Theater in London

Led by Diana Postlethwaite, Professor of English, and Paul Thiboutot, Vice President and Dean of Admissions,  Carleton College

September 7–16, 2018


This program is once more filled up. Contact us to add your name to a wait list at no obligation.

Over the years, Theater in London has been one of the most popular Study Travel programs. Here are what some  previous travelers had to say:

  • “I absolutely LOVED London! We saw a variety of plays and fantastic acting. It was interesting to see many theaters, all different and appropriate to each performance.”
  • “Lectures, preparation and discussions made each play come alive.”
  • “Hopping the Tube to travel all over London was great.”

Now it is your turn to participate in this exceptional experience! Attend performances both classic and contemporary by The Royal Shakespeare Company and at the National Theatre, and in venues such as the Globe, Royal Court, Old Vic, and Menier Chocolate Factory. Tour backstage at the Globe, and meet with one of London’s premier theater critics. We anticipate attending seven or eight performances. Final selections will depend on productions offered and timing of the performances.

See the itinerary.

Discover London  

London is the theater capital of the world. The number and variety of productions and the standards of acting and directing are unrivaled. The London stage accommodates both the traditional and avant-garde, the commercial and the experimental. Few activities in London are as entertaining and rewarding as the theater.

London is one of the most fascinating places on earth … and a mass of contradictions. It’s a decidedly royal city, studded with palaces, court gardens, coats of arms and other regal paraphernalia, yet also one of the world’s first parliamentary democracies. What’s amazing is that this city — ancient and modern, sprawling and compact, stolidly English and increasingly multicultural — works as well as it does. (from

Program Leaders  

Diana Postlethwaite will be retiring in June 2018 from the St. Olaf Department of English, where she has taught since 1988. A Minnesota native, she received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D from Yale University. A dedicated Anglophile, her academic specialty is nineteenth-century British fiction, with a particular love for Jane Austen and George Eliot. She has reviewed contemporary novels for a variety of national newspapers. As a movie enthusiast, she enjoyed a decade of on-air reviewing for St. Olaf’s radio station WCAL, and worked to establish a Film Studies Concentration at St. Olaf. Her lifelong love affair with the theater began in l963 with a junior high school class outing to the then-brand- new Guthrie Theater—still her favorite Twin Cities institution! One of the courses she’s enjoyed teaching most at St. Olaf has been her first year writing seminar, “Page, Stage and Screen,” which compares the different ways novels, plays and movies tell their stories.

Diana has led St. Olaf’s January interim Theatre in London program five times since 2004. Her favorite aspect of Theatre in London is the morning-after class discussions, where there can be as many critical opinions as people in the room! She will be joined on the trip by her husband, Paul Thiboutot, Vice President and Dean of Admissions at Carleton College, who shares her love of theater, travel and things British.

What to Expect  

Except for possible excursion days, our schedule starts with breakfast and a “class meeting” at the hotel for previews and reviews of each of our plays. Most afternoons will be free so that you can explore London on your own, relax before the evening’s performance or join fellow travelers to visit some of London’s cultural sites. We will attend nightly performances, plus at least one matinee. This schedule can be vigorous, depending on how you use your free time. There will be at least two or three group lunches/dinners provided for the course as a way to socialize and relax together.

Accommodations are in standard rooms at the Strand Palace Hotel, a 4-star hotel ideally located in Central London, with easy access to our theaters and activities. Complimentary high speed internet is included throughout the hotel. The Royal National Theatre – one of our main venues – is directly across Waterloo Bridge. The closest Tube stop is Temple, about two blocks away, with Covent Garden about 4 blocks away.

London is best experienced on foot. Be prepared for lots of walking! You can take the “Tube” (subway) to and from matinee and evening performances, restaurants and other sites around town (participants will be provided with a Tube pass for the duration of the program). This can include walking several blocks to the Tube stop, walking down and up one or more flights of stairs in the subway station, and walking several blocks to the final destination. Some of the theaters are old and require walking up narrow stairs to our seats. Comfortable shoes trump the latest fashion! Alternatively, you may take taxis (at your own expense) — and Uber now provides an accessible and relatively economical cab alternative throughout London.

To fully participate in this program, you should be able to walk up to five miles per day over possibly uneven terrain (e.g. cobblestones or aged sidewalks), climb stairs that may not have handrails, keep pace with an active group of travelers, deal with the emotional highs and lows that can occur when experiencing a different culture, and be a considerate member of the group (prompt, courteous and flexible).

Temperatures in September average highs in the upper 60s Fahrenheit and lows in the mid-50s. Rainfall that month averages less than an inch.

Program Fee  

The program fee is $3,700 per person. Based on double occupancy, it includes discussion led by Diana Postlethwaite, an assistant leader, accommodations, theater tickets, breakfast daily and group meals as listed on the itinerary, admissions for group activities, complimentary high speed internet throughout the hotel, ground transportation during the program (excluding airport transfers), gratuities to group guides, drivers, and meal servers, and limited medical coverage while overseas. For single occupancy, add $550.

Airfare to and from London is not included. Participants are solely responsible for all expenses not specifically included in the program fee. Examples of excluded expenses are: International Airfare • Airport transfers • Any passport and visa fees • Any recommended immunizations or vaccinations • Baggage and trip cancellation insurance • Beverages, including at group meals • Laundry • Dry cleaning • Phone charges • Room service or other items of a personal nature • Expenses incurred during free time or non-group activities • Lunch and dinner, unless specifically included on program itinerary.

More Information and Important Documents   

See immunization or entry requirements.

Or check out our other Resources, including frequently asked questions, included travel insurance, general health information, and more.


Payment and Refund Schedule
Terms and Conditions
Release and Waiver

For Participants   

Make a Payment

helpful documents

Payment and Refund Schedule


I am delighted to share that “Theater in London,” September 7–16, 2018, is an official GO. Feel free to purchase your overseas flights. Some notes:

  • The program starts and ends in the same city: London.
  • You should time your flights to arrive by late afternoon on Saturday, September 8. The program starts with introductions and a welcome session and possibly an evening performance.
  • You may depart London any time on Sunday, September 16.
  • You may, of course, arrive early or extend your stay after the program. I will be happy to request extra nights from the group hotel.

You may book your own flights or use any travel agent of your choosing. Or, may we recommend our long-time travel agent, Darla Orchard of Travel Leaders. She can be reached at 715-629-1870 or

just for fun

London’s Little Venice is the City’s Best Hidden Wonder, from Huffpost