Students will get the opportunity to travel to London for a week during Spring Break and take in the sights and the culture as part of the Theatre in London program.
On the trip, students will see 4 plays at the National Theatre in London along with a day trip to the city of Bath, according to English professor Manuel Perea. They won’t be tied down, however, and will have the chance to shop, visit pubs and enjoy the culture.
Perea feels that this is a great trip for students as it strengthens the bonds they share and exposes them to a culture they might not have had the chance to experience before.
“I think any time you travel, you form a strong sense of community with them,” Perea said. “There’s that bond that you have with people over a shared experience. And I think that students especially, who haven’t done a lot of traveling, there’s a sense of safety and security of going with a school, where you’re not completely on your own, and yet you do have the freedom to sort of explore things a little bit.”
Along with the benefit of a trip to London, students typically bring something back with them that helps to sculpt their future.
“To have those sort of experiences that they bring back, and that starts to inform what they do here, whether it’s coming back here and taking theatre courses, or maybe a new interest in European history,” Perea said. “Whatever it might be, there’s always something you bring back from those experiences that shape what you do as you move forward.”
One student, on a trip to Ashland, Oregon, was so inspired by what he saw on stage that he took up acting when he returned.
“I remember one year, when we went to Ashland, we took a student who, he didn’t have any acting experience, but he was so moved by what went on on the stage and what he observed that when we came back he started enrolling in acting classes and now he’s working in small theatre here and there,” Perea said.
Not all students necessarily bring back a newfound appreciation for theatre. Professor Otilio Perales notes that just being able to see another part of the world and culture is just as great to walk away with.
“What I think is valuable is the experience of being in a different country, experiencing a new culture…I think they become cosmopolitan, because they encounter new ideas and way of living, a new geography,” Perales said. “So I think all those things shape their idea, because all they know is, for most of them, L.A.”
Those attending do not have to be students at PCC. Anyone in the community may attend. However, whoever does go must enroll in the one-unit course and will technically be a student at PCC for the duration. It is also a repeatable course.
“Everyone who goes on the trip…it’s not only students…everyone does need to enroll at PCC. [But] it’s more about the trip and the experience [than credits],” Professor Brian Adler said.
The trip is slated for March 7 to March 15 next year.