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Leicester — Fall 13

Daniel Roeder
English and theater majors

 

I studied abroad at DeMontfort University in Leicester England during the Fall of 2013. I was drawn to DMU because it’s a partner school with UMBC, which meant that I paid the same tuition I’d have spent at UMBC, and it offered both of my majors– theatre and English literature. I also liked the location, which is two hours from London and has a major regional theatre of its own, the Curve. My building was right on campus, and only ten minutes away from the heart of Leicester. Right before my birthday, I took a four day trip to London (where I visited other friends who were abroad) and Amsterdam, which was gorgeous.

One of the biggest adjustments for me was the relatively small amount of time spent in class. I took four classes, and each met once a week, so I only spent two days a week in class. My favorite classes were Live Art and Key Practitioners and Dramatists. In Live Art, we covered ourselves in body paint and carried out costume-based improvisations. For KPD, we studied Martin McDonagh and Samuel Beckett, and performed a selection from their work each week. Some of my favorite roles were a mentally challenged serial killer and a working-class Irish “bad-boy.”

By far the best experience I had abroad was directing Paula Vogel’s Desdemona (a play about a handkerchief). I had already developed a production proposal the year before and knew that it was the right time for me to finally mount it. I met my producer, Doug, at a local pub and we got to work almost immediately. We assembled a cast and crew, borrowed props from the Curve, and booked out a popular pub theatre. I am still so proud of what we accomplished, and hope to remount the production state-side in the near future!

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