Elon Music Theatre students describe study abroad experience in London

Four Elon Music Theatre juniors are studying acting abroad in London.

Studying abroad is back and so is theater. Four juniors – Kelly Belarmino, Faythe Kelly, Nathan Meyer and Sujaya Sunkara – in the Elon Music Theatre program are among 23 Elon acting program students currently living in London studying acting at the Theatre Academy of London through Florida State University.

Pictured, from left —  Sujaya Sunkara, Nathan Meyer, Kelly Bellarmino, and Faythe Kelly. Photo courtesy of Tommy Truitt ’23

Students are required to take three classes and can choose one elective. The required courses include Introduction to London Theatre, where they get to see a play or musical once a week. They are also required to take Shakespeare and Stage Combat. Sunkara stated that she decided to take High Comedy as an elective, where she is studying comic dramas and how to satirize mannerisms and way of life of polite society. Another elective that Belarmino is taking is devised theater.

Although Elon offers similar classes, like Shakespeare and stage combat on campus, these students get to dive into the heart of London Theatre and learn from other sources, allowing them to expand their horizons on European Theatre.

While in London, the Music Theatre students have had the opportunity to see many shows. Some of their favorites include “Indecent” by Paula Vogel, “White Noise” by Suzan-Lori Parks, “Camp Seigfried” by Bess Wohl, “The Last Five Years” by Jason Robert Brown, and “Oleanna” by David Mamet.

“Studying in London this semester has opened me up to so many new types of theater and acting techniques that I’ve never experienced. I’ve seen so much beautiful theater that has changed me as an artist and I can’t wait to bring this newer version of myself back to Elon,” Sunkara said.

Outside of theater, the students are able to travel on the weekends to neighboring countries to expand their worldly views including Spain, France and Portugal.

Despite COVID-19 halting many musical and play productions, London theaters have found a way to bounce back and continue sharing the art form with locals and tourists. Although the London study abroad was canceled last year, Elon has found a way to make it happen this year by encouraging students to get vaccinated and practice safe and healthy habits.

“Being able to see so much live theater in London after not being able to see any theater for over a year has been deeply fulfilling. I feel lucky to be here and excited to learn how seeing so much theater will inform my acting,” Belarmino said.

The Elon Acting Program is proud to offer this fantastic opportunity to BFA Performing Arts juniors every Fall Semester. For more information regarding this program, please visit the official website for the program.