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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: London, United Kingdom; Stratford, United Kingdom; York, United Kingdom
  • Program Terms: May Session
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
May Session 2019 02/01/2019 02/14/2019 05/13/2019 06/07/2019
Fact Sheet:
GPA: 2.0 Language of Instruction: English
Class Standing: 2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior Internships or Service Learning Available: No
Type of Program: Faculty Led
Program Description:

England STP

Theatre History in England

Program Highlights

  • Learn about the history and living and ephemeral art form of theatre
  • Get ready to visit theatre sites that thrive today and sites that preserve its wonderful past—spanning from Roman times to the present
  • Analyze plays and explore cultural contexts both on the page and on-site
  • Approach research by exploring architecture, artifacts, and performances during your time in England

Program Overview 

Cities: London, York, and Stratford-Upon-Avon
Estimated Program Cost: TBD

Theatre and Drama courses typically focus on the function of theatre within its cultural context. We’ll look at maps, watch performances, videos and attempt to understand history at a distance. Then you’ll experience performances first-hand instead of imagining what they may be like on stage.

England’s theatre traditions have been uniquely preserved—from the Roman Amphitheatres to the annual performance of medieval cycles in York to the National, West End, and fringe theatre's in and around London—all of which are vital expressions of contemporary British culture.

You’ll begin a two-week intensive online course in Duluth, focused on discussing and analyzing the plays that you’ll soon see abroad. Once in the country, experience professional productions of historic plays performed by premiere theatre companies like the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

London, England’s capital, is a 21st-century city with a history stretching back to Roman times. It’s located in northwest England and was founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century A.D. with extensive, well-preserved Roman walls. While in London, experience the theatre scene up-close, as it offers some of the world's best—from world-famous musicals to West End shows and cutting-edge plays. Additionally, you’ll explore the topic of Archeology as Theatre History by visiting the ruins of a Roman Amphitheatre.

Next, you’ll see performances and learn about staging medieval cycle plays in the city of York. Medieval theatre is considered the period between the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century A.D. and the beginning of the Renaissance in approximately the 15th century A.D. This era of theatre covers all drama produced in Europe over that thousand-year period and has a variety of genres. The most famous examples of Medieval plays are the English cycle dramas, the York Mystery Plays, the Chester Mystery Plays, the Wakefield Mystery Plays and the N-Town Plays.

Lastly, visit the birthplace of Shakespeare himself and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon.



  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior status
  • TH 1001 or TH 1801

Course Information

Earn 4 credits in FORS 4300: TH 4300/ENGL 4300.
This course fulfills 4 credits of the Global Perspectives Liberal Education requirement. 

Course components include:

  • Experiential exploration of theatre history in England such as the literary and cultural context of plays you’ll see abroad
  • A two-week online course in Duluth and then depart for England to view professional productions
  • Major examples of dramatic literature spanning the Roman era to the present, with an emphasis on English traditions
  • Understanding the relationship between theatre and society in England
  • Exploration of theatre’s historical and cultural settings through architecture, artifacts, and live performances 

Program Leaders 

Jenna Soleo-Shanks is an assistant professor of theatre. She specializes in drama of the Middle Ages/Early Modern periods.

Jenna Soleo Shanks, Ph.D.
UMD School of Fine Arts
Dept. of Theatre
Office: BohH 33

Paul Cannan is an associate professor of English. He specializes in British drama before 1800.

Paul Cannan, Ph.D.
UMD College of Liberal Arts
Dept. of English
Office: 420A H

Study Abroad Coordinator 

Lyndsey Andersen is the associate director of Study Abroad and coordinates all short-term faculty-led programs. 

Program Costs

Preliminary Estimate | May Session 2019
Estimated Program Fee: TBD
Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses: TBD*
Estimated Total Cost: TBD

Final cost estimates posted closer to program departure. Costs vary each year. *Estimated out-of-pocket costs are dependent on items such as current airfare costs and individual spending habits.

If you do not see a cost estimate for the semester/term you intend to go abroad, the cost has not yet been determined. Please note cost estimates and fees may change depending on international economic factors. UMD Study Abroad delays the posting of final fees until enrollments, inflation, and exchange rates are determined in order to provide students with the most accurate pricing. We strive to post final fees by October 1 for Spring programs, March 1 for May/Summer programs, and May 1 for Fall and Academic year. 

What’s included in the program fee?

  • Personalized advising
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Local transportation
  • Field trips and entry fees
  • CISI - international travel, health, and security coverage
  • Visa entry guidance (if applicable)
  • Faculty leader support
  • Re-entry support
View the breakdown of costs for Theatre History in England (available upon Board of Regents approval.) These estimated costs do not include the $50 application fee. Financial aid only applies if you take at least 6 credits total during May and Summer session combined. Credits taken on study abroad programs cannot be used in tuition banding. Scholarships are available! 

Travel Documents

A passport valid for 6 months beyond the end of the program is required. 


Know the following program information to provide on the online application:
Center Name: UMD Study Abroad
Education Abroad Term: May Session
Country: England
Program Name: Short-term: Theatre History in England

Apply early as space is limited and the program will fill first-come, first serve. An essay and an unofficial transcript are required. A $50 non-refundable application fee will be billed to your One Stop account upon submission.
Apply Now - UMN Students
Apply Now Non-UMN

After you apply 

  1. You'll get an email confirmation with a link to your application checklist
  2. Follow instructions to submit your application checklist items on time
  3. Your UMD study abroad program coordinator will review your app and monitor your checklist progress
  4. The program leader will confirm your acceptance
  5. Once accepted you must complete the confirmation checklist to confirm your participation
  6. Once we receive your confirmation, your account will be billed
If you decide you cannot participate, you must log into the online application system and submit a "Cancel Request." 

UMD 138 Kirby Plaza, 1208 Kirby Drive, Duluth MN 55812 | (218) 726 8764 or (877) 755-4200

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Photo: Paul Cannan