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January Term: UVA in London: The Theatrical City
London, United Kingdom (Education Abroad Programs Program)
Program Terms: January
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets January
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
January 2018 01-OCT-2017
10-OCT-2017 29-DEC-2017 12-JAN-2018
NOTE: If accepted to this program, you must commit to or decline participation by October 15. Participants will depart the U.S. on December 28, 2017.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Class Status:
1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5
Language Requirement:
Open to Non-UVa Students:
Language Courses Offered: No Language of Instruction: English
Credit Type:
Direct Credit
Program Type:
Faculty led
Tuition Payments Made To:
Education Abroad Advisor:
Kathleen McLaren-Hawking
Application Fee:
Study Abroad Administrative Fee:
Subject Area:
Drama, English Language and Literature, Theater
Program Description:

London's theatrical culture is famous for its history and its vibrancy. Some of the most gifted playwrights, actors, set designers, and directors in the English-speaking world thrive there today, just as they have for 500 years. In this class we will explore the exciting work produced by today's most important artists, as well as the rich heritage of performed drama that lies behind it. We will immerse ourselves in London's theatrical world, attending as many plays as possible in the course of the term. Most important, we will focus on what distinguishes London as a "theatrical city": its history, its approaches to performance and interpretation, and its inexhaustible pleasures.

UVA_JTerm_London_at Globe Thea

Participants at
London's Globe Theater

Course Goals and Objectives

  • to see as wide an array as possible of the various kinds of performance available on the London stage, from classic to contemporary works, from the Royal Shakespeare Company to pub theater. In the past, students have seen the Royal Shakespeare Company in Love's Labours Lost, Keira Knightley's London stage debut in a modern version of Molière's The Misanthrope, acclaimed actor Mark Rylance in Shakespeare’s Richard III, a highly experimental piece staged in an old factory by The Shunt Collective, and John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation at the Old Vic Theater.
  • to meet London theater professionals and learn from them how they go about translating dramatic texts into performance, addressing questions of interpretation and dramaturgy. We will have performance workshops with members of Shakespeare's Globe and the avant-garde troupe known as the Faction;
  • to understand the role of London theatre not only in Great Britain's national culture but also in the global literary and dramatic public sphere;
  • to practice both textual analysis and performance criticism;
  • to work towards excellence in analytical essay writing.
UVA_JTerm_Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Faculty and students will stay at the Citidines Hotel in Trafalgar Square in the heart of central London, within walking distance of the West End theaters. Each room has a kitchenette and wireless internet. Welcome and departure meals will be included in the overall cost.

"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." --- Oscar Wilde


London, The Theatrical City
(ENGN 3440; 3 credits)

Course Information

Undergraduate students, both UVA and non-UVA from any major are encouraged to apply for participation in this program.

Upon successful completion of the program requirements, students will earn three credits for ENGN 3440, which carries full credit toward the English major at UVA.


1803 Painting of the Interior of the
Royal Drury Lane Theater

The program cost and payment schedule are listed under the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page.

Accessibility Statement
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.

Program Co-Director John O'Brien,, is a Professor in the English Department at the University of Virginia, specializing in eighteenth-century literature. He has spent considerable time in London as a student, researcher, theatergoer, and tourist, and looks forward to sharing one of the world's great cities with UVA students.

Program Co-Director Victoria Olwell,, is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Virginia and specializes in modern literature and culture. When she was an undergraduate at UVA, Professor Olwell was introduced to the joys of London theatre while studying abroad, and now, as a teacher and scholar, she would like to open the same opportunity to today's students.


Theaters in London's West End

This program is currently not accepting applications.