SMU-in-London: Arts 2013

Students in the SMU-in-London: Arts spend five weeks in the city, becoming 21st-century explorers while taking two courses. Associate Theatre Professor Gretchen Smith in the Meadows School of the Arts teaches London theatre history from the era of Shakespeare to the present, while Dance Professor Shelley Berg teaches about London as a metropolis filled with myriad “performance” experiences – cultural, social, historical and political. The students have visited museums, palaces, food markets, theatres (for “formal performances” and backstage tours) and participated in multiple “scavenger hunts,” and walked and walked and walked!

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History, culture and the Queen

An update from Professor Shelley Berg:

During our time in London, we’ve followed in the footsteps of Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace and climbed to “Henry’s Mound” on Richmond Hill, where legend says he watched for a rocket to be fired into the air at the Tower of London; a confirmation that Anne Boleyn was dead.  We have trailed through the streets of London’s fabled East End, through Brick Lane, Spitalfields Market and the eerie alleys frequented by the notorious Jack the Ripper. We watched a stunning performance of Shakespeare’s magical play, The Tempest, from the galleries of the historic Globe Theatre (and seen the principal actors in the coffee bar afterward!).


Queen Elizabeth on the anniversary of her coronation

The students have visited six museums, attended four theatre and dance performances, investigated food as “performance” on a trip to the fantastical site of Borough Market, talked with street performers (known as “buskers” here), and seen HRH Queen Elizabeth on her way to service of Thanksgiving on the anniversary of her coronation at Westminster Abbey!

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