroom in the same building where you’ll be living).  We’ll see about half of the plays in the evening and the rest as matinees.  We’ll also do a few organized field activities, including a bus tour of central London attractions and several other tours, including a walking tour of the West End and its theaters and a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe.  But you’ll also have days and nights free to explore London on your own.

An Exciting Update: Show Selection
  • From the new Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, the comedy Harlequinade, starring and co‑directed by Branagh, the most celebrated actor of his generation. At the historic—and pleasantly small—Garrick Theatre in the West End.
  • From the Royal Shakespeare Company, TWO great plays from Shakespeare’s major history cycle: Henry IV, Part 1 which has already opened to rave reviews and Henry V, both at London’s Barbican Theatre.
  • At the Hackney Empire, long recognized as the premiere theatre for London’s Christmas musical comedy “pantos,” we’ll be seeing this year’s offering, Jack and the Beanstalk.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Tony Award winner for Best New Play on Sunday night—for the US/Broadway restaging, but London is the original. The British novel original is a genuinely great read.
  • For more information about the shows and reviews please see the On Location page.

Course enrollment is now limited to 14 students. Enrollment fee includes all of these theater tickets.

Instructor:  Scott Simmon

Taught in:  English

Max Enrollment:  14

Program Coordinator:  Jennifer Moylan

Instructor Film Project


English 153. Topics in Drama (4)

GE credit: Wrt | AH, WE 

English 198. Directed Group Study (P/NP grading only) (2)


English 3 or UWP 1