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Field School in Medieval Performance Studies

Cancellation Notice

Summer Programming for 2020

In the light of the rapidly changing coronavirus COVID-19, Queen’s University has decided that all summer 2020 programming at the Bader International Study Centre has been cancelled. Queen’s University administrators have been actively monitoring reports on the evolving outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 and taking direction from Public Health and Global Affairs Canada. Protecting the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty is our primary concern.

If you have registered for one of our summer programs, your registration will be automatically cancelled, and you will be removed from your registered BISC courses. If you have applied to one of our summer programs, your application will be automatically cancelled. No further action will be needed on your part. Queen’s will be offering summer online courses for students to engage in distance learning. More information can be found at https://www.queensu.ca/academics/onlinelearning.

For more information, please monitor the university’s COVID-19 information page for additional updates, and our FAQ page for more information. If you have any questions or concerns, please directed your messages to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dates: August 16 2020 - September 2 2020
Based: Herstmonceux, UK
Apply by: April 1 2020

This program is a unique ‘immersion’ experience where you will learn about Medieval Literature in the performing arts as well as explore drama or music from the Medieval period in England. An intensive but fun program, you will explore a range of dramatic works from the Medieval period in England, reading works from both religious and secular traditions, including liturgical drama, morality plays, cycle dramas and interludes. In past summers, under the direction of experienced directors, the students have performed excerpts from the Digby Mary Magdalene play, the N-Town Mary play, and two Robin Hood plays.

The program also features a practical performance component and you will participate in a unique learning context that combines theoretical study with practical application in a deeply immersive experiential environment. For students interested in drama, you will actively explore historical performance styles and conventions, with the focus of this course being the rehearsal of one or more plays to be presented in period acting style and costume as part of England’s Medieval Festival at the culmination of the course. For students interested in music, you will have the opportunity to learn how to play period instruments and receive masterclasses from experienced musicians and also have an opportunity to perform at the Festival. The Medieval Festival at Herstmonceux Castle is Britain's largest and most magnificent celebration of the colourful Middle Ages.

This program appeals to Drama and Music majors, as well as students in other programs including but not limited to English, History, Art History and Education.

To obtain more information about the Field School in Medieval Performance Studies please contact Jenn Stephenson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (613) 533-6000 x78597

Questions Info Sheet (PDF)APPLY NOW!


  • Immersive: engage with dramatic works from the medieval period in a medieval castle, culminating in a musical or theatrical performance at the UK's largest medieval festival
  • Accelerated: take 2 courses in 2 weeks
  • Experiential: whether you're acting or helping to stage manage, this is an opportunity for hands-on learning
  • Fun: students in the field school form friendships quickly, enjoying all that Herstmonceux Castle and the surrounding area have to offer
Dates and fees based on 2018 and subject to change.

Courses in this program can be used to satisfy plan requirements for Queen's DRAM, MUSC and MUTH plans. All students take MUTH 271 and have the option of taking DRAM 273 or MUSC 272.

MUTH 271/3.0 Medieval Literature in the Performing Arts

A seminar course devoted to the exploration of drama and music from the Medieval period in England. Students will examine documentation from both religious and secular traditions and their context within society.

Taught exclusively at the BISC, this course aims to provide students with an immersive awareness of the cultural role of theatre in this era.

Prerequisite: Level 2 or above

DRAM 273/3.0 Medieval Dramatic Performance

A practical performance course where students will actively explore historical performance styles and conventions. The focus of this course will be the rehearsal of one or more plays to be presented in period acting style and costume as part of England's Medieval Fair at the culmination of the course.

This is an intensive workshop course exploring medieval dramatic performance practice in England. Students will be involved as actors, devisers, and designers, and will engage with the pragmatic and aesthetic processes involved the production of medieval drama. Through a combination of primary source research and the theatrical production of one medieval play, students will explore the key functions of plays within medieval culture.

Prerequisite: Level 2 or above



MUSC 272/3.0 Medieval Music Performance

A practical performance course devoted to the exploration of performance practice, musical works, and historical context of secular vocal and instrumental music of the Medieval era. The course will culminate in performances at England’s Medieval Fair.

Prerequisite: Level 2 or above (TBC)

Notes

  • Course offerings are subject to change for reasons including, but not limited to, enrolment numbers. Students will have access to academic advising services if changes impact their course selections. 
  • Experiential Learning Opportunities and mid-term trip are indicative and may change subject to operational and/or academic requirements.
  • Queen's students: Grades will show on your Queen's University transcript and count towards your CUM GPA.
  • Non-Queen's students: Following the grade release date you can request a transcript from the University Registrar. Transcripts will be sent automatically to students from partner universities.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

There will be all day field trips included in the course:
  • Canterbury Cathedral: http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/visit/
  • The Globe Theatre, London: http://www.shakespearesglobe.com
  • The Rose Theatre, London: http://www.rosetheatre.org.uk
External shot of the Globe Theatre, London Shakespeare's Globe: a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, London
2019 schedule
DateActivity
August 16 Classes begin
August 28 - 30 England's Medieval Festival
September 1 Classes end
September 2 Students depart

Daily Schedule

DRAM273/MUSC 272 meets 9am-noon
Lunch in the Dining Hall noon-1pm
DRAM271 meets 1pm-4pm
Dinner in the Dining Hall 6pm-7pm
Rehearsal as needed, 7pm-10pm

During the festival you will typically perform your production 2-3 times. Productions tend to be approxiamtely 30 minutes but may vary. You are free to experience the festival when not performing.

Schedule is subject to change without notice based on availability

Queen's Students

  • Make sure you meet the basic prerequisites:
    • Minimum 1.6 GPA
    • Good academic standing
    • Level 2 standing (by time program starts)
  • Request to change campus
  • Receive campus confirmation from Undergraduate Admission
  • Register in class on SOLUS(pre-reqs may apply to some courses)
Apply Now

Non-Queen's Students

  • Make sure you meet the basic prerequisites for studying abroad at your home institution.
  • Apply online
  • Register online for your chosen program
  • Submit Letter of Permission
  • Accept your offer
Apply Now

What is a Letter of Permission?

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A Letter of Permission (LOP) is an official document issued by your home institution. The LOP allows you to take courses for credit at the BISC for a specified semester/program, transferring the credits back to your home institution for the purpose of completing your university degree.

Your academic advisor or the person issuing the LOP will typically look at the course content and your current transcript to assess whether you will be academically prepared for the course/program. Pre-requisite courses listed on the BISC website are therefore not necessarily mandatory for non-Queen's students, but may be used as part of the assessment process by your home institution when granting an LOP.

We will also make admission decisions based on current transcripts, but please note that without an LOP you may not be able to transfer credits back to your home institution.

Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
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