The GoGlobal Blog

Author: Megan Carter

Megan is a sophomore from Kansas City, Missouri. She is a theatre major, a musical theatre and dance minor, and member of the Honors Program. Megan has a passion for feminism and theatre as social justice, and she hopes her participation in the London Dramatic Academy will help her explore these interests as career goals. Outside of theatre and school, she loves to write, watch TV, and eat pizza. Cheerio!
Be Not Afraid of Greatness

Be Not Afraid of Greatness

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em. Thy Fates open their hands. Let thy blood and spirit embrace them.”

-Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

What a week! It seems like every time I post, life is just getting better and better. I had lots of cool adventures this week all over London and beyond. Sometimes it feels like I spend all my time (and all my money) on the Tube.

Mind the gap.
Mind the gap.


Tuesday I finished with school at one after an intense monologue workshop session in Shakespeare class. I spent the afternoon at the Hunterian Museum. Housed by the Royal College of Surgeons, it has over 3500 preserved specimens from John Hunter’s collection (dating back to the 1700s). It also has exhibits on the evolution of surgery throughout time.  Despite being pretty disgusting, it was also really interesting, and very different from anything else I’ve done while I’ve been here. I thought the coolest (and ickiest) parts were human fetuses at all stages of development, bones that showed extreme deterioration from syphilis, and the skeleton of a man who was seven feet, seven inches tall!

Wednesday we left straight from class to go to the English National Opera. One of our teachers, Christopher, was hosting a pre-performance talk with some of the production staff, so we got a little history and some insider info about the production before the show. After a break for dinner, we settled into our seats (and I mean really settled in – it was three hours long) for The Barber of Seville. The opera was performed in English (instead of the original Italian), which I didn’t expect, and I’m not really sure I liked. Overall I think opera is something I can appreciate, but don’t necessarily enjoy. I’m still glad we went, though, and I love that our program includes opportunities to see all different kinds of performing arts.

The highlight of classes this week was a workshop on Theatre of the Oppressed. Thursday morning we met with Emma, our interim director, to learn all about Augusto Boal and the techniques he developed for using theatre as direct action in social justice. We played games and explored some of these techniques, just scratching the surface of what Boal created. I’d written a paper about Boal and read a lot about his work, but this workshop was really exciting for me because it was my first opportunity to see and participate in this style of theatre.

“Everyone can do theatre – even actors. And theatre can be done everywhere,  even inside theatres.” – Boal

Friday evening a group of us from school went out to see the new film version of Macbeth. I didn’t particularly like it as a whole, but Marion Cotillard as Lady M made the whole thing worth it. Then Saturday I had a big, exciting adventure at Thorpe Park! I’d been looking into the park since before I left the States and I could hardly believe I was actually there. We had an awesome day riding coasters and thrill rides, and I left with my coaster count up to 32!

Best. Day. Ever.
Best. Day. Ever.

Last night England’s rugby team lost to Australia, which means they’re officially out of the running for the world cup. But other than that it’s seriously been the best week I could have imagined. I love fall and Halloween, so October is a great month, and this week has gotten it off to a great start.

An Improbable Fiction

An Improbable Fiction

“If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.”

– Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Hello friends back home!

Here we are at the end of another busy week, and an exciting one for a very special reason – as of yesterday, we’ve been here for a month! It’s hard not to think ahead and worry about knowing my adventure here has to come to an end eventually, but for now I’m just trying to absorb and enjoy.

I started off the week pretty sick and miserable, but luckily that didn’t last long. We’re getting to the point where classes are starting to get really busy, so there’s no time to be sick! This week we’ve started working on monologues in Shakespeare class, doing some intense text work for Acting, and moved into the eighteenth century for Period Dance. We also had a film workshop this week! The guest teachers filmed us while we did our scenes, and everyone who wasn’t performing got to watch the actors on the screen. I’d never done anything on camera before, so it was a fun and useful new experience.

exploring kensington
Prince Albert in the distance

Our walking lecture this week was on Wednesday, in Kensington Gardens. We learned all about Queen Victoria’s life, her husband Albert, and what they did for arts and sciences in Britain. That evening a group of us went to a reception at the home of a Fordham alum. We got to talk to lots of other students from the business and liberal arts programs, as well as some professors that attended. There was also so much art to look at, from three original Matisse paintings to ancient Greek and Roman pottery. It’s been really interesting meeting these alumni and learning about how Fordham and the London Centre fit into their stories and journeys to success.

With a new friend from the business school

Thursday I saw Tipping the Velvet, an adaptation of one of my favorite books! I had no idea there was going to be a play version until I saw the posters on the tube, and it just happened to be playing in the Lyric Hammersmith, which is a ten minute walk from our flats. The production was very entertaining, though not without flaws (mostly the length). It’s only in previews this week, so I’ve been wondering if anything will change before they officially open. I think I might go back then, since it could be a really interesting insight into the process of creating a new work.

Friday after class we all gathered in one of our flats for theatre games and a fun evening unwinding from the week. Then we headed out to the clubs! It’s been great getting to know everyone and being part of such a tight-knit group that works hard together and then goes out and has fun together too. Saturday England lost to Wales in rugby, which was less fun.

Out on the town!
Out on the town!

Today a big group of us went to the London Zoo as part of an assignment for acting class. It was quite the trek to get there, with some of the train lines closed, packed buses, and a lot of time wasted getting lost. But once we got there we were definitely impressed! We especially enjoyed the meerkats, the “In With the Lemur” exhibit, and watching an okapi eat some leaves. Tonight we’re back in the student lounge at school, finishing up work and getting ready for the week!

monkeying around
monkeying around
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer’d.

Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer’d.

(this Sunday blog post brought to you on a Tuesday, courtesy of poor internet connection and website errors)

“Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer’d.”

-Shakespeare, Cymbeline

Well, here we are, another Sunday after another busy week! It’s been a particularly good one, too – lots of work but lots of time for fun too, and some great theatre along the way!

Classes are still great. This week we said a temporary goodbye to our program director Kathryn Pogson, who’s off to the States for four weeks to perform in Antigone. We also welcomed back our Drama Crit teacher Christopher from a week in hospital, and guided ourselves through a Movement class because our teacher Hannah was sick… let’s just say it’s been an eventful week. This week’s highlight for me has been all the detailed text work we’ve been doing in Acting for Shakespeare. Having never taken a formal Shakespeare class, I’m really enjoying learning all these different tools to analyse text and get it on its feet.

Actors in the making!
Actors in the making!

Our show of the week was The Beaux’ Stratagem at the National Theatre. It’s a Restoration comedy all about love, marriage, and deception, complicated by a band of thieving highwaymen. The whole production was just really clean and well done, and the overall impression was of a very cohesive piece. My favorite parts were the musicians, who played very well and frequently interacted with characters onstage, and the beautifully and creatively designed set.

The view from the top of the National Theatre at night. Wow.
The view from the top of the National Theatre at night. Wow.

Friday we had another walking lecture, this one to Middle Temple and the Inns of Court. We learned about English law, the Knights Templar, lots of architecture, and plenty of theatre history thrown in. We saw the Royal Theatre on Drury Lane, the oldest continuously operated theatre site in London. Finally we went to Covent Garden and saw St. Paul’s church (known as the Actors’ Church, and where Eliza Doolittle sells her flowers).

Here we are at Middle Temple during the walking lecture.
Here we are at Middle Temple during the walking lecture.

We spent Friday night in bars watching England beat Fiji in the opening match of the Rugby World Cup. Saturday we headed out to see Bend it Like Beckham the Musical, which was amazing. I expected a fun and feel-good theatre experience, but it surpassed that. There were lots of cool effects to show characters interacting with soccer balls, gorgeously designed and coordinated costumes, and some surprisingly emotional songs. It’s getting great reviews, and it deserves them! I’m so happy we decided to try to get tickets.

Me Bridge

As usual, today has been all about catching up on homework, cleaning, and trying to get the wifi to let me blog. I have a bit of a sore throat, so I’m hoping a restful day will have me ready to face another week!

See you next Sunday!

New Friends and Stranger Companies

New Friends and Stranger Companies

“And thence from Athens turn away our eyes,

To seek new friends and stranger companies.”

-Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

What a busy week! I think I’m coming to accept that while I’m here, I’m just going to be constantly tired. . . but I’m loving every second of it, so it seems like a pretty good deal.

Classes this week were great. Highlights include finding out our casting for scenes from La Ronde in acting class, feeling like a sword fighting pro now that I can sort of successfully carry out four different attacks and five parries, and having class in our corsets for the fist time in period dance. It’s hard to believe we’ve only had two weeks of classes, but so exciting to think of how much more is still to come.

Like I said, this week was extraordinarily busy. Wednesday after class we headed out to see Song from Far Away at the Young Vic, a one-man show about mourning and isolation (with plenty of full-frontal nudity just for fun). Thursday was the same, except classes got out much later, so we had an hour to commute to Sadler’s Wells in rush hour tube traffic, plus eating anything we had time to scrounge up for dinner. We saw Lest We Forget, a compilation of three dance pieces in tribute to World War I.

I was really terrible about taking pictures this week, but here we are at the pub, dutifully working on our theatre journals.

Friday we had classes in the morning and a walking lecture in the afternoon. We started out back at the Globe Theatre, learning all about the theatre’s history and beginning to talk about the transition from Elizabethan staging to later proscenium theaters. Then we walked across Millennium Bridge (yeah, the one that gets destroyed by Death Eaters in Half Blood Prince – luckily our trip across was very uneventful) up towards St. Paul’s for a lot of architecture history. We finished up with the site of the Blackfriars Theatre (roughly the same time period as the Globe) and Fleet Street.

Learning all about how St. Paul's survived the Blitz.
Learning all about how St. Paul’s survived the Blitz.

Saturday came bright and early as we all trekked out to London Bridge Station to catch our train to Brighton. Once there we got a tour of the Royal Pavilion, a pleasure-palace built by George IV when it first became fashionable for Londoners to spend time at the seaside. We learned lots more about Regency architecture and had a guided walk down to the beach before being set free to explore. We spent a little time at an outdoor cinema event on the beach and some people went to pubs or thrift shopping, but I caught the first train home. I was so exhausted that by the time I was back in the flat and had cooked myself dinner, I was too tired to eat it.

Lots of sights to see in Brighton, and a sunny day to enjoy them!

Today has been another lazy Sunday for blogging, homework, and fighting with the terrible Wifi signal in our flats. We went out for a little while, to a garden party hosted by a Fordham alum. She lives in posh Kensington now, so we all got to get dressed up and pretend we’re the kind of people who regularly go to garden parties.

I think we cleaned up pretty nicely!

Cheers until next week!

All the World’s a Stage

All the World’s a Stage

                                                  “All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players.

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts.”

– Shakespeare, As You Like It

Wow! It has been a ~wild~ first week of classes, and sitting here on a Sunday evening thinking back on it, I am so excited to see what the rest of the semester brings!

Obviously I’m still enjoying playing tourist.

First off, they’re going to be keeping us quite busy! Mondays we have Period Dance, Movement for Theatre, Voice and Diction, and Stage Combat (I think the goal here is to get us as sore as possible for the rest of the week). Tuesdays I just have Acting and Acting for Shakespeare in the mornings, so I think I’m going to set the afternoons aside as my grocery day. Wednesdays we’ll do Speech and Dialects, Physical Theatre, and Space, Place, and Text. Thursdays are usually some type of workshop or extra class, and then I have individual sessions for Audition and Alexander Technique before we all join back up for Dramatic Criticism. Fridays we have more Acting and Acting for Shakespeare, and sometimes a walking lecture somewhere in London. And of course, weekend day trips, evening theatre visits, and endless hours memorizing once we really get into the swing of things.

The highlight of this week for me was absolutely our visit to the Globe Theatre on Wednesday night. We got to see As You Like It in (a reproduction of) the space it would have been performed in during Shakespeare’s time. The theatre is open-air, and it rained pretty heavily on-and-off the whole time, which was annoying but also in a way only made the experience more powerful. The actors acknowledged the rain, incorporating the space into their performance and connecting the world of the characters to the world of the audience. I was honestly awed by the fact that hundreds of people made the choice to gather and stand getting rained on for three hours all to see a piece of theatre. I will definitely be returning to the Globe before the semester is over.

It was a comedy and I still cried.

Friday was another interesting experience. We had our first walking lecture to the site of the Rose, another theatre of Shakespeare’s time. Today the Rose serves as a small, functioning theatre space, set on a balcony that overlooks the excavation site. It was found in the 1980’s, photographed and catalogued, but they had to basically rebury it to keep it preserved. When they have the funding, they plan to re-excavate. Currently it sits under a layer of basically dirt, with water on top to keep the environment moist, and LED lights outline the footprint of the walls and the stage, to give visitors an idea of the space it used to be. After that, we visited the site of the original Globe (down the street from the reconstructed Globe of today), Southwark Cathedral (the church that Shakespeare and lots of other famous English writers went to), and the ruins of Winchester Palace. We also stopped by St. Paul’s Cathedral, for more tourist photo ops.

LDA friends at St. Paul’s

Last night a group of us went out to see The Bakkhai at the Almeida Theatre, not through school but just for fun on our own. It was… well, it was a Greek tragedy. The production value and the performances were great, and like any show, I think it’s easy to learn about acting and theatre from watching it. But as far as entertainment value goes, I was mostly invested for two reasons: one, the Greeks are such an important part of our history as actors, so you basically have to appreciate them even if the plots and themes aren’t always easily accessible to contemporary values and sensibilities; and two, it was so gory and uncomfortable that it was hard to look away. Naturally, we all went out to the pub after.


Now onto a very full week of shows and our first weekend day trip. Cheers!