London Study Tour
Leave for London
Return to United States
This program is for Schreyer Scholars in all majors, and at any Penn State campus, who want an intensive academic and cultural experience in the theatre capital of the English-speaking world. Please note important changes to the dates and format of the course starting in 2018.
The London Study Tour embarks on its thirty-fourth year! To guarantee an honors-quality academic experience, the LST will be limited to 16 students. Professor Raymond Sage of Penn State's School of Theatre will organize and guide the tour, and teach its course component, Theatre 497H.
Theatre-going forms the heart of the LST and of its academic identity. London is the outstanding theatre city of the English-speaking world, offering consistently superb choices in classic plays, contemporary and avant-garde theatre, musical theatre, opera and dance. Students will see a minimum of twelve theatre and dance performances: some will be purchased in advance by the instructor, and others will be selected by participants from a wide range of choices. As a complement to the theatre core, the LST's faculty leaders will provide students with an orientation to London and its history, culture and sights. The new and extended program will include more extensive travel beyond London.
- Good general tourist site about London, including attractions and restaurants
- Travel Britain
- Another good general site about London
- Official London Theatre
- The official guide to London theatre from the Society of London Theatres
Course Information & Requirements
This course is designed for the student who is interested in observing a culture politically, theoretically, ethically, religiously, socially, and philosophically through live musical theatre and drama. Prior to arrival, each student selected for the course will choose a specific area of diversity to explore, such as race, gender, sexuality, politics, religion, ritual or science. The student will research the issue as it "plays out" in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Issue choices will be discussed at the first of the mandatory meetings in late spring 2018.
Once in London, prior personal research on specific diversity issues will act as a foundation for personal observations of both a culture in practice and the practice of theatre within a culture. The personal observations will be applied to journal work and post-performance discussions. Ongoing observations will be shared in informal settings over the two-week course, and an assessment of individual explorations will be based upon a journal, the post-show discussions, and the seminar paper.
Students accepted for the LST will be enrolled for 2 credits of Theatre 497H in the spring and 1 additional credit in the summer. You must successfully complete this course, or you will need to refund your travel grant (see below).
Students will be required to attend several preparatory meetings and on-campus theatre performances during the second half of spring semester. Information on these meetings and performances will be provided as part of the application process.
Student journals will be read in two stages: the first half will be read by Professor Sage while in London, and the second half will be turned in soon after our return to the United States. Students will be given a participation grade, which evaluates your level of inquisitiveness and positive contributions to discussions and other group activities.
Students will also write a formal essay of 12-18 pages, due two weeks after completion of the program. The essay will be inspired by your London experience, exploring a subject in musical theatre or drama from an historical, literary, or analytical point of view. Your topic should be based on consultations with the instructor.
Program costs will be determined in late 2017 and will be known by the time of the application process starting in January 2018.
The application process will be announced early in the spring 2018 semester, and the participant list will be finalized by March 1. We will hold an information session in January, prior to the application deadline.