It has just now occurred to me that I can share links of my facebook photo albums. I've never attempted this before, but I think it will work...

- London 1: Intro to Fontibell

- Avebury, Lacock, & Salisbury

- London 2: Hook & Platform



Sunday, May 23

I know what you're thinking:

"What happened to Angela? Why has she stopped writing?"

The answer, of course, is that I've been too busy living. :)

Since I have been in the UK I have seen:
- Mrs. Warren's Profession
- Oliver!
- Peter Pan
- Psy (three times!)
- Ruined
- Eurydice
- The Habit of Art

And I already have tickets for upcoming performances of:
- London Assurance
- Macbeth (at the Globe)
- All My Sons
- Enron
- War Horse
- Antony & Cleopatra (in Stratford)

I went to a concert of A Fine Frenzy, and this coming week I have a ticket to see Ingrid Michaelson in concert.

I have been to Avebury, Lacock, Salisbury, Liverpool, Llandudno, Conwy, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (yes, that's a real place), and Oxford. Next weekend, I'm going to Paris and Versailles.

I have gone out dancing. I have hung out with my classmates. I have hung out with undergrads. I have hung out with French, English, Welsh, and Irish strangers.

I have been asked on dates by guys from three different countries. (For the record, I have not actually gone out with any of them.)

I have eaten sticky toffee pudding. I have eaten bangers and mash. I have eaten salad cream, HP sauce, and malt vinegar.

My classes have been going well. I've been working on writing my monologue for Mark's class, and have been working on breathing with Charmian.

I have been trying to squeeze every last drop out of London.

Anyway. That's why I haven't taken the time to blog. :)

I just got back into town from my trip to Wales about an hour ago. And now I'm off to go do some homework, as I have both of my classes tomorrow.

Lots of love from London!



Wednesday, May 12

Class was filled with little exercises. I can't remember them all, but here are some:

- We did movements while saying various consonant sounds.
- We did movements while saying various vowel sounds.
- We broke up the text of The Silver Swan so that each person in the circle would say only one line of it.
- We started taking the lines of text out of order.
- We used movements to shape how we said the words.


We showed the scenes we'd been working on using the text from The Cherry Orchard. Remember, the only thing that we were supposed to keep in mind with the text was that one person wanted to propose to the other, and the other wanted the person to propose to them. We had some very different takes on it...

- Big Show & Newbie seemed to be splitting up. He was helping her take pictures of objects so that she could sell them on Craigslist. Sometimes, he stopped to take pictures of her.
- Iceman had just paid All-The-Way for sex and was doing cocaine. He took off his wedding ring to suggest he was going to leave his wife, but then suddenly left. (D-Train directed)
- Two-Shots-Up and Wifey were lesbian bank robbers. Two-Shots-Up decided she was going to give up the lifestyle. She couldn't find the loot that she had taken from the last heist. Then it turned out that Wifey had stolen it from her. (Killer directed)
- At the very end of the scene, you discovered that O.D. was the apostle John, and Thrill was Jesus. (Angela directed).

At the end, of each scene, we made notes of what was theatrically successful, and what was less so.

Here is my list of Things That Work:
- the use of a significant object to tell a story.
- routine (and the significance of stopping a routine)
- repetition
- moving forward
- mystery and suspense
- simplicity
- tell a clear story
- urgency
- twist
- slow reveal, to help the audience understand what is being told
- contrast
- intensity
- focus
- use the space
- once the space has been identified, exits and entrances can surprise
- "putting a clock on the scene"
- forget about symbolism (it gets in the way of humanity)
- reversals
- simple, clear physicality helps tell the story
- don't be too subtle
- point of view
- specificity
- costuming
- "what just happened?"
- rhythm

I also made a note to watch the movie "Reservoir Dogs".

The minimum requirements of things necessary to produce theatre are:
- space
- an actor
- a story
- an audience

When you get lost in your story telling, stop doing superfluous whatnot and remember those four basics.

Our homework is to be able to come into the space and begin to tell a story. We have to have thought of the following:
- a character to be (who can be inspired by someone from our own lives, or from pictures in magazines, or from stories we've heard)
- an object that is in some way significant to the character
- three people in the character's life
- three places in the character's life
- a reason that the character has two speak
- the first two minutes of the character's story (which we can have written down, or we can improvise)

There's a really lovely program in place in London called "A Night Less Ordinary". People aged 25 and under can get theatre tickets for free to shows from participating theatres. As my class is young, that means that 8 of us (me, Killer, All-The-Way, D-Train, Two-Shots-Up, Wifey, O.D., & Thrill) are eligible (I'm the eldest of those 8, and I turn 26 in October).

So the Barbican had its first preview of a Scottish production of Peter Pan, and some of us decided to go. Iceman wanted to come along (but is 27 and doesn't qualify for the program, so I split the cost of his ticket with him). Wifey, Two-Shots-Up, and D-Train came as well.

The best part of the production: Tinkerbell was a ball of fire. Literally. A flying ball of fire. She landed on things. People held her. She died and came back to life. It was a very cool bit of spectacle. There was some beautiful music in the production. And a lot of things that I didn't fully understand (Tigerlily was a pair of half-wolves/half-women). But I'm glad we went. And you can't beat free theatre.


Tuesday, May 11

We did some breath work lying down, and started working with belly breathing. We've been studying Rib Swing breathing at our home campus. But actually, I don't think this is all that different. When we started with rib swing, we talked about filling from the stomach first. I didn't really adjust much, but Charmian said I was doing well.

At one point on the ground, she asked us to do some visualization involving the most comforting place in the world to us, as a way to aid in our release.

We stood in a circle and did some body releasing things. And we had an exercise where we connected with partners across a circle.

At the end of class, we each did a bit of Shakespeare so that Charmian could see where we are, and try to identify what we need help with. We all did things that we'd worked on with Acting Professoressa, but different things. Some people used sonnets, some used monologues, and some used parts of the scenes we'd worked on. I think I did something shorter than anyone else, but I thought it was enough for diagnostic purposes. It was part of my scene as Diana from All's Well That Ends Well (and D-Train kindly got up with me as a silent scene partner, which actually helped me to be a lot more calm and less nervous than I would've been otherwise).

Here's what I did:

"'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth,
But the plain single vow that is vow'd true.
That which is not Holy, that we swear not by,
But take the High'st to witness: then pray you, tell me,
If I should swear by Jove's great attributes
I loved you dearly, would you believe my oaths
When I did love you ill? This has no holding,
To swear by him whom we protest to love,
That I will work against him. Therefore, your oaths
Are words and poor conditions, but unseal'd,
At least in my opinion."

I went with Iceman, Two-Shots-Up, and D-Train to a show called Psy. And it rocked my world. WHOA.

An 11-member ensemble (just like my class!) are all characters with various types of mental illness (paranoia, insomnia schizophrenia, intermittent explosive disorder, multiple personality disorder, amnesia, sex addiction, agoraphobia, mania, hypochondria, & obsessive compulsive disorder) who are in group therapy. It's more of a show about acrobatics and circus skills than a traditional play, but the performers used their skills to tell a story. The circus work demonstrates their suffering, and with a couple of them, helps them to work through their problems. And it was gorgeous. Loved, loved, loved.

After the show, we went and met the performers. They were super-nice. And then we went out dancing with them. Let me tell you, there is no better group of people to go out dancing with than people with circus skills. They are so much fun!!! We mostly hung out with "Intermittent Explosive Disorder" (who is an American/Ukrainian), "Sex Addiction", "Amnesia", and "Schizophrenia" (who are all French). I don't remember the last time I had that much fun!


Monday, May 10

From 10am-12pm, we had our first class with Charmian (who is our Voice instructor here... I asked permission to use her name, and she granted it). She's lovely! She asked us each how we feel about our voices, and what we're working on with them. I told her I feel good about my voice. I asked her to keep an ear out for me falling back into the two old problems that I've worked to correct: forward placement and crisp consonants. I'm doing well with both, but one never knows. And it's always nice to have an outside ear focusing on your issues.

Our homework for her class:
- brush up a Shakespeare monologue to do for class tomorrow (for diagnostic purposes)
- read a bunch of quotes by Patsy Rodenburg and Cicely Berry that she typed up, and find one that speaks to us
- begin memorizing a poem she gave us

Here's the poem:

THE SILVER SWAN (Anon. c. 1600)

The silver swan who living had no note,
When death approached unlocked her silent throat,
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sung her first and last and sung no more:
Farewell all joys, O death come close mine eyes,
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.

We started class with what Mark (our instructor) referred to as "Ball Games".

The first involved us playing a game that I used to play informally when I was younger... Basically, the group can't let the ball touch the floor, so everyone is batting it towards each other. We began how many times we could hit it without it dropping. I think we got up to 48 (but the low-hanging ceiling kept messing up our attempts).

The next game involved one person being the "star" and the rest being the "supporting cast". The Star stood in the center with everyone else in a circle around. The Star batted the ball to a circle person, who batted it back, and then the Star hit it to the person next to them, who then batted it back... and so on, until the Star had completed the circle. It moves quickly, which makes it a bit tricky. We were actually quite good at it right off the bat. Mark seemed impressed.

I really liked the game after that. Instead of batting the ball, the Star could throw and catch the ball to people in the outside ring, and in whatever order they chose. The throwing and catching had to stay in the same rhythm throughout. After the Star threw the ball to someone else, anyone in the circle who wanted to could yell "GO!", the person who had just been the Star would then run out of the way to join the circle. The person who yelled "GO!" would then run to replace the Star and try to catch the ball that was being thrown to the center without the rhythm changing. We got quite good at that one, too, often with the Star changing after every throw.

We then played a variation on Tag. The game was sort of in slow motion, as no one was allowed to run. The person who was "It" had to extend their arm fully to tag someone else. But if an arm was being extended, the person in danger of being tagged could yell the name of anyone else playing, and then THAT person would suddenly become "It". This was, therefore, insane. Everyone started with "two lives". Ways you would lose a life included:
- getting tagged before saying a name
- saying a name when you were not about to be tagged
- saying an improper name (like your own name, the name of the person who was already "It", or someone who was already out of the game... or something random like George. Or a weird amalgamation of more than one person's name as though you couldn't make a decision fast enough).

Once you lost both lives, you then became a part of a wall that gradually crept in to reduce the space for the remaining players. I was not particularly good at the game, so I was a wall member a lot. But it was fun to play, and also fun to watch.

Mark discussed with us the theatrical benefits of each of the games after playing them. (Things like teamwork, focus, competition, drive, kinesthetic awareness, etc.)

Then he recited the text of a scene that he wanted us to each write down.

Woman: That's funny. I can't find it anywhere.
Man: What are you looking for?
Woman: I packed it myself. I just can't remember where.
Man: Where will you go now, (name)?
Woman: Me? To Margaret's. I promised to go there and look after the house. Be a housekeeper or something.
Man: At Marble Arch? That's twenty miles from here. Well, life in this house seems to be over.
Woman: Unless it's in the trunk. Yes, life in this house is over.
Man: And me, I'm off to (place) in a little while, taking the same train. But I'm leaving Mark here. I've hired him.
Woman: Have you?
Man: Last year at this time, it was already snowing. But now it's quiet and sunny. But there's a frost. It's three degrees outside.
Woman: I haven't looked at the thermometer. In any case, ours is broken.
(someone calls for the Man)
Man: Coming!
(Man exits. Woman weeps.)

Any of the 1st-years reading that scene would immediately recognize it. It's adapted from a scene in the final act of The Cherry Orchard, which they worked on earlier this semester. Mark changed some of the names and locations for us.

Mark then put us into groups of 2-3 people, and told us to adapt the scene further. He said to go to extremes with it, and see what it could yield with a little play-time. The only thing that he asked us to keep in tact from the original given circumstances is that the Man wants to propose to the Woman, and the Woman wants the Man to propose to her.

I'm in a group with O.D. & Thrill. We decided that Thrill would take Man's lines, O.D. would take Woman's lines, and I would be the director. We had some really creative ideas about where to take the scene, including:
- astronauts on the moon
- soldiers in a trench
- paraplegics in a hospital
- superheroes
- people disarming a bomb
- underwater divers

It was fun. I won't tell you what we came up with just yet (we're presenting it to our class on Wednesday), but I think it's pretty entertaining.

At night, the entire abroad program (undergrads and all) were taken to see the musical Oliver!. I was in a production of it in 8th grade. I played one of the drunk adults in the bar who sings "Oom Pah Pah". I also had a bit role as "The Bookseller". The role only has one line, but the director told me I could feel free to improvise a couple more. I remember being told in one rehearsal, "Angela, that's great, but if you add in any more lines, we're going to have to renamed the show, The Bookseller!"

Anyway. The set was super-cool. And there were SO MANY PEOPLE in that show. I counted at least 46 children. And they were expertly wrangled, so props to the production team for that. The choreography was great. And it's always nice to see a good spectacle (and believe me, it was a spectacle). But as for the actual performances? They just made me realize how spoiled we are in Florida to be able to work with such great people.


Sunday, May 9

Bright and early, I went on a coach tour ("coach" means "bus"). Wifey, Newbie, Two-Shots-Up, O.D., Thrill, Big Show, and I got on the same bus. All-The-Way and Killer ended up on a different bus. We went all around London, with some colorful and comedic commentary from our Blue Badge guide, Brian. Our driver was a man whose name sounded like "Sookie" (rhymes with "rookie").

Things we learned:
- There are sometimes plaques on buildings to commemorate the buildings' connections with historic famous people.
- London's population is officially 7.5 million people. But you don't have to register in any way to live in London... Therefore, the (unofficial) population is realistically more like 10-11 million.
- There are 33 boroughs and two cities in London (the City of London and the City on Westminster)
- Apparently "Summer's been canceled this year." (It was warm in April before we got here, and right now it's grey and chilly.)
- "MPs" are "Members of Parliament" (Important for us to know, as the election was the day we got here.
- Because of the hung parliament (i.e. none of the three major political parties has the 51% in parliament needed to push agendas through), the Pound has just gone down in comparison to the Dollar. (Right before we left, L1.00 = $1.56... On the day we got here, L1.00 = $1.53... And now L1.00 = 1.47)
- The Australia House was used as Gringott's Bank in the Harry Potter movies
- When the Brits talk about defeating Napoleon at Waterloo, it is appropriate to join in on saying "hurrah".
- Sometimes good deals come about for the London Eye, so look for them and go then. (He also joked that at dawn, the Eye is powered by a giant hamster called "Fluffy")
- "Big Ben" is the name of the bell inside the clock. The tower is called "The Famous Clock Tower".
- There are giant lions in the center of town that tourists often get their pictures taken on. The locals think it's hilarious to watch the tourists accidentally sliding off the lions.
- The word "tips" came about because the owner of a shop in London put a jar on the counter that said "To Improve Promptitude of Service".

Things we saw included:
- Aldwych street
- Australia House
- Royal Courts of Justice
- Temple Church (which was in The Da Vinci Code)
- St. Paul's (and the statue of Poor Queen Anne, who bore 19 children who all died before the age of 12 and became a drunk. It inspired a poem: Brandy Nan, Brandy Nan/Left in the lurch/Her face to the gin-shop/Her back to the church.)
-Fleet Street
- changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace
- Millennium footbridge
- the Globe
- the Tate Modern
- the Tower Bridge
- the Tower of London
- the London Dungeon (which Brian called "Madame Tussaud's on steroids")
- The Famous Clock Tower (which contains a bell called "Big Ben"... but apparently the tower is not called Big Ben)
- Westminster Abbey

I can't even remember the rest right now.

I ate some vegetables from Sainsbury's (the closest grocery store) for lunch. Wifey and I hit up Wagamama's (an asian noodle chain in town known for its cheap ramen dishes). I got a baked cheesecake with passionfruit glaze that was AWESOME. Wifey got chicken ramen, duck dumplings, and coconut ice cream.

After that, I uploaded 190 photos to my computer and facebook. At some point, I'll try to put some on here, but it takes FOREVER to get things to upload on most websites (like this one, for example... but for some reason facebook is faster).

Then Wifey and I went to Shepherd's Bush to see a concert (we bought tickets for it when we were in the USA). We didn't really care about the headliner (Owl City); we went for the second opening act: A Fine Frenzy. After some ticket complications (long story short: never buy concert tickets from international sellers on eBay), we got into the show. We stood pretty close in the stalls (i.e. the Orchestra/mosh pit area).

After A Fine Frenzy (which is really just a woman named Alison Sukol and her backing band) was done playing, I suggested that Wifey and I leave (since we didn't care about Owl City anyway, and all the teenage Owl City fans there were quite annoying) and try to meet Alison.

We talked to many people, and jumped through some hoops before we found a way to send a message to Alison through a security guy. Wifey wrote her a poem:

"Dear Alison,
We loved your show.
We're from the States.
Out the stage door
Your fans await.

Love, [Wifey] and Angela"

And then... ALISON CAME OUT AND MET US!!! She was sweet, and lovely, and wonderful. We got our picture taken with her, and were incredibly successful at not seeming like insane fans. We said goodbye to her, and as soon as we rounded the corner, we started jumping up and down and screaming. SO COOL.

Wifey and I got a late dinner at Bar Italia off of Soho Square. I got a really fantastic panini, and she got a great pizza.

Two-Shots-Up told us about a great show she saw called Psy. It's only running for one more week, so I'm going to try to see it Tuesday or Thursday if I can.

Classes start tomorrow. I can't wait!




Saturday, May 8

Two-Shots-Up, Iceman, Wifey, Newbie, and I went to see the matinee of Mrs. Warren's Profession at The Comedy Theatre. (Student Rush tickets for-the-win!) It was seriously great. I liked it far more than most Shaw I've experienced in my life (I'm not generally a Shaw fan). Unfortunately, my jet-lag-warped circadian rhythm made me suddenly sleepy in the final act... But I still enjoyed it.

I grabbed a quick lunch before the show (tomato, mozzarella, and avocado salad), and a quick desert after it (something called "Sticky Toffee Sponge", which was pretty good).

After that, Wifey and I went out wandering. I brought her to Neal Street, which is part of an area of pedestrian streets called "7 Dials", and from there we went into the Covent Gardens area. Then we headed back up to New Oxford Street to pick up Newbie, and then continued our wandering. They ended up getting some books at Foyle's (which appears to be London's equivalent of Barnes & Noble). Wifey and I also got great gelato at a place called "Scoop".

During the day, I passed:
- three men dressed like Waldo (from Where's Waldo?) who were talking about finding "number four". (Wifey said, "I found you!" Sadly, they didn't respond.)
- a group of people singing and playing instruments, carrying a sign that said "Hare Krishna"
- a bunch of men in skintight body suits (covering their faces) in various colors, parading in rainbow order through Leicester Square, singing "If You're Happy and You Know It (Clap Your Hands)"


Friday, May 7

We started this morning off with the fire alarm going off (not a drill -- someone in a flat in our building set it off accidentally) . So we had to run down the million stairs to the street. Two-Shots-Up, Newbie, and I were all still wet from having taken short showers in quick succession (one of us was actually IN the shower when the alarm went off, and the other two were in towels... so we quickly put on pants and jackets and ran outside... I didn't even bother finding shoes.)

I have to admit, I've been in a terrible mood for most of the day. Probably a combination of that fire drill and a bit of jet lag. (Although my mood improved as the day went on.)

Also, my shoulders are retaliating for all that I put them through in my travels. Two big carry-ons with shoulder-straps = unhappy body.

But anyway.

At 10:00am, we had a long, boring meeting with all the important information that we need. Except that some of it doesn't apply to us (we can't go on some of the program-sponsored trips because our class schedule is so different from everyone else's), and a lot of it is geared toward undergraduates (who, perhaps, are not yet of drinking age in the USA and whom they assume need reminders to be responsible with alcohol here -- whereas most of my classmates are over 25).

Some of the information was useful. A reminder to register an Oyster card (tube pass) in case of losing it. Or not to be alarmed that "Casualties)

At 2:00pm was the security meeting with an English police officer. And she was pretty hilarious, and also informative.

After that was over, we met with one of our professors briefly. He said that they're going to try to adjust our schedule so that we can do more. Later in the day, I ended up signing up for a day-trip to Avebury, Lacock, and Salisbury. I am hopeful that it will work out so I can go.

I went on an optional "practical walking tour" around the area with one of the GCs (I don't know what it stands for... but they're kind of like RAs). It was actually really neat. I got good ideas about places to head on future days of wandering.

I walked in

Wifey and I went to a pub called Princess Louise. It's GORGEOUS! It's filled with etched glass, stained glass, and dark wood. And rumor has it, you can get a pint for 1.66 pounds. But it was packed, so we left. We also considered going to one called Crown (it might be "Old Crown" actually), but it was packed as well. (Fun fact: at Crown, about 10 minutes before closing time, they pass out plastic cups so that you can pour the remainder of your drink into it and bring it home... No open-container laws in London.)

Other notes on today:

- There are a shocking number of people in London with pink, magenta, or Crayola-red hair.
- You cannot buy natural colors of red hair dye in the local drugstore, Boots. (They only have brunette and blonde shades, or shocking punk colors.)
- Brits really like to put sweet corn in their tuna. I haven't seen tuna salad WITHOUT sweet corn yet.
- I have been trying to download songs by Natalie Imbruglia (my favorite singer) that are available in the UK Amazon MP3 shop but not the US Amazon MP3 Shop. (I couldn't buy them in the USA). But the UK Amazon says I have to download the program for downloading again, and our internet is slow and doesn't let us download programs (All-The-Way has had a heck of a time trying to download Skype). Not cool.


Thursday, May 6

We have safely arrived in London!

The plane ride was nice. I sat next to Wifey in a block of 3 seats, and the third was vacant, so we had a little extra room to stretch out while (attempting to) sleep. The food on the plane was actually really good. I had a mango-papaya cheesecake in a cup that was SO delicious, it was unbelievable. I watched The Lovely Bones. I made mixed drinks. It was great. We hardly slept (it's just so hard to sleep on a plane), so most people are pretty out of it now.

We landed at Gatwick around 8:40am (London time). But it took forever to get to our place. We didn't end up seeing our flat until around 1:30pm.

We're in a housing facility that the University owns. The girls have the penthouse flat (which is a PAIN, because there are no stairs, and we have to enter through the basement of a neighboring building... remind me to post a video of how convoluted our route is). Five girls, 1 bathroom, for six weeks. This is going to be... interesting.

I'm sharing a (very small, very cramped) bedroom with Two-Shots-Up. Our room contains two stand-alone closets, two small dressers, two twins beds, and a chair. All-The-Way, Newbie, and Wifey are sharing the (slightly-bigger-but-equally-cramped) bedroom next to us. Honestly though, we might as well all be in the same room, because we share a wall. As I mentioned, we have one (very small) bathroom. We have a kitchen, and we have a little living room area (which has two nice couches and a television).

The boys are in the 3rd-floor flat. They have equally cramped rooms, but they have two bathrooms. Also, they somehow lucked out and have a microwave.

At the moment, I am super tired. I'm trying to stay up until about 9pm or so, to help my internal clock right itself. We'll see if that works.

We went to a little meet-and-greet thing with program staff. The vast majority of the other students here are undergrads. I've only met one grad student who isn't in our program (I think she said she's studying art... or art history...? -- it has been a long day).

Alright, I must be off. I have to go get a power adapter for my lovely computer (Lady MacBook) so that I continue blogging in the future.

All good things,



Wednesday, May 5

I am in at the airport right now with my classmates. We'll be boarding our plane to London in about 15 minutes.

Much love!



Sarasota Magazine Article

I did an interview a few months ago for a magazine, and there's a picture of me in the May 2010 issue. (I actually didn't realize the issue was out until three different people came up to me at the 3rd-years' graduation today.)

It's apparently the first in a series they're doing about local up-and-comers. It's not online yet (I would link to it if I could), so I'm going to go for the alternative of questionable legality: retype it verbatim. (If you get the magazine, it's on page 24.) Enjoy!


Angela Acts
An [Awesome Conservatory] student scores a Web hit with her blog

When she enrolled at [Awesome Conservatory] last year, Angela Sauer, now 25, began a daily blog about her experiences. Now her "Angela Learns to Act" has been named one of the country's 100 best blogs for film and theater students. Sauer's blog doesn't identify the school or her 10 classmates -- "I'm comfortable with having my life online, but that doesn't mean others are" -- but so many people have figured it out it's become something of a marketing tool for the Conservatory. Like Sauer, the blog is candid, funny, and irrepressibly enthusiastic about the Conservatory, from its "fabulous teachers" and individualized approach to an "incredibly supportive community." Loose-limbed and expressive, Sauer declares she "can't survive without the theatre in my life," but hasn't yet "nailed down my type -- I want to do everything!" - Pam Daniel


London Top 10s

The 11 of '11 leave to study abroad in London on Wednesday morning (05/05/10). I can't tell you how excited I am!

Our campus in London sent us their "Top 10 Lists", so I thought I'd share them...


Sights in London

1) The view from Waterloo Bridge at night. Perfect view of the London Eye, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s, The National Theatre and so much more.

2) Primrose Hill at sunset/sunrise. It’s a gorgeous view of London and it’s free, unlike the London Eye!

3) Millennium Bridge at sunset/sunrise. It’s a nice little footbridge over The Thames. (Look out for rainbows when it rains!)

4) The roses in bloom in Queen Mary’s Garden in Regent’s Park. Make sure you see them before November(ish).

5) Changing of the guard that takes place at Buckingham Palace daily.

6) Fireworks over the Thames which can definitely be seen at the yearly Thames Festival, Guy Fawkes Day and New Years.

7) Street performers that perform every weekend on the South Bank.

8) Covent Garden on a weekend; the shopping is out of control!

9) The view atop of the hill in Greenwich Park where you can see the Maritime Museum and if you go up far enough, all of London!

10) Christmas lights anywhere! Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Marylebone are just a few.

Experiences in London

1) Having a picnic in Hyde Park, the biggest park in London.

2) Going to a BBC Prom at The Royal Albert Hall, which usually take place July through September. £5 promming tickets are available every day! Royalty attends these, so you never know who you might see... just ask Julia!

3) Pub crawling around London: There are many organized ones you can find online, or just pick a few in one neighborhood, bring your friends and have a blast!

4) Random bus rides around London are an amazing way to see just where you are going and to learn more about the area. Hop on a big red bus, ride around and if a place looks interesting, get off and explore!

5) Clubbing in Soho is an interesting and fun way to meet all sorts of people. Plus, a lot of places will offer you good deals.

6) Eating cheap Indian food, especially in the Brick Lane area. So many different types of great food! A favourite with the Admin staff is Mela on Shaftesbury Avenue- check out their lunch time deals.

7) Royal Observatory in Greenwich is a really neat experience where you can straddle time by standing over the Prime Meridian!

8) The British Library is a beautiful building that has incredible exhibits, the John Ribault Gallery and so much more.

9) Indie rock shows in Camden; cheap and a good night out!

10) Any Football/ Rugby match is a great way to experience British culture. Whether you have a team or not, go check one out! Some tickets run as cheap as 5£.

Unusual things to do in the UK

1) The Great Gorilla Run is a charity fun-run that usually takes place in September and spans 7km of London’s most well-known areas.

2) The Great Christmas Pudding Race is a relay pudding race that takes place for cancer research usually in the beginning of December in Covent Garden and is a fun way to spend an early December day.

3) Coasteering in Wales with Preseli Venture, an amazing company that does adventure weekends in Pembrokeshire.

4) Eating Haggis in Scotland.

5) Watching Shakespeare on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall.

6) Explore the London Docklands (East and Southeast water area of London) by hopping on a Light Railway and going through the skyscrapers in the area.

7) Walking around Ashdown Forest located in Sussex which is the largest free public access space in the South East. It’s known as the home of Winnie the Pooh!

8) Climb Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales!

9) Meal at The School of Life, a great place of fellowship for young adults.

10) Gondola rides in London’s Little Venice in Northern London.

Museums in London

1) The National Portrait Gallery is a free museum that holds the portraits of thousands of men and women that spans centuries.

2) The National Gallery is right next to the Portrait Gallery and also free; home to over 2,000 masterpieces by Monet, Picasso, Seurat, etc.

3) The Tate Modern is located on the Thames, is free and holds various displays of international modern and contemporary art.

4) The Victoria & Albert Museum is an extensive yet unique collection of everything from paintings to theatre costumes and is also free.

5) The Natural History Museum is a huge, free collection of all things scientific and hands on! Between October and April, check out a favourite annual exhibition- the Wildlife Photographer of the Year – it’s very popular with the staff.

6) Tate Britain is by far the best FREE place to see an extensive collection of British art from 1500 to the present day.

7) British Museum, possibly the most famous in London, holds an enormous collection of world art and artifacts, including the Rosetta Stone. It’s free and a block away from the Study Centre!

8) Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms: Students pay £10.40 for this extensive look into Churchill’s legacy.

9) London Transport Museum is a unique way to explore London’s transportation system. It has artwork, exhibits and much more!

10) The Foundling Museum- just up the road by Russell Square, this small museum tells the moving story of London’s first home for abandoned children. There are also exhibitions dedicated to two of its original benefactors, the composer Handel, and artist Hogarth.

Filming locations in the UK

1) Postman’s Park, which is featured in Closer.

2) Old Bailey as seen in V for Vendetta.

3) Australia House as Gringott’s Bank (Harry Potter); Durham Cathedral, Diagon Alley and many other Harry Potter sites. You can also take Harry Potter walking tours around the city!

4) Bridget Jones’ flat located in Borough Market on top of The Globe pub.

5) Criterion Restaurant where Rachel and Harvey Dent eat in The Dark Knight.

6) Hugh Grant’s bookshop (now called Gong) on Portobello Road as featured in Notting Hill.

7) Selfridges on Oxford street; seen in Love Actually.

8) Church of St. Bartholomew the Great: Shakespeare in Love.

9) Steps of St. Paul’s’ where the bird lady sings in Mary Poppins.

10) Albert Bridge: seen in A Clockwork Orange.

Literary sites in the UK

1) The Globe, a meticulously researched reconstruction of the theatre in which Shakespeare first presented his works.

2) Oxford is a great historically literary city, with the pub The Eagle and Child, which is where the Inklings (an Oxford’s writing group whose members included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien) used to meet. And for fans of the movies Shadowlands and Wilde, visit Magdalen College to see where they were filmed.

3) Bath is a great place to explore for its literary value. Jane Austen used to live and write there and many of her stories take place in Bath.

4) Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a pub located just off Fleet Street, is known to have been the drinking place of Charles Dickens, Samuel Johnson, Alfred Tennyson, Mark Twain and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

5) Highgate Cemetery; houses the graves of people such as Douglas Adams, Karl Marx, George Eliot and the Dickens Family.

6) Poet’s Corner, located in the South Transept of Westminster Abbey, is where poets and artists such as Laurence Olivier, Charles Dickens, Ben Jonson, Dr. Samuel Johnson, and Alfred Tennyson are buried. There are also many more who are commemorated in that area.

7) Kensington Gardens located in Hyde Park which is known as the setting of J.M. Barrie’s fairytale, Peter Pan.

8) Charles Darwin’s home, located in Kent. He also had several different London residences- look out for the Blue plaques…

9) Fitzroy Square, a twenty minute walk from the Study Centre, has historically been home to writers such as George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Woolf.

Restaurants and pubs in London

1) Princess Louise: beautiful two story pub with a great atmosphere. Grab a bitter for £2! Make sure that you have a traditional Sunday pub lunch at least once whilst you’re here- Yorkshire pudding, anyone?

2) The Court: takes the yellow student card where you can have a beer and burger for £5!

3) Hummus Bros: most creative and delicious ways to eat hummus.

4) Ben’s Cookies: there are no words to describe how amazing these cookies are. Any day with a Ben’s cookie is a great day!

5) Monmouth Coffee: best coffee in London as voted by the Study Centre staff.

6) Brick Lane: so many amazing bargains for cheap yet great Indian food!

7) Souk Medina: a delicious North African restaurant just off of Neal Street!

8) Tas Pide: a great Turkish place located next to the Globe.

9) Cutty Sark Tavern: located in Greenwich with a beautiful river-side view.

10) Lantana: a great Australian restaurant located fairly close to the Centre.

Historical sites in the UK

1) Tower of London; the infamous palace/fortress/prison where Queen Elizabeth I was imprisoned before her reign and Anne Boleyn and other wives of Henry VII were beheaded.

2) Hampton Court is the palace that was originally built for Cardinal Wolsey, yet became Henry VIII’s again once the cardinal fell from power. This beautiful palace hosts many festivals and activities throughout the year!

3) Dover Castle is located on the infamous white cliffs of Dover and has housed many kings throughout history. Very scenic and worth the trip out there.

4) Warwick Castle, located in Warwickshire, was built by William the Conqueror, been occupied by kings such as Henry II and is a favorite site of the staff!

5) Hadrian’s Wall is the early Roman fortification that stretches across Northern England. It dates back from 122!

6) Roman Baths; located in the picturesque city of Bath and offers an extensive walk through the site along with an extremely informational museum!

7) Westminster Hall is now located within the Houses of Parliament and was built in 1200’s. It’s held numerous coronation banquets (the last being King George IV), has been used for trials (Sir Thomas More, Guy Fawkes) and is used for lying-in-states (Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother).

8) St. Paul’s Cathedral is a building that has stayed with London for many, many years; through fires and wars: a London must- see.

9) HMS Belfast: major battleship that fought in WWII. It has a great museum on board.

10) The Monument is a historic memorial built by Sir Christopher Wren in honor of those who died in the great fire of 1666.

Reasons to visit during the credit crunch

1) Right now the British Pound is worth approximately $1.60, up to as recently as summer 2008 it was still at $2. This makes a huge difference to your spending while you are in London. For example, a £2.50 sandwich which used to set you back $5, will now only costs you $4, a saving of 20%! The value of the Pound looks likely to stay at this level for a while.

2) You will be living in the heart of London in an area where not many students can usually afford to live. The central location means that you can walk to many of the major tourist attractions, theatres and entertainment areas, saving on transportation costs.

3) The Study Centre flats have fully equipped kitchens which mean you can cook for yourself, saving a lot of money on eating out. You can save even more money by taking it in turns to cook group meals – it’s much cheaper per head to make a meal for five people than to cook for one. You’re also more likely to end up eating more healthily this way too. There are several grocery stores within walking distance of the Study Centre.

4) London is a very student friendly city, with many discounts available upon showing your ISIC card including at theatres, cinemas, clothing stores, tourist attractions and restaurants.

5) The Study Centre takes full advantage of the many group and student discounts available when booking tickets for theatre and other events. It is not at all uncommon for us to get tickets for a top West End (Broadway style) show for under £20 and we pay even less for the smaller shows. This means that we can stretch your class fees a long way for
classes which involve theatre trips. Classes such as Introduction to London Theatre or Readings in Dramatic Literature usually manage to squeeze 10-12 shows out of £125!

6) Our faculty make full use of the on-site experiential learning that is possible in London – often at no extra cost to students as so many museums and galleries are free. As you will spend more time out of the classroom using London as your textbook, it makes your actual textbook expenses lower as you will be using less of them!

7) At the beginning of each semester we bring in travel experts to advise you on great ways to find discounted travel
around the UK and Europe during your stay. The Study Centre staff have all travelled extensively and are on hand
throughout your stay to help you find the best deals with budget airlines, safe and economic hostels to stay in as well
as giving you ideas for places that can be easily reached by train or bus.

8) You can never buy back the opportunity that you have available to you at this time in your life to spend a longer
length of time living and studying in another country. Treat your time as a valuable commodity and don’t undervalue
it! While you are young it may feel that you are ‘time rich and money poor’, but as you get older this will slowly start
to reverse. You should be able to figure out paying back a loan which you may need to take out in order to study
abroad, but you can’t go back in time to regain a missed opportunity once it is lost. Spending several months in
London will give you are far more meaningful insight into the city than you would ever be able to experience from a
short vacation.

9) Almost everybody who goes on a study abroad semester ends up discussing their experiences abroad with future
employers and interviewers for graduate schools. You will stand out as being a candidate who was willing to make
this investment in themselves, to broaden their horizons and gain international experience. You will be seen as
somebody who will not be intimidated by travel or relocation and as a person not afraid to try new things and
challenge yourself.

10) At this time when the economy is keeping many American students at home, the ones who do go will have that much
the greater advantage!

Shopping and markets in London

1) Oxford Street is the most famous shopping street in London and it’s less than five minutes away from the Study

2) Harrods is one of the largest department stores in the world and is known for their gorgeous window displays.

3) Borough Market is our favourite place to shop for fresh food! Take advantage of the amazing food stalls there!

4) Portobello Market is home to many different types of stalls; antiques, clothing, books, food, etc.

5) Camden Market is known for its trendy, alternative style and has great clothes, food and miscellaneous shopping!

6) Deptford Market; a great fruit, vegetable and antique market located in South London.

7) Covent Garden Cheese Shop houses tons of different types of cheeses and is a great place to sample something you
haven’t tried before!

8) Hamley’s is one of the world’s most famous toy shops and has seven stories!

9) Columbia Road Flower Market is located in a great area and is open from 8am-3pm on Sundays.

10) Charing Cross Road is a great place to go book-shopping as there are several cheap stores with various collections.


So to all the folks out there who have been to the UK before... Do you have any additional advice or ideas for my classmates and me? Please leave them in the comments section. :)


Commedia Order

(Vittoria goes to help Ruffiana with the stew. -- Angela as Vittoria. 04/24/10. All photos in this post are courtesy of Pat Baer.)

In Commedia work, some things are planned, and some are improvised. We had "free play" time in class, where we would entirely improvise scenarios. The things that were fun and good, we remembered and kept.

In case you were curious how much of our Commedia was planned, here's what one of our "structured improv" breakdowns from Movement Professor looked like:

Ruffiana Sells a Stew and Arlechinno loses his Bachelorhood for my Dear Class of 2011!

1. All onstage asleep, Except Flavio who is admiring himself in the mirror, and Ruffiana who is stirring the soup. There is a pile of stuff beside her. The banana is planted somewhere.

2. Vittoria wakes up and practices her balances and her fainting, calling for Flavio.

3. Flavio wakes up at the sound of his name and echoes Vittoria the third time she says Flavio, saying Flavio!

4. Zanni gets a taste of the soup, (good business for Ruffiana) and then starts to eat his own finger, then Vittoria's.

(Zanni eats Vittoria's finger. -- Thrill as Zanni, Angela as Vittoria, & Newbie as Ruffiana. 04/24/10)

5.Vittoria calls for Columbina, she doesn't come.

6. Scapino wakes up, goes towards Rufianna and as he passes Arlechinno, Arlechinno wakes up. They try to buy stew. ( CHANGE ) Arlechinno sells his ring for stew.
Scapino tries to find money to pay Ruffiana for the stew, Scapino plays his lazzi of trying to find money. He can't find any, so he tries to sing for his money. He scat sings.

(Arrlechino & Scapino try to barter for Ruffiana's stew. -- Iceman as Arrlechino, Newbie as Ruffiana, & D-Train as Scapino.)

7.Capitano enters and seeing that Scapino is singing thinks that he will fit in, in this new country, if he sings louder than Scapino.

(Capitano arrives triumphantly in a foreign land. -- O.D. as Capitano.)

8.Everyone wakes up who is still asleep.

Move through scenario as choreographed on Friday

9.Arlechinno, Scapino, Arlechinna, and Zanni move towards Capitano. Arlechinna and Zanni take Capitano's cane.

Capitano reaches for his cane (1-2-3 smoothly) and hold

Arlechinno and Scapino grab Capitano's cape and tug it 1-2-3

Pulcinella walks towards Ruffiana 1-2-3, grabs her stew and runs to stage left with it.

(Pulcinella steals Ruffiana's stew. -- Newbie as Ruffiana, Killer as Pulcinella)

Arlechinno and Scapino tug cape 1-2 , they then wrap the cape around Capitano and either lift or spin him upstage (probably the latter)

Arlechinna and Zanni walk up the big cane, 1-2-3

(Arrlechina and Zanni fight over Capitano's stick. -- Two-Shots-Up as Arrlechina, Thrill as Zanni)

They go to help with Capitano in the sword fight. Capitano falls down dead (he will play dead for quite awhile until revived later)

Pedrolino rushes towards Pulcinella to give him a big hug -- he puts the stew down.

Ruffiana steals her stew back

(Ruffiana with her stew. -- Newbie as Ruffiana)

Pulcinella pushes Pedrolino away.

Ruffiana calls Vittoria over to her and requests her to go and get some cayenne pepper.

Vittoria goes off to find the cayenne pepper takes it to Ruffiana

Then Pulcinella starts to try to 'court' Vittoria.

Vitorria calls for Colombina

Flavio begins to call for Vittoria ---

Then Vittoria calls for Flavio -- they keep moving right past one another not seeing each other

Vittoria calls for Columbina!

Columbina enters and goes to Ruffiana. She wants Ruffiana to cast a spell on Arelchinno, who is involved in a sword fight with Arlechinna and Scapino (since Capitano is now dead for the moment, though he can wake up to watch)

Vitorria calling for Columbina

Columbina enters and goes to Ruffiana to ask her to cast a spell on Arlechinno to make him fall in love with her.

(Columbina shows tells Ruffiana that she wants Arrlechino to fall in love with her. -- All-The-Way as Pedrolino, O.D. as dead Capitano, D-Train as Scapino, Iceman as Arrlechino, Newbie as Ruffiana, Angela as Vittoria, Wifey as Columbina, Killer as Pulcinella)

She explains what she wants by getting Vittoria and Flavio to call for one another with love. Ruffiana gets her message and has an idea of her own --- she will get lots of items for the stew from everyone. She calls for various foodstuffs none of which go together and each actor brings her something

except Flavio, who is doing his lazzi in the mirror throughout and simulaneously (only lazzi to be played while other action is going on)

(Flavio admires himself in the mirror. -- Two-Shots-Up as Arrlechina, Big Show as Flavio)

As they drop their food (items into the pot) they turn to watch Flavio, freeze on him, surround him with menace because he didn't add to the soup. beat 1-2-3. Then, Arlechinna brings her banana. She eats the paper and then drops the banana into the pot.

Everyone goes back to the stew. Vittoria faints from the smell. Zanni faints from the smell. Then wakes up.

Arlechinno takes his jack in the box and goes upstage left with it. Arlechinno skips/acrobats away to where his jack in the box is. Zanni follows him.

Ruffianno then begins to stir the pot incanting over it. She drops the ring into the pot, then fishes it out, lets Columbina smell it. Columbina takes it from her /pause/ focus shifts to Arlechinno and zanni who are investigating the jack in the box, but not turning the crank). Columbina puts ring on her finger goes to them Tells Arlechinno that she loves him with mime from ballet (I'll teach) and lets them smell the ring. she then asks for Arlechinno's 4th finger and puts it on that finger.

Arlechinno laps up the good stew. Zanni goes for Arlechinno's finger.

Columbina pulls Arlechinno away from Zanni, now that he has the ring.. He won't go until he grabs his music box. They go back upstage left , Arlechinno ignores her in order to play with his music box. She tries to get a smooch. They both get scared when the jack jumps and immediately go to sleep.

Capitano is still dead. Scapino tries to wake him up with scat singing. Pulcinella and Pedrolina get the idea that they will wake him from the dead by offering him a woman. they dress up Pedrolina with the fruit. Pulcinella makes sure we know it is fruit and squeezes it from behind Pedrolina as she walks. Pedrolina counts her flower off to Capitano, who doesn't wake.

(Pulcinella dresses Pedrolino up as a girl to try to help Capitano. -- All-The-Way as Pedrolino, Killer as Pulcinella, O.D. as Capitano)

Zanni, who has been sleeping again, walks over to capitano to wake him. zanni tries to wake him with the body part lazzi. Scapino (what have he and Arlechinno been doing all this time? don't know yet-- riding the big horse stick?) starts singing again. Flavio finally wakes him by brushing his hanky over his face. Capitano grabs his sword from Scapino and a sword fight begins with only one sword.

Dev yells Go! Game! and everyone is free to play. Dev yells Stop or Basta!

Flavio and Vittoria play their lazzi of missing one another and end in their orignal positions.

Dane stomps the cane three times. End of Commedia.

(Arrlechino sings with his magic box. -- Two-Shots-Up as Arrlechina, Iceman as Arrlechino)