London, England

Theater Arts Behind the Scenes

Program Suspended for Summer '21
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Get a backstage pass and immerse yourself in the theatre capital of the world.

Write and produce a mini play. Visit Shakespeare’s birthplace. Get behind-the-scenes tours of world-famous theatres. Meet actors, directors, producers and writers. Hit the town and see a range of high-caliber plays and productions, from West End to Fringe. Mix it up with group trips to major museums, historic landmarks and all that London has to offer. Don’t worry – we’ll make sure you still have time for afternoon tea and biscuits.  

During the core part of this program, you’ll study theatre arts through the lens of a writer, as you write and produce a mini play collaboratively with your group. Through interactive classes you’ll learn how to interpret a text, distinguish between different theatrical styles, and prepare for an acting role during each step of the process. During your three weeks, you’ll have the flexibility to try on different hats and focus on acting or backstage roles as you prepare to stage your culminating show. Students of all levels of experience are welcome!

On afternoon excursions, you’ll venture out and explore the many facets of theatre production, from lighting and design to costume and directing, through workshops and site visits to working performance venues throughout the city.

In between classes and group outings, you can hang out with your classmates, shop in trendy vintage boutiques, stroll through the city’s shady green parks, and sample an amazing variety of multicultural foods from practically every country on the planet.


  • Education

    Explore the theatre culture of London and learn about the basics of acting and theatre production from professionals


    Learn the basics of theatre production – including lighting, design, costumes and directing – and how to interpret a script

  • Certificate

    A certificate of learning in Theatre Arts

Location & Culture

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Perfect your English accent in a city that speaks 300 different languages.

Home to more than 8.5 million people, London is roughly the same size as New York City population-wise. But because it covers more area, it’s less crowded. Both are multicultural melting pots with diverse populations and amazing ethnic food. In terms of the theatre scene, both are legendary but London has a longer history and hence greater status (depending on who you ask).

London has 240 theatres within the city limits, but is especially renowned for its theatre quarter. The West End, or Theatreland as it’s often called, attracts huge numbers of visitors to sell-out musical productions and plays in its 40 theatres.

Some of London’s noncommercial theatres can claim even greater artistic prestige. Places like the National Theatre, the Barbican Centre and The Old Vic stage a high volume of straight drama and premieres of new plays by leading playwrights. Shakespeare's Globe continues to draw in both tourists and highbrow aficionados. Fringe theatre – similar to Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway theatre in New York – is big here as well, with small productions that draw big crowds to great acclaim.

Often called the “cultural capital of the world,” London offers a dizzying number of options for people interested in fine art, dance, music, poetry, literature, plays and musical theatre. There are over 170 museums, 800 bookstores and 850 art galleries and more than 17,000 music performances a year across London's 300 performance venues. One thing’s for sure: During your three weeks in London, you won’t have a single chance to be bored.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

"After my trip with CIEE I have definitely grown in ways I never could if I had stayed in the US."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blogs.

  • Housing


  • Local Support

    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Activities & Excursions

Sample Activiites

  • Globe Theatre Tour – Go behind the scenes at the reconstructed Elizabethan theater and view interactive displays to see how plays were staged in Shakespeare's day.
  • National Theatre Tour – Explore the backstage life of one of the UK’s most prominent performing arts centers. Watch set-building and props-making in action as professionals prep for the shows. No two tours are ever the same!
  • Stratford Upon Avon – Take a day trip to this medieval market town to view Shakespeare’s Birthplace and grave, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Mary Arden’s House.
  • Greenwich – Stroll along the River Thames and see the Cutty Sark (a restored 19th-century ship), the National Maritime Museum, and the Royal Observatory – the site of the Greenwich meridian line.
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral – Stand in awe at one of the largest cathedral domes in the world and survey the surroundings from the highest point in the city of London.
  • London Museums – Visit the stunning Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, and Science Museum in South Kensington; and the British Museum and the Museum of London to view some of the rarest artifacts in the world.
  • Hampton Court Palace. Once home to Henry VIII, the Palace is situated on the river Thames and is surrounded by parks. Explore Tudor kitchens, rooms used by kings and queens and get lost in the famous Hampton Court Maze.

Download a sample itinerary ›

Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances, covid-related measures and restrictions and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.



Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.

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