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The Grahamstown Festival Course

Because professor Megan Lewis will be on sabbatical, this course is on hiatus for summer 2018.

a scene from Urinetown, the musical

Click to view a photostream of UMass Theater's study abroad Grahamstown Festival Course.

Focused around the National Arts Festival that takesplace over ten days in Grahamstown, South Africa, students will experience the second largest theater festival in the world (outside Edinburgh in Scotland) and the largest in the southern hemisphere. Join Professor Megan Lewis, South African theater studies scholar, to see new plays and cutting edge international performances that we would not be able to encounter anywhere else. We will meet playwrights, actors, artists and other students interested in performance and theatre and engage with, and reflect upon, the historic, sociopolitical, and creative contexts of the work we see. The performing arts will offer us a lens through which to examine questions of social justice, race, class and gender politics, history, language, memory, and the role of the arts in our global world.

Additional perspectives

Read student Paul Adolphsen's (MFA '14) review of the 2014 festival on Howlround.

To read about the 2015 course:

Paul Adolphen’s review of the 2015 festival in Howlround: 

"Flourishing Theatre: Satire and Political Critique at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa”

To read about the 2016 course:

Paul Adolphen’s review of the 2016 festival in Howlround:

"Illuminated Histories and Imagined Futures: The 2016 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa”

Further information about the course, including a tentative itinerary, syllabus, and grant information for interested students seeking financial aid, can be found on the the Grahamstown Festival Course website:

Contact Professor Megan Lewis with questions.