Shakespeare’s Globe

This post originally appeared on a blog for our 2018 Study Abroad Program in London.

By Brooke Snow

Today was an incredibly fulfilling and thought provoking day of growth. It’s days like today where I find myself thinking about how lucky I am to be a graduate student at NYU. This morning, we had a two hour workshop with Cecily O’Neill. I’ve worked with Cecily before, but this time was easily the most engaged I’ve ever felt with process drama. Our entire drama revolved around displaced people looking for their family in a time of a national tragedy. This drama felt particularly relevant due to what is currently happening at the Mexican-American border. I’ve done things similar to process dramas in the past, but never fully led one. I’d certainly be interested to conduct a drama about a current social issue. Process dramas definitely foster create empathy, and I found this particular one to be rather compelling.

The second half of our day is something I’ll never forget. We got to do a workshop at the Globe! We went to the Globe’s Sackler Studios and worked with actor-educator Tas Emiabata. Tas was full of passion and excitement. He was incredibly eager to teach us and really thrived off the energy in the room. If I’m a fraction as good and engaging of a teacher as Tas, I would be pleased. I felt like I learned so much just by watching him teach. Tas taught us a lot of incredible techniques on how to teach students the basics of Shakespeare. I really enjoyed the four archetypes. I think that that exercise is a wonderful way to teach all ages about the text and characters. I can just picture my elementary school kids running around our space as the trickster character. I also enjoyed how simple iambic pentameter became after Tas explained the Haka.  I’ve always had difficulty worked with iambic pentameter, and I feel now feel completely confident to teach it to my students.

After our wonderful workshop, we saw the Globe’s production of The Winter’s Tale, a play I had never seen or read before. I found the story quite interesting and unlike any other Shakespeare play I’ve encountered. The acting was strong, and I appreciated many of the directing choices. I’ve been on a tour of the Globe before, but I’ve never seen a show there. I’m glad I got to check that off of my bucket list! Overall, today was incredible, and I am so thrilled that this experience is giving me all of these wonderful tools I can take home.

The stage view at the Globe TheatreThe NYU students and Professor David Montgomery

More information about the Study Abroad programs can be accessed on the NYU Steinhardt Global Programs Website.

40 Conventions and Counting

This post originally appeared on a blog for our 2018 Study Abroad Program in London.

By Carey Urban

Today we continued the work Dr. William Barlow began with us on July 12. Last Thursday, he introduced us to several evocative images and a song, and we began playing with conventions designed to scaffold toward the devising of an original piece of drama. Dr. Barlow’s motto is that if we as educators don’t help young people deal with difficult situations and emotions, who will? “I don’t see the point in doing work that’s not relevant,” he says. “Walk into the challenging emotion; not away from it,” with the safety of dramatic distance! Collectively, the group decided to focus on a story about a divorce between the parents of a boy we named Toby.

A Day in the Life chart for the character Toby showing events during a typical day in his life

We re-convened in smaller groups that had been established in the previous workshop to work in depth with conventions such as Tableau, Timeline, Teacher-in-Role, A Day In the Life, Collective Character, Hot Seating, Shape-Shifting, Telephone Conversations, Cross-Cutting, Altar Ego, Circular Drama and many more- over 40 in all! By day’s end, each group had devised 7-10 minutes of original material and everyone got to show off their acting chops to the group, including Dr. Barlow as Toby as Teacher-in-Role in a delightfully inclusive round of Circular Drama.

List of some of the 40 strategies used today including: theory building, caption, the ripple, thought tracking, circle of life, first impression, the ice berg, objects of the character, group structure, montage, space between, timeline, overheard conversations, good/bad angel, walls have ears, small group play, alter ego, teacher in role, a day in the life, shape shift, and collective character

It was an ideal workshop for our last day before our curriculum assignments are due, as it was packed with varied and combined uses of conventions and procedures we can now use to enrich and vary our lesson plans. Sadly, though, it was our last day of class with Dr. Barlow and we have to wish him happy trails tomorrow 😦 We’re in the home stretch now: Today was Day 14 of an overall 19-day program.

Collectively I bet we’ve easily seen over 100 plays in that brief time. I for one am already getting melancholy about the experience coming to a close. But we still have a busy program this week and at least one more night out at the theatre together to look forward to. As I write this, I know many of us are burning the midnight oil typing away at our curriculum assignments. Good luck everyone, and don’t stay up to late!

More information about the Study Abroad programs can be accessed on the NYU Steinhardt Global Programs Website.

Study Abroad London – Drama and Youth

By Isaiah Bent

NYU Steinhardt sent nineteen graduate students to London for three weeks; jam packed with new and exciting ways to approach theatre.  We experienced theatre for children with special needs, opera for children, process drama with the brilliant Cecily O’Neill, and of course, all the Shakespeare we could handle.

Isaiah with Cecily O'Neill

Isaiah with Cecily O’Neill

It was a once in a lifetime experience. Not only did we get to see around fifteen theatrical productions, but Dr. Philip Taylor put together an all-star group of British educators for us to work with during our stay.

A new wrinkle in this year’s London program was the amazing opportunity we had to devise a theatrical experience for second graders.  We guided sixty children through different “imagined worlds” we created using the new techniques we learned from our London professors.

When we were not knee deep in theatre (which was rare), we were enjoying the beauty of London.  Our lodgings could not have been better, given they were in Russell Square, smack dab in the middle of London.  Museums, world-class pubs, and extravagant gardens were all in walking distance.  My favorite local experience was when we dined on meat pies in the building where Sweeney Todd’s barbershop once stood.

Classroom workshop

Every student should make an effort to take advantage of this truly special program.  For more student stories, please check out our fabulous blog.

Study Abroad cohort.

Study Abroad options for 2015 include our Theatre Practices January program in Puerto Rico and our Community Engaged Theatre summer program in Ireland.

Summer Abroad: Drama Education in London and Dublin

By Emily Tinawi

My elephant tattoo!

My elephant tattoo! It was done at Skin City in Dublin, Ireland

This summer I got an elephant tattooed on my ankle. It is a permanent representation of the life-changing summer that I had doing both Educational Theatre summer abroad programs in London and Dublin. Students who had done the programs before told me to take advantage of the study abroad programs, so I applied with excitement but didn’t really know what to expect.

As last school year ended I was feeling frustrated with myself as a teacher, was losing some of my drive, and knew that I needed to grow professionally and step up my game. That is where this summer came in. The trip was filled with experiences that can’t be done justice on paper. In London we delved deeply into process drama through workshops with David Booth, Cecily O’Neill, Philip Taylor, and a myriad of other experts in the field at the International Drama Educators Conference: Heathcote Reconsidered, in Greenwich! We travelled to Sidcup, England to partner with Rose Bruford College where we worked with Jeremy Harrison and learned about actor musicianship and how to use it for educational theater purposes. Mr. Harrison had such a fresh look at educational theater and added many new tricks to our toolboxes. We also went to theatre shows in the evenings which reminded me about the power of theater in all forms, commercial or non.

One of our devising pieces

One of our devising pieces done on the streets of Belfast. Pictured: Robert Stevenson, Jayme Kilburn, Marshall Louise Burgart, Kristen Tregar, and Emily Tinawi

Ireland was a very different experience but equally life-changing. From learning about devising work by performing created pieces on the streets of Belfast to learning how to come into a community as an outsider, the Ireland program really caused me to look deeply at my theater practice. You cannot go through the Ireland program without feeling the deep importance of theater work in ALL communities! Living at Trinity College is truly special, knowing that every step takes you on a journey through history.

Out at Sidcup

Out at Sidcup for a day of workshops with Jeremy Harrison. Pictured: Abigail Screer, Katharine McSherry, Emily Tinawi, and Janet Chia-En Lee.

Both Professor Taylor and Professor Salvatore clearly cared about us, our learnings, and ensuring that we had unforgettable experiences. I know that I will be a better teacher because of them.  Beyond the academic learnings, I made life-time friends. There isn’t a day that I don’t Facebook/snapchat/email/text/call one of the many new friends that I acquired over the summer.  When people look at my ankle they only see an elephant. When I look at my ankle I see a reminder of two of the best months of my life.


For over 30 years, the program in Educational Theatre has offered unique opportunities for concentrated study and daily field participation in the uses of theatre education and applied theatre which are designed for teachers, teaching artists, university students, recreational leaders, language and speech arts specialists, theatre directors, actors, integrated arts educators, and community leaders.

For additional information about the program, visit the Global Studies website.