Theatre in Europe: Past and Present

London and Beyond

In this three-week study abroad program, two Appalachian State Theatre & Dance professors lead students to England and often, one other European country (typically Scotland, Italy, or France.)  Students have opportunities to see innovative international performance, to interact with artifacts and sites from major periods in theatre history, and to explore European cultures that have profoundly impacted the development of American theatre.   

The curriculum includes two courses (3 credits each):  Early Theatre History & Literature and Contemporary Theatre & Culture in Europe.  While in Europe, students engage in a variety of educational activities:  

  • Attend theatre productions at venues such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court Theatre, the National Theatre, and theatres in London’s West End
  • Visit major museums and historic sites, such as Stonehenge, York Minster Cathedral, the Colosseum, the Louvre,  and Edinburgh Castle
  • Participate in professional workshops on topics such as Elizabethan acting, new play development, and scenic design
  • Meet with theatre professionals from various specialty areas

Throughout these activities, students apply their learning to a variety of creative and analytical assignments that help them develop important professional skills.    

Students who participated in our most recent study abroad program say:

  • “To be in a place that has a cultural history stretching back thousands of years is a surreal experience.”
  • “It was amazing to learn the history in the place where the history happened because it gave context for me. Oftentimes I have not found history interesting because I have no context for it, I can’t visualize it, yet on this trip I was able to do exactly that.”
  • “I thought having the language barrier in some parts of Italy was super fun and interesting because you really learn how superficial that kind of thing is. We as thinking humans can find so many other ways to communicate that it was astonishing and fun to navigate.”
  • “Being abroad has definitely made me really stop and rethink everything that I see within my own culture. And not just in the sense of me realizing how southern my accent is, how much I adore sweet tea, and how much I am addicted to fast foods, but in the sense of how other people can look at the United States and form their opinions on the people who hail from the States.” 
  • “I want to share with my friends and family the amount of theatre I experienced. I want to share the history I saw and learned about. And I want to share the actual shows I saw and marveled at. The tours taught me so much about the behind-the-scenes and ignited my love for theatre again. I saw such talent and intelligence that it motivated me more than anything has in a while to continue on for my last year before I finally get to join that world.” 

The program is offered in even years from mid-May to early June.  For further information, contact one of the program leaders, Paulette Marty ( or John Marty ( or visit the program website.