London Study Abroad Program 2014
By Melonie Mazibuko, MFA Acting Student
This summer, a group of eight graduate and twelve undergraduate students traveled to London for a four-week Study Abroad Program, where they had the opportunity to enjoy the sights, explore the city, and immerse themselves in London’s vibrant theatre scene. Associate Professor Kristine Kearney and Assistant Professor Jennifer Schlueter led the group, assisted by MFA students Jane Elliott and Melonie Mazibuko.
Together, students saw a total of nineteen productions at prominent theatres, attended an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, explored the Museum of London, and enjoyed group meals at The Swan (Shakespeare’s Globe) and The British Museum. The trip included a brief stay in Stratford-Upon-Avon, as well as a free weekend in which several students traveled to other European cities, such as Paris and Dublin. During their free time, students saw additional productions, (such as Richard III starring Martin Freeman) and explored London’s many tourist attractions, including the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, The London Dungeon, and various markets, museums, art galleries and parks.
The group also had the experience of assisting in the workshop staging of Branches, a new play by Melonie Mazibuko, at the Tristan Bates Theatre on July 19. The program introduced students to several distinguished guests, such as award-winning actor Gavin Creel, actor and director Sam West, London theatre experts Lesley Ferris and Phoebe Ferris-Rotman, and New York Times theatre critic Matt Wolf.
Highlights of the trip included The Crucible (starring Richard Armitage), Matilda the Musical (recipient of 7 Olivier Awards), The Book of Mormon (starring Tony nominee Gavin Creel) and Medea (starring Critic’s Circle and BAFTA Award winner Helen McCrory). Ultimately, students had a busy but enriching summer, filled with wonderful productions, incredible sights, and many memorable experiences.