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.
The London Study Tour embarks on its thirty-third year! To guarantee an honors-quality academic experience, the LST will be limited to 20 students. Professors Raymond Sage and Susan Russell of Penn State's School of Theatre will organize and guide the tour, and teach its course component, Theatre 490 (with honors attribute).
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 seven 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.
- 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
- This Is Edinburgh
- The official guide to Edinburgh
- Edinburgh Theatre Guide
- The definitive guide to what's on in and around Edinburgh, Scotland
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 November/December.
Once in Edinburgh and 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 3 credits of Theatre 490 for spring semester 2017. You must successfully complete this course, or you will need to refund your travel grant (see below).
Students will be required to attend:
Be More Chill Performance and Discussion
- Time 7:30 PM
- Location Playhouse Theatre
- Time 7:00 PM
- Time 7:00 PM
Twelfth Night Performance and Discussion
- Time 7:30 PM
- Location Pavilion Theatre
- Time 7:00 PM
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 returning to Penn State. 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.
Depart Philadelphia for Edinburgh
Note: Students will travel as a group to and from Philadelphia.
Depart Edinburgh for London
Depart London for Philadelphia
The estimated program cost is $800 payable to the Schreyer Honors College, plus the cost of a round-trip ticket arriving at Edinburgh and departing from London, which participants will purchase individually. The estimated cost includes housing, at least six theatre tickets, and required travel while in Britain. There is no additional tuition cost for students who are registered full-time for spring semester.
The program cost includes an SHC grant, so participants may not apply for the regular SHC travel grant. The Schreyer Honors College will make every effort to offer additional funds to Scholars with demonstrated financial need (as determined by the Office of Student Aid), and we encourage all interested Scholars to apply — don't let cost be an obstacle to applying!
An additional $800 is suggested for additional spending money for such things as the three student-selected theatre tickets, food and drink, club and pub visits, optional admissions, etc. Food and entertainment can be very expensive in London, and you'll want to use that kitchen — at least for breakfast.
To apply for this course, the student must choose one issue of local or global diversity that is personally compelling, and write a 750 word essay that describes the issue as it appears in society. As an example: issues of race bias in local or national media coverage, issues of religious intolerance in law making, issues of gender bias in politics, and issues of discrimination based on sexuality as in the gay marriage controversy. The topic must have concrete examples that exist in society and concrete examples of how society "performs" the chosen issue of diversity.
E-mail your essay as an attachment to Dr. Richard Stoller by Wednesday, September 28 at 11:59 PM. Applicants will be notified by Monday, October 3 and will have until Monday, October 10 to confirm their participation with a deposit.