During spring break, a group of Washburn theatre students plan on spending their time exploring the streets on London, England for a study abroad trip.
This will be the second time within the past year that Washburn has sponsored this study abroad opportunity for theatre department students. The last London trip started on May 18 and lasted for 10 days.
Paul Prece, chair of the theatre department, travels with the group of students as the faculty mentor. Prece spends several months planning the trip and works with a touring agency based out of New York. The trip's itinerary is unable to be fully determined until the number of students is confirmed.
"London is a mecca for theatre and other arts," Prece said. "The city is widely diverse in its neighborhoods and population and draws visitors internationally and year-round."
Theatre majors, Abbey Geiss, senior, and Jamie Schartz, junior, were two of the students who attended the London trip in May.
"I decided to take the trip because I had never been out of the country before, and the thought of travel has always been exciting to me," Geiss said.
A portion of the trip's itinerary is designated to five theatrical productions. The shows ranged from "War Horse," adapted by Nick Stafford from the book by Michael Morpurgo, at the New London Theatre to "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time," adapted by Simon Stephens from the book by Mark Haddon, at the National Theatre.
"I read the novel [Curious Incident] before we left and fell in love with it," Schartz said. "Everything about the show was pristine. The cast was brilliant, the set was magical and the acting was phenomenal."
In addition to the required activities, students were allowed to tour the city independently during certain days. Prece recommended that students visit the Tate Modern Museum and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
For the upcoming trip in March there will be several new students attending including Alex Laughlin, junior theatre major.
"When I was younger my family took a trip to London and I was too young to really appreciate the history and the trip itself," Laughlin said. "So I want to go back and relive the experience."
According to Prece, the spring break trip will mirror the May trip in that students will attend professional productions, experience an overnight trip to Stratford and witness the "changing of the guard" at Buckingham Palace.
"There is always much to see and do in London. This time will be no different," Prece said. "My hope is that this trip will make students realize how wide the world is and begin to understand their place and possibility."