Yale School of Drama Alumni Magazine 2021

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a time for

James Bundy ’95 Elizabeth Parker Ware Dean/Artistic Director Florie Seery Associate Dean/Managing Director Chantal Rodriguez Associate Dean Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. Assistant Dean/General Manager Deborah S. Berman Editor/Director of Development and Alumni Affairs        John Beinecke YC ’69 Chair Jeremy Smith ’76 Vice Chair Nina Adams MS ’69, NUR ’77

David Marshall Grant ’78

Amy Aquino ’86

David Alan Grier ’81

Rudy Aragon LAW ’79

Sally Horchow YC ’92

John Badham ’63, YC ’61

Ellen Iseman YC ’76

Pun Bandhu ’01

David Johnson YC ’78

Sonja Berggren Special Research Fellow ’13

Rolin Jones ’04

Frances Black ’09

Sarah Long ’92, YC ’85

Carmine Boccuzzi YC ’90, LAW ’94 Lynne Bolton Clare Brinkley Sterling Brinkley, Jr. YC ’74 Kate Burton ’82 James Chen ’08 Lois Chiles Patricia Clarkson ’85 Edgar (Trip) Cullman III ’02, YC ’97

Jane Kaczmarek ’82 Cathy MacNeil-Hollinger ’86 Brian Mann ’79 Drew McCoy David Milch YC ’66 Tom Moore ’68 Jennifer Harrison Newman ’11 Carol Ostrow ’80 Tracy Chutorian Semler YC ’86 Tony Shalhoub ’80 Michael Sheehan ’76

Michael David ’68

Anna Deavere Smith HON ’14

Scott Delman YC ’82

Andrew Tisdale

Michael Diamond ’90

Edward Trach ’58

Polly Draper ’80, YC ’77

Esme Usdan YC ’77

Charles S. (Roc) Dutton ’83

Courtney B. Vance ’86

Sasha Emerson ’84

Donald R. Ware YC ’71

Lily Fan YC ’01, LAW ’04

Shana C. Waterman YC ’94, LAW ’00

Terry Fitzpatrick ’83 Marc Flanagan ’70 Anita Pamintuan Fusco YC ’90

Henry Winkler ’70 Amanda Wallace Woods ’03


Dean’s Letter Dear Alumni, It is the worst and the best of times at the School of Drama, and much of the best is captured in these pages. In the global tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of lives and livelihoods has highlighted grief on a scale that few of us have seen in our lifetimes. The utter disruption of our model of training, and our conversion to more than 99% online classes, have been grueling tests of creativity and patience for students, faculty, and staff alike. Still, many things have been learned, with an emphasis on what can be done well online, and we are optimistic that Yale University-mandated vaccinations will allow a return to in-person classes and production in the fall of 2021. There are even pandemic-induced practices—such as Zoom meetings with distinguished artists from around the globe—that we plan to continue, to connect our community more regularly to the field at large. Among the best things that have taken place at the School, the development of anti-racist practice is the most salient and imperative work we can possibly escalate. I am deeply grateful to Guest Editor Cat Rodríguez ’18 and Editor Deborah Berman for this issue’s unprecedented and extraordinarily wideranging celebration of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in our community. Dismantling white supremacy culture—a term I find most helpfully framed by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun in Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups (available online)—is a missioncritical task for all of us working and studying at the School. It is not always a comfortable task for me, a middle-aged, white, cisgender, heterosexual man born into class privilege, who has benefitted time and again from supremacy culture. I have learning and unlearning to do. But my discomfort and personal commitment to change, though required, are not the point. The point is the undoing of oppressive practices, and a focus on what may replace them: appreciation; realistic assessments of time; fearlessness; learning; transparency; complexity; power sharing; team building; seventh-generation thinking; a healthy recognition of our own subjectivity; and the normalization of conflict. Ours is a community that values discovery, and conversations with my fellow deans, students, faculty, staff, and alumni on these topics have opened my eyes to the School’s—and my own—unconscious biases, as well as to the wisdom of colleagues of all generations. Gender equity in admission to the acting program is the result of student activism by the classes of 2015, 2016, and 2017. The evolution of my text analysis syl2

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labus from two playwrights—Ibsen and Chekhov—to more than 20 diverse writers, grew out of an exhilarating collaboration with two valued colleagues, Gregory Wallace ’87 (Faculty) and Austin Durant ’10 (Faculty). Faculty and staff have been instrumental this year in developing a new schedule to be implemented in 2021-22, shortening the typical official YSD day by two hours. And not long ago, a brilliant alumnus impressed upon me that the tropes of white supremacy culture were those of every large corporation and bureaucracy in the nation, highlighting for me how unchecked capitalism drives and perpetuates inequity. These changes in practice and understanding are helping to make the School both more humane and more effective. Of course, these are discrete examples in a sweeping project with a lengthy time horizon, and similar reckonings are underway at theaters and training programs throughout the nation. The pursuit of social justice is not new, and our work now is built on a history of activism around the world and at YSD, as you will read in the pages that follow. What is new is the degree of focus and engagement, and our developing capacity for analysis that is clear, nuanced, and actionable, as fostered by multigenerational leaders throughout our community. It is, increasingly, the norm for us to make our disagreements known, even as we remain engaged with each other in our theater training and practice. These remain the lifeblood of our enterprise, and our students strive, as ever, to raise their own standards of practice so that they may contribute to the field with as much love for our shared art form—and indeed, all dramatic expression—as those of us who have matriculated and graduated before them. Almost the entirety of this issue is authored by students, faculty, staff, alums, and Yale Rep guest artists, including those of you who were kind enough to send in your own updates on your life and work. I emerge from reading it inspired because I know thousands of you personally and have known the joy of witnessing so many of your contributions to the imaginative life of the School and the wider world. I hope you see yourself represented in these pages, literally and figuratively, in a unique community of artistry and leadership. May such community sustain us in part and at a distance, until the time when we will be able to greet each other in the same spaces on a path to our collective liberation. Sincerely yours,



Features 26 Uprooting White Supremacy at YSD/YRT By Emalie Mayo (Staff)

36 Two Fingers on the Pulse Catherine María Rodríguez ’18 in conversation with Patricia McGregor ’09 and Paloma McGregor

46 Under New Management 36

Lico Whitfield ’13 in conversation with Narda E. Alcorn ’95 (Faculty) and Shaminda Amarakoon ’12 (Faculty)

54 Shattering the Familiar By Riccardo Hernández ’92 (Faculty)

64 Being and Seeing Ourselves on Stage By Pun Bandhu ’01, Emika Abe ’16, SOM ’16, and Jisun Kim ’22


74 Since Time Immemorial... By Amanda Luke ’22, Laurie Woolery, and Mary Kathryn Nagle

82 Toni-Leslie James and the Giant Bubble By Faith Zamblé ’23

86 Theater’s Climate Futures Sabine Decatur YC ’18 and Annalisa Dias in conversation with an introduction by Stephanie Ybarra ’08


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Editor’s Letter Like so many of you, my home now wears many hats—it’s my office, a part-time classroom for my grandchildren, and a safe haven for my family. I never would have imagined that our magazine staff would again be producing this publication from a distance. Many of you have faced all kinds of challenges due to the pandemic, and you have been in my thoughts as this unprecedented year continues to unfold. As you know, throughout this time, theaters were closed, not just at the School and the Rep, but across the country and around the globe. Despite this, the YSD community continued to be creative, with imagination hard at work and ingenuity pushed in new directions. The Cabaret, for one, has been unflappable, producing innovative work online. The pause in production has provided an opportunity for introspection—to evaluate what is important and to determine what should be left behind as we move forward. It is clear that YSD must not only embrace anti-racism, but we must put it into practice from the classroom, to the administrative offices, to our stages—a central tenet of all that we do. Important work is happening in the field, and we are extremely proud that YSD alumni are among the many extraordinary artists and activists leading the way. One of them is Catherine María Rodríguez ’18. Many of you may know Cat from her time as a student, others may be familiar with her work as an actor, dramaturg, and theater maker. We asked Cat to serve as Guest Editor for this issue of the Magazine, and she brought to these pages not only her commitment to anti-racist theater, but the work of others, like herself, whose voices need to be heard. I hope you will find these important stories both engaging and enlightening. I look forward to the day when we can gather together in person, and I am hopeful that day is soon to come. Warmly,

Deborah S. Berman Editor Director of Development and Alumni Affairs deborah.berman@yale.edu

YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA ANNUAL MAGAZINE 2020–21, Vol. LXV   Deborah S. Berman  Catherine Sheehy ’92, DFA ’99 (Faculty)   Catherine María Rodríguez ’18   Casey Grambo (Staff)   Leonard Sorcher   Susan Clark (Staff)    Emika Abe ’16, SOM ’16 Narda E. Alcorn ’95 (Faculty) Shaminda Amarakoon ’12 (Faculty) Pun Bandhu ’01 Sarah Cain ’22 Joan Channick ’89 (Faculty) Sabine Decatur YC ’18 Allison Delaney ’24 Annalisa Dias Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. (Assistant Dean) Sebastián Eddowes ’24 Eric M. Glover (Faculty) Riccardo Hernández ’92 (Faculty) Jisun Kim ’22 Amanda Luke ’22 Kate Marvin ’16 Emalie Mayo (Staff) Paloma McGregor Patricia McGregor ’09 Tom Moore ’68 Mary Kathryn Nagle Marty New ’92 Chantal Rodriguez (Associate Dean) Juan Carlos Salinas ’03 Cynthia Santos DeCure (Faculty) Florie Seery (Associate Dean) Lico Whitfield ’13 Laurie Woolery Stephanie Ybarra ’08 Faith Zamblé ’23  SML Design s-ml.org

To make a gi¢ to YSD, visit www.yale.edu/ givedrama. 4

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  .  

Dear Alumni and Friends,


Departments 8


On & Off York Street




Awards & Honors




Art of Giving


In Memoriam


Alumni Notes





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Creating Liberation:

The art of making an anti-racist future                      ’18        


Catherine María Rodríguez ’18. Photo by Brian Galderisi.


he pandemic and the mass mobilizations for Black life have revealed the extent to which swift, decisive reckonings and change are, in fact, possible—and always already were. This fresh and affirming (if also frustrating) insight invites us, collectively and individually, to realign ourselves with our values, renew our commitments, and rebuild our culture. Curiosity and energy have accumulated around demands that we remake our world more justly. But where and how do we go from here? Angela Davis recently reflected on the varied, sometimes incongruous strategies seen within freedom movements throughout history; to paraphrase, she shared that we can disagree on how we get to freedom because what’s critical is that we agree on the freer future for which

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we’re fighting. We must be able to envisage where we’re going. Her insight posits that many pathways, simultaneous and asynchronous, can lead us forward—so long as we advance toward a shared destination. To work toward any future, including an anti-racist one, we must first envision what we want the hereafter to look like. Vision makes movement possible. Visualizing and realizing futures are inherently creative acts. Artists and artworkers cultivate and utilize these necessary skills: we labor first to imagine and then to make real. To be an artist requires vision, that wild capacity to imagine coupled with the gall to create rather than solely ideate. To collaborate within the arts is to corroborate such a vision in working to realize it. From those who physically labor to compose set pieces to those who design their forms, from those who raise funds

that make necessary resources accessible to those who caretake the spaces for experiment and experience, many play a hand in materializing an artwork, the enactment of vision. These generative practices can prepare (and, in some ways, uniquely position) us to support, advance, and innovate within liberation struggles. Our creative thinking— specifically, our ability to envision—has the great potential to generate transformation. But the arts can never, will never, replace the need for direct action. We must resist the urge to consider our artworks as both the ends and the means, the totality of our creative change-making potential. Our bodies of work just might (and only might) change hearts and minds, but that well-wishing often does little to transform directly the material conditions we speak on, critique, or from which our creative expressions may offer momentary reprieve. A singular fundraiser, series of ancillary programs, or even a dedicated artwork might do social good. But as contributor Paul Kivel points out in the anthology The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, social goods and even social services do not necessarily bring about social change. To contribute true vision and actual cultural transformation in our shared field, as well as within the culture at large, we makers must confront the social ills endemic to both. An anti-racist conception of futurity will require not only that we imagine beyond our current paradigms but also that we center racial histories and dynamics as we

consider, include, and tend to who and what lie outside our personal experience or immediate field of vision. By way of metaphor, we must renovate our creative habitats and habits, so that we can better design a just future vision. It’s time for us as creators and culture makers to be more honest and intentional about the impulses behind, as well as the impact of, our praxes; to reexamine to what ends we labor and what visions our manifold works manifest; and to reconsider how centering anti-racist values can recondition our artistry, our industry, and our culture. Now is a time to dialogue, engaging multiple vantage points, exploring various ways of processing or navigating, and embracing varying visions of how to make headway. Here, divergent viewpoints can invite us to reassess our own personal perceptions, open up multifaceted approaches, and prompt us to get more specific in our own strategies. Generously engaging each other—as active listeners, as well as vulnerable relators of experience and perspective—can expand our pools of knowledge, sharpen our critical acumen, make visible the intersections of our struggles, and hone our own humanity as we develop our capacities to move from appreciation into action. In the interests of offering multiple entryways and paths, elucidating the junctures that might join our efforts, and visualizing our collective liberation, as Guest Editor of the Annual Magazine I’ve been keen to make this issue itself a dialogue among theater artists, artworkers, arts educators, as well as

arts administrators that attests to as it affirms the historical, ongoing, and multifaceted struggle toward antiracist artmaking and art-sharing. I desired to present a confluence and contrast of ideas expressed through discourse that’s intimate, nuanced, and specific. With the creative forces of our readership and our future making in mind, this issue on anti-racism attempts to live in a spirit of possibility. Too often, conversations on anti-racist efforts fixate on what’s wrong or what won’t work and why. The challenge to undo and unlearn racism doesn’t have to be bogged down by a sense of the insurmountable. Paradoxically, this can lead to feelings of dread, resistance, and resentment. But if approached as a creative practice, anti-racist visioning and manifesting can be excitingly artful acts that animate and reenergize us. Nurturing creative vision has the potential to illuminate not only us but also the ways forward. Of course, to be true collaborators in the practice of anti-racism, we must follow through on our learning. Speaking on the failure to undertake efforts of applying takeaways, my colleague and friend Alejandra Cisneros once shared that such “acknowledgment without changed behavior is manipulation.” To conduct ourselves according to anti-racist values compels us to follow up in deed. If we continuously accept this responsibility, we can become more insightful, imaginative, and dynamic artists: actors and architects of liberatory transformation.

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Endowing the Deanship Donald Ross Ware YC ’71, a member of the Yale School of Drama Board of Advisors, has made a generous contribution to the School to endow the deanship in memory of his mother, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 93. The School is pleased to announce that its leader will be known in perpetuity as the Elizabeth Parker Ware Dean. This gift, which coincides with Ware’s 50th Yale College reunion, creates a lasting legacy of support for theater training and production at Yale. “I am extremely grateful for, and humbled by, Don’s generosity in making this gift to the School of Drama,” said James Bundy ’95, who becomes the inaugural Elizabeth Parker Ware Dean. “He has brought to our Board not only his abiding 01 Donald R. Ware YC ’71 02 Elizabeth Parker Ware

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love for the theater, but also his considerable wisdom and experience as a lay leader and philanthropist. In making the School such a charitable priority, Don has elevated the visibility of our program and underwritten its excellence for generations to come. On a personal note, it is truly an honor to share this connection to his family’s history.” Don described his mother as a wonderful role model who encouraged and inspired his artistic side. He believes she would have had a brilliant career in journalism, but instead she raised four children and devoted herself to volunteer work. “In endowing the deanship in her name, I am honoring both her extraordinary character and the pro-


In making the School such a charitable priority, Don has elevated the visibility of our program and underwritten its excellence for generations to come. 02 fessional career she never got to have,” he said. The newly named position is now one of two deanships at the University named for women; it joins the Indra K. Nooyi Dean of Yale School of Management, which was endowed in 2016. Don is a partner at the law firm of Foley Hoag LLP in Boston, where he chairs the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group. He received a BA in history from Yale and a JD from Harvard Law School. Don has a keen interest in theater, having chaired the Board of Trustees of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard. His dedication to nonprofit organizations extends to both WGBH, the Boston public television station, and The Nature

Conservancy, where he serves as a board member. Don and his wife, Susan, a noted women’s history scholar, live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and have a farm in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, where they are active in land conservation. “I am so pleased to be in a position to help strengthen YSD as it enters its second century,” said Ware. “I have come to realize that even at an institution as large as Yale, targeted gifts like this can truly make a difference.”

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Producing in a Pandemic: Cab 53 Reinvents “Live” Theater by Allison Delaney ’24


As the summer of 2020 unfolded, and the realities of living and learning in the time of COVID became clearer, the leadership team of the Yale Cabaret had a decision to make. With the season they imagined now impossible, should the Cab go dark and hibernate through the upcoming remote school year? Or should they step into the unknown, embracing a season of experimentation and enormous challenge? According to Co-Artistic Director Maeli Goren ’21, “We never for a second doubted that YSD students would need an outlet to make creative work this year or that the Cab had a responsibility to be that outlet.” But what does producing a virtual season actually look and feel like? How does a community of artists come together (without actually coming together) to make work? The how of creating a digital season is something the Cab 53 team tackled head-on. Laura Copenhaver ’22, who served as the Technical Supervisor for the fall term, admits that while the learning curve for launching a new virtual season was steep, the fundamental spirit of theater-making didn’t change: “Our job is to make it happen.” This included many hours of

research into the capabilities and drawbacks of various online platforms like YouTube, Zoom, RadioMast, and Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) to deliver the Cab’s performances to audiences. Productions this year ranged from straightforward performances set within the “proscenium” of a computer screen, to radio plays, to the more avantgarde (including the experiential Untitled Bathtub Theatre Project, where individual audience members listened to the broadcast while enjoying a bath in their own home.) Managing the logistics of creating and troubleshooting digital performance is exponentially more complicated than just clicking “New Meeting” on Zoom: as Co-Artistic Director Nicole Lang ’22 puts it, when the inevitable “Apollo 13 situation” arose during rehearsals or a live performance, students demonstrated the ingenuity that the Cab is known for. Overall, the form has energized the creativity of those involved. Co-Artistic Director Jisun Kim ’22 saw possibility in how students “could build a new collaborative relationship with the form and each other,” and how a totally new format could help students think outside the box (literally) of how theatre gets made.

Snapshot On January 18, 2021, Donesh Olyaie ’10 won a one-day total of $28,400 on Jeopardy!. Fellow alum Angela Bassett ’83, HON ’18, YC ’80 appeared as a clue in his game the next day.


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03 Costume rendering by Dina El-Aziz for Tanika Gupta’s adaptation of A Doll’s House. 04 Set rendering by Cat Raynor ’23 for Tanika Gupta’s adaptation of A Doll’s House.

04 A major take-away for Managing Director Matthew Sonnenfeld ’23 was the realization of “how many assumptions get made just by knowing what room you’re going to be in.” Goren adds: “not having the seat count is such a major opening point—a way to think about things differently, like ticketing, interactivity in performance, and what kind of stories we can accommodate. In physical space, there’s scarcity.” With the staging and capacity limitations of the beloved Cab basement gone, unexpected moments of inspiration and joy blossomed. The inaugural production of the season, a new imagining of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House adapted by Tanika Gupta, benefitted from the collabo-

rators’ own COVID-imposed artistic lockdown. Co-Producer Estefani Castro ’21 felt the enthusiasm to get back to work; the prevailing feeling was “let’s get fun, let’s get weird...everyone had a generous spirit.” Opening night of the digital production welcomed audience members from around the world, including family members who had never been able to travel to New Haven to see these students in an in-person production. Attendance for the performance far exceeded the physical capacity of the Cab basement, demonstrating the increased accessibility and reach that digital theater can have. According to Copenhaver, the “virtual peeking through the curtain was so YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21



05 05 Jimmy Stubbs ’22 in the promotional video for Untitled Bathtub Theatre Project.


delightful and such a joy to be a part of.” The odyssey of reinvention wasn’t just confined to how performances were shared or who was able to access them. A completely virtual season invited collaborators to dream big: Castro shares that the costume and set designers for A Doll’s House “got the chance to just focus on creating this world on paper, and sharing their vision with us...we knew from the beginning that these costumes weren’t going to be built, this set wasn’t going to get built.” The beautiful designs were published in the show’s digital program, so audience members could experience the show informed by the designers’ vision. Sound designers have received a much-deserved spotlight in the current digital season, connecting audiences to their art more directly than ever before within this new format. The spring semester fostered projects that continue to leverage the digital platform, especially in the realm of sound design and music.

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Kim and Lang proposed February’s Let’s Go to the Moon!, a “space-puppet adventure” featuring original music and lyrics. Collaborating on storyboarding, composing, and capturing a new musical was a creative and technical feat with performers in three different time zones. The singers recorded their parts asynchronously with time to practice with the team over Zoom and do notes before the separate recordings were synced together over the backing music. New experiments and beloved traditions existed side-by-side this spring, including the triumpant return of the annual Dragaret. As a first-year student, Creative Producer Sebastián Eddowes ’24 knew “we needed to respect a tradition we’ve never experienced, but at the same time make it meaningful on a new platform.” The Dragaret team also prioritized fostering connection even in the midst of separation: Eddowes knew “we couldn’t present a drag festival without engaging with the


community,” and the team reached out to New Haven Pride Center as a sponsor, and asked its Executive Director, Patrick Dunn, to be a co-organizer. A virtual Dragaret also helped welcome new folks to the stage. Producer Natalie King ’24 noted that this spring’s offering “had a few folks who might not have felt comfortable performing in person, but were willing to put together videos.” In conversations about this year of highs and lows, the word heard the most about this Cabaret season was joy. Students got a chance to do what we do best: imagine, challenge

ourselves and audiences, and find a way to create even in the most trying circumstances. Cab 53 may not have looked like any other season before, but it included as much wonder, scrappiness, and experimentation as had ever radiated from the Cab basement. Allison Delaney ’24 is a first-year MFA candidate in Theater Management.

Snapshot Joseph Cermatori ’08 discovered a previously unknown essay by Thornton Wilder YC ’20 ( ) titled “The Barock; or, How to Recognize a Miracle in the Daily Life,” in a notebook in the Thornton Wilder Papers at the Beinecke Library. The essay, along with Cermatori’s contextualizing commentary, was published in PMLA, the journal of the Modern Language Association of America

Snapshot In May 2021, Bill Reynolds ’77 (Faculty) (  ) received the Warfel Award for outstanding service from James Bundy ’95 (Dean) () in a small, vaccinated gathering with his wife, Sharon Reynolds (  ), and son, Steve Reynolds (). Photo by Susan Clark (Staff).

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Articulating Anti-Racism Cynthia Santos DeCure joined YSD as an assistant professor of acting in 2019. She is certified in Fitzmaurice Voicework and Night-Thompson Speechwork and has more than 20 years professional experience in film, television, and theater. Her credits include voice and dialect coaching on Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), The Affair (Show-

06 06 Cynthia Santos DeCure (Faculty)

time), and El Huracán (Yale Repertory Theatre). The intersection of anti-racism and dialect coaching is at the heart of Cynthia’s work in the industry and in the classroom. How does your experience as a bilingual actor inform your dialect coaching? I began this work by learning how to embody


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accents in both Spanish and English for my own use as an actor. Spanish is my first language, and I have been asked to play Spanish speakers from different countries. My desire to honor each character’s linguistic identity led me to research distinctive sounds and cultures in detail. I have always understood that there are subtleties in accents of Spanish. Therefore, I have consistently sought to offer more than a “general” sound. My acting led me to study the rhythm of languages and hone the way I listen. As a dialect coach, I approach my work with rigor but also recognize that each actor I work with is starting from a different viewpoint, based on the actor’s own, personal accent, which is known as an “idiolect.” Sometimes dialect work can be intimidating, especially for bilingual and BIPOC actors; thus, I tailor my approach based on each actor’s idiolect and create a more accessible entry point into the process. I work to empower actors to embody an accent or dialect, guiding them through their own strengths toward the linguistic identity of the character. I am always thinking about how sound and voice become part of the actor’s character development process, and not just something that is added on. What does anti-racist dialect coaching look like to you? Anti-racist dialect coaching resists generalizations and stereotypes and rejects the notion of linguistic supremacy, i.e. a pre-established hierarchy of accents. My anti-racist theater ethos centers on cultural affirmation. I believe that anti-racist dialect coaching calls for employing the actor’s linguistic identity and culture as a strength, not a disadvantage. The process entails helping the actor work with what the actor already owns, not stripping them of their identity to force a sound transformation. Anti-racist dialect coaching challenges the assumption that just because an actor has a particular ethnic


background, they must know how to perform that accent or dialect. Effective anti-racist dialect coaching also requires cultural and linguistic specificity. We must take great care in our work to represent humanity. Otherwise, the work can exclude, misrepresent, or even erase linguistic identities. How does this work fit into the greater context of creating anti-racist theater productions at YSD and in the field? Anti-racist dialect coaching and production calls on us to re-examine stories previously told onstage that have erroneously codified accents and dialects and have replicated stereotypes. These repeated misinterpreta-

tions in the theater have been propagated in television and film. Our anti-racist practices can undo these injurious portrayals. We can begin storytelling with greater authenticity by engaging contributors in the production process who share the linguistic and lived experience of the characters. This work demands that we cultivate inclusive listening practices that go beyond racial and linguistic preconceptions. To achieve this goal, it is incumbent on YSD and the theater field to tell stories that have not been told before, to represent and amplify linguistic identities that have yet to be heard onstage. We must commit to represent communities both visibly and audibly onstage.


Snapshot Anne Cattaneo ’74, the dramaturg of Lincoln Center Theater, Co-Executive Editor of the Lincoln Center Theater Review, and the creator and head of the Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab, was named a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow in Theatre Arts. Photo by Brigitte Lacombe.

The Yale School of Drama Rigging Lab, located at 149 York Street was made possible by an anonymous gi in honor of Ben Sammler ’74 (Faculty Emeritus) and Bill Reynolds ’77 (Faculty) for their long-standing commitment to safe practice, teaching, and mentorship of students. This new space was dedicated in their honor on May 5, 2021. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

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In the Shadow of Yale School of Drama by Eric M. Glover

For Walter Dallas ’71 and Margaret Holloway ’80

When we think of the history of Black theater at Yale Repertory Theatre and Yale School of Drama, immediately we think of director Lloyd Richards HON ’79 (Former Dean) and playwright August Wilson HON ’88, whose iconic plays Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1984), Fences (1985), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1986), The Piano Lesson (1987), Two Trains Running (1990) were all staged at the Rep. However, each of us stands on the shoulders of early Black participating artists at the School who lay our groundwork/foundation for anti-racist theater practice. For that reason, I think that my course, “Black Theater History in the Making at Yale School of Drama,” contributes to anti-racist theater practice. As a lifelong student of Black theater history, just being here is a dream come true; as a fulltime Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism faculty member, recentering Blackness has also been my objective. Students and I read dramatic literature written during early MFA student playwrights’ professional training, from when the Dixwell Players, a Negro Little Theater, organized in 1926 to when Sam Kelley’s ’90 play, Pill Hill, opened at Winterfest in 1990, side-by-side doctoral dissertations researched and revised into books, and journal articles by doctoral alumni of all races. By listening to cast recordings, reading personal and professional correspondence and programs, and watching films, students and I also gain an appreciation for theater by 16

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Belcher, Dodson, Du Bois, Elder, Hill, Kelley, Reid, Rotimi, and Wallace show us that the School’s history is and has always been unapologetically Black. and about Black people in New Haven. Full-length and one-act plays about Father Divine, the Spanish-American War (1898), and Nat Turner’s 1831 slave insurrection ghost and haunt the School’s production history. Access and opportunity are two themes that persist. For example, Abram Hill, the founder of the American Negro Theater, was accepted by the School but did not enroll as an MFA student playwright because he could not afford the tuition bill, so together with Frederick O’Neal he started teaching acting to Alice Childress, Ruby Dee, and Sidney Poitier at the ANT’s Harlem location in the 1940s-50s. Jonathan D. Shandell ’01, DFA ’06 has written about Hill extensively. Shandell, author of The American Negro Theater and the Long Civil Rights Era, has elsewhere called Hill’s 1940 play, On Strivers Row, “a bourgeois Black




comedy of manners,” not unlike Jumping the Broom, starring Angela Bassett ’83, HON ’18, YC ’80, the founder of the YSD affinity group FOLKS, when she was a student. Members of FOLKS survive and thrive together now. In step philanthropic organizations to save the day. Whereas Rosenwald fellowships allowed Fannin S. (“Prof ”) Belcher, Jr. PhD ’46, Shirley Graham Du Bois ’40, and Anne M. (“Queen Anne”) Cooke Reid ’43, PhD ’44 to attend the School, the Rockefeller Foundation General Education Board fellowships allowed degreeseeking and non-degree-seeking students Lonnie Elder, III, Errol Hill ’62, DFA ’66, YC ’62, and Ola Rotimi ’66 to enroll at YSD. As a result, the University continued to diversify. Belcher, specializing in Black theater, and Reid, specializing in eighteenth-century acting, graduated to teach at West Virginia State University and Howard University, respectively, while Du Bois also wrote music accompanying Owen Dodson’s ’39 1939 play, Garden of Time, a retelling of Euripides’s story of Medea in America and Haiti. Such all-Black remakes were and remain popular. Hill, Trinidadian, and Rotimi, Nigerian, help to represent the multiplicity of identities in the Global South across Caribbean islands and the continent of Africa. Hill’s 1962 musical, Man Better Man, for which he wrote book and score, tells the story of an older man’s unrequited love for a younger woman through means of African belief practices and magic, calypso music, the ceremonial martial art of calinda (“stick

07 Errol Hill ’62, DFA ’66, YC ’62 08 Anne M. (“Queen Anne”) Cooke Reid ’43, PhD ’44 in 1920.


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09 (  ) Fannin S. (“Prof”) Belcher, Jr. PhD ’46 in his 1928 yearbook. 17


fighting”), and the Trinidad Carnival. Hill integrated the faculty at Dartmouth College where he made his home from 1968 to 1989; his course, “Black Theater, USA,” is still taught. Rotimi’s 1966 play, Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again, ghosted by Ama Ata Aidoo’s 1964 play, The Dilemma of a Ghost, and Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play, A Raisin in the Sun, is his comic treatment of the battle of the sexes for the rights of women and girls. Hill and Rotimi made it possible for present African, Caribbean, and Latin American MFA student artists to pursue their dreams on the world stage. Gregory Wallace ’87, the Lloyd Richards Professor in the Practice of Acting, was kind enough to participate in a Q & A session with my class. Besides sharing fond memories of Robert Alford ’85, Timothy Douglas ’86, Charles S. (“Roc”) Dutton ’83, and Beverly SmithDawson ’88, Wallace also tells students in my course what has also changed for the better at the School. Enrolled MFA student actors who identify as BIPOC now predominate the student body, repairing what students experienced as a quota system of admitting three Black students yearly. Belcher, Dodson, Du Bois, Elder, Hill, Kelley, Reid, Rotimi, and Wallace show us that the School’s history is and has always been unapologetically Black. As administrators, faculty members, staff members, and students, in the classroom and in rehearsal and performance, we pick up where they leave off, continuing to work toward anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here is a timeline that lists other people, each one 18

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as prestigious as the next, that you should know from the School’s early period: 1931: John M. Ross ’35 enters as the first Black student in the thenDrama Department in the School of Fine Arts. 1934-35: Trixie, the central Black femme fatale who plays one man off against another repeatedly in Rockefeller Foundation fellow Sheppard Randolph (“the Dean of Black Theater”) Edmonds’s Gangsters Over Harlem (1939), is a forerunner to Cookie Lyon in Empire and Mary in Proud Mary. 1944-45: Louis Peterson’s ’47 Spencer (“Spence”) Scott, the central Black teenage boy in Take a Giant Step (1953), grows up really quickly because of the racist and white supremacist myths about Black people that his history instructor teaches Spencer’s high school class. 1970: Carmen de Lavallade (Former Faculty), the first Black woman artist to join the faculty at Yale School of Drama, teaches movement. In 2019, she received a Yale Honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts. 1983: Arriving from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts is Jamaica’s Dennis Scott (Former Faculty) who directs a 25thanniversary production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun before serving as co-chair, then chair, of Directing. 1991: Lloyd Richards HON ’79 concludes his tenure as the first Black dean of the School. Eric M. Glover (Faculty) is an assistant professor of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at Yale where he is an expert on Black musical theater.


An Affinity for Connection by Sarah Cain ’22 A cornerstone of Yale School of Drama’s student life is its affinity groups, which give students an opportunity to connect over shared interests and personal identities. In this remote school year, the groups have found creative ways to build community online. The challenges of Zoom-fatigue, physi-

who have shaped the theater industry on their Instagram (@ysdfolks). “The ultimate goal is to develop friendships. Hopefully, people find other people they can connect and collaborate with in this Zoom year,” said co-leader Ashley M. Thomas ’23. The School’s LGBTQIA+ affinity group,

10 cal distance, and spotty WiFi connections have created obstacles, but each group has found ways to come together. FOLKS, founded to cultivate solidarity amongst Black students at YSD, has remained active through programmed events, social media, and their WhatsApp group. “Our main focus this year has been trying to engage with the multiple departments within the FOLKS community and with the community at large,” said co-leader Kayodè Soyemi ’23. They collaborated with the Black Theater Festival at the Yale Cabaret and were awarded a grant for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Yale from the Office of the Secretary and Vice President for University Life to support their Black Liberation Book Club. For Black History Month, FOLKS honored Black artists

ActOUT, has also moved most events online. But on Halloween, they hosted a small, socially distanced hike at the beloved East Rock Park. “We are grateful to Anna Glover (Faculty) and the deans for working with us to organize a safe in-person hike,” said ActOUT co-leader Sophie Greenspan ’22. The spring included events to support the Yale Cabaret’s annual Dragaret show and collaborations with other Yale graduate school queer affinity groups. Evdoxia Ragkou ’23, one of the co-leaders of the international student group Beyond Borders, has found that hosting regular, informal meetings has been a great option for people who are feeling the fatigue of too many Zoom events. With members calling in from all over the world, finding a time that works for multiple time zones has been YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

10 A snapshot of the PMG virtual panel on October 22, 2020 featuring (le to right) Chloe Knight ’24, Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams ’02 (Faculty), Anna Grigo ’22, Kay Perdue Meadows ’09 (Staff), Cynthia Santos DeCure (Faculty), Chantal Rodriguez (Associate Dean), Narda E. Alcorn ’95 (Faculty), Sarah Scafidi ’22, Alys Holden ’97, and Nancy Yao Maasbach (Faculty).



11 11 Patrick Denney ’22, Hannah Gellman ’24, and Sophie Greenspan ’22 on the ActOUT hike in East Rock Park.


difficult. On Sunday mornings, Beyond Borders holds space for anyone who wants to drop in. “Most of us have not had the American college experience. Coming to Yale can be culture shock. It can be alienating. Being in community helps us deal with this,” said Evdoxia. Asian Potluck, a group founded for students who identify as Asian and Asian American, previously centered on creating community through shared communal meals. Recently, however, the group has transitioned to political action and discussion. “Especially during the pandemic, people have viscerally experienced racism and xenophobia toward the Asian community,” said co-leader Jisun Kim ’22. She continued, “We need to address these issues as a collective.” The group is also advocating for more Asian and Asian American representation on the stage, including at Yale Repertory Theatre. Disability Empowerment for Yale School of Drama (DEFY) has created opportunities for the YSD community to attend digital performances by disabled artists by distributing free tickets. Ryan J. Haddad, whose show Hi, Are You Single? at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, had a Q&A session with DEFY members about his recent production. DEFY continued their regular DisabiliTeas—tea, chatting, and connecting— YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

on Zoom through the school year. People of Marginalized Genders (PMG) started the year by renaming and re-envisioning their group to be more inclusive of cis women, trans women, trans men, nonbinary people, and those of nonconforming genders. In the fall, they held a socially distanced walking tour to learn about the history of women at Yale. “We also hosted a panel with YSD faculty and alumni to discuss gender equity and inclusion in the theater industry,” said co-leader Anna Grigo ’22. “We want to be responsive to what’s going on in the world and in our community,” said co-leader Sarah Scafidi ’23, SOM ’23 when describing the impromptu meetings PMG hosted around the election and the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In the first El Colectivo meeting, co-leader Noel Nichols ’22 created a map of where members are currently living, where they consider home, and the places where their traditions are rooted. “It was a great way to see the complexities that make up our Latinx identity,” said co-leader, Sami Cubias ’23. Their monthly virtual coffee hours, called #203Cafecito, are informal hangouts that provide support for Latinx students, and have been essential for welcoming new students. “As a minority group existing within the YSD community, there is power in holding space that is rooted in our identity,” said Sami. Affinity groups always hold great importance, but they have become even more vital as we navigate uncertain times apart. They give us the opportunity to celebrate and share our identities within a supportive environment. While we look forward to a time when we can physically be together again, the online spaces that these groups have created have kept us connected. Sarah Cain ’22 is a third-year MFA candidate in Theater Management and a co-leader of ActOUT.


Teaching our Hearts and Minds by Kate Marvin ’16 An ode to David Budries on his retirement

12 12 David Budries (Faculty) and Christopher RossEwart ’17.

I can’t imagine Yale School of Drama without the wonderful David Budries, Professor in the Practice of Sound Design and chair of the Sound Design program. David established the Sound Design program at YSD in 1999 and had been shaping the field of sound design and its academic landscape in vast and incalculable ways even before that. When I think of David, I think of his infectious enthusiasm and energy. I remember his steady presence, positivity, and unwavering generosity, his deep investment in the well-being of his students and community, and the passion with which he nurtures the creative voice of every person with whom he collaborates. He is one of the most beloved figures ever to have passed through the halls of YSD. David has an extraordinary ability to inspire and connect with those around him. In 2013, I was a prospective student visiting the

School. As David gave me a tour of the sound department, he exuded warmth and delight. He showed me the basement and recording studio, the Blue Room with its strange and eclectic instrument collection, and the attic with its cluster of Baschet sound sculptures, reel-to-reel tape machines, student-made instruments, and David’s personal collection of bells and Tibetan singing bowls. Suddenly, David and I were having a jam session! In this moment, I knew I wanted to spend the next three years learning from this wonderfully exuberant person. The excitement I felt during my first visit never diminished over the course of my time as a student. In and out of the classroom, David centered learning through bold experimentation and joyful collaboration. David’s classes were rigorous and fun—always full of passion, playfulness, curiosity, and wonder. We explored the technical to the celestial: How do I choose the right speaker for the job? What could the moon sound like? David met our ideas with eagerness and encouraged us to dig deeper, expand our minds, and stretch our creative muscles (and ears!) in as many directions as possible. After studying with David, perhaps my biggest takeaways were how deeply invested he is in the individual, creative voice of each student and how committed he is to building a diverse community of voices, a family of artists from different backgrounds who teach and inspire one another. If you contact David’s students, you’ll receive a flood of impassioned speeches about his impact on their lives professionally and personally. They’ll describe enduring lessons he taught them about trusting their ears, stepping outside their comfort zones, and letting the technology serve the art. “David is a calm, nurturing mentor, an inspirational teacher, and a fierce advocate for the world of sound design,” writes Jane Shaw ’98. Sinan Refik Zafar ’16 remembers: “David made himself available to us

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and was always there to lend an ear and share the most helpful notes. I feel incredibly lucky to have been mentored by such a generous educator.” Ian Williams ’17 describes David as “the ultimate teacher and mentor. David taught the mind and the heart. He challenged me to be a better person and, in doing so, shaped me into a better creator and collaborator.” “David has spent a lifetime recruiting and cultivating artists and storytellers,” writes Sound Supervisor Michael Backhaus ’13 (Faculty). Since the inception of the program, David has curated a welcoming space where artists are seen and celebrated for their individuality. “He explicitly didn’t want his students to be ‘cookie-cutter,’” writes David Thomas ’07, “to the contrary, he always celebrated diversity of thought and instinct.” Many students describe the sense of belonging they felt when they met David. “Being a person of color living hundreds of miles away from home,” shared Sharath Patel ’06, “David always gave me an inclusive space and made me feel that my voice mattered. I never felt other or separate during my time as his student and now as a professional colleague.” Joel Abbott ’14 recalls, “David always made me feel like I was part of his family, and for that I will forever be grateful.” Matthew Suttor (Faculty), David’s close colleague and partner in the sound department since 2005, has nurtured generations of sound designers. Matthew remembers their initial meeting: “The first thing David said to me was that he wanted a colleague. I think of that every day. David, in his remarkably selfless way, directs his energy to help others, whether they be students, colleagues, or those in the community. Ask him for anything, whether to borrow something, home maintenance advice, or support on per22

13 13 Matthew Suttor (Faculty), Kathy Ruvuna ’19, Megumi Katayama ’19, Andrew Rovner ’19, and David Budries (Faculty). 14 David Budries (Faculty), Pornchanok Kanchanabanca ’16, and Matthew Suttor (Faculty).


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sonal issues, and he’ll drop whatever he is doing and be at your door. But David’s secret energy source isn’t altruism; it’s his eternal curiosity—about sound, people, food, nature, theater, and music. And it is David’s innate musicality that made the Sound Design program unique. We are all the richer for it.” Perhaps the strongest thread in the tapestry of words I received from David’s students and colleagues is his kindness. In both the brightest and darkest moments of our lives, David has been there for us: “I would never forget the conversation with him when I lost my grandmother during my study at Yale,” writes Gahyae Ryu ’14, “He kept me strong and let me become a loving person.” Pornchanok Kanchanabanca ’16 reflects

Snapshot OyamO ’81 received the 2021 Idea Award for Theatre, presented by the Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation, honoring his work as a visionary playwright. OyamO’s plays have been performed at Yale Repertory Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Public Theater, the Negro Ensemble Company, Penumbra Theatre, Karamu House, among others. He is a former member of the NEA Professional Nonprofit Theatre Panel and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and McKnight Foundations.

15 on David’s mentorship, “David is always available when students ask for help. He always has things on hand from Mac dongles and computer adapters to Kleenex, ready right next to the comfy couch in this office. That couch is the healing place for many students, including myself. David taught me about life; theater work is important but not as much as being a human. Be kind and generous. Listen to the people around you. Be curious and ready to learn.” Nathan Roberts ’10 sums David up beautifully for so many of us: “Studying with Budries was impossibly rich. I received an MFA education in sound design, but also the equivalent of a PhD in living. This eminently present, grateful, wise, humorous soul who always made you feel welcome—in his office, his home, his heart. I am glad I met him when I did. It feels like one lifetime is not enough to learn all he has to teach.” David, thank you for teaching our hearts and minds. Thank you for giving us a home and devoting your deep wells of energy and enthusiasm to making our world a better place.

15 The Sound-icorns: Sinan Refik Zafar ’16, David Budries (Faculty), Kate Marvin ’16, Matthew Suttor (Faculty), and Pornchanok Kanchanabanca ’16.

Kate Marvin ’16 is a sound designer, composer, and musician based in New York City. She is an associate artist with Target Margin Theater and Little Lord and works in theater, film, puppetry, and podcasts. YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21



To Remember Nancy, We Dream of Her: A Portrait of an Overlooked Pioneer by Sebastián Eddowes ’24


16 Nancy Cárdenas ’61


Nancy Cárdenas ’61 would introduce herself as a communist and a lesbian. A Mexican actress, playwright, and theater director, Nancy was born in Parras de la Fuente, México in 1934. She earned a doctorate in philosophy and letters at the University of México, studied in Poland and at Yale School of Drama. She also directed a film and wrote poetry. Her work is difficult to trace, and footage of her on the internet is elusive. Nancy died in Ciudad de México on March 23, 1994, of breast cancer. But it might have pleased her that she is best remembered through the collective memory of the queer community. YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

In 1973, Nancy was interviewed on 24 Horas, the most popular Mexican news program. She and the host Jacobo Zabludovsky were discussing the dismissal of a worker because he was homosexual. And in the middle of the conversation, Nancy came out, becoming the first woman to declare her homosexuality on Mexican TV. “No one attacked me,” she said after this, “I just received congratulations and love. All was perfect, but no one would employ me. The friends who dared to go out with me were cut in half. My family said: ‘It’s wonderful you got such a national spotlight. Such a shame it was for the dyke issue.’” 1 It is staggering that this story is not better known. After many hours searching the internet, you may find other vague articles, but no videos and no images. So we hold on to these accounts and absorb them, patiently, until we dream of her. Stories like Nancy’s are milestones we must protect. A matter of self-preservation as much as anything, this is how collective memory operates. Many of us queers have an urge for icons: people who came before us whom we can follow. Freedom is not something we receive; we need to plough the land, plant the seeds, water them, and wait for this precious thing to grow. This is done in the dark, alone, even in hiding. Then we grow up, meet others like us, and the process becomes collective. We prepare the land for those still to come, and we must keep cultivating every day of our lives. Nancy conceived art as a device to trouble a society that wouldn’t face its oppressions. She adapted powerful texts to counter hostility: The Boys in the Band, by Mart Crowley; A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen; Pedro Páramo, by Juan Rulfo; Mistero Buffo, by Dario Fo; or The Well of Loneliness, by Radclyffe Hall. Her own poetry is an exploration of her desire, of lesbian eroticism, a statement that allows her to inhabit her body in the public space.


Her art, her activism, her life: all were meant to carve out spaces for queer voices. She was one of the first people in México to be vocal about the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, directing the show SIDA… Así es la vida to start the conversation and raise money to support those in need. Her work reminds us that theater can be a device to upset the public sphere. It can be messy, because it confronts oppression, and oppressors want to be pleased, not questioned. But it is conflict, not stasis, that brings transformation. In one of her poems, Nancy says: I’m dangerous, It’s true. I always seek revenge From those who have the money, the bureaucrats, The priests, and the women who took

advantage of my affection.2 Nancy’s words are urgent. We keep invoking her voice, as ancestor and queer mother. Creating genealogies to feel less alone, to open space for us, for those who are on their way. Here’s hoping she inhabits our dreams and joins us in our struggles. Sebastián Eddowes ’24 is a first-year MFA candidate in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism. 1 Guadalupe Loaeza, “Nancy Cárdenas,” in Atrevidas: Mujeres que Han Osado (México D.F.: Jus, Libreros y Editores, 2009). 2 Nancy Cárdenas, Cuaderno de Amor y Desamor, 1968-1993 (México D.F.: Instituto Coahuilense de Cultura, 2004), 59.

Snapshot A er a long and successful career in the film industry, former William Morris executive and producer (An Officer and a Gentleman, Scarface, Revenge of the Nerds, among others), Martin Caan ’21 thought it was time to finish what he started—pursuing his MFA at YSD. A er taking a 52-year hiatus, Martin was granted the opportunity to complete his degree remotely this year. “Under the visionary leadership of Joan Channick ’89 (Faculty), the Theater Management department is the best it’s ever been. It was well worth the wait,” said Caan who graduated in May.

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Uprooting White Supremacy at YSD/YRT What grounds we’ve covered, what seeds we’re planting         (  )


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At the 23rd annual TCG conference in 2013, James Bundy ’95 (Dean) met Carmen Morgan (Faculty), founder and director of artEquity. During an artEquity-led conference workshop, where Morgan proffered that “many organizations value diversity, but do not practice inclusion,” Bundy was inspired to join the ranks of institutions such as Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which had partnered with artEquity in hopes of making transformative change. But before artEquity arrived on Yale’s campus in 2015, the work to make the School of Drama a more accessible, inclusive, and accepting space was already being undertaken and, in fact, had been for decades—primarily by the community of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who didn’t see themselves reflected in the faculty or felt that, at best, their presence was being tolerated.

David Roberts ’08 (Faculty) was waiting for his interview with the Theater Management department when August Wilson HON ’88—then in residence for rehearsals of Radio Golf at Yale Rep—came out of department chair Ben Mordecai’s office, giving Roberts his sincerest apologies for making the hopeful applicant wait two minutes. Roberts saw it as an omen: he had to be a Yalie. However, by the time he graduated, Roberts had encountered only one Black teacher—a guest lecturer. Roberts didn’t see himself represented in the content he studied, either; he felt resistance to discussing forms or modes of theater that deviated from the standardized Western canon. Only in retrospect did he recognize the harm he’d experienced in the predominately white spaces of YSD. But during his time, Roberts found a kind of balm in FOLKS, the affinity space for Black students (and then the only student affinity group in existence). Founded in 1981 by Angela Bassett ’83, HON ’18, YC ’80, FOLKS exists to cultivate solidarity, legacy,

and high-risk artistry among the Black artists at YSD. Historically, FOLKS gatherings have offered decompression from the predominantly white spaces at the School. In fact, FOLKS has often been the sole space where YSD-affiliated Black folks could simply be, together. When I arrived at YSD in 2009, the student organization invited me, a staff member, to join. Like Roberts, I experienced FOLKS as one of the few spaces at the School where I could be in community, in part because of the small number of Black students, faculty, and staff here at the time. I have always felt a natural affinity for the BIPOC students at YSD; as a long-time Yale employee and greater New Haven resident, I know that Yale does not mirror our predominantly Black and brown neighborhoods. In Roberts’s time, FOLKS did not receive programmatic support by YSD, and only held one to two gatherings per semester. Due to the brutal class, rehearsal, and work assignment schedules, as well as the Rep YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

01 01 Emalie Mayo (Staff)


02 02 (  ) Courtney B. Vance ’86, Bronwyn Vance, Al Heartley ’18, Malcolm Darrell ’07, Angela Bassett ’83, HON ’18, YC ’80, Carmen Morgan (Faculty), Kimberly Scott ’87, Jamel Davall Rodriguez ’08, Phillip Howze ’15, Donna Lynn Leavy ’80, Sarah Williams ’15, and Patricia McGregor ’09.


and School’s crowded production calendars, calling for inclusivity lost out either to survival-mode subsistence or for want of the vocabulary to articulate the need. Now, as a faculty member, Roberts is impressed with the forward motion: “In the ring of students’ voices, I hear the same thing that rang in ours: ‘I want action, and I want it now. I need to see it. I need to experience it. I’ve only got three years here, and change is slow.’” From my perspective, movement was, in fact, slow during my first few years at YSD/ YRT: there was an increase in BIPOC students, yet the School took only what seemed to me as performative measures to fill in the inequitable gaps in training by slightly increasing the number of BIPOC faculty, staff, and guest speakers. This fell short of any acknowledgment regarding past harms and current practices of white supremacist culture within our predominantly white institution. There were still few YSD/YRT-sponsored BIPOC spaces, even as the number of students who may YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

have needed or benefitted from them increased. Meanwhile, the students of FOLKS continued to innovate within the space they’d made and held for themselves by creating leadership roles, a mission statement, and offering play readings (including the entire August Wilson Century Cycle over the 2013-14 school year). Beginning in 2015, School of Drama affinity groups were expanded and formally funded by the School. In addition to FOLKS, seven affinity groups were formalized between 2015 and 2019. These groups include: ActOUT, Analyzing and Mobilizing Privilege (AMP), Asian and Asian American Theater Coalition (Asian Potluck), Beyond Borders, Disability Empowerment for Yale School of Drama (DEFY), El Colectivo, and People of Marginalized Genders (PMG). For years, across disciplines at YSD and throughout the larger University, students have raised concerns about the inability, trepidation, or refusal to confront and uproot exclusive practices, as well as the lack of institutional

support for BIPOC community members (even the University-wide staff affinity spaces weren’t sponsored by Yale until 2015). As concerns about racist and inequitable treatment within the YSD community continued to grow, Dean Bundy extended an invitation to Carmen Morgan to bring her work around “equity, diversity, and inclusion” (EDI) to the School. Morgan is the founder and director of artEquity, a national organization that provides tools, resources, and training to support the intersections of art and activism; within the field, Morgan is perhaps best known for her EDI-based consulting work at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Theater Communications Group. In July 2015, Morgan joined the School as a lecturer in Drama, bringing facilitated EDI workshops to the School’s community members. According to Morgan, racism pervades every system we utilize today. Morgan’s appointment was well timed. Conversations and movements centering equity, diversity, and inclusion at Yale exploded into the public realm during the 2015–16 school year. YSD students, faculty, and staff joined cross-campus actions calling on the University administration for cultural accountability and change. Notably, in some instances, this movement united the Yale and New Haven communities. For example, Yalies and their unaffiliated neighbors took up the decades-long call to rededicate a residential college named after an infamous enslaver; they also joined their voices to express outrage over the mishandling of incidents involving community guidelines on cultural appropriation and a frat party alleged to be for “white girls only” during Halloween. These happenings culminated in a campus-wide March for Resilience led by queer, BIPOC undergraduates in November 2015. The march brought thousands of concerned students, workers, and residents to the New

Florie Seery Associate Dean, Managing Director of Yale Repertory Theatre, Assistant Professor Adjunct of Theater Management

I feel fortunate to be a part of the YSD community where anti-racism is embraced by students, faculty, and staff. I am moved by the personal work so many are doing, which paves the way for changes in the workplace, in production, and in the classroom. With the privilege of being part of the YSD community, comes responsibility. I engage with my colleagues in the field about what anti-racist work they are doing at their theatres and offer my support. I am very inspired by my students. Most of them have not met each other, yet they have been able to work as a team, creating a sense of belonging and holding each other accountable. In my class, they eschew characteristics of white supremacy, such as power hoarding, perfectionism, and individualism to design theater companies with shared leadership, care, and community and create compelling seasons that speak to this moment in time. I’ve been participating in anti-racism trainings including the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and classes at the Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning. These experiences push me to examine how my positional power and implicit bias show up in my daily life. I walk away from every offering with tangible ways to change. In senior staff meetings at YSD, we speak specifically about what changes we are making in our departments to work in an anti-racist way. How do we interrogate our practices so that we can make our community more compassionate, equitable, and inclusive? We share our successes and challenges and hold each other accountable. The four deans manage the School using a shared leadership model. When we meet to address policy and practice, we are conscious to center the most vulnerable in our community. This year, we asked each department to consider what financial resources it would take to create an anti-racist YSD—to start from scratch and reimagine what is possible. Working in an anti-racist way o en means doing less.

Haven streets in solidarity as local and national attention (as well as commentaries) focused on Yale and its relationships to race, racism, and white supremacy. Morgan and her diverse team of facilitators had already planned the first “Beyond Diversity” workshops for YSD staff YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


03 03 Carmen Morgan (Faculty)


and faculty—which, coincidentally, was scheduled for the same week as the March for Resilience. The workshops served as an introduction to race-centered analysis, building a shared EDI vocabulary, and readings for reference. The following semester, approximately 70 first-years and interns attended the inaugural three-day seminar for the student body. The Beyond Diversity workshop (now titled “Everyday Justice: Antiracism as Daily Practice”) was added to the required curriculum for students and interns in their first year of training. At Morgan’s recommendation the workshop was initally optional for faculty and staff, but has since become required for all benefitted faculty and staff, and advisory board members. At the same time, and unbeknownst to the School’s leadership, students across years and disciplines were organizing themselves, crafting two Letters of Demands that they would deliver to the deans in January and February of 2016, YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

inspired in part, by their experiences in the Beyond Diversity workshop. Among their demands were “the creation of a committee of students, administrators, staff, and faculty whose purpose is in strategic planning taking into account EDI”; an increase in diversity among faculty, staff, and students; curricular reform; augmented support for the well-being of marginalized and underrepresented students; and a more-inclusive learning environment. In part, the call to action in these letters also led to an expansion of the YSD decanal structure to support these efforts and the addition of an assistant dean role which brought Chantal Rodriguez (now Associate Dean) to the community in the summer of 2016, and later Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. to the role in 2017. Both Kelvin and Chantal play key roles in the oversight and strategic vision of EDI and anti-racism efforts and programming at YSD/YRT. The Letters of Demands prompted an all-School meeting in April of 2016, inviting

the entire YSD community together to wrestle with next steps. Numerous suggestions and initiatives emerged from the demands and the mandated community meeting, for example the creation of the EDI Working Group (EDIWG) and Named Spaces action group. Founded in the spring of 2016, EDIWG was comprised of the deans, faculty, staff, students and interns; the working group existed to discuss issues of oppression that directly affect YSD (racism, sexism, misogyny, ableism, xenophobia, and more). Under the umbrella of EDIWG, taskbased action groups formed to implement some of the demands outlined. The Named Spaces subcommittee worked to satisfy the call to “make the physical environment of Yale School of Drama more inclusive” by renaming classroom, work, and rehearsal spaces “to honor historic figures who represent a diverse spectrum of identity and lived experience and to amplify their contributions to the School, Yale Rep, and the field.” A dedication ceremony was held in the spring of 2018 to unveil seven newly named spaces in honor of Carmen de Lavallade HON ’19, María Irene Fornés, Julie Harris ’47, HON ’07, Harry Kondoleon ’81, Ming Cho Lee HON ’20, Wendy Wasserstein ’76, and August Wilson. Within the first few years of its existence, EDIWG spawned additional action groups to review community guidelines on Respect in the Workplace, reassess recruitment and hiring practices, and orchestrate a Schoolwide cultural assessment with departmental curriculum reviews. These efforts brought renewed energy to identifying urgent accessibility needs and added to the momentum around protocols for rehearsing and performing material with sexual content, and establishing a process for Land Acknowledgment. It also inspired the creation of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Symposium Series which was established in fall 2018. The series provides

Chantal Rodriguez Associate Dean, Assistant Professor Adjunct in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, Title IX Coordinator, Dean’s Designee for Discrimination and Harassment

Our students are the heartbeat of the School and one of the most effective agents of change in our anti-racism work. I love working with the leaders of the student affinity groups and student government because I am inspired by the ways they work in community and solidarity with their colleagues. In speaking truth to power, students hold leadership accountable and challenge us to think beyond existing structures and to speed up the pace of change. Students also keep us humble. I’ve learned to acknowledge when something isn’t working and that we must make space for a variety of approaches to our work. In the Fall of 2020, we paused our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group (EDIWG) meetings because they had become institutionalized and weren’t serving the community as intended. I am interested to see what the next iteration of the EDIWG will be a er our departments’ work in Drama 3, the course on anti-racist theater practice that we began this year. As we plan for a return to in-person collaboration there is a real need for deeper cross-departmental and School-wide conversations about this work. This past semester I taught my course, Latinx Theater, which is closest to my heart as an artist and scholar. The class is a multilingual space where we explore the trajectory of Latinx theater in the U.S. by examining its historical and artistic influences, its relationship to social justice movements, and its dramatization of the rich complexities of Latinx identities. I love that the course attracts students from multiple departments, alumni, and even students from other schools at Yale. I find deep fulfillment and joy in supporting Latinx students studying material that resonates with their lived experiences, and I am honored to count myself as a co-learner in our explorations each week. Now that I am in my fi h year at the School, I can see how the seeds alumni planted during their time here are blossoming and positively impacting the lives of current students. We are currently preparing a five-year Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging plan for the School of Drama as part of the second phase of the University’s Belonging at Yale initiative. As we assess our work thus far and look to further align our goals with the needs of our community, I am reminded that this is lifelong work which requires seventh generation thinking.

opportunities for YSD/YRT to engage with theater practitioners on topics that focus on raising the standard of professional practice in the areas of EDI, anti-racism, and social justice. Throughout the 2019–20 season, YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


When it comes to confronting our histories and complicities, investigating “how we got here” raises questions about “why we’re still here.”


04 Nicole Brewer (Faculty)


Yale Rep and YSD participated in a Cultural Assessment conducted by the consulting firm Cook Ross to identify areas of alignment and non-alignment with our stated commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion. The findings were sobering and served as a reminder of how much more deeply the insitution needs to work in order to uproot white supremacy culture in our processes. To help address the continued and evolving needs, Morgan now leads three annual trainings for YSD, accompanied by additional facilitators from artEquity: “Everyday Justice: Antiracism as Daily Practice,” “Facilitation for Social Change,” and “Interrupting Microaggressions” (the YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

first is required of all first-year students, interns, as well as full-time benefitted faculty and staff, while the other two remain optional for all). This work was underway when the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted not only the status quo of theater-making practices worldwide but also planned attempts to make good on EDI commitments on campus. When productions shut down in March 2020, the Rep and the School were about to open shows featuring predominantly Black companies, namely A Raisin in the Sun and The Winter’s Tale, respectively. This increase in Black storytelling had invigorated the Yale and New Haven communities alike, and so its deferral, while understandable given the pandemic, has been disappointing. But any sense of a “new normal” was, just months later, once again disrupted: the murders of Ahmaud Arbery by white supremacists and of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd by white policemen put a spotlight on the systemic and deadly anti-Blackness that permeates society. This necessary reckoning further compounded

the anxiety, uncertainty, and pain of the COVID-19 pandemic, which itself has disproportionately affected the Black community, as well as the Latinx, Asian, and disabled communities. Whereas the pandemic’s arrival sparked conversations about who had been essentially disregarded and deemed disposable, the summer of 2020 saw a surge in global awareness related to the deep-seated, too-often fatal animosity held against Black bodies. When it comes to confronting our histories and complicities, investigating “how we got here” raises questions about “why we’re still here.” A leader in the movement to develop anti-racist theater practice, Nicole Brewer (Faculty) wrote a powerful article that speaks to the limitations of our current methodologies and frameworks. In “Why ‘Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’ Is Obsolete” (2019), Brewer explains that “ED&I is an ineffective tool for forwarding social justice because it’s outward-focused. The idea of ED&I is valued more than the practice of ED&I, and success is measured by how well the values are displayed.” Though YSD/YRT has produced more theater with Black artists and named workspaces after BIPOC artists, this must only be the beginning. Artists may rehearse in the Carmen de Lavallade room, but sexism, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and ableism—perpetuated as centuries of white supremacist culture foment micro- and macroaggressions—remain both problematic and alive within those spaces. Changes made by the action groups and YSD leadership have been largely outward facing in that they have not transformed the material reality of being Black or of color at YSD/YRT. The article “White Supremacy Culture” by Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones reminds us that “culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify.” Without the ability to name,

Kelvin Dinkins, Jr.

Assistant Dean, General Manager of Yale Repertory Theatre, Assistant Professor Adjunct of Theater Management

The YSD cultural assessment conducted by the firm of Cook Ross in 2019 spurred the deans to consider a new organizing principle around our operations, integrating the work of equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism into every facet of our work. Grappling with anti-racist strategy is inevitable for institutions seeking to disrupt and dismantle practices that extol the privilege and power most afforded to white Americans; or, more succinctly, white supremacy culture. We are better served by interrogating how we train and practice, becoming an institution that is more equitable. Deliberately working on anti-racist policy to move YSD and YRT forward is an institutional priority. We have inaugurated the Culture Working Group, comprised of students, faculty, and staff, to discuss and recommend new anti-racist policies and are currently imagining what would ‘better’ look like. Since the fall of 2020, we have held weekly meetings to do this work. The EDI Symposia series, an opportunity to bring a diverse group of leading voices together, successfully pivoted to an online format. Its focus this year is anti-racism, as well as the impact of the We See You, White American Theater movement. We have been in dialogue with leaders from the field who have shared with us how their institutions are adopting these demands into theatrical practice. When I started teaching Management Seminar in the Theater Management department, I realized that many of the case studies we read were dated with known outcomes. Our recent graduates had authored case studies that were more relevant, focusing on theaters today, o en with issues facing BIPOC communities. This approach became central to my teaching. I invited David Roberts ’08 (Faculty) and Roberta Pereira ’08 (Faculty) to join the class as guest lecturers because of their perspectives as alumni who are navigating the industry as leaders of color. The energy in the classroom has shi ed significantly with this new paradigm. It has been an honor to partner with my colleagues in this anti-racism work—a true team effort.

identify, and thereby undo the conditions that make and keep campus oppressive, most of “the work” undertaken by YSD/YRT has amounted to conversation with some transactional (rather than truly transformational) change. And although YSD members strive to “assume good will” and have better YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


developed a shared language, we still work through the same supremacist lens and have yet to abolish some of the systemic racist actions that permeate the organization and make up its culture. Worship of the written word, a sense of urgency, and perfectionism are characteristics that are centered in whiteness, readily normalized, and consistently at play in the School’s EDI initiatives. The work around anti-racism—and the need for it—continues. In August 2020, Brewer joined YSD as a lecturer in Acting, and in the fall 2020 semester, she, along with Morgan and other artEquity facilitators, held two sessions with the entire YSD/YRT community of the newly offered course, Drama 3 “Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice.” Over the summer of 2020, as part of the curriculum for Drama 3, each department chair worked with Brewer and Morgan to develop preliminary, tailored coursework around anti-racism in their specific discipline. In all nine departments, Drama 3 is a course that affords us time to consider how best to build the muscles needed to stay accountable: naming the harm that’s been done, actively laboring toward the goal of a shared EDI and antiracist vocabulary, and allowing this work to permeate the YSD spaces. Students, faculty, and interested staff members are colearners in identifying the roots of racism and white supremacy within the structures and practices at YSD/YRT, interrogating practices that do harm, and building a more just and equitable community. In addition to Drama 3, all departments are being charged with the responsibility of making changes as a part of this goal to become an anti-racist organization. When it comes to the future of YSD/YRT as an actively anti-racist community, Brewer says: “We just haven’t figured out the appropriate ratio yet. As it is, all the 34

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ingredients are present. But there’s this huge chasm. We’ve got to get rid of the infection within all of us so that we can allow ourselves to find each other and come together on the way, that’s going to produce—bake—something different into all of us.” Morgan, meanwhile, chooses to think generations ahead: “I go as big as I can… think 200 years from now, what seeds will be growing? What seeds are we planting now that will have an impact? I have to go big, so that I don’t lose hope.” YSD is cultivating the terrain for those seeds of change. And now that we can identify “lack of diversity” as a false barrier and recognize that white supremacist systems are the true barriers, we move forward with cautious optimism. For more detailed information, please visit https:// yalerep.org/equity-diversity-inclusion/. Emalie Mayo is Senior Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean/Managing Director, Assistant Dean/General Manager, Associate Dean, and Chair of the Theater Management Department. Additionally, Emalie has been Project Coordinator of Dwight/Edgewood Project—an afterschool playwriting program for New Haven middle school children—since 2014.

Over the course of the pandemic, the School implemented the following anti-racist initiatives: Black Lives Matter statement Cra ed by YSD deans a er of the murders Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd in the spring and summer of 2020, the statement rails against antiBlackness. Yale Summer Cabaret: MEZA In response to the resurgence of the Movement for Black Lives (also known as Black Lives Matter), student leadership created a platform to “lend energy, engagement and nurturing to the monumental change taking root in our country and around the world to fight racial injustice.” Yale Cabaret 53 Action Plan in Support of the Black Lives Matter Movement A student-led organization with predominantly non-BIPOC leadership, Cab 53 pledged to center BIPOC artists during their season and thus programmed the first annual Black Theater Festival in December 2020. Our Commitments A er the “We See You, White American Theatre” demands were published in summer 2020, the YSD deans authored actionable commitments in response (this work is ongoing). Undoing Racism® workshops. The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond offers anti-racist

workshops guided by its twopronged mission: to talk about oppression and to actively undo the work of white supremacy. Fees have been subsidized for YSD/YRT faculty and staff since 2018, but there was a resurgence of interest in summer 2020. Anti-Racist Theatre: A Foundational Course Nicole Brewer (Faculty) offers a global course on creating an organizational anti-racist ethos, new to the YSD/YRT community. Fees are subsidized for YSD/YRT faculty and staff. Cultural Assessment Policy Working Group. Faculty, staff, and students are unpacking the results of the 2018-19 cultural assessment of the YSD/YRT community and creating actionable next steps to suggest to leadership. Committee on Anti-Racist Theater Production Faculty and staff are formulating actionable next steps to suggest to leadership, with the aim of returning to production safely with an anti-racist lens. Drama 3: Towards Anti-Racist Theater Practice Newly developed course for all departments with the goal of identifing the roots and branches of racism and white supremacy in

the structures and practices of theater-making in the United States, including at YSD and YRT; to interrogate where the practices do harm and hinder; and to invest in the future by inviting students and faculty to imagine and upli systems and cultures that do not depend upon or promote supremacy, to build a more just and equitable field. Alumni Community Conversations Five community conversations with alumni have been held in the 2020-21 academic year. Facilitated by members of artEquity, the conversations serve as a first step towards acknowledging past harms and moving towards relationship repair. BIPOC Leadership Circle program artEquity, in partnership with YSD, launched the BIPOC Leadership Circle in the Fall of 2020. The BLC is a six-week program of professional development for BIPOC leaders in predominantly white arts institutions. Building an Anti-Racist Coalition In March 2021, YSD/YRT released a statement addressing the horrific violence that occurred in Atlanta on March 16 and condemning antiAsian violence.

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Catherine María Rodríguez ’18 in conversation with Patricia McGregor ’09 and Paloma McGregor ...and when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive. —An excerpt from the poem “Litany for Survival” by Audre Lorde, an American writer, feminist, librarian, and civil rights activist who was a self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” Born in Harlem, Lorde spent the last years of her life in St. Croix.


Sisters Patricia McGregor ’09 and Paloma McGregor came up in activism, artistry, and Black community, thanks to their upbringing in St. Croix and their parents’ example: Their mother is an artist, teacher, and activist; their father is a skilled fisherman and fishtrap artisan. When they arrived on the mainland United States as young people, while carving out distinct pathways, both carried forward their appreciation for communally and culturally rooted artistic practice. Patricia works as a stage director/writer and Paloma as a choreographer/dancer/organizer. In 2008, they co-founded Angela’s Pulse, an interdisciplinary arts organization that develops and produces performance that centers Black voices, with an emphasis on creative process, communitybuilding, and collaboration. Although they diverge in media, both artists remain philosophically entwined and personally committed to anti-racist practice within and beyond their respective crafts. I invited Patricia and Paloma to talk about the work we all have to do, individually and collectively, in the ongoing practice of anti-racism. From quarantine in San Diego and St. Croix, the McGregors reunited over Zoom to consider how to combat white supremacy, the distinction between “anti-racism” as practice and performance, and to discuss their learnings, frustrations, and shining examples in culture work. What resulted was a frank, robust, and spirited conversation—real talk between kin. With “rigor and love,” the siblings candidly share their perspectives, guided by their belief that “straight talk is a function of great hope.”

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Two Fingers on the Pulse YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21



The non-profit arts model is entrenched in racism and capitalism. What are some of the ways in which that manifests? Is it possible to undo racism within that sector when racism is baked into its very foundation?


One of the ways racism and capitalism—but particularly racism and white supremacy—manifests is by pretending that they are not foundational. Look at the signs: the canon being taught, the reason certain people have positions of leadership, the whole structure. There are a lot of people who resist this principle: many arts organizations are built upon racism, capitalism, and white supremacy. In my work I often say, “We need to know why before the how.” So, when people state they are moved to do this “undoing racism” and “anti-racism” work, I often ask, “Why are you drawn to do it?” Can we start with an unapologetic acceptance of the principle that most arts institutions are built on a foundation of racism, capitalism, and white supremacy?


Racism disrupts our cultural capacity for difference. White supremacy demands that we internalize white as “normal”; we all are forced to internalize that the aesthetics, forms, and hierarchies of economy prefer whiteness. Racism and capitalism are about producing. I’m a dancer— and I think this is relevant to theater where the body is also the instrument—in a country that’s founded on racialized capitalism, that’s built by the labor of the body (particularly the Indigenous, Black, Brown body), and that economically undervalues said bodies—their very agency or ownership. All culture that we build on top of that bedrock is influenced by the fact of Black and Indigenous bodies being terrorized.



There are a lot of people who want to backpedal and offer excuses and show proof of being allies. True advocacy requires confronting and acknowledging your own privilege and assumptions, while taking a square look at where changes need to be made. For example, the “canon” is overwhelmingly white; a lot of it is also European, so there’s this extra layer of Eurocentricity on top of white supremacy in training and production. What are we missing when we center whiteness? I once had the honor of speaking with Desmond Tutu, and I asked him what the U.S. had to learn from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa; he paused, then answered: “America still has parts of its stories that have been swept under the rug or locked in a closet. We need to tell all of our story, good and bad, before we can move on to write our next chapter.” For years, I was frustrated with people insisting that the U.S. was “post-racial.” I’m glad we’re no longer having that conversation as much these days. However, now I’m finding

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“America still has parts of its stories that have been swept under the rug or locked in a closet. We need to tell all of our story, good and bad, before we can move on to write our next chapter.” —      

01 Paloma McGregor and Patricia McGregor ’09. Photo courtesy of Patricia McGregor. 02 Angela McGregor, Paloma McGregor, Oscar Frank McGregor, and Patricia McGregor ’09 in the mountains of North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Patricia McGregor.

that many people are fine discussing how racism happened in the past, but they don’t want to take responsibility for how it manifests now. I call this “nostalgic racism.” PALOMA



Arts institutions, particularly those that consider themselves progressive or experimental, like smaller not-for-profits, might think of themselves as quite separate; they might even produce work that critiques these structures. But that doesn’t necessarily address the fact that racism, capitalism, white supremacy, and the hierarchies they form influence every aspect of how we create, what we create, why we create, who gets to create, or who we create for. Often, institutions produce artwork that critiques the very phenomenon that they resist confronting within their organization. The irony never ceases to amaze. I feel revved up! Here’s the thing about this laughable conundrum of presenting “radical” or “cutting-edge work”: institutions seeking a radical product but not a radical person or process is a function of capitalism. As in, “Oh, ‘radical’ is a thing that we can sell.” Too much “anti-racism work” itself at white institutions functions as a performance. That’s if people are even willing to say the word “racism”—because, let’s be clear, “diversity, equity, and inclusion” centers whiteness. “Diversity”—I think my community’s diverse, even when it’s all Black. Ha! Especially when it’s all Black. “Equity” is a stage of progress; I want to talk about reparations. And then “inclusion”—I’m like, So, you have the table, and you’re going to let one of us come in…? People of color did not invent “diversity, equity, and inclusion” as the North Star. “DEI” comes out of generations of fighting to have any kind of access; it’s a “next stage.” We have to hold visioning space for what happens beyond DEI. YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21



100%. To your earlier point, many institutions now claim to do this work, but their labor remains at the surface level: highly visible, in practice quite shallow, and ultimately allowing deeper ills to fester. As artists committed to practicing anti-racism, what’s it like when you speak on its performance within arts organizations?


I’m often brought into an institution as a freelance artist to create work that addresses injustice onstage, while offstage I am expected to endure indignities. I once worked on a piece that, in part, explored Black empowerment with an unhinged and physically domineering white male producer. He made people so nervous they ended up in the hospital. When I spoke out about the toxic behavior and then spoke up to him, folks who had the power to intervene protected him instead. On another occasion, I worked in a regional theater where the theater failed to contract half of my design team. The production manager patronizingly called members of my team “boys and girls.” My line producer, who was later fired for misconduct, repeatedly gave me misinformation. When I brought up how big these problems were, I was targeted as a “troublemaker”—even as we were doing a piece about generations of people fighting for equality who were themselves targeted as “troublemakers”! The artistic director, who I know speaks at national conferences about his commitment to equity, never addressed my concerns. On a particularly petty level, when I left that theater, they withheld $1,000 from my final paycheck as a “cleaning fee just in case I left the apartment dirty,” which to me was this intersection of racism and capitalism and punishment.


03 03 Paloma McGregor 04 Patricia McGregor ’09

The performance of “anti-racism” or “diversity, equity, and inclusion” is not about an internalized practice. I’ve been hired by places that knew all the right words to say—but when I got there, in fact, there was no practice. Essentially, I was not just an artist on the project they’d asked me to work on, but rather an underpaid consultant on how to do this work as an institution. Period.



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I’ve been in meetings where artistic directors and institutional leadership cry because I’ve said to them, “This is problematic and probably racist.” Because I am not crying, they often perceive people like me who hold up that mirror as being flippant or antiseptic. I want people to understand that Black artists have been dealing with these issues for generations; what made me cry at seven fills me with firm resolve decades later. Instead of being defensive in those conversations, I hope people will see the opportunity: I’m inviting you to this fight for justice and equality that I’ve been having my whole life. If you want to work towards anti-racism, then you have to get comfortable in your own discomfort. I need you to put down your defenses and put some skin in the game. It’s something Ron Van Lieu (Faculty Emeritus) used to say about acting, which I loved: “Do you have the appetite to be comfortable in your own discomfort?”


When you’re talking about anti-racism work, you’re talking about reclaiming humanity—for yourself, for other people, and for white folks, too. Reclaiming humanity entails reclaiming a space where you can hold onto the historical, cultural underpinnings of your ancestors and not have to release them in order to privilege whiteness. I was told once that I was “the most unavailable artist” an executive director had ever worked with. For context, I’d initially turned down the engagement because the timeframes didn’t work. The E.D. assured me that they’d work around my schedule, so I took the project on. Then I spent months doing the labor of clear communication, noting when I was and wasn’t available; in return, the institution would consistently spring things on me at the last minute with great urgency. There’s a dichotomy of expectation in that: the institution can be suddenly urgent, quite disorganized, but as a Black woman, if I say, “I have limitations on how much of me you own for the fee that you’ve given me,” then that brings up some historical paradigms in which most institutions are rooted— and that people within them cannot even begin to admit are at play. I am not available 24/7 just because a white institution contracts me to do something. I’m not.

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Paloma, earlier you pointed out that the idea of the “radical” has been co-opted and commodified. I’m connecting this to my own observation: more and more, I see “joy” being offered up as something marketable that can be manufactured and sold, often as an anesthetic to numb the pain of the oppressions we’re surviving, so that we keep on keeping on. In y’all’s experiences, what does “joy” look like when created to be transformational rather than transactional? How might a joyful creative environment feel or function?


As a freelance artist, the places where I’ve experienced the most joy are the places that don’t question the reason I’m there, my value, or the collaborators I want to bring with me; these places create the resources and space for us to be able to explore rigorously, to risk. There’s a desire to let us be as we are and give us the resources for that. Unsurprisingly, the places where I have been given the most trust and support have been the places where the work has thrived.


When I think about the visionary organizations that inspire me, a couple of POC-led institutions always come to mind. Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD) is a small, not-for-profit organization run by two Latinx artists who wanted to create a space for art in the Bronx, where they both have home roots. BAAD centers queer, POC artists from visual arts, dance, theater, and film. They run the place like a home and don’t ask you to prove yourself. “Oh, you have an idea? We trust you’ll fulfill this idea, and we support you as a person; we believe that your personhood in and of itself is a creative act. We want to support your personhood.” BAAD has grown slowly over time and in a way that’s sustainable. They don’t over-promise. Urban Bush Women (UBW) does the slow work over time, too. I’m biased because that’s my home team, but I’d say UBW is consistently undervalued in the field. That devaluation is unsurprising because UBW is a company of Black women who always show up with technical and aesthetic excellence that’s as nuanced and underestimated as the diversity within the group. My question to the field: Where is UBW founding artistic director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s MacArthur?


Part of my job as a director is to hold space for people. I always say, “rigor and love.” It’s not a soft space. There is rigorous work, but there’s love surrounding it. I realize what a gift it is when I feel an institution has held space for me in the same way. This gift seems to be given more freely to my white counterparts.


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06 05 Patricia McGregor ’09 and Paloma McGregor with Jonathan Moscone ’93 at Cal Shakes. Photo courtesy of Patricia McGregor.

I always say, “rigor and love.” It’s not a soft space. There is rigorous work, but there’s love surrounding it. —   

06 Patricia McGregor ’09, Patricia Smith, Pat Cruz, and Paloma McGregor at the Harlem Stage premiere of Blood Dazzler. Photo courtesy of Patricia McGregor.


For the past decade, I’ve focused on running Angela’s Pulse, the umbrella organization that we co-founded, named after our mother. For me, that’s about cultivating communities of courage, care, and creativity; communities themselves are powerful creative acts. For example, I may want to produce a performance as part of my creative practice, but the performance is not the end of the work; the performance is actually a way to measure how well we are doing as a community. Among Angela’s Pulse core values are community building and community bridging. A community is not a product. To continually affirm that—which might also be called resisting capitalism—has been a hard but joyful practice. Clarifying what I’m working toward and how that centers me and my people has been a joyful way to do the hard work.


In 2009, Paloma and I had a residency through Voice & Vision at Bard. When we went to the meeting about what we had to present at the end, they told us that we didn’t have to present anything. We were free to explore as we saw fit, and they were excited to have us creating there. They provided space, food and housing, support staff, and a stipend for our many collaborators. We ended up producing—and I feel like this often happens—so much more than if they’d said, “You have to do x, y, z, p, d, and q.” Black artists and other artists with a history of being intentionally marginalized need more spaces like this where they are trusted to risk, experiment, and make best use of the resources.


We artists make the work because this is our life practice and our work practice—it’s a rigorous practice, not just some “play” thing. U.S. culture at large is problematic in that it thinks of art as optional, whereas in other cultures, like the Caribbean where we’re from, art making is a necessary part of cultural life and interwoven so integrally that even building fish traps is an artistic practice and has a function.

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The historical roots of the U.S.—and the fact that those roots haven’t been reckoned with on any level—makes its way into our field and into the idea that artists cannot be trusted. Artists want to do amazing work, be together, and vision. We’re planting seeds, and this is our harvest. We don’t need overseers. CAT


That part…! I totally agree that envisioning new ways requires reckoning with what/who we have been and are now—as individuals and collectively. In your ongoing work toward liberation, what are you currently grappling with? In the pandemic, I’ve been looking at the anti-racism work we’ve been doing to create spaces where everyone has clarity or some foundational, shared language so we can have tough conversations. Related to racism/capitalism is also ableism. In the pandemic, I have seen the rage and labor of disabled artists; it’s not lost on me that, suddenly, everything can happen accessibly online—after they’ve been told for years that it couldn’t. I have Black, disabled, queer artist friends fighting on all fronts. As I’m talking about institutions and racism and capitalism, I need to be held accountable by my comrades about ableism, to be vulnerable and willing to transform, and to be called in about the ways in which my privileges operate. Capitalism would have us work in siloes, but working in comradeship puts us in a space of hope and learning because our communities aren’t monoliths. There’s so much work to be done because so much has been done to us.

Paloma McGregor is a Bessie Awardwinning dancer, choreographer, and organizer who has spent more than a decade centering Black voices through collaborative, “community-specific” performance projects as Artistic Director/Co-Founder of Angela’s Pulse and founder of Dancing While Black. With support from a 2020 Soros Arts Fellowship from the Open Society Foundation, McGregor is currently developing A’we deh ya, a multi-year, multi-site performance project aimed at illuminating “abandoned” spaces, vanishing traditions and local visions in Christiansted, St. Croix, her hometown, where local organizers are battling disaster capitalism after the 2017 hurricane season.



Born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Patricia McGregor ’09 is a director and writer working in theater, TV/film, and music. McGregor has twice been profiled by The New York Times for her direction of world premieres.

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08 07 Patricia McGregor ’09 and Paloma McGregor with the company of Spunk at Cal Shakes, including YSD alum Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ’15 ( ). Photo courtesy of Patricia McGregor.

Artists want to do amazing work, be together, and vision. We’re planting seeds, and this is our harvest. We don’t need overseers. —   


08 Paloma, Patricia, and their families on their stoop in Harlem. Photo courtesy of Patricia McGregor.

Any last thoughts to impart on undertaking the work of reckoning, undoing, and visioning?


These problems were not created in a vacuum, and they won’t be solved in a vacuum. It is so valuable to work collaboratively, acknowledging and building on the work of others who labor for a more just field and world. I am thankful for the tremendous work of We See You, White American Theater as well as generations of folks who have been doing this work, preparing us to contribute our verse to the struggle. I often lead a Shakespeare workshop where I share “Tools Not Rules” that I have picked up along the way. I encourage others to add to the list, so that it is not a prescription for how to do something but rather an exchange of ideas with the goal of finding what is most useful.


We’re from a marketplace culture—you know, people grow things, take them to the market. As Patricia just said, it’s an exchange of tools: what are the resources I have, and what are the resources you have? Being in community means we have all that we need. Capitalism is one way of perpetuating an exchange culture, but it’s not the only way. Our job as artists and creative people is to make creative visionary space—and not just for ourselves. Let’s keep visioning and creating and being courageous and, in doing so, liberate ourselves and one another from practices and constructs that don’t serve us. Let’s say “yes” to creating more of the spaces, scenarios, or containers that make us feel creative and joyful, that make our visions feel energized and nurtured. One way to do that is saying “no” to more of the institutions and “opportunities” that don’t feed us, making them irrelevant. YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


Under New Management:             ’13


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The transformative power of anti-racism in production

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A er surviving 2020 and while observing our industry’s attempts to undo oppressive practices rooted in white supremacy, I had the great fortune to sit down (over Zoom) with Narda E. Alcorn ’95 (Faculty) and Shaminda Amarakoon ’12 (Faculty) to discuss the ways in which characteristics of white supremacy have been normalized in the theatrical production process. Drawing on our collective experience in the field and their roles as educators, we discussed our industry’s preparedness for the culture change necessary to develop a new generation of anti-racist theater. LICO My number one question for the two of you: What’s it like at YSD right now? I graduated in May 2013, just months before the Black Lives Matter movement began in July and the year before Michael Brown was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. I remember when Shaminda and I were both students, we often found ourselves in classes or meetings where the conversation might turn to racism, white supremacy, or even just the restriction of opportunities for people of color in our industry. Although we could identify these issues, having conversations about them was much too difficult. So, what’s the community at YSD like now? How has the conversation changed? SHAMINDA I graduated in 2012, was invited to come back as a visiting faculty member in 2014, and joined as department chair in 2017. So, I’ve had a sense of the evolution of these conversations centered on race and racism since you and I were students, Lico. I will say it’s quite different now: there are open conversations on topics that we were just skirting around back then. The biggest change is that now we have an ability to pause and acknowledge that it’s okay to have these difficult conversations—even if we’re still figuring out the best way to have them. NARDA I was a student at the School of Drama from 1992 to 1995, and in my time, there were not many Black students and race was never, ever spoken about. We were all expected to assimilate into the white, dominant culture. I remember shared looks and moments with other Black students where we all understood that “this is what we have to do in order to get through.” That expectation of assimilation certainly created harm and the harm was never acknowledged, even if most of it was unintentional. Still, the impact of that harm is complicated. 48

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LICO I absolutely agree! And, you know, acknowledgement is a huge step in the process to repair harm—even acknowledging the nuance of unintentional harm or your own complicity in generating harm. I certainly had to reconcile that within my time at YSD and since then. SHAMINDA I really appreciate that you both offered that these things are nuanced and complicated. As a person of color, who also has a significant amount of skin privilege but who grew up in this country as an immigrant, I’ve had to learn both where I’ve been marginalized and where I still have power. The two need to work in concert to help myself, those around me, and those who’ll come after us. For me, a lot of this journey has been about shedding the assimilative pressure and understanding where I have been blind—both with things that I just took for “normal,” as well as where I have helped to perpetuate bad practices. NARDA Exactly, Shaminda. That’s where I’m living now in terms of my own complicity. I grew up in a time when it was all about “respectability politics,” assimilation, code switching, and aligning yourself with white culture. I’ve had to unlearn that, and I’m still learning how to do it, amazingly, from a lot of my students who are effortlessly saying, “We’re not doing this anymore.” I have Black students, specifically, who are questioning everything. I find myself not only learning, but also reevaluating every single thing I know. It is unsettling because, in some ways, I feel like I have to throw out many things that I learned at YSD. I am rethinking what it means to be an authority figure. How do we then do this work and take on these leadership roles without perpetuating the harm so that we’re not oppressive? In fact, can we do these jobs without promoting supremacy and with an anti-racist ethos?

LICO Narda, I’ve actually been using the article you and Lisa Porter ’95 (Former Faculty) wrote, “We Commit to Anti-Racist Stage Management Education,” to help identify the characteristics of white supremacy that embed themselves in the work we do as managers. As overseers of a production process, our duties are often spelled out in ways that uphold white supremacy. For example, when I negotiate with and contract artists, I’m a representative of capitalist interests. So, if I tell an artist that my organization will own their work “in perpetuity throughout the known universe,” it’s pretty hard not to feel like I’m the hand of white supremacy embedding oppression in contractual obligations. I’ve found that working against the “sense of urgency” in that process can help structure agreements that honor an artist’s humanity. But that’s a very small adjustment to a very specific issue. Has either of you found success in addressing instances of supremacy or oppression we’ve come to accept as par for the course in production? SHAMINDA In production, I don’t yet see transformational ideas because we’re still trying to come together to define how white supremacy shows up in our work. We don’t have a common analysis around whether new practices are going to turn the tide or if they’re just the same system in a different mask. What is racism? What is anti-racism? What is a racist policy versus an anti-racist policy? I’m trying to impress upon my department that as tough as these conversations are, they’re just helping to build our muscles and our tools, so we can try to wield them in a way that will count outside of the classroom. NARDA I’ve been struggling: do we just need to tear everything down and start over? Actually, I don’t think so. What we’ve been leading with has been capitalism and binary thinking—centering the product more than the people. I would offer that if we truly approached production through an anti-racist lens; with the tools of harm prevention, harm reduction, and relationship repair; by moving “at the speed of trust” and with “people first,” and by centering those most vulnerable—all tools that I have learned from artEquity and Nicole Brewer (Faculty)—I actually think that is revolutionary. What scares me is that I don’t know if I trust the folks who have positional power and authority, especially because we are in America, and capitalism is what wins.


01 Lico Whitfield ’13 (he/ him) was most recently the production contracts associate with The Public Theater. Prior to The Public, Lico was producer for the SUNY Purchase BA theater program, associate producer for the Atlantic Acting School, and producing director for The Amoralists. In the wake of 2020, Lico has been furloughed and rejoined the ranks of freelance theater producers and general managers seeking to create an anti-racist community of theater makers in New York.

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LICO And I don’t know if in the next five to ten years we will see enough change in positions of power and authority to make those necessary adjustments. I hope we see more people of color in those positions, but I think there’s going to be a desperate clinging to power by those who currently hold it. SHAMINDA I don’t think it’s just going to be people clinging to power: they’re going to actively perpetuate or find additional channels to hold onto it. The system works not only through some desperate ploy to grab but also through more insidious moves to subvert. We have to name these moves as intentional. I also believe there will be those who come up with a new model that’s self-sustaining, with anti-racist, equitable, and anti-oppressive principles. The real question is: Will we recognize them when they come, and will we be ready to support them? NARDA I hear you in terms of wanting more people of color in leadership positions. This is not popular, and sometimes I feel like I’m not supposed to say this, but I have been greatly harmed by people of color in leadership roles. I think anybody of color who is privileged enough to be in a position of power has gone through so much, whether it’s feeling like they have to cling to their own power or because we’ve all been socialized within a white supremacist culture. I do hope people of color are better represented in the landscape, but unless a person truly commits to anti-racism and carries this into their practice, which not all people of color do, then an antiracist workplace culture cannot be realized. I also want our white leaders to get educated and get on board. I believe that if a white person is committed to the work, has enough humility to want to learn, can truly share power, and supports others so that they can move up to leadership positions, then you can create an environment that is equitable. But I want us as BIPOC folks to stop harming each other and start supporting each other. I want us to live with an outlook of abundance; there’s plenty for all of us. 50

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SHAMINDA Definitely, because sometimes that intracommunal harm is worse if it comes from what you think is a trusted source. And you’re right, Narda, it’s just as important for white leaders to take up anti-racist practices and principles and advocate for them because it can’t only fall on the shoulders of the BIPOC community. This revolution is never going to take hold unless the majority and the privileged class change their hearts and minds. But it can’t be done as an “either/or” when it’s a “both/and.” BIPOC and white people have to take up this cause.

This revolution is never going to take hold unless the majority and privileged class change their hearts and minds. —    

02 LICO Without a doubt! You know, I have a remarkable amount of faith in the collective action of people of color, but I’ve also recognized a new generation of white men (I often joke they’re “the army of plaid shirts”). These guys are quoting Ibram X. Kendi and adrienne maree brown and saying things like, “We need to do better!” To be honest, I’ve never encountered that kind of self-awareness from the plaid shirts before. This all gives me faith that we’re going to bring up another generation who will hold these values closely and accept them as the cultural norm. NARDA I think you’re talking about culture change. I love that.

02 Shaminda Amarakoon ’12 () is enjoying his third tour at the School of Drama, having previously served as a carpenter in the scene shop, then a student in the TD&P program, before joining the faculty full-time in 2017, teaching production management. Just prior to returning to YSD, he worked for various Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national tours through Tech Production Services, Lincoln Center Theater, and Second Stage Theater in NYC.

SHAMINDA Ha! Gotta love the plaid shirts, Lico. You know, I’m trying to embrace a really long lens to this really long arc because as much as anti-racist conversations and practices have grown over time, so have racist practices. As much as these conversations will grow and lead to some new and great things, I’m suspect of racist conversations growing and leading to more sophisticated ways to keep people down.

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03 Narda E. Alcorn ’95 (she/her) () is chair of Yale School of Drama’s Stage Management Department and has worked internationally, regionally, and on and Off-Broadway. With co-author Lisa Porter ’95 (Former Faculty), she wrote the book, Stage Management Theory as a Guide to Practice: Cultivating a Creative Approach.

NARDA I read an article about data that shows that all these anti-racist trainings and books don’t work; in fact, these things are actually causing people, specifically white people, who perhaps were already wary of this work, to solidify that they have to “play the game” outwardly while inwardly they feel like they’re losing their place. That really hurt me because I believe education is a way forward. I worry about that at the School, quite honestly, and in the field, because if education is not the way forward, then where does this change take root? SHAMINDA How we onboard people is important to that. It’s one and the same whether it’s a student, staff member, or new faculty coming in. I make sure that, if nothing else, within our first conversation we’re talking about where the School is and where we hope to move regarding antiracism and anti-oppression, and I ask them outright to hold that as the most important, most normalized thing to do here and to build that as part of the culture. “You’re going to be expected to not only talk about feelings, but also have an analysis to add to our conversation,” I say. “Maybe you are the one that we’re waiting for to come up with that really great idea to shift us forward.” I won’t know unless I put that into the conversation right at the beginning. I’ve been inspired by Narda in this work and how she recruits.


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As stage managers, we will always have to be timekeepers, but how we keep time is everything. And to me, I can keep time as an anti-racist. That is the subtle, nuanced difference that I hope to make. —    

NARDA In regard to the School, folks are coming to learn the best practices in stage management, theater management and production management, and technical theater management. Imagine if, in three to five years, “anti-racism” were a part of those disciplines and folks come to the School to learn “anti-racist stage management,” instead of simply “stage management,” and “anti-racist theater management,” instead of simply “theater management,” and so on. I think we have a great opportunity to do so at YSD. I’ve been fascinated with language lately. Literally, our language is steeped in supremacy and oppression. I am trying to change the vocabulary so that even something like “being in charge” becomes “what does it mean to actually hold the space?” As stage managers, we will always have to be timekeepers, but how we keep time is everything. And to me, I can keep time as an anti-racist. That is the subtle, nuanced difference that I hope to make. LICO That’s an important distinction, Narda. I’d be interested to know if that’s a lesson you might tell your younger self? Or perhaps a prospective student or early career stage manager? Because my experience as a student of color, a Black student, was one of struggle, fighting for and finding my place, unending additional obstacles and trying to hold on to a part of my identity that I felt I was being asked to remove. So I’ve always been uncertain what advice to give to prospective students. Now that I see the landscape of leadership changing at the School to include faculty like yourselves, I’m more hopeful that students at YSD are being encouraged to flourish and learn in a way that empowers who they are rather than asks them to compromise themselves in order to succeed. Because that’s what I’d tell myself back then, “You’re going to be better than your worst days. You are so much more than your typos. You can be who you are and that’s okay.”

SHAMINDA For my younger self, I would try to do whatever I could to convince myself that there’s nothing wrong with “you”: you are enough. Also, “Go find others! You’re not alone! These things happen to other people. It’s not you!” While they may not have all the solutions, just hearing from others wrestling with the same things could have provided me with the strength and support at that transformative point in my career. NARDA That would be exactly my main point to give, not only to the prospective student but to my inner self (it’s certainly been my struggle since school). To my younger self, I’d also say that one day, almost 28 years later, you will have a different relationship with people who were your peers as students and are now faculty, and even those folks who were faculty 20-some years ago. You’ll forgive them, and they won’t be able to hurt you anymore. I wish I would have known that, not only at the School but also in the industry. There’s something about growing into yourself. These folks who had so much weight over me, all of a sudden, they’re just a person I know who was wrong. I hope that they’ve grown, and, again, I’ve actually forgiven them. At the time, I would have never thought that would be possible. LICO If I could say one thing to current students, I’d quote Vicki Nolan (Former Deputy Dean) who used to tell us, “Assume good will.” If we all did that, then that would lead us to positive outcomes. I’ve always tried to use that notion as a starting place. But recently my co-worker Heidi Griffiths, director of casting at The Public Theater, shared with me, “If good will has run out, if grace can’t be provided, then turn to wonder: wonder why good will isn’t present; wonder how it can be restored.” When I heard that, I thought, “Man, I wish I had heard that when I was a student!”—because as a student I stopped at assuming good will and didn’t think to go further…and we can. YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21



s we continue the struggle toward antiracist artmaking, I’ve begun searching within my own experiences as a Cuban scenic designer and active member of the theatrical establishment for the past 30 years. More specifically, I have been reflecting on how the aesthetic value system of “whiteness” permeates much of what we see in today’s so-called “American Theater.” I’ve learned to recognize specific aesthetic formulae that continue to be regurgitated in the service of what I consider a “polite” and “comfortable” theater. As with everything in life there are, of course, exceptions; I’m concentrating here on the silent specter of an aesthetic value system that has in many ways solidified a de facto iconography whose seeds stem from the impulse to create theater for a very specific demographic that—for the most part—wants to be entertained and made to feel safe and comfortable. To me, this presents as a kind of aesthetic anesthesia where only a specific notion of “beauty” is accepted while all other aesthetic values are either shunned or not invited to the table at all. There’s a generalized sameness to the work we tend to see, a familiarity that we all unconsciously recognize and accept. All we have to do is analyze the trends that permeate most of commercial theater, for example. As I see it, this is not just a phenomenon of commercial theater alone, but it has also become a part of regional theater since within the regions, the dominating logic dictates that they must imitate the successes of the “Great White Way” for financial stability in order to survive. Aesthetics are a financial commodity in our white, American system. One of the most insidious aspects of this ecosystem is how it infiltrates deep inside those of us who are not American, nor white, incentivizing us to belong and assimilate. I find this deeply troubling. I myself have struggled for years with this dilemma. Eventually, though, I had to break free, find my voice, and express it 56

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02 Tommy Schrider and Andrew Robinson on Riccardo’s set for Battle of Black and Dogs at Yale Repertory Theatre. Photo by Joan Marcus.

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03 Lauren Patten and the cast of Jagged Little Pill on Broadway. Scenic design by Riccardo. Photo by Matthew Murphy.


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without apology, firmly disallowing myself to be defined by what “they”—and by “they” I mean the ubiquitous but consequential presence of white directors, critics, producers, audiences—think of me or my work or my aesthetic. Unfortunately, I had to develop a kind of warrior mentality in order to survive simply because I refused then (as I refuse now) to fall victim to this system. But this warrior mentality weighs heavily; its armor crushes you down while you stay forever fighting—knowing that you are not seen as an equal. And yes, tokenized. I believe in questioning this aesthetic value system with our design students—so that, alternatively, we can plunge deep into the uncomfortable, existential, and political questions that our great playwrights raise with urgency. As we’ve expanded the texts that we read in our classes, especially those by modern and diverse contemporary writers, we face works that demand a divergent aesthetic from the one we are used to. Take, for example, the work of Adrienne Kennedy, who shatters the expectations of what I would call aesthetic and theatrical “familiarity.” In her texts, she’s actually dismantling preconceived notions, thereby provoking designers to dig deep within and beyond the expected. This brings me to a quote from London-based Kuwaiti educator and designer Danah Abdulla: “Decoloniality is about shattering the familiar.” I invite the students to be irreverent when doing that shattering. It takes courage, and, at times, it is messy. But ultimately, this work begins to free students from preconceived notions in order to create something that stands outside the comfortable and at times rigid formulae of American set design. We practice a decentralized dialogue where all the students weigh in and critique each other’s work throughout the design process. What then unfolds is that the student begins to recognize a hidden voice within themselves which, in turn, reveals an iconography deeply rooted in the text. We are looking for neither “prettiness” nor comfort nor even passivity, but rather an active space that stimulates the senses, inviting both intellect and imagination on the part of the audience. Once on this path, the student begins to unlearn old habits and uncover something unique to them that has been suppressed. To me, this unlearning is crucial: it leads to the further dismantling of the aesthetic value YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


system of whiteness and transcends it by expressing a more universal truth through express specificity. And thus, we subvert the academic politics of design practice that provide and reaffirm a comfortably formulaic approach in an effort to reproduce what’s deemed as “good taste.” This practice, in turn, carries forward a set of assumptions and value judgments that become ingrained through their reapplication. As designers, we must not hide behind an agreed-upon value system. Interrogating the aesthetic patina of sameness and prettiness exposes certain hierarchies deeply embedded (and decaying) within design. Granted, thousands of questions come up on this journey toward unlearning and unearthing what lies buried within a given work (and even within oneself): How did we get here in the first place? Why has it taken so long to begin the dismantling? In what ways have we all participated in and enabled this value system? For success? For fame? Financial stability? A few weeks ago, playwright Naomi Wallace, with whom I’ve worked for more than 20 years, brought my attention to the writing of Nick Estes, a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. In his terrific book Our History Is the Future, he writes: “For earth to live, capitalism must die.” Naomi asked, “Can we root out these white aesthetics without dismantling patriarchy and homophobia and transphobia, without keeping at the forefront the issues of poverty and war? I think it all belongs together in this radical dismantling, yes?” I agree wholeheartedly with Naomi that this radical dismantling is epochal. We all must participate in the undoing, not only to save our planet, but to allow this democracy to be what it has not yet accomplished for all of its members. This inevitably leads to another important challenge: the dialogue we ought to have with history itself, specifically with Western art and theater, since our main academic focal point has been with Eurocentric canonical work. From my Latin American experience, I find this dialogue to be of the utmost relevance to cement our place in history and reclaim as well as reconcile our roots; in doing so, we can negotiate an aesthetic dialogue with the past and the present. Personally, I find this dialogue with past and present to be one of the best ways to liberate ourselves from the prevalent value system in our theater. For example, last semester we worked on Adrienne Kennedy’s 60

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04 Riccardo’s set for Jan Karski (Mon Nom Est Une Fiction) at the Centre Dramatique National Orléans / Loiret / Centre. Photo by Frédéric Nauczyciel.

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05 Arin Arbus (Faculty), Riccardo Hernández ’92 (Faculty), Michael Yeargan ’73 (Faculty), and Alexander McCargar ’20. Photo by Joan Marcus.


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Funny House of a Negro alongside August Strindberg’s A Dream Play, Sarah Kane’s Blasted, and Lynn Nottage’s ’89 (Former Faculty) Mlima’s Tale. This dialogue allowed for a polyphony of voices that, when taken together, inspired our students to dig deep and create a new American theater that is at once rediscovering, reclaiming, and owning its own roots in history while paving the way to the future. Today, I am concerned that we are entering a phase in our learning institutions where censorship may become a part of our curriculum in an attempt to “decolonize” training or “shatter” familiar iconography. As a man who was born in Socialist Cuba, I fear any ideology which may ultimately ferment mistrust, fear, and lack of empathy in our students. The Cuban Revolution had to happen. It was badly needed. Latin America has suffered and continues to suffer from a colonialized mentality. The Revolution brought much-needed change by educating its citizens, providing healthcare to all, and delivering a great many other social programs, but not without a price. Like most revolutions, it turned on its people, imprisoned those who disagreed, those who were deemed “other,” and destroyed all dialogue. As we shatter the familiar and fight for transformational change, we must also fight to preserve the right to disagree, the right to speak our minds, and the right to learn from and nurture all forms of theater and artmaking. In our well-intentioned efforts to undo historical harms, there is the potential danger of whitewashing history so much that we doom ourselves to repeating it. We must remember our humanity and the all-too-real pain and suffering that brought us to where we are today. Riccardo Hernández ’92 was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is an award-winning scenic designer and the Co-Chair of the Design program at Yale School of Drama and the Set Design Advisor at Yale Repertory Theatre.

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Being and Seeing Ourselves on Stage: Three Perspectives

Jisun Kim ’22 in benjisun presents bodyssey performed at the Yale Cabaret in 2019. 64

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     

Blind Spot by Pun Bandhu ’01


01 01 Pun Bandhu ’01


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un,” my classmate Jane pulled me aside as we were walking from the gym after Movement class, “you have to stop coming to class late. It makes the rest of us look bad.” By the rest of us, she meant the other Asians in our year. We were an anomaly, the first time three Asians had been admitted together into the same Acting cohort (though we still think that the powers-that-be thought Rio was Latino). At the time, Jane’s assumption that the actions of one member of a group would impact how all other members of the group would be perceived seemed silly to me and merely a function of her need to fit in. “I’m an individual, Jane,” I retorted casually with a crooked smile, sipping my green tea frappe. “No one would ever confuse the two of us.” I think back to that conversation often because it captures my naïveté at the time. I wish I’d had Jane’s political consciousness then. Even when a Shakespeare teacher tossed out “Chinese people are loud” while laughingly telling us about what happened to him at a noisy Chinese restaurant the other night, I did not think his perception of Chinese people had anything to do with me. Somehow, I thought I was different. Perhaps growing up overseas had inoculated me. Even though I was a Thai citizen growing up in Indonesia, at least people that looked like me were in the majority. At my International School, it was

the Filipino kids I looked up to: they always got the plum roles in the high school musical. I wanted to be Pippin and Joseph with his technicolor dream coat, and in my mind, they all had Asian faces. It wasn’t until I graduated from YSD in 2001 that I truly understood that Americans see me very differently from how I see myself. I’d estimate that 40% of the auditions I received after graduating required an Asian accent. Growing up in an environment where I had to speak multiple languages, I had always been good at accents, but I could not do an Asian accent to save my life before going to YSD. I always tuned out my parents’ accents as the “wrong way of speaking.” Thank goodness my speech teacher had impressed upon me how vital it was that I learned how to do Asian accents well; I probably wouldn’t be here today if she hadn’t. (I am glad, however, that so-called “Ebonics” is no longer being taught in speech classes. I wish I had been able to defend my Black classmate better when she questioned why the whole class had to learn how to speak like the idea of what a Black person who’s enslaved sounded like or when a white student discounted and minimized her outrage. We didn’t have the words or the institutional support back then to advocate for ourselves.) The stereotyping that exists within our industry plays a large role in how people of color are perceived by society. The entertainment

industry uses Asians as a punchline—like setting up an Asian accent to elicit laughter—and perpetuates stereotypes that Asians are prostitutes, nerds, savages, or servants. This Othering process has contributed to a system that allows people to lay the blame for an international pandemic on their neighbors and fellow citizens

When people have limited understanding of a group and when there are so few depictions of them as fullfledged, three-dimensional human beings, stereotypes might as well be reality. and allows hate to foment. When people have limited understanding of a group and when there are so few depictions of them as full-fledged, three-dimensional human beings, stereotypes might as well be reality. Asian Americans in particular are often seen as a monolith, grouped together as outsiders and defined predominantly by our perceived aspects of difference. This is what Jane was talking about. The white man who gunned down six Asian women and others in Atlanta believed these women to be a YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


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“temptation” because of these stereotypes. There is a direct line between how Asians are portrayed and the rise of anti-Asian violence in this country, and we all need to ask ourselves how we are complicit in this process. The invisibility of Asian Americans in popular culture and from American consciousness allows these stereotypes to be perpetuated. What happened in Atlanta is horrific, but it is part of the continuation of hundreds of years of targeted, systemic exclusion and violence. We Americans are never taught this history, and so Asians exist outside of the story of building America as well as the story of racism in America. Without this context of oppression, the model minority YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

myth is allowed to prevail. The narrative goes something like this: America welcomed Asians into the country, and because of their uncanny work ethic and because Asians are culturally predisposed not to make waves, they became successful. Like all myths, this one is far from reality. This model minority concept was, in fact, carefully engineered. After years of a whiteonly immigration policy which included racist legislation like the Chinese Exclusion Act, in the 1960s, only the most financially stable, professional class of Asian immigrants were allowed to enter the country as a direct response to the racial riots erupting across the country. Asians were used to create the “ideal” image of immigrants of color to be a wedge against other marginalized groups—and particularly Black Americans—as if to say “See? They did it. Why can’t you?” This myth is so prevalent that I’ve known people who don’t even consider Asians as people of color. I’ve also played a lot of “white adjacent” roles, those roles where my Asian body stands in for “The (White) Man” such as a lawyer for the state deporting Latinx prisoners. As the “China flu” attacks demonstrate, of course, this position of being the model minority is tenuous. It demands assimilation. And when things like the Atlanta shootings happen, there isn’t an understanding of how racial politics are at play. The local Cherokee County Sheriff ’s captain who briefed the nation talked about the gunman perceiving these masseuses as “temptresses”—and, in the same sentence, he could also allege with absolutely no irony at all that there was no evidence that this was a racially-motivated incident. As a member of the YSD Board of

Advisors, I was able to speak directly with current Asian YSD students after the shooting. There is a lot of hurt and fear that they, like the entire Asian American community, are feeling right now. Many of them have said that their fellow students never reached out to them after the shooting. One student called out her classmates about their lack of support and received a hostile and defensive reaction. Faculty members hadn’t taken time out of class to talk about it. Everyone could agree it was a tragedy, but there was little shared outrage that

I co-author the only publicly available annual statistics on racial representation on New York City stages, called The Visibility Report; I remember 10 years ago, when I first started compiling statistics, I mentioned to my acting mentor that, out of all people of color, Asian Americans were the race least likely to be non-traditionally cast in roles that were not racially specific. (We didn’t call it Conscious Casting or Inclusive Casting at the time.) She nodded sympathetically and said, “Right now an African American will be cast as Coriolanus, but in 10 or 20

“oppression Olympics” to gauge who has suffered the most. It basically upholds that white supremacy is the way of the world and does nothing to challenge it. This scarcity model is so subtle and yet so pervasive that we must, at all costs, raise it to a level of consciousness and interrogate this if we ever want to achieve true social justice and the ideal of equal opportunities for everyone. We need to move beyond this if we are ever to expand the diversity conversation to make sure all voices are included. I must take a moment to say how

Asians are a blind spot—and perhaps a widely acceptable one—when it comes to issues of racial inclusion. led to protests and action. Students articulated feeling invisible at the School, exacerbated by the dearth of Asian faculty members and the almost total lack of Asian and Asian American voices in the curriculum. AAPI students feel their concerns are underrepresented in the anti-racism training the School has enacted. It makes me think of that year during #OscarsSoWhite: the Academy Awards was trying so carefully to be more racially inclusive, yet it was still acceptable for Asians to be the butt of the joke as they trotted out those poor kids dressed up as accountants. It makes me think about how even the most well-meaning theater companies, those that have hired more BIPOC artists than others, have still barely hired any Asians at all. Asians are a blind spot—and perhaps a widely acceptable one—when it comes to issues of racial inclusion.

years, hopefully, Asians will get to play Coriolanus, too.” Of course, my immediate thought was, “Whaaat? I don’t want to wait 20 years!” I know that her comment was meant to be hopeful and a practical (and honest) assessment of where the industry was at this moment in time. She meant that it takes years for change to happen and that correcting racial injustices in this country needs to first start with repairing the harm done to African Americans. I love her dearly and know she was only trying to be reassuring, but here’s my problem with this framework: it pits every single marginalized group against the others to fight for scraps while leaving the power firmly intact in the hands of “The (White) Man.” It operates under an assumption that only so much ground can and will be ceded to BIPOC artists and asks us to compete in something akin to the

difficult it is to talk about race at this level of nuance. I know that because so much of our dialogue around race in this country has been so binary and because scarcity-model thinking is so pervasive that there will be some who will misconstrue my comments as being anti-Black, as if I am bemoaning that Black injury is placed above Asian injury (which sounds ridiculous as I type it, but believe me, many people think this way, which makes me sad). Nothing could be further from the truth. I know that the idea of Asian liberation is only possible because of the debt we owe to the Black Liberation movement (actually, Asian activists fought alongside Black activists in the 60s—Yuri Kochiyama was the last person to hold Malcolm X when he was shot— but that story is rarely focused on because it complicates things). I

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have been in so many Asian spaces this past year fighting to support #BlackLivesMatter and interrogating the colorism that continues to exist within the Asian American community. I believe that as a society we can hold multiple truths up at the same time. One marginalized group voicing their pain should not take space away from another’s. Our voices should be rising in chorus together to highlight the white supremacy that is at the root of it all. I’ve spent so much of my time as an artist trying to get a seat at the table and helping other BIPOC artists get a seat at the table, but now I’m wondering: Why should we ever put our faith in predominantly white institutions to have our best interests at heart? Yes, we need our white allies—the inroads that have been made would not have been possible without them—but we also need to create our own tables. The current Asian YSD students are asking similar questions, such as whether going to a school like Yale is serving what they need as Asian artists to grow. I could only offer them that the School has made me a more astute cultural translator because I spoke a common language and that there is no doubt that it has opened doors for me, but also, I had to learn how to define myself on my own time and on my own terms. It actually has been 10 years since my mentor said those words to me, and there is reason to be optimistic that the industry is now more accepting of diverse voices. Now, 70

however, I’m not as interested in playing roles that “transcend” my race, where race may be erased but within the same Western-centric story. That was me back in grad school. I have no judgement against it—it’s a sure-fire way to increase BIPOC employment, and there are some great roles out there—I’m just saying I yearn more to be a part of stories that speak to the multitudes of my experience, where I can truly be “seen” instead of where the audience must remind themselves that race is not germane to the story because I’ve realized that it always is. I suppose every artist must decide how much they are willing to play the game and how much they need to reserve for themselves, just like everyone must decide what is worth fighting for and what is best to let go. I found author Ocean Vuong inspiring when he said “Asian American agency and innovation are often legible when we are at service to larger structures. Asian Americans are often asked to be the accommodators. We hold the doors, we nurse, we wash the feet, we do the nails. When it comes to your own thinking, your own creation, you will not be legible, you will be inconceivable. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it but be prepared. And, more so, why not be as ambitious as you want to be? Why not be pretentious—what is pretense but the assumption that you belong here? Be prepared to be inconceivable—and then be prepared to innovate beyond that.”

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It’s an exciting time to be in the industry because it really does feel like there is so much Asian innovation out there and people who are open to it. Fighting to change how Asian Americans are perceived feels even more urgent now. It’s not just our livelihoods on the line, but our lives. Pun Bandhu ’01 is an award-winning actor who has acted on Broadway, OffBroadway, and in TV and film. He also produces theater and film through his company, ZenDog Productions. This pandemic year, he won an Obie Award for his advocacy work as a co-founder of the Asian American Performers Action Coalition. He serves as co-chair of the Student Life Committee on the School’s Board of Advisors.

     

To Be Invisible by Emika Abe ’16, SOM ’16


am half Japanese and half white. I used to say that my racial identity wasn’t the foot I led with. Being mixed race, I was more interested in what unified us than what divided us. I always dreaded having to check a singular race/ethnicity box on a form. In fact, someone else first labeled me as a person of color. When the term was placed upon me, I accepted it with

undeniable evidence that racism against Asian Americans is real. And our theater industry is not blameless. Last year, I attended a convening of theater leaders to discuss racism in the American theater. The facilitator shared that the cycle of racism starts with stereotypes—by othering a group of people with broad generalizations, we dehumanize them, which opens up

never even considered seeing my story on stage. While I do believe that there is great value in reflecting on what connects us, on a deeper level, I realized that I was so used to finding my way into others’ stories that I had internalized the feeling that my story was unworthy of being on stage. Since that TCG conference in 2011, I have been in rooms where a white leader at a predominantly

No matter the excuse, the result is the same: a disgraceful lack of representation across our industry and, for me, a deep-seated sensation that I don’t belong. reluctance, yet again feeling like it was another singular box to check. Over the years, with life experiences and an evolving anti-racist analysis, I came to understand the benefits and the costs of being a part of such a broad umbrella term: “people of color.” I have spent much of the last year deepening my understanding of anti-Blackness in this country and, in relation to that, my own proximity to whiteness and how that complicates my identity as a person of color. With a white parent, I am the recipient of a lot of white privilege. But when six Asian women were brutally murdered in and around Atlanta in March 2021, I felt so very not-white. While there had been an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes since COVID-19 hit the U.S., that particular tragic and traumatic event was a wake-up call for many as

the door to prejudice, discrimination, and oppression. This has stuck with me. As theater makers, we have a responsibility to put our full humanity on stage—to share all of our stories—because we all deserve to see ourselves represented and validated, and also to find points of connection and appreciation in the experiences and imaginations of people who are very different from us. I have felt the erasure of Asians and Asian Americans in the American theater throughout my career. I sat in the back of the room at my first TCG conference 10 years ago and quietly cried when Tim Dang, then-artistic director of East West Players, shared that they were doing a Hapa festival, featuring plays about people who were of mixed Asian heritage, like me. At that moment, I realized that I had

white theater attempted to obscure their failure to present Asian work by referencing the one time they did a predominantly Asian play and saying something like: “While it was a great show, the Asian American audiences just didn’t turn out, so why would we do that again?” I have heard the argument that there is such a small AAPI population in the community that it’s just not worth it. There is a language barrier. There aren’t enough Asian actors, so it’s too hard to cast. No matter the excuse, the result is the same: a disgraceful lack of representation across our industry and, for me, a deep-seated sensation that I don’t belong. I was lucky, however, to experience a sense of belonging as an Asian American theater maker while at YSD. In my final year, Francesca Fernandez

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03 03 (    ) Shadi Ghaheri ’18, Ashley Chang ’16, DFA ’21, and Elizabeth Mak ’16. (    ) Sylvia Zhang ’18, Emika Abe ’16, SOM ’16, Sooyoung Hwang ’16, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie ’18, David Henry Hwang ’83, Stefani Kuo ’24, YC ’17, Eston Fung ’17, and Kee-Yoon Nahm ’12, DFA ’16.


McKenzie ’18, Jenelle Chu ’16, Eston Fung ’17, and Ashley Chang ’16, DFA ’21, started an affinity group of AAPI students. We were a disparate group across theatrical disciplines, from different ethnicities, folks who grew up abroad and those whose families had been in the U.S. for generations. Those gatherings, when we came together (over food, of course!) to read plays by and about Asian Americans, validated that we have stories that are worthy of being told in the American theater. Now, I am privileged to be in a leadership position as Managing Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Both in our organization and when I’m in rooms with other theater leaders, I have the opportunity and responsibility to speak up when I hear ill-informed assumptions or harmful comments meant to justify this lack of representation. I will continue to

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deepen my own anti-racism work to understand the nuanced differences between the experiences of different racial groups without minimizing or glazing over my own racialized experience. I will continue to hold out hope for an American theater that demonstrates the inclusion it purports to value by presenting a range of Asian and Asian American stories on its stages, allowing AAPI artists to bring their full humanity to their work in order to break that cycle of stereotypes at the root of the racialized violence we are seeing in our communities. Emika Abe ’16, SOM ’16 is Managing Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC, a position she has held since October 2019. Previous professional experience includes Alliance Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre.

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This Is My Home by Jisun Kim ’22

When asked where I live, I could answer: the United States, Connecticut, or even New Haven, four blocks from where the Yale School of Drama is located. I buy food, pay rent and taxes, eat and sleep, hang out with my friends, and find my life here. This is my “home.” I came to a sudden realization after the abhorrent murders in Atlanta, where eight people were shot and killed, six of whom were Asian women. When I saw the news, the whole world around me stopped even as the rest of it kept moving on. Then I realized, I need to make this place my home. Because it has never felt like one. My dream at YSD is to see a play in which a queer Asian woman is a lead. I barely get to see Asian shows or read Asian plays at school. So, it almost sounds surreal to imagine such an unusual play—so surreal, in fact, that the thought of seeing myself represented onstage makes my own identity feel unreal to me. Unreal because I’m so often rendered unseen and invisible. I think, “Maybe I should wait until I go back to my home country to see more of those plays. It’s only natural I don’t get to see myself represented in a foreign country.” Then I remember there are almost 20 million Asian Americans living in this country. That’s almost three times the population of New York State, yet how many times have I seen a white New Yorker portrayed on stage? And then I become sad and furious. Asian Americans have nowhere to “go back to,” because this is their home. I identify as a queer Asian woman. I’m extremely proud of my

identity, and I find so much joy in it. But I’m not sure if people around me know much about it. I don’t believe a racial identity is solely about your skin color. It’s about the whole background, cultural values, histories, aesthetics, happiness, sadness, despair, and hope you carry with your body the whole time, and only the tip of these are

04 04 Jisun Kim ’22

reflected in your skin. I often feel invisible at YSD and in the American theater, not because I don’t have collaborators who love me or professors who acknowledge my achievement, but because I barely get to share the favorite part of myself, because my identity is seen as irrelevant to the work I do—as if I can detach my very self from what I create. I used to leave the most beloved part of myself behind me as I entered classrooms, rehearsal

I identify as a queer Asian woman. I’m extremely proud of my identity, and I find so much joy in it. rooms, and theaters. I thought that’s what it meant to be professional. But theater is my home. This school is my home. I cannot leave myself when I’m at home. I look at my body and see countless Asian women on my skin, women who have been killed or silenced in thousands of other ways because of the anti-Asian racism and violence in this country. So, I have decided I will not wait anymore. I will make this place my home as I carry these women with my body, as long as l live here, no matter how long it takes. Because this is my home, and this is the way I honor those lives who were not welcome here. Jisun Kim ’22 is an idealist, dramaturg, artist and scholar. She is a third-year MFA candidate in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at the Yale School of Drama.

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Amanda Luke ’22 Assistant Stage Manager

As we explore how w to make anti-racist theater, it is important to look k at the Native storytelling traditions that have been happening on this land since time immemorial. Theater can learn from Native storytelling traditions that draw w on horizontal leadership structures, thinking seven generations ahead, and community building. In my y experience, bringing Native practices into a rehearsal room in a way y that is meaningful and not performative creates a space off joy. When I work k on projects that have horizontal leadership structures and make room for everyone’s voices, we end up with an incredible final product. The people who make theater in this country y are not a monolith; everyone has their own artistry y and ideas that are valuable to the production. When people feel like they y are consenting to a process or a moment in rehearsal, then they y have power. They y have the power to say, “Yes, I want to do this,” or “What iff we explored this idea?” Horizontal leadership structures further encourage people to want the project to succeed. When I go into a rehearsal room thinking seven generations ahead, I am thinking about sustainability. I think k about the paper we use for script changes and the materials we are using to build our sets and costumes. I also think k about why y I am telling this particular story: What is it doing to help future generations? Am I 76

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Have we invited the Tribal Nation on whose land we are performing? What are we doing to support the local Elders and children with this production? How are we lifting up young theater artists and treating interns on the project? creating a story y my y descendants would be proud of? I think k about the community y I am building with this project. Is my y team diverse in front off and behind the table? What am I doing to create community y for my company? I consider the topics in the production and what support physically, mentally, or emotionally y the group may y need. Who is coming to see this play? Have we invited the Tribal Nation on whose land we are

01 performing? What are we doing to support the local Elders and children with this production? How w are we lifting up young theater artists and treating interns on the project? My y practice as a Native stage manager is to ask k these questions on every y project I work k on. I want to see a theater industry y that is diverse and accessible to all—an industry y where we tell stories without causing harm, but rather uplift our communities. I am excited to see us get to a point where theaters are no longer programming their “firsts” (their first Native show, show w with a transgender character or performer, sensory-friendly show, show w with actors who have a disability, etc.). I want to see all theaters programming this kind off work k so often that it isn’t anybody’s first time doing it anymore. Iff we want to be an anti-racist industry, then we need to put the work k in from the top down by y hiring people from

01 Amanda Luke ’22

diverse backgrounds with a depth off life experience to lead us to a place that our people will be proud off in seven generations. Amanda Luke ’22 is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma of Cherokee descent and a third-year Stage Management student at Yale School of Drama. She has worked on stage management teams at Syracuse Stage, Yale Rep, the Old Globe, Redbull Theater and WAM Theater.

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Laurie Woolery Director

My y roots are planted in the soil off El Salvador and Guatemala a and the farmlands off Oklahoma a and Texas. I am first generation off people who immigrated to the United States because off the violence that predated the Salvadoran civil war. I use this framing to make it clear that I speak k from that lived perspective and not off the Lenape people or any y Indigenous people native to the lands off the United States. My y experience is as a child of immigrant and working-class roots. That being said, Mary y Kathryn and I are great partners because we understand the complexity y off ancestors, lineage, erasure, and the power off story y as a tool for liberation and truth-telling. It’s challenging to answer the question about how w Indigenous practices and philosophies can be carried through into a colonized American theater model without addressing the lack k off equity y in what stories are told and by y whom. I feel extremely y fortunate to have had the opportunity y to work k with Mary y Kathryn on Manahatta at both Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Yale Repertory y Theatre. Even while working at these two prestigious theaters with supportive artistic leaders and creative teams, we were constantly y tested by y having to advocate for processes that were considered outside the traditional American theater practices and timelines. And to be clear, they y were. You can’t invite stories by y marginalized groups of varying cultural practices and not invite ALL off the richness off that community y into the room. You do this by prioritizing the values off respect and deep listening, and by y truly y making space at the table for those voices to be a part off the creative process. When we focus on 78

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When we focus on listening and respecting the community whose story we are telling, making conscious decisions about who is on the creative teams is essential and, honestly, makes the work better. listening and respecting the community y whose story y we are telling, making conscious decisions about who is on the creative teams is essential and, honestly, makes the work k better. By y prioritizing learning about Indigenous practices off storytelling and leaning into those traditions, we opened up the truth off how w to tell this story y by y sourcing the abundance off the collective. Manahatta requires the creatives to tell a story y that embraces the Indigenous belieff that time is not a linear concept but rather an acceptance that past, present, and future are alive within each moment. It was by y unlocking this cornerstone off Indigenous storytelling practice that we found our way y into sharing this story y by y an Indigenous playwright that centers

02 Indigenous people (specifically y women). It was by y having Indigenous designers and cultural consultants who worked actively y as creative thought partners weighing in on costumes, props, sound, music, dialect, and movement, that we unearthed a holistic experience that the audience experienced on multiple levels. Attendees may y not have known that we commissioned Indigenous artisans to create the wampum jewelry y worn in the show, but the sacred practice off creating those pieces rippled out into the actors who wore them on stage and the crew who respectfully y handled the pieces backstage. Those 360 degrees off care are felt in the performances. It was by y asking ALL artists involved to delve into their personal history y that we made space to collaborate with our ancestors and the historic trauma a that is passed through all off us. The reckoning with that shared history created an emotional caretaking off one another. In the retelling off an extremely y difficult scene in the play, the company y built that moment collectively y making space to prep our hearts, minds, and bodies for the trauma. Then the reality y off playing that moment happened, and its violence was staggering. Because care had been taken

02 Laurie Woolery. Photo by Tammy Shell.

along the way y and the artists had agency y in its creation, those actors created moments offstage immediately following the scene where they y checked in with one another to acknowledge the moment and physically y hold one another. All off this is to say, when we take time to see one another’s humanity y and activate equity y in creative spaces, you feel it in the work. It’s the gift off a creative space rooted in respect, trust, and honest inclusion. Laurie Woolery is a director, playwright, and citizen artist. She is the Director of Public Works at The Public Theater that creates ambitious works of participatory art with and by community members in all five boroughs. Woolery was a 2020 United States Artist recipient and the 2021 Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities.

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Mary Kathryn Nagle Playwright

It all begins with respect. In response to the question: “How w might Indigenous philosophies and lifeways inform such a practice as it relates to theater-making processes?”—I respond as a citizen off the Cherokee Nation and as a Cherokee woman. So, although I cannot speak k for all who identify y as “indigenous”— from a Cherokee perspective, the first thing to focus on is respect. Respect for the land we are standing on and its traditional caretakers, respect for our ancestors because without them we would not be here today, and respect for one another. Iff we intentionally y focus on this respect and put it at the forefront off our work k together in the theater, we will produce better theater. But truly, I question why y the American theater would want to use and incorporate our philosophies and values into their theater practices and theater-making spaces when most professional American theaters will not incorporate our actual voices. Still, to this day, most professional theaters have never produced a single play by y a Native playwright. Never. It is true that Yale Repertory y Theatre has produced one, but that makes YRT the exception. I have an incredible amount of gratitude for the fact that YRT produced my y play. But we have to first get to a place where theaters are more likely y to produce plays by Native playwrights than plays that use redface to dehumanize us. And I have no idea a how w to use Native philosophies or lifeways in a form off storytelling that was purposefully designed to destroy y us. 80

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Although I cannot speak for all who identify as “indigenous”— from a Cherokee perspective, the first thing to focus on is respect. Respect for the land we are standing on and its traditional caretakers, respect for our ancestors because without them we would not be here today, and respect for one another. The fact that a tiny y handful off professional American theaters have finally y decided to produce one off our plays does not mean that all off the American theater is entitled to use our values and lifeways while simultaneously y silencing our voices. In addition to producing plays by y Native playwrights, the American theater needs to accept the fact that Native people can do everything. We can stage manage.

Mary Kathryn Nagle

We can design sets. We can also handle costumes. We can even direct. The danger in asking Native people to give the American theater their lifeways and philosophies now, while we are still fighting for a seat at table, is that this will merely y result in history y repeating itself. We have given non-Natives many y things off great value. Corn. Tobacco. Democracy. Chocolate. Sports like lacrosse. And after hundreds off years off giving off our lifeways, we are still fighting for a seat at your table (constructed on our lands). A tiny y handful off theaters have begun to produce plays by y Native playwrights. Playwrights Horizons produced Larissa a Fasthorse. Portland Center Stage produced DeLanna a Studi. Woolly y Mammoth has now w produced Madeline Sayet. But for every y theater that has produced a Native playwright, there are hundreds that have not. As a Cherokee Nation citizen and as a Cherokee woman, I think k our Cherokee values, lifeways, and traditions have a lot to teach others. I think k the American theater would do well to incorporate our philosophies and lifeways into the playmaking process— but I think k trying to incorporate them before the

American theater has permitted us to speak k for ourselves and tell our own stories is nothing more than history y repeating itself. Mary Kathryn Nagle is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a playwright. Her plays include Sovereignty (Arena Stage, Marin Theatre Company), Manahatta (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre), Crossing Mnisose (Portland Center Stage), Fairly Traceable (Native Voices at the Autry), Return to Niobrara (The Rose Theater), and Miss Lead (Amerinda/59E59).

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students who might be on the fence about applying. Additionally, James seeks to “unpack k the profession,” by y which she means demystifying the field. Clear communication around the department’s values (as well as straightforward explanations off what design is) will help, but we also can start this work k at the high school level, she says. By y talking to teachers and seeing what their students need, we are better positioned to close accessibility y gaps in higher education—and beyond. “How w can we support? Should we have workshops? Should we do open portfolio reviews?” are a few w questions James asks. She suggests that YSD increase outreach to Historically y Black k Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and lesser-known schools, whose students might not feel that they y have the qualifications or caché to apply. If, at this point, you’re thinking, Hmm. This willl neverr work—you’re wrong! The majority y off James’s former students at Virginia a Commonwealth University y met her at portfolio reviews while they y were still in high school. Every y so often, she would email them to see how w they y were doing and how their work k was coming along. It’s no surprise that many y off them ended up in her classroom. The key y here is forming mutual relationships. There is no magic substance (money y included) that can smooth over diversity y potholes. There is only y sustained investment and care over time, building open channels off trust between the School off Drama a and the next generation of theater-makers. It will be more difficult than simply y resting on YSD’s reputation and hoping to magically y attract a diverse group off design students; it takes work. From what James has said, however, that work k is worthwhile, and it’s possible to start it long before students are eligible for graduate studies. Nurturing young creatives won’t just make YSD better: the entire industry benefits from cross-pollination. Unfortunately, that requires us to admit that certain industry y practices stand in the way y off the inclusion we claim to want. The infamous unpaid internship offered in exchange for experience is a grim example. “I don’t believe in unpaid anything,” James states firmly, further explaining that on jobs where her interns and assistants weren’t paid by y the institution, she paid them out off her own pocket. She sees teaching and mentorship as important components off recruitment, a way y off introducing students to the design community. A good chunk k off that introduction should involve eschewing exploitative systems that block k marginalized individuals from gaining experience in design. A recruitment policy y that values and invests in students early y on can circumvent the free labor circus, thus making room for people without the means (or desire) to work k for free. Using recruitment to create more playful, more dynamic, and more equitable theater will pose both an opportunity y and a challenge. A level of effort, in James’s view, will be required to shift YSD’s student body, and ultimately, the culture. But change is possible. Considering that James did not graduate from YSD, as many y current faculty y members have, even her presence at Yale signals an in-house willingness to move beyond the YSD bubble—an encouraging sign. “I do believe in the institution,” James says, with a glint in her eye, “and I’m excited for the ways it can grow.” And, to think: she’s just getting started.

A good chunk of that introduction should involve eschewing exploitative practices that block marginalized individuals from gaining experience in design.

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Theater’s Climate Futures              ’18                                             ’08


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ver two decades into my career, I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of how to help the American theater reach its highest ideals and realize its full potential. I’ve made peace with the fact that the ills ravaging our society will not be resolved in my lifetime and that my singular job is to help move the needle just a bit closer to the world I want to live in. It is impossible for me to unsee the connections between what we make on our stages and what is unfolding in our news cycles—and I’m not only speaking to which stories we’re telling and who is telling them but also how we work together, how we are in relationship to each other, and how we understand our connection to past and future generations. If my time at YSD taught me anything, it is the power of the generational continuum as an engine for progress and evolution. And because much of my energy in the Theater Management program was spent challenging the well-worn ideological and practical pathways of my predecessors, I find myself wanting to be met with the same level of rigor and relentless interrogation as I move forward. My anti-racism journey began several years ago, and I’ve since developed a platform from which to share my own learning. Ever-more central to my own politics is the understanding that passing the mic and ceding the space are among the most important responsibilities I have in moving the aforementioned needle. It is in this spirit, I invite you to join me in a learning moment by way of engaging with my Baltimore Center Stage colleagues, Annalisa Dias and Sabine Decatur YC ’18. We three represent very different life experiences and points of view with many shared goals. Speaking personally and professionally, surrounding myself with thought partners and peer mentors like Annalisa and Sabine has helped deepen my anti-racism practice exponentially. For any number of reasons, it may be tempting to prioritize my voice over theirs (hierarchy, age, professional status, etc.) but to do so would be a mistake. And it would fly in the face of the very real progress we’re making as a larger theater field to more fully contribute to our communities. So, dive in. I’m thrilled to witness this thoughtful exchange between two of my primary collaborators. I encourage you to lean in, Google liberally, fall down rabbit holes, and to metabolize the wisdom of these words at your own pace. I’ve re-read this conversation multiple times, and I’m still pulling on threads that lead to a more holistic understanding of the journey I’m on and just how far I have left to travel. —Stephanie Ybarra ’08

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To me, abolition is a fundamental reframing of how we understand our relationship to each other, to community. — 

 You and I have been talking for a while now about the connection between abolition and climate justice, and sometimes it seems obvious for people who are actively involved in those movement spaces. But for the sake of helping folks understand that connection and what it all has to do with theater, I wonder if we can tease that out a bit here.  Yeah. I’m down.  Ok, so why don’t we start with abolition, which is a movement that you’ve been thinking with for a long time. Can you tell me about your understanding of abolition? What is it, and how does it apply to theater? In like…three sentences. Go.  It feels wrong to even start defining “abolition” without first pointing towards the work of Angela Davis, Mariame Kaba, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and so, so many other people (primarily 88

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Black women) who have informed literally all of my thinking about everything. That being said, to me, abolition is a fundamental reframing of how we understand our relationship to each other, to community. It’s the assertion that we can handle harm in ways that are restorative rather than punitive, that are not dependent on police, prisons, or the state. It is the idea that everyone’s basic needs can and should be met without depending on violence.  That sounds so resonant with how climate justice workers talk about the need for a fundamental shift in how we relate to the living world. Can you say more about how you see abolitionist practices applying to theater?  When I think about abolition, one of the first things I think of is Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s assertion “Abolition requires that we change one thing: everything.” This demands that we must change how we think

about the climate. In that same vein, it absolutely includes changing how we think about institutions and storytelling and how we even go about producing theater.  A slogan I often quote from the People’s Climate Movement is “To change everything, we need everyone.”  We




 In terms of how both of these movements relate to theater, I’m interested in what you’re saying about changing institutions, producing models, and the stories on our stages. For example, one of the issues that I often see come up in “ecotheatre” circles that concern themselves with narratives about humanmade damage to the natural world is the notion that if we just put climate change on stage, like… that’s how we’ll fix the problem. As if what’s on our stage is all we have to contribute. But what I hear you saying—and I

agree with it completely— is that’s not enough. Like, yes! Put those stories on stage, and also we need to fundamentally change our institutions themselves so that they align with the values we espouse in our stories.  Yes! And those two things can’t be separated really. What shows up on our stages impacts the rest of how we work, whose voices are in what rooms, what funders we approach, what we learn by embodying the text of a script. Even though the stories alone aren’t enough, they are so key because what drives large-scale change is our cultural narratives and our capacity to imagine beyond our current conditions.  This whole concept of “imagining beyond our current conditions”—that, to me, is the most explicit way of understanding the connection between abolition and the movement for climate justice. The way we are working, the way we are living, the way we have organized society fundamentally do not support life. In climate justice circles, we talk about how the entire global economy, and the

U.S. arts sector inside of that, is extractive. And what we need is a regenerative economy, regenerative ways of working, regenerative ways of being.  Oooh regenerative economies, say more about that!  It’s basically the idea that our economy should be lifegiving, not just for human lives and not just for some very wealthy humans. But our current global economy is structured to extract wealth and resources from the earth and from BIPOC communities and accumulate it in the hands of a very few—let’s be real—white people’s hands.  That is what abolitionists mean when they say that abolition isn’t just about getting rid of police or prisons but actually fundamentally changing the conditions that cause harm (poverty, houselessness, etc.) and those elements that define this extractive structure.  And what’s that quote you’re always referencing from the Combahee River

01 Collective? That’s another place where I see these two movements overlapping or growing out of one another.

01 Annalisa Dias. Photo by Daniel Corey.

 Wow, thanks, Annalisa, for the set up! Love an opportunity to hype up the Combahee River Collective! This group of Black feminists organizing in the 1970s said that we should center the liberation of Black women because it would necessitate the liberation of all people: “the liberation of all oppressed peoples necessitates the destruction of the political-economic systems of capitalism and imperialism as well as patriarchy.”

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 Black women have been telling us this for literally decades when we prioritize the people most deeply impacted by systems of oppression, then we actually make everyone freer.

02 02 Sabine Decatur YC ’18

 Yes. So much of climate justice organizing is about prioritizing the needs, safety, and wellbeing of frontline communities. These communities are comprised of people who experience the “first and worst” impacts of the climate crisis; they tend to be Indigenous communities, Black communities, low-income folks, migrants, and coastal communities.  Incarcerated communities, too. Many prisons are actually major sites of environmental violence.


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 So, how do we think about this in relationship with theater? We’re storytellers. If what we need is to imagine beyond our conditions, and if the stories themselves aren’t enough, then what does that look like for the U.S. theater industry? What is the vision for what an abolitionist and climate just theater would be in, say 2030? I know—we’ve gotta start making moves today!  Ok, one of the things I’m most interested in is asking, What would it look like for all these major foundations to spend down their corpuses and give the money back to the communities from which they extracted it? Like… what is stopping institutions from making a 10-year spend-down plan right now? So much of our current model relies on philanthropic giving structures that were created to maintain white wealth and control.

Whew! Imagine the impact of dissolving the foundations!  Yes, and speaking of funding, we need immediate divestment from fossil fuels. And divestment from prisons. And divestment from momentarily convenient yet ultimately destructive entities like Amazon, to be honest. There are such clear lines running between our actual finances and these sources of continued harm and violence.  The Groundwater Arts team, which is a predominantly POC, half-Indigenous, woman-led artist collaborative that I cofounded with Anna Lathrop, Ronee Penoi (Laguna Pueblo/Cherokee), and Tara Moses (Seminole/ Mvskoke) is running a campaign for the rest of 2021 where we’re asking theaters and arts workers to commit to divesting from fossil fuel interests and sponsorships. It’s in alignment with the global movement to grind the gears of that industry to a halt. 350.org, for example, identifies divesting cultural institutions from fossil fuel sponsorships as one of their three key campaign strategies.

What would it look like for all these major foundations to spend down their corpuses and give the money back to the communities from which they extracted it? — 

 As an alum of Yale College — still counts! — I would love to see the University divest from fossil fuels. If an institution with that much power and prestige were to make that kind of move, it would have massive ripple effects throughout the rest of the industry, both in theater and academia! Two birds!  What’s a less violent metaphor than killing birds?  Two fish, one worm? Two loaves, one oven? Two candy bars, one dollar in the vending machine? Two meals from one Chipotle burrito bowl? Just the general concept of multitasking?  You know, Sabine, you tried. Before we wrap up, I want to include another concept from the climate justice movement that is deeply exciting to me “bioregional governance.” It’s basically the idea that state and national borders are arbitrary

political lines and have no rooting in terms of local ecologies. So, for example, what would it look like to reorganize our local governance models to bioregions instead of states? What would that mean for all our state arts councils and other mechanisms that influence our decisionmaking? To make it more concrete, instead of “Maryland,” what if we here in Baltimore understood ourselves as part of the greater Chesapeake watershed region?  That has a nice ring to it. And it raises the question: How would that, in turn, change how we understand our relationship to the local community? For example, what would it look like to support local public transit in a real way, or even to make walking or biking a more feasible option for people coming to our theaters? In Baltimore, too, there’s a serious inequity in the ways that public transit devalues Black and brown

communities; imagine what could happen if we used our storytelling to support local activists working to address that. What if, for instance, we linked up with the youth activists shutting down the incinerator in South Baltimore?  Absolutely. We’re in this moment right now where so many theater workers are reconsidering everything about the way we work, and we have a real opportunity to shift toward abolition, to shift toward climate justice, to shift toward futures where we’re all safer, healthier, and free.  Those futures you’re describing…it’s all so possible. Nothing we do in this moment is neutral; if we aren’t moving toward justice, we are actively upholding the status quo. We need to change everything, and we need everyone (even you, dear reader!). So, what’s stopping us?

Annalisa Dias is a Goan-American citizen artist, community organizer, and award-winning theatre maker working at the intersection of racial justice and care for the earth. She is Director of Artistic Partnerships & Innovation at Baltimore Center Stage, and a Co-Founder of Groundwater Arts. Sabine Decatur YC ’18 is Assistant to the Artistic Director at Baltimore Center Stage. A dramaturg, producer, and cultural worker, their credits include work with the Yale Dramatic Association, OutHistory.org, Culture Project, Yale Dance Journal, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

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01 Experiencing WS: The Making off an Artistt Scholar by Femi Euba ’73 Austin Macauley, 2021

04 John Badham on Directing by John Badham ’63, YC ’61 Michael Wiese Productions, 2020

02 Productivity Through Wellness forr Live Entertainmentt and d Theatre Technicians by Brian MacInnis Smallwood ’13 Taylor & Francis, 2020

05 A Dustt Bowll Bookk off Days, 1932 by Craig Volk ’88 South Dakota Historical Society Press, 2020

03 Fixation: How w to Have Stuff ff Withoutt Breaking the Planett by Sandra Goldmark ’04 Island Press, 2020



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06 The Longestt Silence by Thomas McGuane ’65 Vintage; Reprint edition, 2019 07 Rules forr Being Dead d by Kim Powers ’84 Blair/Carolina Wren Press, 2020









08 Magic Time, A Memoir: Notes on Theatre & Otherr Entertainmentt by Edwin Wilson ’57, DFA ’58, Smith & Kraus, 2020

11 The Awe Factor: How w a Little Bitt off Wonderr Can Make a Big Difference in Yourr Life by Allen Klein ’62, Conari Press, 2020

09 Write a Use Case: Gathering Requirements Thatt Users Can Understand by Jonathan Reeve Price DFA ’68 The Communication Circle, 2020

12 Introduction to Show w Networking by John Huntington ’90, Zircon Designs, 2020

10 Zoom Reunions: Lessons from the Yale Class of 1970 Reunion May 2020 by Ben Slotznick ’73, YC ’70 Ben Slotznick, 2020

13 Greaterr Wilderr by Barret O’Brien ’09 Blurb, Incorporated, 2020 14 Act: The Modern Actor's Handbook by David Rotenberg ’76, ECW Press, 2021

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Awards & Honors 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2020 Outstanding Production Design for a Variety, Reality, or Competition Series Eugene Lee ’86 Winner, Saturday Night Live Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ’15 Winner, Watchmen Outstanding Variety Sketch Series Tom Broecker ’92 (Producer) Winner, Saturday Night Live Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series Mamoudou Athie ’14 Nominee, Oh Jerome, No Outstanding Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Program Tom Broecker ’92 Nominee, Saturday Night Live Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series James Burrows ’65 Nominee, Will & Grace Outstanding Drama Series Miki Johnson ’05 (Supervising Producer) Nominee, Ozark Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Angela Bassett ’83, HON ’18, YC ’80 Nominee, A Black Lady Sketch Show Outstanding Narrator Angela Bassett ’83, HON ’18, YC ’80 Nominee, The Imagineering Story

Outstanding Period Costumes Donna Zakowska ’83 Nominee, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Shalhoub ’80 Nominee, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Meryl Streep ’75, HON ’83 Nominee, Big Little Lies Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Miki Johnson ’05 Nominee, Ozark Outstanding Variety Special (Live) James Burrows ’65 (Executive Producer) Winner, Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: “All In The Family” And “Good Times” 93rd Annual Academy Awards 2021 Actress in a Leading Role Frances McDormand ’82 Winner, Nomadland Best Picture Frances McDormand ’82 (Actor) Winner, Nomadland 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2020 Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Meryl Streep ’75, HON ’83 Nominee, Big Little Lies

Lupita Nyong’o ’12 Nominee, Serengeti


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Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Henry Winkler ’70 Nominee, Barry

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play – Hayes Josiah Bania ’13 and Franchelle Stewart Dorn ’75 Nominee, The Oresteia

26th Screen Actors Guild Awards 2020

Outstanding Performer – Visiting Production Jayne Atkinson ’85 Nominee, Ann

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Lupita Nyong’o ’12 Nominee, Us

35th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards 2020 Outstanding Play

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Meryl Streep ’75, HON ’83 Nominee, Big Little Lies Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series LeRoy McClain ’04 and Tony Shalhoub ’80 Winner, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Henry Winkler ’70 Nominee, Barry Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Shalhoub ’80 Winner, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 36th Annual Helen Hayes Awards 2020 Outstanding Costume Design – Hayes Production Wade Laboissonniere ’03 Winner, Into the Woods Outstanding Set Design – Hayes Production Debra Booth ’91 Nominee, Richard the Third Wilson Chin ’03 Nominee, Cabaret Outstanding Set Design – Helen Production Nephelie Andonyadis ’90 Winner, Topdog/Underdog

Brad Heberlee ’02 (Creator) Nominee, Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie Outstanding Musical David Henry Hwang ’83 (Play and Lyrics) Nominee, Soft Power Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) (Book) Nominee, The Secret Life of Bees Outstanding Revival Leah C. Gardiner ’96 (Director) Winner, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf Outstanding Solo Show Tamilla Woodard ’02 (Faculty) (Director) Nominee, Where We Stand Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play Edmund Donovan ’17 Winner, Greater Clements Outstanding Scenic Design Timothy R. Mackabee ’09 Nominee, Seared Outstanding Costume Design Toni-Leslie James (Faculty) Winner, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf Dede M. Ayite ’11 Nominee, BLKS

Awards & Honors Montana Levi Blanco ’15 Nominee, A Strange Loop Oana Botez (Faculty) Nominee, In the Green Outstanding Lighting Design Alan C. Edwards ’11 (Faculty) Nominee, Fires in the Mirror Outstanding Sound Design Nicholas Pope ’08 Nominee, In the Green Outstanding Projection Design Hannah Wasileski ’13 Nominee, Anatomy of a Suicide Nominee, Fires in the Mirror

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play Chalia La Tour ’16 Nominee, Slave Play Best Scenic Design of a Play Derek McLane ’84 Nominee, A Soldier’s Play Best Scenic Design of a Musical Derek McLane ’84 Nominee, Moulin Rouge! The Musical Riccardo Hernández ’92 (Faculty) and Lucy Mackinnon Nominee, Jagged Little Pill

74th Annual Tony Awards 2020

Best Costume Design of a Play Dede M. Ayite ’11 Nominee, A Soldier’s Play Nominee, Slave Play

Best Play Bess Wohl ’02, ART ’99 (Playwright) Nominee, Grand Horizons

Best Costume Design of a Musical Emily Rebholz ’06 Nominee, Jagged Little Pill

Jeremy O. Harris ’19 (Playwright) Nominee, Slave Play

Catherine Zuber ’84 Nominee, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Original Score (Music and/ or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre Fitz Patton ’01 and Jason Michael Webb Nominee, The Rose Tattoo

Best Lighting Design of a Play Jiyoun Chang ’08 Nominee, Slave Play

Best Direction of a Play Robert O’Hara (Faculty) Nominee, Slave Play Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play Andrew Burnap ’16 Nominee, The Inheritance Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play Ato Blankson-Wood ’15 Nominee, Slave Play James Cusati-Moyer ’15 Nominee, Slave Play David Alan Grier ’81 Nominee, A Soldier’s Play

65th Annual Drama Desk Awards 2020 Outstanding Musical Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) (Book) Nominee, The Secret Life of Bees David Henry Hwang ’83 (Play and Lyrics) Nominee, Soft Power Outstanding Actor in a Play Edmund Donovan ’17 Winner, Greater Clements Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play David Alan Grier ’81 Nominee, A Soldier's Play

Outstanding Book of a Musical David Henry Hwang ’83 Nominee, Soft Power Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) Nominee, The Secret Life of Bees Outstanding Scenic Design for a Play Adam Rigg ’13 Nominee, Fefu and Her Friends Outstanding Scenic Design for a Musical Derek McLane ’84 Winner, Moulin Rouge! The Musical Outstanding Costume Design for a Play Asa Benally ’16 Nominee, Blues for an Alabama Sky Montana Levi Blanco ’15 Nominee, Fefu and Her Friends Toni-Leslie James (Faculty) Nominee, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical Catherine Zuber ’84 Winner, Moulin Rouge! The Musical Anita Yavich ’95 Nominee, Soft Power

86th Annual Drama League Awards 2020 Outstanding Production of Broadway or Off-Broadway Play Bess Wohl ’02, ART ’99 (Playwright) Nominee, Grand Horizons Richard Nelson (Former Faculty) (Playwright and Director) Nominee, The Michaels Trip Cullman ’02, YC ’97 (Director) Nominee, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Jeremy O. Harris ’19 (Playwright) and Robert O’Hara (Faculty) (Director) Nominee, Slave Play Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) (Book) Nominee, The Secret Life of Bees Rebecca Taichman ’00 (Director) Nominee, Sing Street David Henry Hwang ’83 (Play and Lyrics) Nominee, Soft Power Outstanding Revival of a Play

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play Yi Zhao ’12 Nominee, Greater Clements

Leah C. Gardiner ’96 (Director) Nominee, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Outstanding Projection Design Hannah Wasileski ’13 Nominee, Fires in the Mirror

Arin Arbus (Faculty) (Director) Nominee, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

Outstanding Sound Design for a Play Palmer Hefferan ’13 Nominee, Fefu and Her Friends

Trip Cullman ’02, YC ’97 (Director) Nominee, The Rose Tattoo

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


Awards & Honors Distinguished Performance Award Ato Blankson-Wood ’15 Nominee, The Rolling Stone and Slave Play Edmund Donovan ’17 Nominee, Greater Clements David Alan Grier ’81 Nominee, A Soldier’s Play

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play David Alan Grier ’81 Honoree, A Soldier’s Play Outstanding Scenic Design (Play or Musical) Timothy R. Mackabee ’09 Honoree, Seared Derek McLane ’84 Honoree, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Galen Ryan Kane ’16 Nominee, Native Son 70th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards 2019-20 Outstanding New Broadway Play Bess Wohl ’02, ART ’99 (Playwright) Honoree, Grand Horizons Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) (Book) Honoree, The Secret Life of Bees David Henry Hwang ’83 (Play and Lyrics) Honoree, Soft Power Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play Bess Wohl ’02, ART ’99 (Playwright) Honoree, Make Believe

Acting Ensemble of a Musical Erron Crawford ’19 Winner, Rockwell Musical Parodies Presents: Stephen King’s IT (Rockwell Table & Stage)

Outstanding Projection Design (Play or Musical) Hannah Wasileski ’13 Honoree, Fires in the Mirror

Direction of a Musical Marya Mazor ’92 Nominee, Fun Home (Chance Theater)

52nd Annual Jeff Equity Awards 2020

Lead Actor in a Play Michael Manuel ’92 Nominee, Frankenstein (A Noise Within)

Ensemble – Play Anna Crivelli ’17 Nominee, How to Defend Yourself (Victory Gardens Theater) Sebastian Arboleda ’17 Nominee, The Leopard Play, or Sad Songs for Lost Boys (Steep Theatre Company) Scenic Design – Large Takeshi Kata ’01 Winner, Bug (Steppenwolf Theatre Company)

David Henry Hwang ’83 Honoree, Soft Power

Scenic Design – Midsize Kurtis Boetcher ’15 Nominee, Grey House (A Red Orchid Theatre)

Outstanding Actor in a Play Edmund Donovan ’17 Honoree, Greater Clements


Best Season A Noise Within Michael Bateman ’13 (Managing Director) Nominee, Frankenstein, Gem of the Ocean, Buried Child, The Winter’s Tale

Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical) Catherine Zuber ’84 Honoree, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Outstanding Book of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway) Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) Honoree, The Secret Life of Bees

Outstanding New Score (Broadway or Off-Broadway) David Henry Hwang ’83 and Jeanine Testori Honoree, Soft Power

31st Annual Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards 2020

Original Music in a Play Pornchanok Kanchanabanca ’16 Nominee, The Great Leap (Steppenwolf Theatre Company)

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

Lead Actress in a Play Tessa Auberjonois ’98 Winner, Eight Nights (Antaeus Theatre Company) Scenic Design (Large Theatre) John Lee Beatty ’73 Winner, Key Largo (Geffen Playhouse) Costume Design (Large Theatre) Linda Cho ’98 Nominee, Key Largo (Geffen Playhouse) 65th Annual Obie Awards 2020 Performance Edmund Donovan ’17 Greater Clements

Special Citation Montana Levi Blanco ’15 (Costume Design) Creative Team and Ensemble of A Strange Loop Michael Feingold ’72 Extraordinary Service to the Theater Pun Bandhu ’01 and Peter Y. Kim ’04 AAPAC (Asian American Performers Action Coalition) For advocacy in the field of equity, diversity, and inclusion Institutional Recognition Michael Walkup ’06, DFA ’11 (Artistic Director) and Kari Olmon ’18 (Associate Producer) Page 73 For Providing Extraordinary Support for Early Career Playwrights The 2020 Pulitzer Prizes Drama David Henry Hwang ’83 and Jeanine Tesori Finalist, Soft Power Inaugural Antonyo Awards 2020 Best Musical Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) (Book) Nominee, The Secret Life of Bees Best Featured Actor in a Play Off-Broadway Leland Fowler ’17 Nominee, One in Two Best Featured Actor in a Play on Broadway Chalia La Tour ’16 Winner, Slave Play David Alan Grier ’81 Nominee, A Soldier’s Play Ato Blankson-Wood ’15 Nominee, Slave Play

Awards & Honors Best Director Lileana Blain-Cruz ’12 (Faculty) Winner, Anatomy of a Suicide Robert O’Hara (Faculty) Nominee, BLKS Best Lighting Design Alan C. Edwards ’11 (Faculty) Nominee, The Hot Wing King Best Costumes Toni Leslie-James (Faculty) Winner, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf Dede M. Ayite ’11 Nominee, BLKS Best Book Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) Nominee, The Secret Life of Bees Best Actor in a Play OffBroadway Ato Blankson-Wood ’15 Nominee, The Rolling Stone Friends of AUDELCO 2019 — 2020 Theatre Season “The VIV” NOMINEES Lighting Design Alan C. Edwards ’11 (Faculty) Winner, The New Englanders Nominee, Fires in the Mirror Costume Design Toni-Leslie James (Faculty) Winner, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf Asa Benally ’16 Nominee, Blues for an Alabama Sky

Sound Design Palmer Hefferan ’13 Nominee, The New Englanders Mikaal Sulaiman (Faculty) Nominee, Fires in the Mirror

USITT Awards 2020

Director of a Play Tamilla Woodard ’02 (Faculty) Nominee, Where We Stand

Bernhard R. Works, Frederick A. Buerki Scenic Technology Award Irene Yaro Yarashevich ’20

Connecticut Critics Circle Awards 2019-2020 Projections Yana Birÿkova ’17 Winner, Mlima’s Tale Direction Mark Lamos (Faculty) Winner, Mlima’s Tale Production Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) (Playwright) Winner, Mlima’s Tale The Kilroys 2020 List Caroline V. McGraw ’12 I Get Restless Kara-Lynn L Vaeni ’04 Shape Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) (Libretto) and Ricky Ian Gordon (Music) Intimate Apparel Martyna Majok ’12 Sanctuary City Miranda Rose Hall ’17 Plot Points in Our Sexual Development Sarah B. Mantell ’17 Everything That Never Happened Wendy MacLeod ’87 The Laugh Track

Herbert D. Greggs Award John Huntington ’90, Merit Sandra Goldmark ’04, Merit

The KM Fabrics, Inc. Technical Production Award Dashiell Menard ’19 USITT Award Susan Hilferty ’80 2020 Henry Hewes Design Awards Scenic Design Derek McLane ’84 Nominee, Moulin Rouge! The Musical John Lee Beatty ’73 Nominee, Long Lost Kristen Robinson ’13 Nominee, In the Green Riccardo Hernández ’92 (Faculty) Nominee, Toni Stone Timothy R. Mackabee ’09 Nominee, Seared

Lighting Design Les Dickert ’97 Nominee, The Crucible Alan C. Edwards ’11 (Faculty) Nominee, Fires in the Mirror Sound Design Fitz Patton ’01 Nominee, The Rose Tattoo Nicholas Pope ’08 Nominee, In the Green Palmer Hefferan ’13 Nominee, Fefu and Her Friends Media Design Hannah Wasileski ’13 Honoree, Fires in the Mirror Johnny Moreno ’18 Nominee, for all the women who thought they were Mad Special Citation Design Team (Fefu and Her Friends, Theatre for a New Audience) Adam Rigg ’13, Scenic Design Montana Levi Blanco ’15, Costume Design Palmer Hefferan ’13, Sound Design

Costume Design Anita Yavich ’95 Honoree, Soft Power Montana Levi Blanco ’15 Nominee, A Strange Loop Nominee, Fefu and Her Friends Toni-Leslie James (Faculty) Nominee, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf Asa Benally ’16 Nominee, Blues for an Alabama Sky Catherine Zuber ’84 Nominee, Moulin Rouge! The Musical Linda Cho ’98 Nominee, Cambodian Rock Band

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


Graduation CLASS OF 2020

Master of Fine Arts/ Certificate in Drama  Brandon E. Burton Gregory Saint Georges Robert Lee Hart Manu Kumasi Doireann Mac Mahon Zoe Mann Juliana Aiden Martinez JJ McGlone Ciara Monique McMillian Anula Navlekar Eli Pauley Ilia Isorelýs Paulino John Evans Reese IV Dario Ladani Sanchez Adrienne Wells Devin White  Evan C. Anderson Alicia J. Austin Stephanie Bahniuk Emma Deane 98

Christopher Evans Elsa Rinde GibsonBraden Lily Guerin April M. Hickman Sarah Karl Alexander McCargar Erin Sullivan Yunzhu Zeng  Danilo Gambini Logan Ellis Kat Yen     Madeline Charne Evan Hill Emily Sorensen Alex Vermillion  Noah Diaz Margaret E. Douglas Audley Puglisi YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

  Liam Bellman-Sharpe Dakota Stipp Emily Duncan Wilson   Zachry J. Bailey Julia Bates Fabiola Feliciano-Batista Samantha Tirrell     Samantha Else HaoEn Hu Tatsuya Ito Jonathan Jolly Ben Jones Matthew Lewis Alexandra McNamara Martin Montaner David Phelps Rajiv Shah Mike VanAartsen

Jon West Irene Yaro Yarashevich   Lucia Bacque Livingstone Dani Barlow Markie Gray Gwyneth Muller Laurie Ortega-Murphy Jaime Totti Caitlin Volz     Walter Byongsok Chon    Perry Keller Adago Jenna Carroll Joseph Krempetz James T. McLoughlin Kathrine Pulling Tiago Rodrigues Erin Sims Cameron Waitkun




Prizes are given each year as designated by the faculty. ASCAP Cole Porter Prize Noah Diaz ’20

Morris J. Kaplan Prize Caitlin Volz ’20

Edward C. Cole Memorial Award Irene Yaro Yarashevich ’20

Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize Logan Ellis ’20

Carol Finch Dye Prize Ciara Monique McMillian ’20

Jay Keene and Jean Griffin-Keene Prize for Costume Design Stephanie Bahniuk ’20

John W. Gassner Memorial Prize Rebecca Adelsheim ’22 Bert Gruver Memorial Prize Samantha Tirrell ’20 Allen M. and Hildred L. Harvey Prize Rose Bochansky ’15

Leo Lerman Graduate Fellowship in Design April M. Hickman ’20 Dexter Wood Luke Memorial Prize Laurie Ortega-Murphy ’20

Donald and Zorka Oenslager Fellowship Elsa Rinde GibsonBraden ’20 Alexander McCargar ’20

George C. White Prize Dani Barlow ’20 Herschel Williams Prize Brandon E. Burton ’20

Pierre-André Salim Prize Zachry J. Bailey ’20 Bronislaw (Ben) Sammler Award Irene Yaro Yarashevich ’20 The Frieda Shaw, Dr. Diana Mason, OBE, and Denise Suttor Prize for Sound Design Liam Bellman-Sharpe ’20 Oliver Thorndike Acting Award John Evans Reese IV ’20

( ,   ) Alicia J. Austin ’20, Ben Jones ’20, Erin Sims ’20 Martin Montaner ’20, JJ McGlone ’20, Kat Yen ’20 Eli Pauley ’20, Laurie Ortega-Murphy ’20, Irene Yaro Yarashevich ’20 01 Maulik Pancholy ’03

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


Graduation As part of the Grad-Zoom-ation ceremony, YSD alumni shared video messages of congratulations with the Class of 2020.




05 02 Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) 03 Patricia Clarkson ’85 04 Jane Kaczmarek ’82

06 10 0

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

05 Carole Amarakoon, Maya Amarakoon, and Shaminda Amarakoon ’12 (Faculty) 06 James Chen ’08





10 07 Brian Tyree Henry ’07 08 Hannah Wasileski ’13 and Yi Zhao ’12 09 Joan van Ark ’64 10 Antoinette Crowe-Legacy ’18


11 Martyna Majok ’12

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21



The recipients for the 2020–2021 academic year were: Nina Adams and Moreson Kaplan Scholarship

Edgar and Louise Cullman Scholarship

Jerome L. Greene Scholarship

Shimali De Silva ’23

Bobbin Ramsey ’24

John M. Badham Scholarship Maeli Goren ’21

Cullman Scholarship in Directing

John M. Badham Scholarship in Directing

Garrett Allen ’24 Christopher C. Betts ’22 Leyla Levi ’23, YC ’16

Nefesh Cordero Pino ’22 Anthony Holiday ’22 Alexandra Maurice ’22 Matthew Elijah Webb ’22 Malia West ’22

James L. Fleming ’23 Mark Bailey Scholarship Henriëtte Rietveld ’22

deVeer Family Drama Scholarship Emma Pernudi-Moon ’23

George Pierce Baker Memorial Scholarship

Holmes Easley Scholarship

Sebastián Eddowes ’24 Rebecca Flemister ’24 Hannah Gellman ’24

Eldon Elder Fellowship

Herbert H. and Patricia M. Brodkin Scholarship Tavia Hunt ’23 Patricia M. Brodkin Memorial Scholarship

John Horzen ’24

Aholibama Castañeda González ’24 Dudsadee Jubsee ’24 Eugenio Sáenz Flores ’24 Wesley Fata Scholarship Kayodè Soyemi ’23 Foster Family Graduate Fellowship

Edmond O’Neal ’21 Rebekah Brown ’23 Robert Brustein Scholarship Ashley Thomas ’23 Paul Carter Scholarship Andrew Riedemann ’23

Alexus Coney ’24, YC ’20 Dino Fusco and Anita Pamintuan Fusco Scholarship Thomas Pang ’23 Annie G. K. Garland Memorial Scholarship

Ciriello Family Fund Scholarship

Andrew Petrick ’23

Kelly O’Loughlin ’22 Class of 1979 and Friends Scholarship Megan Birdsong ’23 August Coppola Scholarship Chloe Knight ’24 Caris Corfman Scholarship Rebeca Robles ’24

Earle R. Gister Scholarship Isuri Wijesundara ’23 Randolph Goodman Scholarship Anna Grigo ’22 Stephen R. Grecco ’70 Scholarship Danielle Stagger ’24

Cheryl Crawford Scholarship a.k. payne ’23, YC ’19

10 2

Julie Harris Scholarship Sarah Lyddan ’22 Stephen J. Hoffman ’64 Scholarship Joe Hsun Chiang ’23 Sally Horchow Scholarship for Yale School of Drama Actors Carolina Reyes Rivera ’24 William and Sarah Hyman Scholarship Nicole E. Lang ’22 Geoffrey Ashton Johnson/ Noël Coward Scholarship Olivia Cygan ’23 Pamela Jordan Scholarship Jenn Kim ’21 Stanley Kauffmann Scholarship Faith Zamblé ’23 Sylvia Fine Kaye Scholarship Janiah Lockett ’24 Jay and Rhonda Keene Scholarship for Costume Design Aidan Griffiths ’23 Ray Klausen Design Scholarship

Jimmy Stubbs ’22 Lotte Lenya Scholarship Sola Fadiran ’22 Helene A. Lindstrom Scholarship Whitney Andrews ’24 Victor S. Lindstrom Scholarship Mia Sara Haiman ’23 Frederick Loewe Scholarship Nat Lopez ’24 Frederick Loewe Scholarship for Directors in Honor of Floria V. Lasky James L. Fleming ’23 Lord Memorial Scholarship Natalie King ’24 Edward A. Martenson Scholarship Samanta Cubias ’23 Virginia Brown Martin Scholarship Amelia Windom ’24 Stanley R. McCandless Scholarship Graham Zellers ’23 Alfred L. McDougal and Nancy Lauter McDougal Endowed Scholarship Anna Grigo ’22 Patrick Ball ’22 Benjamin Mordecai Memorial Scholarship in Theater Management

Camilla Tassi ’22

Sarah Cain ’22

Gordon F. Knight Scholarship

Kenneth D. Moxley Memorial Scholarship

Bailey Trierweiler ’22

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

Ming Cho Lee Scholarship

Katie Byron ’23

Graduation Alois M. Nagler Scholarship

Barbara Richter Scholarship

Tisdale Family Scholarship

Gabrielle Hoyt ’24, YC ’15

Francesca DeCicco ’21 Dani Mader ’22

Caitlin M. Dutkiewicz ’23

Rodman Family Scholarship

Brandon Lovejoy ’23

G. Charles Niemeyer Scholarship

Frank Torok Scholarship

Michael Breslin ’19, DFA cand. Matthew Conway ’18, DFA cand.

Evdoxia Ragkou ’23

Victoria Nolan Scholarship

Juhee Kim ’23 Taha Abdul Majeed ’24 Kevin Jinghong Zhu ’22

Ron Van Lieu Scholarship

Bronislaw “Ben” Sammler Scholarship

Leon Brooks Walker Scholarship

Emma Rose Perrin ’22 Dwight Richard Odle Scholarship Joanie Polk ’23 Donald M. Oenslager Scholarship in Stage Design Emmie Finckel ’23 Marcelo Martínez García ’23

Pierre-André Salim Scholarship

Scholarship for Playwriting Students

Richard Ward Scholarship

Doug Robinson ’24

Henry Rodriguez ’23 Hannah Tran ’23 Miguel Urbino ’23 Tia Fortunato Dubois ’24

Yu-Jung Shen ’24 Bridget Lindsay ’22

Mary Jean Parson Scholarship Leyla Levi ’23, YC ’16 Raymond Plank Scholarship Eric Walker ’23 Alan Poul Scholarship Bobbin Ramsey ’24 Jeff and Pam Rank Scholarship Sky Pang ’23 Mark J. Richard Scholarship Angie Bridgette Jones ’22

Patrick Falcon ’23

Malachi Beasley ’23

Richard Harrison Senie Scholarship

Benjamin Benne ’22

Nicole E. Lang ’22

Nathan Angrick ’23

Donald and Zorka Oenslager Scholarship in Stage Design

Eugene O’Neill Memorial Scholarship

Nancy and Edward Trach Scholarship

Daniel and Helene Sheehan Scholarship Annabel Guevara ’24 Shubert Scholarships Jackeline Torres Cortés ’22 Meg Powers ’22 Estefani Castro ’21 Jisun Kim ’22 Noel Nichols ’22 Howard Stein Scholarship Stefani Kuo ’24, YC ’17 Stephen B. Timbers Family Scholarship for Playwriting Rudi Cano ’23

Jacob Santos ’24 Zelma Weisfeld Scholarship for Costume Design Meg Powers ’22 Constance Welch Memorial Scholarship Abigail C. Onwunali ’23 Karl Green ’24 Rebecca West Scholarship Nomè SiDone ’23 Cooper Bruhns ’24 Audrey Wood Scholarship Gloria Majule ’21 Yale School of Drama Board of Advisors Scholarship John Sullivan ’23 Albert Zuckerman Scholarship E. Rosales Balcarcel ’23

Jennifer Tipton Scholarship in Lighting Graham Zellers ’23

Lloyd Richards Scholarship in Acting Anthony Brown ’23

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

10 3

Graduation CLASS OF 2021

Master of Fine Arts/ Certificate in Drama  Jenn Doun Forbes  Maeli Goren  Gloria Majule   Edmond O’Neal     Shannon Csorny Francesca DeCicco

10 4

  Martin Caan Estefani Castro Carl Holvick Eliza Orleans Oakton Reynolds     David Bruin Ashley Chang Helen Jaksch Nahuel Telleria Brian Valencia    Jenna Carroll Twi McCallum

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

( ,   ) Jenna Carroll ’21, Twi McCallum ’21, Martin Caan ’21, Estefani Castro ’21, Shannon Csorny ’21, Francesca DeCicco ’21 ( ,   ) Jenn Doun Forbes ’21, Maeli Goren ’21, Carl Holvick ’21, SOM ’21, Gloria Majule ’21, Edmond O’Neal ’21, Eliza Orleans ’21

( ,   ) Oakton Reynolds ’21, David Bruin ’16, DFA ’21, Ashley Chang ’16, DFA ’21, Helen Jaksch ’15, DFA ’21, Nahuel Telleria ’16, DFA ’21, Brian Valencia ’10, DFA ’20, YC ’05

Graduation COVID-19 necessitated another year of online commencement. On May 24, YSD held its second virtual ceremony, Grad-Zoom-ation 2.1, and presented certificates and degrees to five DFA candidates, two Technical Interns, and 11 MFA candidates. The other members of the current third-year class will continue their training for a fourth year, which is being underwritten by the School.


12 Jabari Brisport ’14

We were honored to have New York State Senator Jabari Brisport ’14 as guest speaker. Jabari spoke about his journey to politics, how the pandemic and calls for racial justice have fundamentally altered our world, and the future of theater: “We had

to reinvent campaigning last year in the midst of the pandemic. And I also saw how my friends had to reinvent theater, whether it was the rise of Zoom readings, Instagram Live concerts from their living rooms, or socially distant theater. Like it or not, the

possibilities for theater have expanded, and we’re not going back. And to be honest, I don’t know what theater will look like five years from now, but I do know that Yale School of Drama graduates will be instrumental in shaping what it looks like.”

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

10 5

Art of Giving A Time for Giving Raymond N. Plank, Yale College Class of ’44, firmly believed that “the capacity of the individual is infinite.” Plank, a decorated World War II pilot who, along with two friends, formed the Apache Corporation and built it into one of the world’s leading independent oil and gas companies, died in 2018. In 1981, he established the Ucross


01 The Ucross Foundation ranch in Clearmont, WY.

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Foundation as part of the Raymond N. Plank Philanthropy Fund, and in 1983, created the foundation’s artist residency program at a 20,000-acre working cattle ranch in northeast 01 Wyoming. Thanks to a $700,000 endowment from the Raymond N. Plank Philanthropy Fund, Yale School of Drama and Yale School of Music communities will be able to explore their own infinite capacities. The gift includes scholarships as well as

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“The Raymond N. Plank Scholarship represents an extraordinary investment in lowering financial barriers to training." opportunities for artist residencies at Ucross for students and faculty members. “Providing access to the School for the most talented and diverse theatermakers is our highest priority,” said James Bundy ’95 (Dean). “The Raymond N. Plank Scholarship represents an extraordinary investment in lowering financial barriers to training. We are honored to be the recipient of this visionary gift and also to inaugurate the Raymond Plank Residency, which offers YSD students and faculty time to develop their creative work at Ucross.” Known for its majestic setting in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains, the easternmost range of the Rockies, Ucross has become one of the country’s preeminent artist residency programs. Since its inception, the foundation has welcomed nearly 2,500 writers, visual artists, and composers from around the world, generously offering uninterrupted time to work, studio space, living accommodations, a travel stipend, and the inspirational camaraderie of an intimate group of fellow creators.

Art of Giving A number of YSD alumni and faculty members have participated in the program, including award-winning playwrights Marcus Gardley ’04, James Magruder ’88, DFA ’92 (Former Faculty), and Paula Vogel (Former Faculty).

Innovation and Appreciation In November, Yale School of Drama received a $2-million gift from the Robina Foundation to the Dean’s Innovation Fund. The Foundation, established by the late James H. Binger, Yale College Class of 1938 and founder of Jujamcyn Theaters, has been an extremely generous supporter of the School for many years. In 2012, the Foundation’s gift of $18 million permanently endowed the Binger Center for New Theatre, which sponsors playwrights and the development of new plays. Since its inception, The Binger Center has supported the work of more than 60 commissioned artists and underwritten productions of more than 30 new plays and musicals at Yale Rep and theaters across the country. In accordance with its mission, the Robina Foundation sunset on December 31, 2020, having distributed all its assets to its grantees. This capstone gift for the Dean’s Innovation Fund will launch three important new projects at YSD: the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Leadership Circle; a series of Technical Design and Production summer seminars and symposia; and a Theater Management Think Tank. “The generosity of the Foundation will

02 perpetually support the School of Drama’s ability to undertake a limited number of innovative projects expanding our scope of work,” said James Bundy ’95 (Dean). “Such opportunities for new programming have the potential for significant impact on theater training and practice.” Penny A. Hunt, Executive Director of the Robina Foundation, praised the School’s visionary initiatives. “The Dean’s Innovation Fund is a novel idea that has the alacrity and sensitivity to allow the dean to address real challenges in real time. In doing so, the fund will meaningfully advance the mission of the School of Drama,” she said. The Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Leadership Circle, developed by YSD in partnership with artEquity, is a six-week program of professional development for BIPOC leaders in

02 James H. Binger YC ’38

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Art of Giving “The Dean’s Innovation Fund is a novel idea that has the alacrity and sensitivity to allow the dean to address real challenges in real time. In doing so, the fund will meaningfully advance the mission of the School of Drama.”



03 & 04 James Gousseff ’56 () and one of the pantomimed productions he directed at Eastern Michigan University ().

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predominately white performing and visual arts organizations. The TD&P seminars will offer training and professional development for YSD alumni and other professionals in the field in the areas of technical theater, technical theater management, and health and safety. The Think Tank will present a unique opportunity to bring new leadership perspectives to major issues in the field today. “It has been an honor to work with Penny and the board of the Robina Foundation for the past decade,” said Deborah Berman, Director of Development and Alumni Affairs. “Their commitment to YSD has been transformative for our programs and we are grateful for their thoughtful and inspired philanthropy.”

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Louder than Words James Gousseff ’56 understood the power of gesture. Soon after graduating with his MFA in directing, he developed an interest in mime. During his 35-year tenure as Professor of Theatre Arts at Eastern Michigan University, James directed student actors in silent plays and trained the University’s mime troupe. Along the way, he published more than 500 scripts of these pantomimed performances. After his retirement, James created another powerful and

Art of Giving generous gesture. As part of his estate planning, James established a charitable gift annuity that, after providing life income for him and his wife, Marla, benefitted YSD. James passed away in 2014 at the age of 85. Then in 2019 after Marla’s passing, the School of Drama received a gift of $100,000 to support the 2020-21 academic year. His thoughtful, philanthropic support speaks volumes about his passionate commitment to the students training to become theater makers. We thank James and the Gousseff family for this meaningful investment in the School and its future.

ing Prize, a WGBH Radio Drama Prize, and two Earplay prizes. Stephen also received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in playwriting and a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship for the study of Polish and Soviet drama. His publications include articles on Anton Chekhov, Eugene O’Neill, George Bernard Shaw, and Harold Pinter. Since retirement, Stephen has had the opportunity to travel, visiting more than 70 countries. His last trip abroad was to Slovakia in 2019, and after the pandemic he hopes to add a few more spots to the list. We are grateful to alumni, like

Playwrights on the Horizon This summer, Stephen Grecco ’70 made a generous gift to the School—a new scholarship for playwriting students. The inaugural Stephen R. Grecco ’70 scholarship was awarded to Danielle Stagger ’24. “Although I had been thinking for some time about establishing a scholarship at YSD,” said Stephen, “I decided that 2020 would be the ideal time as it marks 50 years since I received my MFA in playwriting.” After graduating from YSD, Stephen taught playwriting and dramatic literature in the English department at Penn State for 35 years, retiring as professor emeritus in 2005. As a playwright, his work has been produced by the Marin Theatre Company of California, the Forum Theatre in New York, and National Public Radio, among others, and earned him a Shubert Playwrit-


Stephen, whose thoughtful support of financial aid at YSD helps pave the way for the next generation of artists and leaders during this critical moment for the arts.

05 Stephen Grecco ’70 in Levoca, Slovakia.

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In Memoriam Ming Cho Lee Designer

01 Ming Cho Lee HON ’20 02 Ing Tang and Ming Cho Lee HON ’20

Ming Cho Lee HON ’20, a brilliant artist renowned in the theater, dance, and opera spheres, received many prestigious awards in his lifetime. But his name is not well known by the general public. This amazes and frustrates me. Why, despite all his exquisite designs and trendsetting innovations, was Ming not a household name? Perhaps it’s because he never sought that kind of recognition. Ming Cho Lee’s legacy is securely ensconced because he was one of the best and most influential teachers of

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theater artists. And because this legacy deserves to be more widely celebrated and seen, I’ve spent the past 18 years documenting Ming’s teaching. Never have I heard a clearer account of the creative process than that expressed by Ming Cho Lee. And never have I seen an artist so humble and self-deprecatingly funny, yet so vital for so many years through so many changes of style and approach. In this era of advertisement and selfpromotion, Ming was the rare modest man in a sea of salesmen. He elevated the field as have very few, with skill, high standards, unerring good taste, and the willingness to leap into new territories of expression. And he encouraged his students to do the same. Ming was an exemplary human being— deeply ethical and capable of scouring selfreflection. He was outspoken on censorship, racism, corruption, and hypocrisy. Ming brought both serious intent and fun to class, using a Socratic method of questioning to help his students delve into the text of a play. He was a superb dramaturg without being

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In Memoriam



Ming was a captivating storyteller who shared his own life story freely, making his instruction profoundly personal. prescriptive. He would often say, “I don’t know. Try it, and let’s see how it looks.” Ming was a captivating storyteller who shared his own life story freely, making his

instruction profoundly personal. He arrived as an immigrant to this country at age 19. His mother, Ing Tang, was a huge influence on him. He called her one of the first “modern women”—educated, beautiful, a talented actor and fashion designer. She divorced his father, Tsu Fa Lee, which was a shocking act at the time in a very conservative China. As a child, Ming was immersed in the complex political turmoil of his native Shanghai, endowing him with an early understanding of the fragility of freedom. His favorite uncle was forced to jump out a window to his death by the Communist Party, while another uncle was killed in a 1931 assassination attempt on Chiang Kai-Shek’s finance YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

03 (  ) HyunJoo Kim ’95, Stephen Strawbridge ’83 (Faculty), Anita Yavich ’95, Brian C. Haynsworth ’97, Jane Greenwood (Faculty Emerita), Ming Cho Lee HON ’20, and Ritirong Jiwakanon ’95. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.


In Memoriam



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In Memoriam minister, T.V. Soong, of the Nationalist Party. His mother left for America with her new husband. His father, a successful businessman who had attended Yale as a young man, moved to Hong Kong. Despite his father’s wealth, Ming was decidedly not materialistic. Like his mother, Ming chose self-expression over wealth and security, yet he counseled his students, “You must have a roof over your head or you cannot paint—everything will get wet!” With a mixture of idealism and practicality, he envisioned a good artistic life—hard work, but fulfilling and joyful—a vision evinced by "Ming's Clambake," the showcase of design students' work he and Betsy hosted at Lincoln Center for 19 years.

Betsy’s sphere have unreserved respect, admiration, and love for both of them and, of course, gratitude for what they have given so unstintingly to the community of American theater and to the world. — Marty New ’92 The trailer for Marty New's documentary, The Essence of Ming, is available at https://vimeo. com/548255006.


He dared me to create in whatever form it took. 07 Ming’s support of women in the field of design is without precedent. In women artists, he recognized courage and talent. He foresaw a theater world that would be more inclusive, and he helped make it so. Ming saved my life. He let me audit and then participate in his legendary Saturday design class. It changed me as an artist and made me jump into new creative possibilities. He dared me to create in whatever form it took. Preserving Ming in action, speaking with enormous clarity about the process and technique of creating art, has been my purpose: to share his incredible gifts with the next generation of artists. More than a labor of love, this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to observe a great artist at work and to experience the pleasure of his and Betsy’s company. When I heard of Ming’s passing, I was struck with grief for the loss of this most singular person and monumental artist. Those of us lucky enough to be in his and

04 Ming Cho Lee HON ’20. Photo by Joan Marcus. 05 Ming Cho Lee HON ’20 and Betsy Lee. Photo by Samuel Stuart Hollenshead. 06 Ming Cho Lee’s HON ’20 set design for Nine Songs by Lin Hwai-min produced by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in 2014. Photo courtesy of Marty New ’92. 07 Ming Cho Lee HON ’20 and Marty New ’92. Photo by Somerset New-Stein.

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In Memoriam Bernard Gersten Producer

10 10 Bernard Gersten (Former Faculty) 11 David Rosenberg ’54 12 Eugene Shewmaker ’49 13 Forrest Compton ’53. Photo credit: Walt Disney Television via Getty Images © 1982 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. 14 Forrest Compton ’53. Photo by Charity Robey.


Bernard Gersten (Former Faculty), the former managing director of the Public Theater and executive producer of Lincoln Center Theater, died on April 27. He was 97. Bernard Gersten was born in Newark, New Jersey. He attended Rutgers University before enlisting in the U.S. Army following the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was assigned to the Army’s Special Services branch, which staged theatrical productions for troops stationed around the world. In 1960, Joseph Papp (Former Faculty) hired Bernard as associate producer of the New York Shakespeare Festival, which would later become The Public Theater. The two men formed a potent partnership, staging a run of successful shows—Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hair, That Championship Season, and for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf—which would establish The Public as one of the most important nonprofit theaters in the country. Perhaps no production was more significant for The Public than A Chorus Line. Bernard’s innovative plan was to have the theater provide its own financing for the show and receive 100% percent of the profits. The musical won nine Tony Awards and ran for 15 years. Its revenues made possible hundreds of other works at the theater. In 1985, Bernard became executive director of Lincoln Center Theater, where he produced a string of award-winning plays, musicals, and popular revivals, including Carousel, The Heiress, The Light in the Piazza, YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

Speed-the-Plow, Six Degrees of Separation, and South Pacific. From 1973 to 1979, Bernard was a member of the Yale School of Drama faculty, teaching a number of classes in Theater Management. In 2003, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame, and in 2013 he received a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. Bernard is survived by his wife, Cora, and daughters, Jenny and Jillian.

David Rosenberg Theater Critic and Director

David Arlen Rosenberg ’54, an awardwinning theater and arts critic and a theater director, died on July 15, 2020. He was 90. A well-known and widely respected theater critic and writer, David contributed reviews and articles to Backstage, as well as to the Hearst Media Group of Connecticut, which includes the New Haven Register, Connecticut Post, Greenwich Time, Stamford Advocate and The Norwalk Hour. He also wrote 11 for a number of magazines in Greenwich, Hartford, and New Canaan. He was a frequent presence at Yale Repertory Theatre in his role as a critic. David was a co-founder of the Connecticut Critics Circle and a longtime member of the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and the American Theatre Critics Association. In addition to his reviews and reporting, he directed more than 65 plays, musicals, and staged readings at the Theatre Artists Workshop in Norwalk, Wilton Playshop and Square One Theatre in Stratford. He also taught English and drama at Fairfield University and at a number of Fairfield County

In Memoriam high schools. In a 2008 article published in The Hour, David reflected: “After all, theater is a luxury. Still, the arts can help us out of the morass by revealing what’s eternal, not ephemeral, about living.” David Rosenberg is survived by his husband of 62 years, H. Edward Spires.

Eugene F. Shewmaker Editor

Eugene F. Shewmaker ’49, a distinguished editor, who early in his career had been an actor and teacher, passed away on February


After his retirement in 1990, Shewmaker began a project that united his love of theater with this expertise as an editor. His book, Shakespeare’s Language, A Glossary of Unfamiliar Words in the Plays and Poems, was published in 1996. In 2008, a second edition was issued. Reviewing the book, School Library Journal praised it as “a scholarly work for students who are trying to clarify uncommon words and/or usages from the Bard’s dramatic and poetic works.” When Shewmaker was considering his estate plans, he told Yale: “I wonder how present-day students make it through to graduation without financial help. It was tough enough when I was there in the late 40s, but expenses have skyrocketed since then. I feel that those of us who made it through are really obligated to help those coming along to whatever extent our means will allow.” The School of Drama mourns the passing of this longtime member of our community. We are extremely grateful for his kindness and generosity.

Forrest Compton Actor

15, 2020, at the age of 97. He was a generous donor to Yale School of Drama, having made a legacy gift to support financial aid. Shewmaker attended Drake University, served in the U.S. Navy, and then came to YSD, receiving his MFA degree in 1949. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he acted in a number of productions. He later spent four years as a member of the professional stock company and as an instructor of theater and literature at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Returning to New York, Shewmaker began a career in publishing. He worked at Theatre Magazine, the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company, and eventually Random House, where he served as the senior editor of the Random House Unabridged Dictionary as well as many other titles.

Forrest Compton ’53, a well-known television actor who played Col. Edward Gray on the series Gomer Pyle: U.S.M.C. and District Attorney Mike Karr on the daytime soap opera The Edge of Night, died of complications


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In Memoriam

15 Harry Clein ’63, YC ’60. Photo by Michael Jacobs

from COVID-19. He was 94. Forrest Compton was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1925. He served with the 103rd Infantry in France during World War II, and upon returning attended Swarthmore College, where he initially studied political science in preparation for a career in the law. After a number of appearances in theater productions, Forrest switched his major to English. Following graduation, he attended Yale School of Drama, along with fellow student and friend Paul Newman ’54, and received his MFA in 1953. The sitcom Gomer Pyle aired on CBS from 1964 to 1969. Compton’s character, the straight-laced Col. Gray, would regularly reprimand Sgt. Vince Carter (Frank Sutton), who would in turn vent his wrath on Private Pyle, played by the popular entertainer Jim Nabors. An extremely versatile actor who could take on comedic as well as dramatic roles, Compton also appeared in the soap operas As the World Turns, One Life to Live and All My Children, and had a recurring role on the NBC series The Troubleshooters. His long list of TV credits includes The Twilight Zone, That Girl, My Three Sons, Mannix, Hogan’s Heroes, and 77 Sunset Strip. Forrest and his wife, Jeanne, bought a house on Shelter Island, NY, in 1978, and eventually made it their full-time home. A devoted member of the Shelter Island Friends of Music since the 1980s, Forrest became its president in 2012, organizing concerts for the island’s fellow music lovers. Forrest is survived by Jeanne.

Harold H. Clein Publicist

Harold “Harry” Clein ’63, YC ’60, a highly regarded Hollywood publicist, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on June 18, 2020, in Atlanta. He was 82. Harry was an integral part of the commercial success of a long list of major studio 116

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and independent films, due in no small part to his skill and ingenuity in public relations and marketing. Among them are Oscar-win-

15 ners Places in the Heart, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and The Trip to Bountiful, as well as She’s Gotta Have It, Dirty Dancing, Heathers, sex, lies, and videotape, The Joy Luck Club, Dazed and Confused, The Player, and The Usual Suspects. One of Clein’s most notable projects was the publicity and marketing campaign for The Blair Witch Project in 1999. He orchestrated both the Sundance Film Festival launch and theatrical release of the film, using both traditional approaches and the still-emerging internet to turn it into a blockbuster hit. Filmed for an initial cost $35,000, Blair Witch was purchased by Artisan Entertainment for just over a million dollars and went on to earn $249 million globally. The project won Clein the 2000 AMPAS Publicists Guild Career Achievement Award. Born and raised in Atlanta, Clein attended Phillips Academy and received a bachelor’s degree from Yale College in 1960 and an MFA from Yale School of Drama in 1963. After graduation, Clein worked as a page at NBC’s Today show in New York. He then moved to L.A. where he took a job at a detective agency that involved posing as an em-

In Memoriam ployee at Disneyland for a summer. He worked briefly at Jay Bernstein Public Relations, as an assistant to gossip columnist Joyce Haber, and as a writer for the Los Angeles Times and TV Guide before starting his own PR agency with Bruce Feldman in 1981. Clein + Feldman (later Clein + White) quickly became a go-to shop in Hollywood, known for its innovative and highly effective campaigns. Clein also directed PR campaigns for American Ballet Theatre, Sundance Institute, and the launch of DreamWorks SKG, founded by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. In 2000, Clein closed his agency but continued to work as a marketing consultant, producer, and as a teacher at the Los Angeles Film School. Harry Clein is survived by his brother, Warren, and nephews, Donald and Lee Clein.

James Earl Jewell Lighting Designer

James Earl Jewell ’57, an influential West Coast lighting designer, passed away on February 15. He was 90. Among his many projects were lighting the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Jewell was born in Los Angeles and raised in Sutter Creek, California, in Amador County, not far from Sacramento. He graduated from the University of the Pacific (formerly the College of the Pacific) in 1951 with a degree in theater arts. Jewell then served in the U.S. Army, and was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. Following his military service, he came to Yale School of Drama and earned his MFA in Technical Design and Production in 1957. James knew his talents were on the technical side. “I’ve been in two plays,” he recalled at a 2017 Pacific reunion. “One play in high school and one when I was in New Haven, and both were living proof that I’m not an actor.” His work as a lighting designer for theater eventually led to a distinguished ca-

16 reer in industrial lighting. From 1992 to 2003, he was a member of the board of directors of the Pacific Alumni Association, and in 1994 established the James Earl Jewell Scholarship for Technical Theater at the university. He also served as president of the Illuminating Engineering Society from 1984-85, and was treasurer of the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) for several years. James was predeceased by his life partner of more than 50 years, David Lauer. YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

16 James Earl Jewell ’57, seated, with Justin Gingery, Larry Meredith and University of the Pacific Dean Rena Fraden in 2017. Photo courtesy of the University of the Pacific.


In Memoriam Joan Pape Actor

Long before I knew what the phrase ‘transforming actor’ meant, I saw it in action as I first saw Joan Pape ’68 perform, when I naively joined the theater world during my junior year at Purdue University, having realized that perhaps law wasn’t the career for me. Joan was quite unforgettable in a whole series of performances that year, once one

17 17 Joan Pape ’68 and Tom Moore ’68 a few years a er graduating from YSD. 18 Joan Pape ’68 in Ex-Miss Copper Queen on a Set of Pills by Megan Terry, directed by Tom Moore ’68.


18 figured out who she was—but that was difficult because she was never the same. Yes, the hair color seemed to change by the week in those days as she took on one role after another, but it was more than that. Each character was a thing unto itself, and not having a name for it at the time, I found it wondrous, and even sometimes miraculous. I think Joan and I were only in one play together at Purdue, a rather mediocre Twelfth Night in which she played Viola/Cesario and I gave one of the worst performances ever on a university stage—perhaps any stage—as Feste. It was the beginning of YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

the end of my acting career, but the beginning of a life-long friendship. In my senior year, realizing directing was my future, I directed my first play, Edward Albee’s, The Sandbox. Fortunately, even then I instinctually knew that the director’s most vital decision was the casting. I immediately chose Joan. It would be the first of our many, many collaborations over the years. In time, we became friends, then good friends, and by the time we both left for Yale and the School of Drama, great friends. When we arrived at Yale, I still didn’t have a name for what kind of an actor Joan was, but I knew she was going to be a YSD star. And indeed she was, from the very beginning. In those days there was a first-year class called Drama 10, taught by the remarkable Nikos Psacharopoulos ’54 (Former Faculty). The directors (15 in the first year, winnowed to five by the third year) were gathered together with all the first-year actors; during each class the directors would present scenes using that pool of incredible acting talent while the actors benefitted by being exposed to all kinds of directorial styles. Some actors were in demand all the time and would be in rehearsal whenever they weren’t in class or on crew. Needless to say, Joanie was at the top of everyone’s list. And she was in greatest demand for the character parts which few young actors can inhabit, bringing them all off in complete believability. Comedy or tragedy, classical and contemporary— they were all her forte. At Yale, I soon learned how to describe what I had only instinctively known before. Joan was that kind of rare ‘transformative’ actor who disappears into each and every role. She and David Clennon ’68 were in pretty much every scene and every major project I directed. Among the many: Albee’s Ballad of the Sad Café, Meghan Terry’s ExMiss Copper Queen on a Set of Pills, (which we were invited to perform at the Martinique Theatre in NY), and my thesis production, Funeral March for a One Man Band by Ron

In Memoriam Whyte ’67. I have often said without exaggeration that I owe at least half of my MFA degree to Joan Pape and David Clennon. O.K., maybe three quarters. When Robert Brustein ’51, HON ’66 became dean and was transforming the School, he also quickly recognized this ‘transformative’ talent and cast Joan often with the professionals he started bringing to Yale for mainstage productions—the precursors of the soon-to-be Yale Rep. One of Joan’s roles was as a Seabird in the dazzling Jonathan Miller production of Robert Lowell’s adaptation of Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound, with Irene Worth and Kenneth Haigh. It was a time of great excitement and possibility at YSD. Professionals from New York were at the School weekly, and the frisson within the student body was palpable. It is hard to convey just how brilliant Joan was. One reaches for comparison and only the greats come to mind. She was, without hyperbole, the Meryl Streep ’75, HON ’83 of our day. Bob Brustein certainly recognized that when he chose her as the first actress from the School to be part of the Yale Rep company. A unique and singular honor. Joan became an annual presence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and other regional theaters and worked often in New York and was soon on Broadway as Mae (Sister Woman) in Michael Kahn’s production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Elizabeth Ashley. She also played another May in my production of Once in a Lifetime with Ed Herrmann at Arena Stage. But just as offers were coming in, Joan married, and delivered what turned out to be her most important production, Dagan Uhle; and later as a single mother turned all her force and focus to giving him the best life possible. When Dagan was in college, Joan had finally aged into the roles she was always destined to play. Everyone was encouraging her to re-enter the theater world, and she was giving it serious thought, when cancer came

to visit. Although she and the doctors were able to wrestle it under control, and she would live fully and happily for decades more, the cancer left an occasional neurological response that as Joan would joke, that just like in Dr. Strangelove, her arm would suddenly go straight up out of control. Even though very infrequent, it was difficult to take on a theater role, knowing that was always a possibility. Such does fate rule our destiny. So the world never got to know the exceptional talent of Joan Pape as we, her friends, fellow students, and collaborators did. I think the theater world is a bit the less for it. I can’t put it any better than our good friend Gordon Rogoff YC ’52 (Faculty Emeritus), a major force at YSD during the Brustein years: “Joan was one of the best at YSD who, in Brando’s ‘Waterfront’ words, ‘could have been a contender.’ Should have been is more like it. From the first, she reminded me of both Geraldine Page and Kim Stanley, strangely merged and therefore entirely original.” Although in the big scheme of life, it was only for a short time, Joan’s performances were indelible for audiences lucky enough to see them, and an inestimable gift for those of us fortunate enough to have created and worked with her. And as her friend, it was an honor to have shared the journey. —Tom Moore ’68

Lee Breuer Director

Lee Breuer (Former Faculty), the influential theater director and co-founder of the legendary avant-garde theater company Mabou Mines, died in his home in Brooklyn, New York, on January 3. He was 83. Breuer was a longstanding member of the YSD faculty, teaching at the School during 1977-79, 1986-1990, and 2005-06. He also YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


In Memoriam

19 19 Lee Breuer (Former Faculty). Photo by Maria Baranova. 20 Marilyn Jeannette Sterling Gondek (Former Faculty) and her grandson, Matthew.

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served as a co-chair of the Directing department. In 1970, Breuer founded Mabou Mines with actress Ruth Maleczech (his first wife), director JoAnne Akalaitis, composer Philip Glass, and actor David Warrilow. Mabou Mines would become an integral part of New York’s burgeoning downtown theater scene along with Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company, Richard Foreman’s ’62 Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Richard Schechner’s Performance Group, and André Gregory’s Manhattan Project. Over more than four decades, Breuer directed dozens of Off- and Off-Off-Broadway productions with Mabou Mines, often pushing the boundaries of theater with radical reinterpretations of classic works. “Mr. Breuer’s audiences had to be willing to embrace, or at least shrug off, some quantity of abstruseness,” wrote Laura Collins-Hughes in The New York Times. Breuer’s best-known work is perhaps The Gospel at Colonus, a 1985 Pulitzer Prize finalist that ran on Broadway in 1988, starring Morgan Freeman, Isabell Monk ’81, and the Blind Boys of Alabama. The show, an adaptation of the Sophocles tragedy Oedipus at Colonus, had debuted at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1983, garnering an Obie Award for best musical. Breuer received a YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

Tony nomination for best book of a musical; a version filmed for the PBS series Great Performances won an Emmy. Breuer was the recipient of the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and a Helen Hayes Award. He was also awarded fellowships from the Bunting, Guggenheim, and MacArthur foundations. Gordon Rogoff YC ’52 (Faculty Emeritus) remembered Breuer as “a relentless experimenter or explorer—whatever you want to call him. He was never less than genuine, so much of his work hard-fought and so usefully provocative.” Breuer is survived by his wife and artistic partner, Maude Mitchell, his daughter, his sons, and three grandchildren.

Marilyn Sterling Gondek Theater Administrator

Marilyn Jeannette Sterling Gondek, an arts administrator, historian, author, and former member of the Yale School of Drama faculty, passed away on April 18, at Midcoast Hospital near her home in Topsham, Maine. She was 69 years old. Marilyn was born in Waterville, and was raised in Bingham, Maine. She attended the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA, and graduated summa cum laude from Bowdoin College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Marilyn further pursued her studies of art history and religion, earning a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School. After working in management at The Theater Project and the Maine State Music Theater, both in Brunswick, Maine, Marilyn joined YSD as the Director of Finance. From 1998 to 2000, she taught classes in the School’s Theater Management department, drawing on her extensive experience in theater management and the nonprofit sector. “She was a terrific thought partner and 15 extraordinary colleague,” remembers Vicki

In Memoriam Peter Hunt


20 Nolan (Former Deputy Dean). “Marilyn was thoughtful, kind, and deeply philosophical.” Marilyn also worked for the innovative Institute for Global Ethics in Camden, which was founded in 1990 by Rushworth Kidder. The Institute’s mission is to promote ethical behavior in individuals, institutions, and nations through research, public discourse, and practical action. Vicki recalled, “It was the perfect place for Marilyn to bring together her extraordinary financial acumen with her intellectual curiosity and high ethical standards.” Marilyn had an enduring passion for the Upper Kennebec region of Maine, where her family had resided since the 1830s. In 2017, she published The Forks of the Kennebec: Sources for an Early History, the first in a planned series of works on the history of the region she knew so well. She also helped found the Old Canada Road Historical Society in Bingham, served as a long-time member of its board of directors, and actively enlarged and maintained its archive of historical documents and artifacts. Marilyn is survived by her husband, Richard; son, Jason; daughter, Meggen; grandson, Matthew; and her sister, Martha.

Peter H. Hunt ’63, YC ’61, who won a Tony Award for his direction of the now-classic musical 1776, passed away in April 2020, at his at home in Los Angeles from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 81. Hunt achieved his directorial breakthrough with 1776. The show was a huge hit, and in 1969 won the Tony Award for best musical and for best director. Many of the original Broadway cast members reprised their performances for the 1972 film version which Hunt also directed. Peter Huls Hunt was born in Pasadena in 1938, the son of Gertrude and George Smith Hunt II, an industrial designer from Minnesota. Peter was the brother of the late Gordon Hunt and the uncle of actress Helen Hunt. Peter attended the Hotchkiss School, graduated from Yale College in 1961, and received his master’s degree from the School of Drama in 1963. Peter began his theatrical career as a

21 Peter H. Hunt ’63, YC ’61

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In Memoriam

22 “In the fall of 2002, I brought René, Míriam Colón, Artistic Director of Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, and Max Ferrá, Artistic Director of INTAR Theater—the three giants of Latin theater—to speak at my Management Issues Forum seminar at YSD (see photo). They spoke about the challenges of running Latinx theaters, but they also celebrated the progress Latinos had made in theater. It was the last time René would visit his alma mater, and it was the last time they would all be together. Funny how some of the eternal moments in theater happen right in front of our eyes, but we don’t know it at the time.” — Juan Carlos Salinas ’03 12 2

lighting designer, working at Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts at the urging of his former YSD teacher and cofounder and artistic director of WTF, Nikos Psacharopoulos ’54 (Former Faculty). It was there that he met not only Barbette Tweed ’66, who would become his wife (now Barbette Hunt), but also a group of young actors with whom he would work many times over the course of his career, among them Blythe Danner, Frank Langella, and Olympia Dukakis. After Nikos passed away, Peter took over the role of Williamstown’s artistic director, a position he held from 1989 to 1995. Peter returned to Broadway in 1970 with the musical Georgy, and in 1975 directed Goodtime Charley, starring Joel Grey and Ann Reinking, which received seven Tony nominations as well as a Drama Desk Award nomination for direction. Peter’s last Broadway show, The Scarlet Pimpernel, was nominated for three Tony Awards, including best musical. “Peter Hunt was a fireball that blazed through my life,” said Austin Pendleton YC ’61. “We met the first day of our freshman year at Yale. He said we’d make theater together all our lives. We never lost touch. I never had an interaction with him that didn’t excite me artistically and warm my heart. I still feel him. I always will.” Peter Hunt is survived by Barbette, son, Max, daughters, Daisy and Amy, and brother, George.

René Buch Director, Writer

On April 19th, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theatre industry lost one of its giants, René Buch ’52. It is hard to encapsulate the legend of René Buch in one tribute. His life remains an exemplar of the phrase “a life less ordinary.” In April 2001, as a student in the Theater Management program, I began my search YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

for a semester-long fellowship. At the time, Ben Mordecai (Former Faculty) encouraged us to let him make the introductions with theater professional whom we didn’t know personally. I spoke with a few artistic directors and explored various opportunities, but nothing felt right. I had an impulse and made a cold call to Repertorio Español, where René was Artistic Director. I don’t know why, but they put me straight through to René. We had a brief conversation, and he asked me to come and meet him in NYC that same week. Having met René, I can only describe him as the grandfather I never had. He was incredibly warm and humorous, but what I most remembered was that this man was clearly someone who had lived a storied life, a life that was a constant influence in his artistic creations. He asked me to be his ar-

22 tistic intern that fall, and the rest, as they say, is history. The week before I was to start my internship at Repertorio Español, the tragic events of 9/11 occurred. As a kid from a small Texas town, I found living in NYC during that particular time terrifying. René was determined to make sure I still had a great experience. I served as his assistant for three shows. One of the shows, Calderón’s The Phantom Lady, was being produced at the Pearl Theatre. He knew I was scared of the subway system, so every day we walked from Repertorio down to the East Village so that I would feel comfortable. Even though René was 74 years old 15 at the time, he was a fast walker, and I often

In Memoriam found myself struggling to keep up with him. Watching René lead a rehearsal was like watching a great magician, except the magic was real. I often saw that actors and designers were baffled by his direction, but the end product was always pure perfection. Federico García Lorca has always been my favorite writer, and I had seen a number of productions of his work during my time in Texas, but it wasn’t until I sat with René during rehearsals for The House of Bernarda Alba and Yerma, that I fully understood the true power of Lorca as a poet and playwright. René was a champion of the Spanish language. Of all the lessons he taught me, his most powerful words were, “Never forget, mijo, our culture is second to none!” He will always be my hero. — Juan Carlos Salinas ’03

Walter Dallas Director

Walter Dallas ’71, a director and playwright, and a leading voice in African American theater whose career spanned more than 50 years, died of pancreatic cancer on May 3, 2020, at his home in Atlanta. He was 73. Walter was a well-known figure off-Broadway and in regional theaters across the country. He directed more than 25 world premieres, among them August Wilson’s HON ’88 Seven Guitars at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in 1995, a production praised by Time magazine as one of the 10 best of theater events of that year. He also directed plays at the Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater and the Negro Ensemble Company in New York, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, Baltimore Center Stage, and at Yale Repertory Theatre, including Pill Hill by Sam Kelley ’90 and Bricklayers by Elvira DiPaolo. But Walter was best known for his work at the Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia, one of the foremost African American theater companies, which he led from 1992 to 2008.

23 Walter Edward Dallas was born on September 15, 1946, in Atlanta. His mother died of cancer, and he was raised by his aunt. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1968, then studied at Harvard Divinity School before attending the Drama School, where he received his MFA in 1971. He also studied traditional African dance and theater at the University of Ghana in Legon. Walter taught at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts for 10 years before taking over the helm of the Freedom Theatre, where he had previously directed Langston Hughes’s Black Nativity to critical acclaim. During his tenure, the Freedom opened its new 299seat John E. Allen, Jr. Theatre. In one of the first productions on the new stage Walter directed Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms with a Black cast and transported the drama from New England in the 1850s to 1930s Georgia. Walter developed strong ties to Philadelphia, and in 1993, appeared in Jonathan YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

23 Walter Dallas ’71


In Memoriam

24 G.W. “Skip” Mercier ’83


Demme’s movie Philadelphia in the role of Denzel Washington’s father. In 2002, he wrote and directed the critically acclaimed musical Lazarus, Unstoned at the Freedom. Based on the biblical story of Lazarus, it included music from Stravinsky to Elton John to Aretha Franklin. In 2008, he left the city to become senior artist-in-residence and co-director of the MFA program at the University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. With his long list of directorial credits and his working history with, among others, James Baldwin, August Wilson, Denzel Washington, and Viola Davis, Walter was a highly regarded colleague and widely popular teacher at UMD, affectionately known to his students as “Dr. D.” A wealth of tributes on the School of the Arts website attests to the impact Walter had on so many whose lives he touched as both mentor and friend. Walter Dallas was the recipient of many awards, including an honorary doctorate from the University of the Arts, a 2016 AUDELCO Special Pioneer Award for Excellence in Black Theatre, and a 2017 AUDELCO Award for Best Director for Autumn by Richard Wesley. He was recognized with two Creative Genius Awards from the Atlanta Circle of Drama Critics, and his production of Emily Mann’s Having Our Say at Los Angeles’s Mark Taper Forum received an NAACP Theatre Award nomination for Best Director. In 2012, Walter spoke about his lifelong love of the theater in an interview in The Clarice, a publication of the University of Maryland’s School of the Arts. “I find that theatre is a powerful force that can change the course of my life and the lives of others,” he said. “The thing about it is you might know instantly—but often you never know—how deeply it affects people. I often hear from people who say, ‘You know, what you said that time really turned my life around.’ Sometimes I don’t even remember what I said and sometimes YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

barely remember the person. But theatre powerfully affects people.” Walter Dallas is survived by his husband, Paul Siler.

George W. Mercier Designer

G.W. “Skip” Mercier ’83, a Tony-nominated set and costume designer died on March 11 of pancreatic cancer at his home in Rowayton, Connecticut. He was 66. Skip Mercier was born in Methuen, Massachusetts, graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Dramatic Art from the University of California, Berkeley, then earned an MFA from Yale School of Drama in 1983. During his career, Skip designed nearly 400 stage productions, among them August Wilson’s HON ’88 Fences at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Sarah Ruhl’s (Faculty) Dead Man’s Cell Phone at Playwright’s Horizons, the Laura Nyro jukebox musical Eli’s Comin’ at the Vineyard Theater in New York, and The Loman Family Picnic by Donald Margulies at Manhattan Theatre Club. In 1997, he created the sets and costumes for Julie Taymor and Eliot Oldenthal’s Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass at Lincoln Center, earning him a Tony nomination for Best Scenic Design. He was a resident designer for the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut, the Vineyard Theatre in New York, and Geva Theatre in Rochester. Skip’s first New York production was Lanford Wilson’s Lemon Sky, starring Jeff Daniels, Cynthia Nixon, and Jill Eikenberry ’70 at Second Stage Theater in 1985. His recent work included Head of Passes by Tarell Alvin McCraney ’07 (Faculty) at The Public Theater, which received both a Drama Desk nomination and an AUDELCO award for Outstanding Set Design. He was also honored with the Bay Area Critics Award for

In Memoriam many share the feeling of loss. He will be greatly missed.” Skip Mercier is survived by his husband, Robert Frazier; children, Molly and Wil; grandson, Jack; and brother, Michael.

Pat Collins

Lighting Designer

24 his work on William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life directed by Tina Landau and received the Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award for Outstanding Talent and Vision in Design. His film and television credits include the award-winning Nickelodeon series Eureeka’s Castle, the 1998 film Southie, and Fool’s Fire for PBS’s American Playhouse. He designed Finding Nemo—The Musical, which opened in 2007 at Walt Disney World and played five times a day until the pandemic shutdown in 2020. Like many of his fellow alumni, Skip had a distinguished career as a teacher; he taught design at the National Theater Institute at the O’Neill and held faculty positions at the State University of New York at Stonybrook, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington School of Drama. “Skip’s passing has left a big hole in our community and in our hearts,” said Stephen Strawbridge ’83 (Faculty). “He was a beloved collaborator and friend, known for his openness and generosity. He and I graduated in the same class, so this hits especially close to home for me, but I know

Pat Collins ’58, an award-winning lighting designer whose theater career spanned nearly 50 years and included more than 30 Broadway productions, died of pancreatic cancer on March 21 at her home in Branford, Connecticut. She was 88. Pat won a Tony Award for I’m Not Rappaport in 1986, and received Tony nominations for The Threepenny Opera (1977) and Doubt (2005). Patricia Collins was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1932. She attended Brown University’s Pembroke College before coming to Yale School of Drama. She began her theater career as a stage manager at the Joffrey Ballet, and then became an assistant to lighting designer Jean Rosenthal ’34 at 25 Pat Collins ’58. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

25 YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


In Memoriam

26 Brian MacQueen ’00. Photo by Werner Elmker.


the American Shakespeare Festival Theater in Stratford. Pat’s big break came when Joseph Papp (Former Faculty) gave her a job designing the lighting for the New York Shakespeare Festival production of The Threepenny Opera at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in 1977. It was the beginning of a long run on Broadway that would include Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Heidi Chronicles, A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Sisters Rosensweig, A Delicate Balance, Proof, and Execution of Justice, for which she received a Drama Desk Award. “Pat was incredibly vital,” said Michael Chybowski ’87, who worked with her at Alaska Rep in the early 1980s when he was an aspiring designer. “The entire room would come to attention when she arrived because everyone knew that things would be great since she was there. Always a consummate pro, she created beauty on schedule and with great joy and shared that joy with everyone she worked with.” Pat worked regularly at regional theaters throughout the U.S., including Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Steppenwolf in Chicago, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, McCarter Theatre in Princeton, and Arena Stage in Washington, DC. She also designed lighting for productions at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the San Francisco Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. “Pat was an extraordinary designer whom I had the privilege of working with many times over 40 years in New York, but mostly in regional theaters along the Northeast coast,” recalled Jess Goldstein ’78 (Former Faculty). “I’ll never forget sharing a table with her during a long Sunday night technical rehearsal at Baltimore Center Stage when the stage manager stopped everything to announce to all of us that Pat had just won a Tony Award. Everyone cheered, but in typical Pat fashion, she YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

preferred to spend the evening with us in tech—always all about the work she truly believed in.” Pat is survived by her partner, Dr. Virginia Stuermer.

Brian MacQueen Sound Designer and Engineer

26 Brian MacQueen ’00, a sound designer and engineer who received his MFA from Yale School of Drama in 2000 and later served on the YSD faculty, passed away on March 1 in Iowa City, Iowa. He was 63. Raised in Iowa City, Brian attended the University of Iowa, where he earned a degree in theater in 1980. He wrote, directed, and engineered several award-winning radio plays for National Public Radio Playhouse, as well as a popular children’s radio show, “Chip the Squirrel,” before coming to the School of Drama. After graduation, Brian worked at a number of theaters across the country as a sound designer. He returned to YSD as the

In Memoriam sound supervisor for the School and the Rep, and from 2002 to 2009 also held the position of lecturer in the TD&P department. Brian also taught at Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea. “Brian was a calm, passionate, friendly person, deeply invested in his studies as a designer,” said David Budries (Faculty). “His time as a student was filled with a balance of hard work, intense energy, as well as joy. He loved solving technical problems and was always willing to offer his assistance. Later, as sound supervisor, Brian worked tirelessly to support the young designers in their process. His warmth and connection were well appreciated by all.” In 2009, Brian moved back to Iowa City to take care of his aging parents. He later relocated to Fairfield, Iowa, to become the technical director of the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. Brian was a much beloved colleague, teacher, and friend. His creative energy, dedication to his work, and his generous spirit will be greatly missed.

lived for a decade in a supportive housing facility on Park Street and then, in April 2018, moved to a nearby nursing home.

Margaret Holloway Actor, Director

Margaret Holloway ’80, known as “The Shakespeare Lady,” died May 30, 2020 from COVID-19, at age 68, in Yale New Haven Hospital. A Bennington College graduate, Holloway entered Yale School of Drama as an acting student, left for a time, then returned to study directing. Her thesis focused on a “theater of hunger,” an all-too-apt intimation of what lay ahead. Three years after graduation, Margaret’s schizophrenia emerged. She was resilient, surviving for nearly 40 years as a street performer whose recitations of Shakespeare monologues enlivened the city, despite occasional panhandling arrests. After periods of homelessness, Margaret


Though she regretted her loss of independence, the nursing home provided stability: physical therapy and health care, meals, showers, clean clothes, and her own television. When I once suggested that we go out into the courtyard to enjoy the sunshine, she said that her room was “the cleanest place I’ve lived in 30 years” and she had no desire to venture out of it. YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

27 Margaret Holloway ’80. Photo by Tom Kaszuba.


In Memoriam Although medication kept her schizophrenia superficially well controlled, she was fully aware of the impact the disease had on her life. She was assailed by hallucinations and had no peace except when asleep. She couldn’t concentrate well enough to read, a bitter irony for someone who loved literature. I visited her monthly, bringing toiletries, notebooks and pens, and treats. We talked about theater. She reminisced about performances she had given or directed. She’d wonder “whatever happened to” colleagues, and I’d tell her what I knew about their careers or would Google them on my phone. She recalled attending the holiday party at the Yale Club several years ago; someone bought her a new dress, a winter coat, and a train ticket, and she held court amidst generations of YSD alums. We last met in early March 2020, after which visitors were prohibited, but stayed in touch by phone through April. Margaret was afraid of contracting COVID-19 and being stuck in the nursing home, unable to see the few friends who visited regularly. Sadly, those fears were realized. After two weeks of unanswered phone calls, in mid-May I reached a nurse who told me she was in the hospital. Two short films document Margaret’s life and work. Her college friend Richard Dailey’s God Didn’t Give Me a Week’s Notice, https://vimeo.com/7501821, was screened at York Square Cinema in 2001. More recently, Cecilia Rubino ’82, who acted in Margaret’s YSD thesis, directed Remembering Shakespeare, https://vimeo.com/404414105 (password RS1509), and gave Margaret a sneak preview in the nursing home before its 2019 public premiere. Margaret Holloway’s love of theater sustained her. Memories of Bennington and Yale, where she was young, healthy, and creative, remained vivid. She could speak authoritatively about directing Macbeth or animatedly recite speeches from Hamlet. Performing was a way to maintain her dignity 128

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– seeking an exchange with an audience rather than a handout. She generously shared her art with friends and passersby. She is missed. — Joan Channick ’89 (Faculty)

In Memoriam Farewell Lawrence Arrick (Former Faculty) / 9.21.20 Zeke Berlin ’53 / 4.28.20 Lee Breuer (Former Faculty) / 1.3.21 René Buch ’52 / 4.21.20 Harry H. Clein ’63, YC ’60 / 6.18.20 Forrest Compton ’53 / 4.4.20 Walter Dallas ’71 / 5.3.20 Allen Davis III ’56 / 8.9.19 Jerry Douglas ’60 / 1.9.21 Gerald Freedman (Former Faculty) / 3.17.20 Bernard Gersten (Former Faculty) / 4.27.20 Marilyn Jeannette Sterling Gondek (Former Faculty) / 4.18.20 Michael Harrison ’65 / 11.21.20 John M. Hay ’73, DIV ’68 / 12.19.20 Patricia Ann Helwick ’65 / 1.4.21 George L. Hickenlooper DFA ’67 / 7.18.19 Margaret Holloway ’80 / 5.30.20 Peter Hunt ’63, YC ’61 / 4.26.20 James Earl Jewell ’57 / 2.15.20 Brian MacQueen ’00 / 3.1.21 George W. “Skip” Mercier ’83 / 3.11.21 Joyce P. Langelier ’59 / 12.19.18 Ming Cho Lee HON ’20 (Faculty Emeritus) / 10.23.20 Frederick J. Marker DFA ’67 / 8.23.19 Franklin Metzler Nash ’59 / 10.19.20 William M. Ndini ’65 / 10.5.20 Joan Pape ’68 / 6.30.20 Portia Patterson ’68 / 11.10.19 Nicholas Rastenis ’08 / 10.19.20 David Rosenberg ’54 / 7.15.20 Eugene F. Shewmaker ’49 / 2.15.20 Daniel A. Stein ’64, DFA ’67 / 3.16.19 Betsy B. Watson ’53 / 6.20.19 G. Randall Will ’68 / 11.18.20 John. L Wilson ’63 / 6.12.20

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Alumni Notes 1940s Joan Kron ’48 writes: “At 92, I am producing, directing, and playing myself in my second documentary—in production now. My first film, Take My Nose…Please!, about comediennes and plastic surgery, is available on Hulu, Prime Video, and other streaming platforms. It was chosen as one of the 25 best documentaries of 2018 by Video Librarian magazine and won awards at the Miami Film Festival and the Berkshire Film Festival. In December 2020, I was selected as one of NextTribe’s Women of the Year.”

1950s Geoffrey Johnson ’55, a trustee and officer of the Noël Coward Foundation and Archive Trust, took time off from a steady, non-existent Broadway scene and with his former associate, Tara Rubin, cast a unique television special during the current coronavirus pandemic. One segment was cast in England (a benefit for “Acting for Others”) and another was cast in the U.S. (a benefit for “The Actors Fund”). The celebration from the two countries featured music and lyrics and a variety of Coward works performed by the actors recording at home or taping at a number of locations. Participants included: Mistress of Ceremonies Dame Judi Dench, Kate Burton ’82, Alan Cumming, Stephen Fry, Montego Glover, Derek Jacobi, Josh James, Cush Jumbo, Robert Lindsay, Bebe Neuwirth, Kristine Nielsen ’80, Julian Ovenden, Patricia Routledge, Kate Royal, Giles Terera, Emma Thompson, Indira Varma, and Lia Williams. ● Gordon Micunis ’59 is currently enjoying the diminished delights of good old New York. Painting daily in his studio, he would be delighted to hear from fellow alumni. ● Ruth Wolff ’57 writes: “I’ve kept to what I started out to do so, so long ago: writing strong roles for women—though I must admit, I’ve written quite a few strong roles for men along the way. A recent major work is The Seven Ages of DD, a play in which the story of one woman’s life, from 13 0

beginning to end, unfolds in seven scenes. The play was given a staged reading at the Jefferson Market Library in New York under the auspices of the League of Professional Theatre Women. My play A Night of Storm and Danger, in which two academics locked in a room over a stormy night are forced to confront their pasts, their futures, and their relationship, was written for either two men or two women. My newest play is a One Day in the Highlands, a play for one woman. This is a rather unusual play in two acts about art, theater, and life.” ● At the Virginia Repertory Theatre Gala on January 25, 2020, Vienna Cobb Anderson ’58 was awarded the Virginia Excellence in Theater Award for being the first woman to direct a professional stage production in Virginia. Vienna directed Boeing-Boeing and Any Wednesday at the Barksdale Theater at Hanover Tavern just outside of Richmond, VA, in 1966.


1960s Helen Yalof ’60 writes: “So what have I been up to in all these years that I haven’t been sending notes to the Yale School of Drama Magazine? Lots of mischief. I founded several successful regional and alumni theaters. My shows and films have been performed Off-Off Broadway, in educational theater, hospitals, senior centers, hotels, organizations, concerts, cabaret theaters and festivals. I study voice building (The Ernie Castaldo/Esther Fisher method), sing a lot, and sometimes teach. I’ve been awarded commissions, scholarships, and prestigious grants from the Huntington Library (Long Island), the National Endowment of the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. I am Professor Emerita and former theater chair at Queensborough Community College, City University of New York. Currently, I am polishing song demos for my singles musical, Ludwig’s Apple. It is inspired by Warner LeRoy’s Maxwell’s Plum, the flamboyant 1960s New York restaurant and singles bar. YSD scenic design graduates helped build Maxwell’s Plum and are colorful characters in my musical. I want to thank Janice Muirhead (Staff) for helping

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02 01 Joan Kron ’48. Photo by Ramona Rosales. 02 Vienna Cobb Anderson ’58

Alumni Notes 03 Abby Kenigsberg ’63 04 Puppets by Carrie Robbins ’67. 05 William Boardman ’64, YC ’60 presiding at a wedding dinner.


06 Len Berkman ’63, DFA ’70. Photo by Troy David Mercier.


07 Helen Yalof ’60





08 Robert Greenwood ’67. Photo by Brian Burke. 09 Roger Hendricks Simon ’67


10 Susan Horowitz ’69 and Teddly. 11 Lonnie Carter ’69 with André De Shields and Lia Chang.



12 A watercolor by Ann Farris ’63. 13 Howard Pflanzer ’68 14 Costume rendering for The Bacchae by Santo Loquasto ’72. Photo courtesy of Jim Metzner ’69.



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Alumni Notes place my history of, and my materials for, studio i and Studio 60 into the Yale archives. If we ever have a Yale Drama Alumni party at the Yale Club again, please do come over and say ‘Hello!’” ● Conari Press published Allen Klein’s ’62 latest book, The Awe Factor: How a Little Bit of Wonder Can Make a Big Difference in Your Life. The foreword is by Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. ● Len Berkman ’63, DFA ’70, now in his 52nd year on the Smith College theater faculty, has added to his virtual teaching a series of Zoom-broadcast conversations with playwrights based in NYC. The series has included Kathleen Tolan, David Henry Hwang ’83, Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty), Sarah Ruhl (Faculty), and Charles Mee, Jr. ● Ann Farris ’63 writes: “First of all, I was so sorry to hear of Peter Sargent’s ’63 passing. He was such an effective force and a delightful individual. While our paths did not cross aªer Yale, his positive energy was always around. I have been keeping close to home in Vallejo, CA. I am still up to my ears with projects that I have yet to complete with the San Francisco Opera Archive. I have been chatting with former staff to capture on tape their memories of their time with SFO. And, I have been dabbling in watercolors. Lots to learn there. Last year I published an autobiography titled: Two Engines/One Voice. Because my life has been quite diverse both professionally and personally, I decided I wanted to write about it. Chapter Three tells the tales of being an apprentice at Williamstown in 1959 and my three years at the Yale School of Drama, 1960-63. I send you all best wishes for continued good health.” Abby Kenigsberg ’63 just published her book, Shenanigans: A Memoir. Abby recorded the audio version which is also available now. ● William Boardman ’64, YC ’60 writes: “My last stage appearance was with Elizabeth Warren in 2019, giving her a copy of my political book, Exceptional: American Exceptionalism Takes Its Toll, and getting my picture on page one of the Boston Globe. All level cruising from there, still writing political columns for Reader Supported News, building cairns and cutting up ●


firewood, working on a book of political comedy sketches from 1976 to the present, and expecting the best from all and sundry, whatever that may turn out to be.” ● Warren Bass ’67 received eight international awards for his experimental film Cuban Queens, plus five citations as finalist for an award, seven as semi-finalist, one honorable mention, and 59 official juried selections at international film festivals across six continents in a total of 33 countries. ● Robert Greenwood ’67 writes: “During the past year, during this time of isolation, our company Sun.Ergos, has been offering numerous Zoom classes in brain-body fitness, Brain-Gym®, and is now preparing visual arts and Zoom acting classes for the upcoming months. It has been a time of great reflection and going back over archives of some of my performances with Sun.Ergos and other companies. My partner Dana Luebke and I have created 62 productions in the 43 years of the company and now have students who have become professionals in the UK, Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, Tunisia, Iran, and the U.S. I chaired acting and directing programs at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Calgary. I was fortunate to teach Ed Harris, Larry Drake, KT Sullivan, and Catherine Tambini, to name but a few. Needless to say, I am proud of their achievements in theater, film, and the arts. The Sun.Ergos mandate has always been to celebrate the differences and recognize the similarities among peoples and cultures through timeless stories expressed in theater, dance, and the visual arts. If we can do anything that enlarges the human experience, the human heart, thinking, feeling—no matter how small that event may be, then, perhaps, we can leave this world something that changes, touches, or makes possible something better for someone somewhere.” ● Carrie Robbins ’67 writes: “As a recovering costume designer I’ve been writing secretly since 2009-ish. My first official ‘outing’ was in 2014 with a showcase that, much to my surprise, garnered six New York Innovative Theatre nominations. I’m now up to play number 20, a piece based on a dark time in Paris, 1942-44, when the Nazis, with the

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help of the Vichy government, gathered up all the Jewish schoolchildren they could find and took them to concentration camps. This is the story of one classroom’s ‘collection day’ and its aªermath. Because it is so painful to envision the scenes of such a play, I began to ‘see’ the classroom of children as doll-puppets. And behind each, a puppeteer, the adult each child never got to be.” ● Roger Hendricks Simon ’67 writes: “First, The Simon Studio is currently in its 43rd year as a training and production center in NYC. Second, I’m happy to announce that one of my newest feature films, the fun-loving off-beat comedy Love in Kilnerry, written and directed by Daniel Keith, is screening virtually at the Newport Beach Film Festival. For this film I was awarded the 2020 International Independent Film Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. I have two other major roles in feature films coming out in 2021: Another Year Together and Linoleum (playing opposite comedian/actor Jim Gaffigan). Another Year Together was directed and co-written by my son, Dan Simon. I made my ballet debut dancing the role of Drosselmeyer opposite my daughter, Abigail Simon (of American Ballet Theatre and the Joffrey), in the Nutcracker. So, if you wait long enough—you get work from your kids!” ● Howard Pflanzer ’68 is the co-founder of Crossways Theatre, a group of playwrights who present staged readings of new plays dealing with the important issues of our times for diverse audiences on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. During the pandemic, Crossways produced virtual readings of plays, including Space, written and directed by Howard. Several more virtual productions are planned, including Howard’s new play, Amicus Fidelis. ● Jonathan Reeve Price DFA ’68 writes: “Since I retired from UCSC two years ago, I have slowly been making short books out of some of the materials I developed for our classes. I’ve just published Write a Use Case: Gathering Requirements that Users Can Understand. My argument is that writers are uniquely qualified to gather functional requirements—not programmers, not suits.” ● Lonnie Carter ’69 recently received a grant from NET/PWC for a play with HartBeat Ensemble in Hartford on the life

Alumni Notes and times of Aunt Jemima—Mark Twain and Uncle Ben included. HartBeat is across the street from the Mark Twain House Museum. Lonnie’s Obie-winning play, The Romance of Magno Rubio, was streamed this past summer, receiving 95,000 views. ● Susan Horowitz ’69 is producing comedic videos on her YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/drsuecomedian) including “MacBear,” a spoof on Macbeth, and musicals, “Wear a Mask Show You Care,” song and video featuring Teddly the puppet, and a virtual tour of the New York Botanical Garden with Teddly. Susan has also written SssWitch, an original musical comedy. ● Tony Scully ’69, former Mayor of Camden, South Carolina, has just released his second book of poetry, Come into the Light, with Wipf and Stock Publishers. The book is available now on Amazon.com. ● Jim Metzner ’69 writes: “Sacred Mounds, my new novel, is published at last! The audio version was read by me and produced by Stefan Rudnicki ’69, and what a pleasure to work with Stefan— albeit from a distance! Last time we saw each other was at the Island Repertory Theater on Martha’s Vineyard, where Stefan played the Pirate King and I his trusty sidekick, in a production of The Pirates of Penzance—reimagined as a motorcycle gang. In other news, my 40-year sound archive is now reposited in the Library of Congress. I just learned that the recordings of Samba da Viola that I made in the seventies were the first of their kind. Last, but not least, it’s been wonderful to reconnect with the multi-talented Ev Lunning ’69, YC ’67 on Facebook. Ev and I were Bacchantes in the infamous YSD production of The Bacchae, directed by Andre Gregory and mentioned in My Dinner with Andre. Stanley Rosenberg did a wonderful job of co-directing The Bacchae chorus, introducing us to the work of Jerzy Grotowski.” ● Richard Arthur Olson ’69 is writing a play about a college philosophy class that takes place on Zoom, where it will also be performed and recorded.

1970s Margaret Gruen ’70 created a website to honor and remember Muriel Sharon, Chairperson of the Children’s Drama Department of the 92nd Street YM-YWHA for 27 years. www.murielsharonremembered. com ● Carol Schlanger ’70 writes: “I was honored to receive the 2020 First Place Golden IPPY Award (Independent Publishers) for my memoir Hippie Woman Wild. I had so much fun recording the audiobook with Stefan Rudnicki’s ’69 Skyboat Media. I welcomed my second grandson into the world and, during the pandemic, have been sequestered and growing my garden in deeply rural Oregon. Prayers for all fellow alumni during our national nightmare.” ● Charles Siegel ’70 writes: “In March of 2020, I directed a production of Anna Bella Eema by Lisa D’Amour. The week aªer our run, all of the theaters here in Vancouver were shut by the lockdown. We were very lucky. The show was nominated for ‘Outstanding Production’ in the local theater awards. Lois Anderson, a former student of mine at the University of British Columbia, was nominated for ‘Outstanding Performance.’” ● Mark W. Travis ’70 writes: “First, I want to send greetings and wishes of good health and safety to all my YSD colleagues and friends. The best news of the last year is that my beautiful Elsha and I were married on October 6, 2019, on Kailua Beach, Hawaii. It was the happiest day of my life, and our marriage solidified that the third act of my life, as promised by many, is going to be a joyful and passionate roller coaster ride. For the past 20 years I have been traveling the world extensively, sharing my revolutionary approach to directing (The Travis Technique, thetravistechnique.com) in film schools, organizations and in private consultations. In January of 2020, Elsha and I were looking forward to trips to Sweden, Cyprus, New Zealand, and Australia. But all of that evaporated within a few weeks. We began reimagining our teaching, training, and consulting so that we could deliver our services online. This required constructing a broadcast and recording studio in our home.

Ironically, we are reaching more students worldwide than previously. Simultaneously we have discovered many profound advantages of teaching online. Last month I reconnected with Andy Friedlander ’70, and we are launching an online reunion with our YSD classmates in November. I look forward to hearing from fellow alumni.” ● Last season, Charles Turner ’70 had a major role in Will Eno’s The Underlying Chris at the Second Stage Theatre, directed by Kenny Leon. He also had a principle role in the NBC series The Village. In 2018, Charles was recognized at the 10th-Annual Broadway Salutes celebration for his more than 40 years of work on Broadway. His teenage grandkids, Khari and Aaliyah, are creating a stir playing soccer in Florida. ● Stephen Mendillo ’71 writes: “I am still acting, only now here in LA aªer decades in NYC. I had 40 glorious years on the East Coast, including seven Broadway plays and work in almost every regional theater from Maine to Florida and west to Colorado, even Little Rock for new play by Tom Dulack which won the Kitty Carlisle Hart Award for Best New Play. My last show before ending up in LA to do some television was Lemonade at the Alley Theatre. Though I live out here, I am still represented in NY by A3 Artists Agency.” ● William Purves ’71 writes: “March found the HGP team arriving in Florida to load in a corporate show, only to turn the trucks around and head home. Shortly thereaªer we joined the rest of the industry in a massive rapid pivot to virtual conventions and meetings. While in Florida, I enjoyed seeing Howard Rogut ’71 and always enjoy catching up with Charles Dillingham ’68, YC ’65 and Herman Krawitz (Former Faculty) on the phone. Here’s to a better 2021!” ● Barnet Kellman ’72 is serving as the Interim Chair of the Production Division of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts where he holds the Robin Williams Endowed Chair in Comedy. ● Larry Mirkin ’72, YC ’69 writes: “I don’t think I’ve sent any news in since the 70s when I was the literary manager at the Mark Taper Forum. I’ve lived in Toronto since 1975, where I have been a TV producer/showrunner since 1979. I’ve produced hundreds of fictional programs in many forms: live

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Alumni Notes

30 15 Gina Leon, Lois Anderson, and Lucy McNulty in Anna Bella Eema by Lisa D’Amour, directed by Charles Siegel ’70. Photo courtesy of Charles Siegel. 16 Carol Schlanger ’70 and her grandson. 17 David Stifel ’74 opens the Eagles’ Hotel California tour in Atlanta. 18 Barnet Kellman ’72 with USC recent graduates, Jeanne Jo and Thembi Banks. 19 Michael Sheehan ’76 and President Joe Biden at the 2008 vice-presidential debate. 20 Ryan Scott Yuille ’77 21 Charles Turner ’70, Lizbeth MacKay, and Nicholas Hutchinson in The Underlying Chris by Will Eno. Photo by Joan Marcus. 22 Mark Travis ’70 and Elsha’s wedding in Hawaii. Photo by Jehsong Baak. 23 Muriel Sharon. Photo courtesy of Margaret Gruen ’70.

31 24 William Otterson ’76 25 Dick D. Zigun ’78 and Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty). 26 Kathryn Hunter and John Rothman ’75 in Timon of Athens. Photo by Gerry Goodstein. 27–29 Charles Andrew Davis ’76 photoshopped three times by his students. 30 Larry Mirkin ’72, YC ’69 on set in New Zealand. 31 Fall painting by Adrianne Lobel ’79.

action, puppetry, animation, and digital puppetry. Although I still do ‘grown-up’ work I’ve spent much of my time making programs for children. I had a long freelance relationship with Jim Henson, produced Fraggle Rock and The Jim Henson Hour, and was a script consultant on many of his other projects including the feature films Labyrinth and The Witches. Most recently I produced the third season of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That with Martin Short as The Cat, airing on PBS Kids, and I’m currently consulting producer on Hero Elementary also for PBS. I’ve spoken publicly about kids’ television in Canada, the U.S., and other countries, and co-authored an article in the book, Getting Ready to Learn: Creating Effective Educational Children’s Media. I also taught ‘A Survey on Children’s Entertainment’ for eight years to post-graduate students at Centennial College. Having done much work for children, which wasn’t at all in my mind at YSD, I’m always happy to talk to students or former students who are interested in this kind of work. What young kids see in their media is oªen their first experience of professional dramatic and visual arts, so I always think it’s an added responsibility we have that demands the very best of us. The ideas and words of Robert Brustein ’51, HON ’66 (Former Dean), Herman Krawitz (Former Faculty), Stanley Kauffmann (Former Faculty), Peter Zeisler (Former Faculty), Howard Stein (Former Faculty), and Jerzy Kosinski (Former Faculty) hover in my brain, appearing whenever I need them, and I’m grateful for all they gave me.” ● Joel Schechter ’72, DFA ’73 (Former Faculty) wrote a new book on satire due out in 2021. ● Ben Slotznick ’73, YC ’70 just published Zoom Reunions, a how-to e-book based on his work helping the Yale Class of 1970 move their 50th reunion online in May 2020. In its first week, it was the #1 new release in education administration. ● David Stifel ’74 writes: “2020 started out stupendously, as I was hired by Don Henley to be the band’s ‘Night Man’ for the 2020 Eagles’ Hotel California tour. The show didn’t start without me! We did 10 concerts, and then the shutdowns…. We are

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Alumni Notes scheduled to complete the tour in fall 2021. In the meantime, I am working 110% full-time as an audiobook narrator, creeping up on 200 titles in every genre—history, science, fantasy, horror…Retirement, shmirement!” ● James F. Ingalls ’75 designed the lighting for The Cherry Orchard for Druid Theatre Company in Galway, Ireland, which opened in March 2020. ● John Rothman ’75 writes: “I was performing Flavius in a great production of Timon of Athens, directed by Simon Godwin at The Shakespeare Theater in DC when the theaters were closed. Fortunately, prior to that, we had a six-week run at TFANA in Brooklyn. The play was produced in association with the RSC: director, star, designers—all RSC. It was an association I treasured. I had a supporting role in a horror movie for Amazon called Nocturne released in October on Prime. But with no work on the horizon, my wife, Suzie, and I moved to our family house on Cape Cod. Our daughter, Lily, Senior Editor at Time Magazine and Yale College ’08, is expecting her first child in November. Our son, Noah, produced his first movie, Small Engine Repair. It was to open at SXSW in March, but will premiere at a drive-in in LA in October. Proud father, soon to be a grandfather! Can’t wait!” ● Charles Andrew Davis ’76 is teaching at Garfield High School in Los Angeles where his students are teasing him by creatively photshopping his image. ● William Otterson ’76 turned the plotting scene in Hamlet between Claudius and Laertes into a Claudius monologue with the help of James Bundy ’95 (Dean) and Roger Simon ’67. William continued to film dance projects for the George Balanchine Foundation at Lincoln Center until the work was put on hold by the pandemic. William is also involved with live streaming on Zoom with up to eight cameras that can be switched live. He is currently working with theater companies to live stream their staged readings. And he is hoping to resume the NY Table weekly get-togethers at the Players Club. ● Michael Sheehan ’76 writes: “2020 marked the ninth presidential election with which I was involved from speeches to convention to 13 6

debates…and it was the fiªh successful campaign. While my private sector work continues, my work with Presidents Clinton, Obama, and Biden surely took the most effort and time, but yielded the most important impact. My family’s activities are just as civically centered. My wife, Riki, continues her work with the Women’s’ Democratic Club and support for diplomats’ families. My oldest son, Ben, hit the Amazon Best Seller list in four different categories with OMG WTH Does the Constitution Actually Say?. Jonathan, my youngest, is Senior Policy Advisor to Governor John Carnet of Delaware and was charged with working with its school and daycare systems during the COVID-19 crisis.” ● Edith Tarbescu ’76 sold a mystery titled One Will: Three Wives to Adelaide Books of New York and Lisbon, Portugal. ● Ryan Scott Yuille ’77 writes: “Almost a year in South Dakota. Don’t get lost too oªen anymore, but still getting used to everything being three hours away from wherever you are. Aberdeen is a great art town.” ● Dick D. Zigun ’78, founder of Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade, led his own section of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and honored Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty) as Queen Mermaid. ● Adrianne Lobel ’79 writes: “During the pandemic I have been upstate in my country place painting everyday en plein air. I will be showing these paintings at my gallery in a year or two. I was supposed to be doing an opera at Glimmerglass this summer, but it was canceled, of course. Hopefully more to report next year!”



Mark Bly ’80 conducted his annual playwriting workshops in July at the Kennedy Center. He followed that up as the director of the dramaturgy program, doing eight days of workshops as part of the annual Kennedy Center/National New Play Network Playwriting and Dramaturgy Intensive that included dramaturgs from the British Isles, Canada and the United States. This year he created a new series, Alternate Careers for Emerging Dramaturgs, deploying

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Zoom for the 2020 dramaturgy fellows. The first guest artist was Rachel Rusch Rich ’05, DFA ’08, YC ’00, Senior Vice President of Bad Robot, who spoke about the need to adapt and how she has learned there are many ways for a “dramaturg to dramaturg,” giving listeners newfound energy. ● Jody McAuliffe ’80 writes: “I directed my adaptation of Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist at Abrons Arts Center in NYC, where I had dramaturged Sibyl Kempson’s Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag. I also dramaturged Sibyl’s libretto for David Lang’s Tapestry Room opera project—The True Pearl—at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. As research for that project, Sibyl and I went to Kazakhstan. I performed the role of Euridike in Antigonick for Big Dance Theater at Carolina Performing Arts. I translated three Russian poems for Three Russian Nocturnes, composer Scott Wheeler, for the upcoming New Voices Festival at the Brooklyn Art Song Society. Reconnected with my old friend Tony Shalhoub ’80— he performed in the reading of DeLillo’s Pa o at the Wall in NYC and got to see Drew McCoy at Tony’s that weekend. Stayed at Drew’s guest house in LA and got to know the wonderful Amy Aquino ’86; we discovered we are both devoted to hawks and dogs. We recently celebrated Drew’s birthday on Zoom with many fellow Northwestern alums. Last time I was at YSD visiting my former student Gretchen Wright ’17, SOM ’17, I got to see Ming Cho Lee HON ’20 for which I am so grateful. I’m very sad about his passing, but celebrate his brilliant career designing and teaching.” ● Jane Savitt Tennen ’80 writes: “I retired from a long career in non-profit fundraising in early October. My newly freed-up schedule allowed me to do Get Out the Vote phone calling for the 2020 election. It’s great—especially in this age of COVID-19 isolation—to be in touch with a number of fellow YSD alums from my era on Facebook. Hoping that 2021 is a good year for all.” ● Alexander Scribner ’80 writes: “Since retiring in 2016, I’ve been painting watercolors again aªer 40 years. I thank Michael Yeargan ’73 (Faculty) for my breakthrough during the Saturday classes. Finally, R.I.P. Ming Cho

Alumni Notes






37 32 Amy Aquino ’86 and Jan Breslauer ’86. 33 Craig Volk ’88. Photo by Miguel Branas.

38 34 Mark Sullivan ’83 and his wife, Quita, celebrating their wedding anniversary in the Mohonk Mountain House.

35 Cheryl Mintz ’87 and Emily Mann. 36 Peter Wallace ’81. Photo by Alex Boehm.

37 Mirirai Sithole in A Clown Called Cheryl by Wendy MacLeod ’87.

38 The cast of Family Planning by Julia Edwards, directed by Robert Alford II ’85.

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Alumni Notes Lee HON ’20. You made quite an impression to say the least.” ● Peter Wallace ’81 writes: “My new novel, Speaker, was published in August by Particle and Wave Publishing. Bestselling author Ann Garvin said, ‘Part fable and part adventure story, Speaker is that rare piece of beautifully written fiction that both enchants and compels. Peter Wallace exalts in the hope and wonder of a child coming of age while exploring the deeper, more adult meanings of language.’ What a year to bring out a book!” ● Cecilia Rubino’s ’82 film Remembering Shakespeare which features Margaret Holloway ’80 screened at the New Haven Documentary Film Festival in August 2020. Two versions of the film (a 52-minute and an 80-minute, full-length version) are now available on Vimeo: rememberingshakespearefilm.com. Rubino also created and directed a Zoom theater event for the New York Public Library called Finding Her Voice: Lorraine Hansberry in the Village which streamed in December. Mickey Theis ’14 and Elia Monte-Brown ’14 were participants. ● Mark Sullivan ’83 writes: “I think that since I leª Yale in ’83, I may have sent in one note, so somehow I am going to condense 37 years into this one class note. Aªer Yale, I became the technical director for the theatre department at SUNY Stony Brook where I met my future wife, Quita. Also, on faculty were Skip Mercier ’83 and Bob Heller ’78. From there, I was recruited (along with Skip and Bob) by the University of Michigan as production manager at University Productions, the theater operations at the School of Music, managed by Jeffrey Kuras SOM ’83. Aªer 15 years, it was time to move on. We packed up and moved to Boston in the fall of 2000. I managed the Charles Playhouse in Boston for four years. It was the busiest theater in Boston with Blue Man Group doing 10 performances a week in a 500-seat house and Shear Madness (opened in 1980) doing eight shows a week in the 99-seat house in the basement. Aªer those four years and 2,500 performances, it was time to find something that allowed more time for family which led me to Tuªs. Somewhere in the course of all of this we 13 8

also managed to raise a son, Chingwe Padraig, who has chosen the go into the family trade and is now in the Trinity/Brown MFA Acting and Directing program at Brown University. In August, I retired from Tuªs aªer 14 years as the Scheduling and Production Manager for Cohen Auditorium, the largest formal theater space on campus. With COVID-19 closing down all public events, it was a perfect time to hang up the keys.” ● Laila Robins ’84 writes: “Like all of us, I have been trying to stay sane during these challenging times. I was lucky enough to work on Richard Nelson’s Apple Family Zoom plays during the lock down in New York. Started back up with The Blacklist seven months to the day aªer our shut down on March 13th. Season 7 is available on Netflix. I’m also returning to Amazon’s The Boys in February. Feeling blessed to begin work on Dr. Death in November. I am ever grateful for these opportunities. Stay creative; stay strong; stay healthy, and remain vigilant.” ● Robert Alford II ’85 recently directed Family Planning by Julia Edwards at Shreveport Little Theatre and American Menu by Don Wilson Glenn in partnership with Angelique Feaster at LSU Shreveport. Robert played the role of Frank in Anniversary, winner of the 2019 Louisiana Film Prize, directed, written and composed by James Harlon Palmer. ● Jan Breslauer ’86 practices entertainment law in Southern California, and her clients include many of her fellow YSD alums. She serves as Vice-Chair, to classmate Amy Aquino’s ’86 Chair, of Arts for L.A., and is also on the board of the Garry Marshall Theatre. ● Beckie Kravetz ’86 writes: “I was packing up my most recent sculpture and mask exhibition (Concealed/Revealed at the MAP Gallery in Easthampton, MA), when the quarantine was announced. I had four opera jobs cancelled (wig and makeup design), but feel fortunate to have my studio space and a steady stream of portrait and mask commissions. I am grateful to be sequestering in the beautiful hill towns of western Massachusetts, where I am able to walk for an hour and see mostly cows and sheep. I eagerly await the time when I can once again work with my theater and opera colleagues across

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the country.” ● Wendy MacLeod’s ’87 play A Clown Named Cheryl was written, rehearsed, and recorded for The 24-Hour Plays: Viral Monologues. Granite Springs, her television pilot about a water company taking over a small New England town, was selected for the Orchard Project Episodic Lab. Her three-hander comedy Slow Food was produced online by Arizona Theatre Company, directed by Sean Daniels, and featuring the cast from its Merrimack Rep premiere. ● Cheryl Mintz ’87 was a recipient of the Award of Excellence at the 2020 New Jersey Theatre Alliance Curtain Call. Cheryl is in her 29th season as McCarter Theatre’s Resident Production Stage Manager. The 2019-2020 season marked her 35th production with Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann with Gloria: A Life. Cheryl is in her third season as the Chair of the Stage Managers’ Association Del Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award Event. For the SMA, Cheryl is a Director-at-Large, Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, being pulled back into her 17th year of service now that her son is a high schooler! Projects found Cheryl during the theatrical pause, and she quickly pivoted to become a Virtual Line Producer/Director/Production Stage Manager/Show Caller for such events as “Emily Mann: A Celebration of 30 Years,” in honor of Emily’s final season as McCarter Theatre’s Artistic Director. Cheryl is a USITT portfolio reviewer and continues to conduct guest lectures and university programs. She was especially honored to return to the YSD Stage Management department for a series of classes with Narda E. Alcorn ’95 (Faculty) and her brilliant Stage Management cohort. ● Richard Butler ’88 writes: “I am still working in television and film design; but let us pay tribute here to our beloved teacher, Ming Cho Lee HON ’20. The depth of our gratitude will never be adequately expressed. My lucky times in his classroom, his studio, and with him in the theaters will never be forgotten. The Master is silent now, but the work goes on.” ● Craig Volk ’88’s new biodrama book, A Dust Bowl Book of Days, 1932, was released by South Dakota Historical Society Press. ●

Alumni Notes 2020 has turned out to be a busy year for Bob Barnett ’89: “As theaters closed down around the globe, I met up with Manchester, UK-based Up ’Ere Productions which produced Zoom readings of my plays Sleeping With the Dead and One Good Tree. I mentored three playwrights for each of their two Zoom productions. Then Walt Klappert ’79 produced a Zoom reading of my play The Hiroshima Daughter, directed by Fred Sanders YC ’77, with Alma Cuervo ’76 in the cast. Meanwhile, I’m working on my second novel, Josh in the Mirror, and as a communications consultant for Urban Affairs Coalition and Social Impact Commons. ● Robert Russell ’89 has been teaching play analysis at the Yale Alumni College in 2020—from Shakespeare to Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty)! ● Gail Shapiro ’89 writes: “Hello from Chicago, where I’m in my 17th year teaching acting at Northwestern. Last year I did a production of If I Forget at Victory Gardens with Andrew Boyce’s ’09 (Former Faculty) spectacular design. Continuing as an executive presence coach—supporting folks in meeting their goals.”


39–40 Illustrations by John James (JJ) Hickey. 41 Evered House, Flamingo Heights, CA


1990s John Huntington’s ’90 new book, Introduction to Show Networking has been released. It is being sold by Jamie Anderson’s ’93 company, Rational Acoustics. ● Scott Zielinski ’90 writes: “Theater during COVID-19! I was in Paris in September back in tech for the first time since mid-March. It felt great and I hope that we can all get back to work soon! Beautiful show directed by Arthur Nauzyciel with scenery by Riccardo Hernández ’92 (Faculty).” ● Martin A. Blanco ’91 writes: “We were in the midst of the 10th season of The Flagpole Radio Cafe Show, when COVID-19 put us on hiatus. The Blancos downsized and moved from our beloved Newtown, to nearby Danbury. I hope everyone remains safe and healthy.” ● Charles Evered ’91 reports

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57 42 Mes Frères at Theatre National La Colline, Paris. Photo by Scott Zielinski ’90.


43 Linda Kuriloff ’91 and Smeralda Abel. 44 The Castle of Magical Dreams at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Company. 45 Cover of the album Eight Days Across America by Robert Cotnoir ’94. Photo by M. Benabib. 46 A still from the virtual presentation of The Frisco Flash by Julius Galacki ’98. 47 Michael Manuel ’92 in Frankenstein at A Noise Within. Photo courtesy of Michael Manuel.


48 David Yick-Koppel ’98 49 Roseli and Shawn Marie Garrett ’96, DFA ’06.

50 Magaly Colimon-Christopher ’98 51 The Weida Family: Danny, Emily, Connor, Rosanne, and Alex. 52 A still from the music video for Soul of the Nation, an original song developed by members of the Broadway community. Photo courtesy of Flora Stamatiades ’94. 53 Ed Blunt ’99 in the studio. 54 Jessica Mann Gutteridge ’94 and husband, Corin. 55 Robin Miles ’94, YC ’86 and Stephen DeRosa ’95. 56 Al Espinosa ’94, his wife, Kate, and children, Gustavo and Esperanza, conquering potty training during the pandemic. 57 A screen shot from a rehearsal of Ae-ri in Otherland by Esther K. Chae ’99, to be performed in virtual reality.

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Alumni Notes from the West coast: “We’re on the cusp of

chart and #41 on the Electronica chart,

Miles ’94, YC ’86 has been doing a lot of

starting our fourth year at the Evered

Robert Cotnoir ’94 continues to make

audiobook narrating and producing: “A

House, an artist residency that I co-found-

great strides with his musical project

godsend during the pandemic,” she says.

ed with my wife, Jackie, in 2017, for those

“Grapefruit Sound Lab.” His new album,

She is working on a lot of political titles

who serve. We’ve enlarged our mandate to

Eight Days Across America, was mastered

including Caste by Isabell Wilkerson and

host frontline workers, first responders,

at Abbey Road Studios in London, is

The Truths We Hold, Kamala Harris’s memoir,

and anyone else affected by this awful

available on vinyl, and continues to receive

as well as allegorical writing like The City

pandemic. We also recently completed

great critical acclaim. Check out grape-

We Became by NK Jemisin. “I’m also

construction of an outdoor stage on the

fruitsoundlab.com. ● Al Espinosa ’94

working on dystopian stories inspired by

grounds, where we plan on hosting

writes: “OSF, where I’ve been working for

our current dystopian reality,” she says. “Stephen DeRosa ’95 joined me on

readings, musical performances, and a

the last 10 years (yikes!), is trying to figure

lecture series. Contact me at CBEvered@

out how to move forward during these

Presidential Conversations by George S.

gmail.com if you’d like a tour (virtual or in

unprecedented times, but they have the

Corey, playing Trump and 11 past

person) or would like to get involved. Proud

added difficulty of being a destination

presidents. What a blast to play Hillary

of my children, Margaret and John, who

theatre where people travel from all over

opposite his Trump!” ● Flora Stamatia-

continue to support the effort as well.” ●

the country to come to our little town...so

des ’94 writes: “When NYC shut down, I

Linda Kuriloff ’91 is releasing a book this

we’ll see what happens.” ● “As all of us in

was working as a consultant for Royal

November, Rethink and Grow Fans: Go from

the performing arts can attest, this has

Caribbean Cruise Lines. Of course, that

Yearning to Earning as a 24-Hour Actor, for

been a stunningly complicated and

soon stopped. So, in casting about for

professional theater actors who want to

challenging time,” writes Jessica Mann

something to do, I reached out to some

learn to use social media to expand their

Gutteridge ’94. “Corin and I appreciated

friends (including Kim D. Sherman

audience. Linda is producing an indepen-

having a lot of time at home with our kids,

(Former Faculty) and Reg Flowers ’93, and also Francis Jue YC ’86 and Christi-

dent project, Shi¢ Happens for IGTV and

especially with our eldest leaving for the

Shi¢ Happens OVERTIME, with Geoffrey

University of Toronto. We celebrated our

anne Tisdale YC ’85). We created an

Owens as host and director on YouTube.

20th anniversary at our first restaurant

original song/video supporting the Biden/

The first episode was released in October

dinner a±er reopening. I began my role as

Harris campaign. I also volunteered as the

2020. Follow her on Instagram @

the Artistic Director of the Chutzpah!

Director, National Field Organizing of the

Lindakuriloff to stay updated or search for

Festival of International Jewish Performing

grassroots organization Broadway for

Shi¢ Happens on IGTV. ● Michael Manu-

Arts and the Rothstein Theatre in

Biden. As we look toward the entertain-

el ’92 writes: “Sending love and hugs to

Vancouver and my second year on the

ment industry re-opening, I’ve trained as a

all my Yale family. 2019 was a busy year—I

board of the Vancouver International

COVID Compliance Officer, and hope to find

was so honored to win the Los Angeles

Burlesque Festival. Making the digital pivot

some work in that area. I hope everyone is

Drama Critics Circle award for Lead

is imbuing all aspects of my professional

staying well and safe!” ● Narda E.

Performance in Frankenstein at A Noise

life right now. Corin has been working

Alcorn ’95 (Faculty) and Lisa Porter ’95

Within. 2020 started off with The Father at

more frequently in TV and film production,

(Former Faculty) published the Howl-

Pasadena Playhouse with Alfred Molina

and we are just grateful to be here and

Round essay, “We Commit to Anti-Racist

and old classmate Sue Cremin ’95. So

healthy and happy.” ● Nina Landey ’94

Stage Management Education.” ● John

many of my classmates and friends came

writes: “It’s been a long time since I wrote

Harrington Bland ’95 was a triple threat

out to see the show including Amy

in! Much has changed: I became a

on Showtime’s The Loudest Voice—writer,

Povich ’92, Chris Bauer ’92, and Tony

psychotherapist, and I’m living in Portland,

producer, and actor. “But my greatest

Manna ’04. Busy doing Zoom readings—

OR, with my wife and teen children. A lot

co-creation of the past few years,” says

which are kind of fun—but I really miss live

has stayed the same: I use my training

John, “is my amazing daughter, Ada.” ●

theater.” Julie Fain Lawrence ’93

from Yale every day in my work with

John James (JJ) Hickey ’95 writes: “I

published a four-book genre series entitled

clients—putting my focus on the other

have spent this year illustrating and editing

One-Hour Shakespeare and is working on

person, working moment to moment, and

Acting for the Camera: Back to One by Peter

volume five—to be published in 2021. ●

creatively and authentically responding

Allen Stone. This summer was my 37th

A±er his breakout hit single “Don’t Fall for

within the bounds of my role to whatever

year teaching theater and film at Camp

It” peaked at #14 on the Billboard Dance

comes up. Sending love to all!” ● Robin

Scatico in my hometown of Elizaville, NY,

14 2

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

Alumni Notes and my 18th year at Camp Oasis teaching

sourced public high school students in

Magaly, The Customer Voting Service by

film and helping to run their Leaders-in-

Nassau and Suffolk counties (in New York)

Juan Ramirez, Jr., Gretchen Suarez-Pena’s

Training program. Camp Oasis is a

in college and career readiness, access,

The Arithmetic of Memory and Nelson

one-week camp for campers and counsel-

and success. Neither rain nor sleet nor

Diaz-Marcano’s I Saw Jesus in Toa Baja. ●

ors with Crohn’s, colitis, or IBD. We were

gloom of pandemic has stopped the

Julius Galacki ’98 writes: “I used my

faced with the option of cancelling camp

amazing young people I work with (like

pandemic time to finish a full-length play,

this year or coming up with an alternate

Roseli, see photo) from the swi± comple-

A Wife in the Shadows, for which I directed

solution. I was part of a nationwide team

tion of their appointed applications!” ●

a well-attended presentation on Zoom, a

in charge of creating programming for 10

Mark Kupferman ’96 was promoted to

revised version of my full-length The Frisco

virtual versions of Camp Oasis across the

Senior Vice President of Consumer and

Flash, which I also directed, and I acted

country—the New York/New England chap-

Guest Experience for Six Flags, where he is

with my wife, Judy Victor, in a one-act I

ter of Oasis was a huge success. In

responsible for consumer strategy, insights,

wrote called First Night (Redux) which was

November I will design and direct a szopka,

and architecting the guest end-to-end

part of an Alliance of Los Angeles

which is a traditional Polish Christmas

experience. ● Douglas R. Rogers ’96

Playwrights Zoom presentation called ‘In

show dating back to 19th-century Krakow.

completed construction of his second

Our Own Voices.’ I put that one-act on my

I also have been doing a lot of portrait

castle for the Disney Company, The Castle

Vimeo channel: https://vimeo.

painting for a gallery show called About

of Magical Dreams at Hong Kong Disney-

com/420124049.” ● David Yick-

Face exploring the relationship of how we

land. The completion of this castle made

Koppel ’98 became an adjunct acting

are seen and how we wish to be seen.” ●

him the only person to have designed two

instructor at Ohlone Junior College in

Chris Weida ’95 writes: “A±er almost a

Disney Castles—his previous castle was

Fremont in addition to serving as drama

year of weekly commutes to Las Vegas and

The Enchanted Storybook Castle for the

director at Washington High School. Over

Atlanta, COVID-19 abruptly shut that

Shanghai Disneyland Park. ● Haitian

the summer, he had the privilege of

down...enabling me to spend more time

American actress/writer/director/producer

working with Magaly Colimon-Christo-

with my family. I’m living in Milwaukee

Magaly Colimon-Christopher ’98 plays

pher ’98 and Conch Shell Productions on

with a houseful of ‘virtual’ students and a

Haitian single-mother Antoinette Pierre in

a Zoom production of an original play

‘virtual’ teacher: Alex (20), is a junior at the

Netflix original series Grand Army. The

entitled, The Dark-Skinned Kid Who Hopped

University of Minnesota, though living at

gritty teen drama premiered in October

the Turnstile by Tylie Shider directed by

home this semester; Connor (19) is a

2020 to international audiences. Magaly

Magaly as part of the New York City “Reset

sophomore at the University of Wisconsin,

plays the loving single-mother of lead

Theatre Coalition” festival of new plays. In

living off-campus; Emily (16) is a junior in

character Dominique Pierre (performed by

addition, David participated in the

high school; and Danny (13) is an

Haitian American actress Odley Jean)

#justthework Zoom readings of Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Ivanov with other YSD

8th-grader. Rosanne is back to teaching

striving to provide for her family. Off-

3rd grade full-time this year. I’ve never

screen Magaly is an award-winning

alumni. He directed Parallel Lives by Mo

been busier at work, despite the havoc

playwright and Founding/Producing

Gaffney and Kathy Najimy in December and

COVID-19 has caused our trade show and

Artistic Director of Conch Shell Produc-

will direct Heathers, the Musical. This

event industry.” ● This summer, Matthew

tions. Her company has been presenting

summer, David will play Saul Kimmer in

Adelson ’96 designed the lighting for the

live, virtual readings and full productions of

True West by Sam Shepard at San Jose’s

Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of

new short plays in collaboration with

Sobrato Center for Humanities and the

Godspell, which was the first professional,

like-minded arts organizations. The plays

Arts. ● Ed Blunt ’99 writes: “I’ve been

union-sanctioned musical to be produced

address social issues of today—survival,

focused on helping people generate

during the COVID-19 pandemic. The

police brutality, systemic racism, race and

income from home more intensely than

costumes were designed by Hunter

politics, voting, despair—and pave

ever because of the pandemic. I also got

Kaczorowski ’14. ● Shawn Marie

pathways to hope for audiences. In

back into doing voice-overs a±er a long

Garrett ’96, DFA ’06 writes: “In May

October 2020, Conch Shell Productions

hiatus. The pandemic period reminded me

2019, in conjunction with Yale’s global

presented dark comedies as part of its

of skills I cultivated at YSD that I hadn’t

alumni service initiative, Yale Day of

#Bluelightseries—in co-productions with

been using, and when you sit on your gi±

Service, I launched a 501(c)(3), Long

HB Studio. The featured plays included I

you can inadvertently rob people of theirs.

Island Scholars, to support under-re-

Married a Black Republican written by

No matter what, we must keep adding

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

14 3

Alumni Notes value to the world!!” ● Esther K. Chae ’99 writes: “I’m not even sure how to talk about this year 2020; it has been so hard for all of us on so many fronts…. I will just stick to some brief professional updates. I was set for rehearsals for Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith HON ’14 at the Signature Theater, but it is postponed, for now, until fall 2021. I pivoted as fast as I could to expand my 3 Hearts Coaching business virtually and luckily was able to score Google’s creative



team, coaching executive presence and presentation skills. Starting next year, I will be joining Peter Novak’s ’98, DFA ’01 Strictly Speaking Group that works with Facebook. Jeong Sik Yoo ’15 and I will be exploring the intersections of theater/ performance/virtual reality using Spatial. io VR headsets and my play Ae-ri in Otherland (performed at the Yale Cabaret many, many moons ago!)”




Herrmann ’99 writes: “I turned 50 this past summer and my wife, Sara, our 7-year-old son, Jonah, the dog, and I spent the pandemic summer in Seattle swimming in Lake Washington, doing yard work, and executing home improvement projects. I am currently in the midst of my seventh season as Managing Director at Seattle Rep. We had to lay off the majority of our staff, artists, and cra±speople in the spring, which was devastating, and we are just


trying to stay hunkered down and conserve our resources until we can finally get shows back up on stage for live audiences again. One of the few blessings has been reconnecting with old friends...and most of the Theater Management class of 1999 managed to get on a Zoom call back in the spring. It was a delight seeing everyone again, in some cases for the first time in 20 years!”

2000s In February, Andrew Cassano ’01 started a new position as Vice President for 14 4


YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21



Alumni Notes




69 58 World premiere of Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation at Schauspielhaus Zurich directed by Yana Ross ’06 and designed by Zane Pihlström ’06. Photo by Zoé Aubry. 59 Ittai, Jason Fitzgerald ’08, and Oscar Wild. 60 Brad Ward ’05 and Hillary Charnas ’05 at the 2019 Wingspace Holiday Party. 61 Rolando and Karron GravesBriceno ’03 with their children Jon Marvel, Jude, and Jacqueline at their wedding. 62 Nicholas Rastenis ’08 63 David B. Byrd ’06



64 “My little family”—Apollo, Liz Alsina ’06, and Edith at 10 months old.

69 Rachana Garg ’01 and her family in May 2020. Photo by Tina Jane Krohn.

65 Simon Godwin, Drew Lichtenberg ’08, DFA ’11, Rebecca Taichman ’00, Patrick Page, and Peter Marks YC ’89 on the Shakespeare Hour Live.

70 Peter Y. Kim ’04 in The FortyYear-Old Version. Photo by Jeong Park.

66 Poster for Macbeth directed by Christopher Carter Sanderson ’05. 67–68 Shana Cooper ’09 and Andrew Boyce ’09 (Former Faculty). Photo by Gregory Linington.


71 Susan Finque ’03 (right) and Maria at the theater in Florence. 72 Poster for Quarantined Faith, a documentary film by Jenn Lindsay ’07.

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

14 5

Alumni Notes Programming and Education at Omaha

new rigging system, new seats, and other

arts-nonprofit. Six weeks later he was

enhancements that will allow STNJ to

overseeing the shutdown of more than 450

better serve its community when it is safe

events and losses in the tens of millions of

to reopen. ● Peter Y. Kim ’04 is excited to

dollars. “We launched a successful online

share his most recent project, The

series of concerts that have helped us pivot

Forty-Year-Old Version. The movie won the

to groundbreaking online educational

Best Director Award at the Sundance Film

materials for our state’s schools,” he writes.

Festival 2020 and was released on Netflix

“And I am producing the largest arts-social justice series in the organization’s history,


74 73 (Front to back) Tijuana Ricks ’04, Carlos Tesoro ’04, Tony Manna ’04, Nancy Kim Parsons-Borland ’02, and Jessica Ford ’04. 74 Sandra Goldmark ’04

in October 2020.

Sandra Goldmark ’04

and Michael Banta ’03 work together at

creating a new full-service outdoor venue

Barnard College, developing circular

while overseeing COVID-19 operations that

economy solutions to overconsumption,

allow us to continue doing a few live events

onstage and off. Their story is recounted in

to stay engaged with our community until

a new book by Goldmark called Fixation:

we can come back full force again.” ●

How to Have Stuff without Breaking the

Rachana Garg ’01 writes: “From March

Planet. This personal and funny account of

until May 2020, my husband, Rishi, had

their years running repair shops in New York

been working around the clock at the

with a band of fellow backstage artists

hospital, while we navigated working from

forms the foundation of a call to action for

home and homeschooling our children.

theatremakers (and menders) to help repair

Currently, I’m still working for Pfizer—and

a broken world. ● Tony Manna ’04 and

launched AUM: Aim Ur Mind providing yoga,

Tijuana Ricks ’04 were able to shoot their

meditation, and coaching to all. I’m also

web series The Corps, a political satire

working on my first book! Stay tuned! Love

about a fictional White House Press

to all.” ● Susan Finque ’03 still makes her

Secretary who, because of the president’s

home in Seattle. She’s been partnered 18

combative relationship with the press, is

years with Maria Martinez, and they are

forced to hold press briefings from a real

raising Maria’s grandson, Tyler, who is 12.5

estate office in a strip mall in Bethesda.

and consumed with costumes and gaming.

Tony and Tijuana were joined on the project

Susan is frustratingly unemployed in terms

by Carlos Tesoro ’04, Nancy Kim

of academia but making theater in Seattle

Parsons-Borland ’02, Jessica Ford ’04,

under the care of Mamches Productions

LeRoy McClain ’04, and Brian Hast-

(producers of Disenchanted!). She directed

ert ’09. To watch The Corps, visit

Everett Quinton’s adaptation of Tale of Two

thecorpscomedy.com. ● Christopher

Cities in the Rendezvous Underground and

Carter Sanderson ’05 completed a

is in rehearsal to perform Roberto Athayde’s

feature film of Shakespeare’s Macbeth,

Miss Margarida’s Way, under the direction

which was shot completely in closeup and

of Woolly Mammoth company member

during lockdown. “It’s definitely worth the

John Vreeke. Susan is teaching directing

watch, and some moments will stick with

this year at Salve Regina University as an

you long aªer the final credits roll,” said


14 6

facility including installing an elevator, a

Performing Arts, Nebraska’s largest

Karron Graves-Briceno ’03

Rodney Hakim of nyshakespeare.com.

writes: “We made it official despite COVID!

Sanderson has given 50% of the film’s

Celebrating married life and our three

ownership to the creative personnel to help

beloved kids in Ardsley, NY.” ● Sarah K.

them during the COVID-19 crisis and is

(Bartlo) Chaplin ’04 is utilizing the

committed to the model beyond that. Chris

COVID-19 closure of State Theatre New

won Best Director for Macbeth at the Berlin

Jersey to make critical improvements to the

Underground Film Festival. ● Brad

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

Alumni Notes Ward ’05 is Senior Associate in Auerbach

multi-office, multi-sector, integrated design

months, frozen in time. Boyce and Cooper

Pollock Friedlander’s NYC studio where he

firm with special focus on cultural and

captured photos of solo artists in the space

designs sound and video systems for

performing arts spaces. He is working with

before the set was taken down, tracking the

theaters, themed entertainment, and

fellow YSD alums Raymond Kent ’99,

journey and isolation of artists and our

productions around the world. He was the

Patrick Barrett ’98, and Joanne

theaters during the pandemic.

associate sound designer for The Rose

Chang ’02. Jenn Lindsay ’07 has

Fitzgerald ’08 writes: “In a strange turn of

Tattoo and co-designer for the upcoming

continued teaching sociology and commu-

events, Ittai and I have found ourselves in

Take Me Out both on Broadway with Fitz

nications at John Cabot University in Rome.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, where we’re both

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Jenn saw a

teaching in the English department at the

Patton ’01. Brad led a session entitled


“Exploring the Relationship Between Sound

unique chance to tell the story of how

University of Michigan. In early October, our

Designers, Acousticians, AV Consultants,

Romans coped with being quarantined

family was joined by Oscar Wild, a standard

and Installers” at TSDCA’s annual confer-

during Easter, Passover, and Ramadan. The

poodle, who has been given the awesome

ence. He was also the sound designer for

result is her documentary Quarantined Faith,

task of helping us survive the outcome of

King Lear produced by Bedlam at Bristol

which has won best documentary and

this year’s election (unknown as of the date

Riverside Theatre. ● Liz Alsina ’06

special jury prizes at several film festivals. ●

of this submission). We’ve met some new

welcomed a baby girl—Edith—in October

Naomi Okuyama ’07 has recently

friends via Zoom but haven’t leª our house

2019! Edith’s ‘big brother’ Apollo is starting

produced several projects for the City of

much at all, so Ann Arbor and University of

to warm up to her. ● David B. Byrd ’06

Santa Monica, including a new monumental

Michigan are more ideas than places for us.

was named the first Managing Director of

outdoor sculpture by artist April Banks that

If it ever becomes safe to travel again,

Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, CT, in

will be installed as part of the new Historic

please consider visiting and giving us an

January 2021. He most recently served as

Belmar Park. She developed a semiperma-

excuse to better explore our new home.” ●

Managing Director at Virginia Stage

nent installation of works by artists

Company in Norfolk, VA, and Managing

including Kerry James Marshall and Alison

Drew Lichtenberg ’08, DFA ’11 writes: “Since the shutdown started this past spring,

Director at Clarence Brown Theatre in

Saar for Santa Monica City Hall and is

Knoxville, TN. With this appointment, David

developing other projects that combine

Hour Live, a weekly panel discussion on

has served on the staff of three of the six

consideration of the role of artists in public

Zoom featuring a series of high-profile

I have been co-hosting the Shakespeare

Connecticut Flagship Producing Theatres. ●

space with social and civic practice in

guests from around the world, including

Americans in Zurich! The theatrical world

response to the pandemic. ● Yuri Catal-

YSD alums Rebecca Taichman ’00, Liev Schreiber ’92, and Kate Burton ’82, as

premiere of Ottessa Moshfegh’s cult novel

do ’08 co-founded Athenian Venture

My Year of Rest and Relaxation directed by

Capital in 2020, which focuses on

well as Peter Marks YC ’89, current Yale

Yana Ross ’06 and designed by Zane

increasing funding to projects with diverse

faculty Madeline Sayet, and Stephen Greenblatt, James Shapiro, Sir Jonathan

Pihlström ’06 opened in Zurich in October

founders and democratizing access to

2020 and received rave reviews. “Genius

innovation and capital. ● Jiyoun

Bate, Gregory Doran, Maureen Dowd, Sam

staging, full of expressive visual layers,

Chang ’08 writes: “Our cohort reunited to

Waterston, Michael Urie, Bill Irwin, Dame

stimulating both emotions and intellect,”

drink to our friend, Nicholas Rastenis ’08,

Helen Mirren, Julie Taymor, F. Murray

said the Neues Zuricher Zeitung. Ross and

who passed away this year, and realized

Abraham, Nataki Garrett, Joseph Haj, Francesca Zembello, Harry Lennix, Helen

Philstrom have been a dynamic director/

that we are like brothers and sisters. R.I.P.,

designer duo since graduation and have

Nick. You are missed very much.” ● Director

Hunt, and more. ● Barret O’Brien ’09

garnered numerous awards and nomina-

Shana Cooper ’09 and set designer

released his novel Greater Wilder; the book

tions in European theater, including the

Andrew Boyce ’09 (Former Faculty) are

has since been seen in forests, nibbling

2019 Theater Treffen Festival. Yana is one

teaching colleagues in the MFA Design and

huckleberry and seeds. ● Amanda Spoon-

of the eight permanent artists at Schaus-

Directing program at Northwestern. They

er ’09 is launching a BFA program in Stage

pielhaus Zurich until the end of 2022. In

were in the midst of technical rehearsals for

Management at Ithaca College. Spooner

2022/2023 she will work at the legendary

Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea at The Court

designed the program, and its first students

Berliner Ensemble in Germany. ● Andrew

Theatre in Chicago when theaters across

will start in the fall of 2021.

Nagel ’06 is currently in Chicago, serving

the country and world shut down. The

as a senior consultant in entertainment

poetic set design has remained in the

planning/system design at DLR Group, a

space at Court Theatre for the past seven YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


Alumni Notes 2010s

of wellness being more accessible for

sound design from Boston University in

professionals in my former industry!” ●

2015. Jennifer has worked as a sound

Kee-Yoon Nahm ’12, DFA ’16 writes: “I

designer and stagehand in SC and the

Alyssa Anderson-Kuntz ’10 and her

led the establishment of the Diverse

greater Boston area and was the assistant

husband, Matt, welcomed their daughter,

Voices Playwriting Initiative, a new play

audio supervisor at the International

Evelyn, in April. The family lives in

development program for BIPOC play-

Festival of Arts & Ideas. Jennifer is now in

Northern Virginia, just outside of Washing-

wrights at Illinois State University. The

their final year of their Master of Social

ton, DC. ● The world premiere of You Lost

winning play of our inaugural year, Even

Work with a concentration in clinical social

Me by Bonnie Metzger at Denver Center for

Flowers Bloom in Hell, Sometimes by Franky

work at Boston College. They graduated in

the Performing Arts in January 2020 was

D. Gonzalez, was presented virtually in a

May 2021 and will be going into the

directed by Margot Bordelon ’13, scenic

staged reading in October 2020, a±er our

mental health field as a therapist. ● Adina

design by Reid Thompson ’14, costume

original plans for a spring workshop were

Verson ’12 and Michael McQuilken ’11

design by Valérie Thérèse Bart ’10,

postponed due to COVID-19. The

welcomed their baby, Zelda, into the world

lighting design by Jiyoun Chang ’08,

Dramaturgy program and literary office at

in May 2020. She is very proud to join the

sound design by Palmer Hefferan ’13,

Yale Rep trained me well for this undertak-

other Wilson babies. ● Ethan Heard ’13,

video projections by Shawn Boyle ’15

ing!” ● Louisa Proske ’12 has been

YC ’07 (Faculty) writes: “Annie Middle-

(Faculty), associate costume design by

appointed Associate Artistic Director and

ton ’16 joined Heartbeat Opera where

An-Lin Dauber ’17, assistant sound

Resident Director at Oper Halle in Germany.

Louisa Proske ’12 and I are Co-Artistic

design by Megumi Katayama ’19. In

In December 2019, Louisa directed Der

Directors as its new Managing Director in

personal news, Valérie Thérèse Bart and

Freischütz, with Heartbeat Opera, the

September.” ● A±er seven years at The

husband Rick Ngo̧c Hὀ welcomed a healthy

company she co-founded with Ethan

Public Theater, starting as Donor Marketing

baby boy, Étienne Xuân HoBart, in February

Heard ’13, YC ’07 (Faculty), with a new

Manager and rising to Director of Digital

arrangement by Daniel Schlosberg

Engagement, Reynaldi Lindner


Since the COVID-19 shutdown,

Jenna Woods ’10 has been fortunate to

YSM ’13, and lighting by Oliver Wa-

Lolong ’13 has moved on to the role of

be able to turn a career in live stage

son ’14—it was not only the subject of a

Senior Manager of Annual Giving at

management into work in virtual stage

New York Times feature but a New York

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organiza-

management and event producing. She’s

Times critic’s pick! In February 2020, for

tion behind the landmark TV show, Sesame

been working from her home office and

the 100th anniversary of the 19th

Street. ● Nicole Marconi ’13 is currently

getting in way more screen time than her

amendment, Louisa helmed The Mother of

living in Hoboken, NJ, with her three cats

kids are allowed. Jenna is also an adjunct

Us All, the Virgil Thomson/Gertrude Stein

and her husband. She is pursuing her second master’s degree, this time in

faculty member at NYU Tisch, mentoring

opera about Susan B. Anthony. It was a

stage management students in digital

historic collaboration among the New York

Library and Information Science at Pratt

productions. ● Tara Kayton ’11 is the

Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Museum

Institute. She is working part-time at the

company manager at Oregon Shakespeare

and Juilliard—a site-specific production

Hoboken Library and at the Pratt Archives.

Festival. On October 26, 2019, she and

created for the Met’s iconic Engelhard

her partner, Kierin Harrison, were married

Court. Louisa’s production of Rinaldo at

New York State Senate and assumed

at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park.

Glimmerglass Festival, featuring designs

office in January 2021.

by Matt Saunders ’12 and Montana

(iMS) is a New York City-based creative

away from theater in early 2018 to

Levi Blanco ’15 was postponed due to

agency specializing in the development

become a mindset and action coach. I love

COVID-19. A short film of one aria,

and production of story-driven original

growing and shaping my own business, and

directed by Louisa, was published on the

programming for the global stage founded

I’ve been grateful to come back to serve

Glimmerglass YouTube channel. Heartbeat

by Ceci Fernandez ’14, Nikki Borges, and

my theater people in this new role! I’ve

celebrated its seventh anniversary with a

Amanda de la Nuez. It’s diverse collection

conducted Stress and Emotion Regulation

series of seven Zoom Soirées featuring

of content includes collaborations with

workshops for groups including Center

Jeanine Tesori, Anthony Roth Costanzo,

Questlove, Fred Armisen, Olivia Wilde,

Theatre Group, the Stage Managers’

Julia Bullock, and others. ● Jennifer

among others. ● Shane D. Hudson ’14

Association and Pepperdine University’s

Timms ’12 graduated from the YSD intern

spent most of the past year as a volunteer

theater department. I’m excited at the idea

program in Sound, then received an MFA in

for the Pete Buttigieg presidential

Kirsten Parker ’11 writes: “I stepped

14 8

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

Jabari Brisport ’14 was elected to the ●


Alumni Notes campaign. Shane was on the ballot as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, was captain of the 7th-congressional district of New York, and was both a digital captain for the campaign, and the NY State social media and events leader. Shane currently splits his time between New York, Sweden, and Denmark. ● This past summer, the


Berkshire Theatre Group produced the country’s first union-approved musical since the pandemic shutdown with costumes by Hunter Kaczorowski ’14


and lighting by Matthew Adelson ’96. ● Ilya Khodosh ’14, DFA ’19 taught playwriting at Williams College, where he created Our Time, a production celebrating Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday, and he had the great honor of interviewing Mr. Sondheim about his time at Williams. Ilya is writing a stage adaptation of Frank

77 73

McCourt’s memoirs, in development with New York Stage and Film. ● Jessica Rizzo’s ’14, DFA ’17 first book, Waste: Capitalism and the Dissolution of the Human in Twentieth-Century Theater, was published by punctum books. The project was based on her DFA dissertation,


advised by Paul Walsh (Faculty). ● Shannon Gaughf ’15 is engaged to be married to Ross Dillon. They both work at a private school in Monterey, California,



which is also where they met. ● Jessica Holt ’15 kicked off 2020 directing Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Sense and Sensibility at Virginia Stage Company, joyfully collaborating with set designer Alexander Woodward ’16 and sound designer Megumi Katayama ’19. Little did she know that would be the last live, in-person show she would direct in 2020! Her

72 You Lost Me at Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Adams Viscom.

75 Kineta Kunutu-Rovner ’19 and Andrew Rovner ’19. Photo by A.J. Tamari.

73 Valérie Thérèse Bart ’10, husband, Rick Ngo̧c Hὀ, and baby, Étienne Xuân HoBart.

76–80 Francesca Fernandez McKenzie ’18, Jenelle Chu ’16, Julian Elijah Martinez ’16, and Sohina Sidhu ’19 co-founded the Encompass Collective.

production of The Comedy of Errors was to have launched Cal Shakes’ 2020 season and featured a gorgeous design by Chika Shimizu ’15. She directed a virtual workshop reading of The Hystericals by Edith Freni at the Cape Cod Theatre

74 Ryan Emens ’18 and Nikki Blue-Emens announce that they are expecting their first child (Ice Ice Baby).



Project and directed a virtual production of YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

14 9

Alumni Notes










89 15 0

91 YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


Alumni Notes 90 Shannon Gaughf ’15 with her fiancé, Ross Dillon. 91 Stephen Sondheim and Ilya Khodosh ’14, DFA ’19.

93 81 Jabari Brisport ’14 82 Set designer Alexander Woodward ’16, director Jessica Holt ’15, and choreographer Charlotte Bydwell a±er opening night of Sense and Sensibility at Virginia Stage Company. 83 Kirsten Parker ’11 leading a Stress and Emotion Regulation workshop. 84 instaMiniSeries, a creative agency founded by Ceci Fernandez ’14, Nikki Borges, and Amanda de la Nuez. 85 Alyssa Anderson-Kuntz ’10 and her husband, Matt, with their daughter, Evelyn. 86 Jenna Woods ’10 running an online reading series for Two River Theater. 87 Michael Joseph McQuilken ’11 and Adina Verson’s ’12 baby, Zelda. 88 The Mother of Us All directed by Louisa Proske ’12. 89 Shane D. Hudson ’14 and Mikkel Brogger canvassing for Pete Buttigieg.

92 Hunter Kaczorowski ’14, Nicholas Edwards, and Elivia Bovenzi Blitz ’14 in a fitting for Godspell at Berkshire Theatre Group. Photo by Bryan Derballa for The New York Times. 93 Carolina Ortiz Herrera ’17 and Haydee Antuñano ’17 have become organizing members of La Gente: The Latinx Theatre Design Network.

Ironbound by Martyna Majok ’12 at A.C.T. in September. In October, she directed a workshop reading of The Code, a new rock musical by The Kilbanes, slated for production at A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory in 2021. ● This year, Chalia La Tour ’16 won an Antonyo Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris ’19. She also starred in the short film The Future Is Bright by Tate Nova and Courtney Powell, which screened at the inaugural Smithsonian African American Film Festival and was selected for Amazon Prime’s All Voices Film Festival. In September 2020, Chalia directed and performed in a Zoom production of Cadillac Crew by Tori Sampson ’17 as part of Transformation 2020: Popular Democracy Defined. She was thrilled to work with a badass team of artists including Fabiola Feliciano-Batista ’20, Kineta KunutuRovner ’19, Dria Brown, Ashley Bryant ’08, Elizabeth Stahlmann ’17, Rasean Davonte Johnson ’16, Andrew Rovner ’19, and Sophie Siegel-Warren ’19. ● Carolina Ortiz Herrera ’17 writes: “My classmate Haydee Antuñano ’17 and I have become organizing members of La Gente: The Latinx Theatre Design Network. We hope that students at YSD connect with us, as our main goal is to increase visibility, engagement, and advocacy for Latinx designers, technicians, and managers. We would love to connect with current students and have their voices be part of this exciting group.” ● Ryan Emens ’18 received a Jeff Award in Scenic Design in 2019 for his work on Dutch Masters at Jackalope Theatre in Chicago; in 2020 he joined Jackalope as a company member. He was nominated for a Black Theater Alliance Award in Set Design for Kill Move Paradise with Timeline Theatre. Ryan and his wife, Nikki Blue-Emens, welcomed their first baby in January 2021. ●

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie ’18,

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


Alumni Notes Jenelle Chu ’16, Julian Elijah Marti-

video along with Brandon E. Burton ’20,

nez ’16, and Sohina Sidhu ’19 estab-

Ciara Monique McMillian ’20, Robert

lished the Encompass Collective, an

Lee Hart ’20, and Reed Northrup ’22.

ensemble of teaching artists providing

Dramaturgy for the video was by Rebecca

online actor training, coaching, and

Adelsheim ’22.”

workshops for BIMPOC artists at paywhat-you-can rates. ● Christina Fontana ’19, Josh Wilder ’18, and Olivia Plath ’19 developed The Playwrights Workshop to bring actors and writers together online when the global pandemic struck. Together, they coached playwrights on a new play development process while casting and producing live Zoom readings of the writers’ works. Within the first six months alone, the trio collaborated with over 50 actors and 70 playwrights across the globe. ● Latiana “LT” Gourzong ’19 joined her TD&P classmates Kevin Belcher ’19 and Ross Wick ’19 at the American Repertory Theater scene shop in January 2020 as the Technical Director. ● A±er falling madly in love while studying


for the Drama 6 midterm their first year,

94 A portrait of John Lewis illustrated by P.S. Spenser featured in a film produced and directed by Erin Sullivan ’20.

Andrew Rovner ’19 and Kineta Kunutu-Rovner ’19 tied the knot on March 13, 2020.

2020s Laurie Ortega-Murphy ’20 was named Managing Director of Pig Iron Theatre in Philadelphia, PA, in February 2021. They most recently served as the Director of Customer Success for Trackers Earth in Portland, OR, and as the Managing Editor of the Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base. Laurie also has a background in Scouting and was the first openly queer and non-binary Program Director for Boy Scouts of America aªer the organization liªed its ban on LGBTQ+ leaders.

Erin Sullivan ’20 writes: “I produced and directed a video tribute to honor John Lewis and his advocacy for voting rights. The tribute was part of a gala for the New York chapter of Peace Action. I made the 152

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21


95 Laurie OrtegaMurphy ’20

Alumni Notes Yale School of Drama Legacy Partners We invite you to join fellow alumni and friends who have included YSD in their estate plans or made other planned gifts to the School. Through Yale School of Drama Legacy Partners you can directly influence the future of Yale. You are eligible for membership if you have named YSD as a beneficiary of your will, trust, life-income gifts, IRA or other retirement plan, life insurance policy, or other planned gift. To learn more about making a planned gift to Yale School of Drama, please contact Deborah S. Berman, Director of Development and Alumni Affairs, at (203) 432-2890 or deborah.berman@yale.edu.

2020–21 YSD Legacy Partners Cynthia Kellogg Barrington*

Joseph Gantman ’53*

G.C. Niemeyer ’42*

Carol Waaser ’70

Donald I. Cairns ’63

James Gousseff ’56*

Dwight Richard Odle ’66*

Raymond Carver ’61

Albert R. Gurney ’58*

Joan Pape ’68*

Elaine Wackerly ’03 and Patrick Wackerly*

Elizabeth S. Clark ’41*

Robert L. Hurtgen*

Mary B. Reynolds ’55*

Donald R. Ware YC ’71

Bill Conner ’79*

James Earl Jewell ’57*

Mark Richard ’57*

Phyllis C. Warfel ’55*

David M. Conte ’72

Joseph E. Kleno*

Barbara Richter ’60*

William B. Warfel ’57, YC ’55*

Converse Converse YC ’57

Frances E. Kumin ’77

William Rothwell, Jr. ’53*

Wendy Wasserstein ’76*

Sue Anne Converse ’55*

Richard G. Mason ’53*

Forrest E. Sears ’58

Richard Diggs ’30, YC ’26*

H. Thomas Moore ’68

Eugene F. Shewmaker ’49*

Elmon Webb ’64 and Virginia Webb ’65

Charles Dillingham ’69, YC ’65

Tad Mosel ’50*

Merrill Sindler ’57*

Arthur F. Nacht ’06

Kenneth J. Stein ’59

Eldon J. Elder ’58*

George E. Nichols III ’41, YC ’38*

G. Erwin Steward ’60

Peter Entin ’71

Edward Trach ’58

Zelma H. Weisfeld ’56* Edwin Wilson ’57, DFA ’58 Albert J. Zuckerman ’61, DFA ’62 * Deceased

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

15 3

Donors A PR I L 1, 2020-APRI L 30, 2021

1940s Patricia Gilchrist ’44 Joan Kron ’48 Mildred Kuner ’47 Eugene F. Shewmaker ’49*

1950s Warwick Brown ’53 Ian Cadenhead ’58 Joy Carlin ’54 Sami Casler ’59 John Cunningham ’59 Sonya Friedman ’55 Robert Goldsby ’53 Bigelow Green ’59 Marian Hampton ’59 Evelyn Huffman ’57 James Earl Jewell ’57* Geoffrey Johnson ’55 Amnon Kabatchnik ’57 Jay Keene ’55 Roger L. Kenvin ’59, DFA ’61 Margaret J. Linney ’58 Marvin March ’55 David McNutt ’59 Kendric T. Packer ’52 Gladys Powers ’57 Raymond Sader ’58 James Smith ’59 Kenneth Stein ’59 Edward Trach ’58

1960s Mary Ellen O’Brien Atkins ’65 Thomas R. Atkins ’64 John Badham ’63, YC ’61 Steven Barbash ’63 Warren F. Bass ’67 Stephen Benschoten ’69 Jody Locker Berger ’66 Roderick Bladel ’61 Jeffrey Bleckner ’68 Carol Bretz Murray-Negron ’64 Jim Burrows ’65 Patricia S. Cochrane ’62 Edward Cornell ’68 Lewis A. Crickard ’63 F. Mitchell Dana ’67 Michael David ’68 Mary Lucille DeBerry ’66 Ramon L. Delgado ’67 John A. Duran ’74 Robert H. Einenkel ’69

15 4

Bernard Engel ’60 Jerry Evans ’62 John D. Ezell ’60 Ann Farris ’63 Richard A. Feleppa ’60 Hugh Fortmiller ’61 Keith F. Fowler ’69 David Freeman ’68 Richard Fuhrman ’64 Bernard Galm ’63 John Guare ’63 Ronald Gural ’67 Ann Hanley ’61 Stephen J. Hendrickson ’67 Elizabeth Holloway ’66 Linda Gulder Huett ’69 Derek Hunt ’62 Laura Jackson ’68 John W. Jacobsen ’69, YC ’67 Asaad Kelada ’64 Abby Kenigsberg ’63 Richard H. Klein ’67 Harriet Koch ’62 Robert W. Lawler ’67 Stephen Leventhal ’69 Elizabeth Lewis ’61 Irene Lewis ’66 Fredric Lindauer ’66 Everett Lunning, Jr. ’69, YC ’67 B. Robert McCaw ’66 Margaret T. McCaw ’66 Donald Michaelis ’69 Tom Moore ’68 Carol Murray-Negron ’64 Gayther Myers, Jr. ’65 Ruth Hunt Newman ’62 Janet Oetinger ’69 Richard Olson ’69 Michael Posnick ’69 Barbara Reid ’62 Carolyn L. Ross ’69 Janet Ruppert ’63 Clarence Salzer, Jr. ’60, YC ’55 Donald Sanders ’69 Georg Schreiber ’64 Talia Shire Schwartzman ’69 E. Gray Smith, Jr. ’65 Helen Sokoloff ’60 James Steerman ’62, DFA ’69 Louise Stein ’66 John Wright Stevens ’66 G. Erwin Steward ’60 Douglas C. Taylor ’66 John Henry Thomas, III ’62 David F. Toser ’64 Russell L. Treyz ’65 Richard B. Trousdell ’67, DFA ’74 Stephen Van Benschoten ’69

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

Ruth Wallman ’67 Steven I. Waxler ’68 George C. White ’61, YC ’57 Peter White ’62 Helen Yalof ’60 Albert Zuckerman ’61, DFA ’62

1970s Sarah Albertson ’71, ART ’75 Donna Alexander ’74 Michael L. Annand ’75 Anne Averbuck ’70 Richard C. Beacham ’72, DFA ’73 YC ’68 John Lee Beatty ’73 Mark Buckholz ’76 Michael Cadden ’76, DFA ’79, YC ’71 Ian Calderon ’73 Victor P. Capecce ’75 H. Lloyd Carbaugh ’78 Cosmo A. Catalano, Jr. ’79 David M. Conte ’72 Joseph M. Costa ’74 Alma Cuervo ’76 Dennis L. Dorn ’72 John Duran ’74 Nancy Reeder El Bouhali ’70 Peter Entin ’71 Dirk Epperson ’74 Heidi Ettinger ’76 Femi Euba ’73 Marc Flanagan ’70 Lewis A. Folden ’77 Robert Gainer ’73 Marian A. Godfrey ’75 David Marshall Grant ’78 Stephen Grecco ’70 Michael E. Gross ’73 William B. Halbert ’70 Charlene Harrington ’74 Barbara B. Hauptman ’73 Jane C. Head ’79 Carol Schlanger Helvey ’70 Jennifer Hershey ’77 Nicholas A. Hormann ’73 Fredrica Klemm ’76 Frances E. Kumin ’77 Mitchell L. Kurtz ’75 Rocco Landesman DFA ’76 Stephen R. Lawson ’76 Charles E. Letts ’76 Martha Lidji Lazar ’77 George N. Lindsay, Jr. ’74 Jennifer K. Lindstrom ’72 Mark Linn-Baker ’79

Adrianne Lobel ’79 Robert Hamilton Long II ’76 William Ludel ’73 Patrick Lynch ’71 Brian R. Mann ’79 Jonathan E. Marks ’72, DFA ’84, YC ’68 Neil Mazzella ’78 John McAndrew ’72 Caroline A. McGee ’78 Patricia McMahon ’72 Ph.D. Jonathan Miller ’75 Lawrence S. Mirkin ’72, YC ’69 James Naughton ’70 Patricia C. Norcia ’78 Richard Ostreicher ’79 Jeffrey Pavek ’71 Bill Peters ’79 Joel Polis ’76 Travis Preston ’78 William Purves ’71 Jeff Rank ’79 Pam Rank ’78 Ralph Redpath ’75 William J. Reynolds ’77 Peter Roberts ’75 Steven Robman ’73 Howard J. Rogut ’71 Robert Rooy ’75 Robin Pearson Rose ’73 Mark Rosenthal ’76 John Rothman ’75 Robert Sandberg ’77 Suzanne M. Sato ’79 Joel R. Schechter ’72, DFA ’73 Michael Sheehan ’76 Benjamin Slotznick ’73, YC ’70 Jeremy T. Smith ’76 Charles N. Steckler ’71 Jaroslaw Strzemien ’75 Nancy Thun ’78 Russell Vandenbroucke ’77, DFA ’78 Michael Whaley ’77 Edith R. Tarbescu ’76 Carol M. Waaser ’70 David J. Ward ’75 Eugene D. Warner ’71 Stephen E. Zuckerman ’74

1980s Kimberly Aarn ’86 Christopher Akerlind ’89 Michael G. Albano ’82 Amy Aquino ’86

Donors A PR IL 1, 2020-APRI L 30, 2021

William Armstrong ’80 Clayton Austin ’86 Dylan Baker ’85 Robert Barnett ’89 Cary Barney ’86 Robert Barron ’83 Michael Baumgarten ’81 James Bender ’85 Mark Bly ’80 Anders P. Bolang ’87 Claudia M. Brown ’85 Mark Brokaw ’86 Bill Buck ’84 Kate Burton ’82 Richard W. Butler ’88 Jon Carlson ’88 Joan Channick ’89 Nan Cibula-Jenkins ’83 Geoffrey Cohen ’83 Thomas J. Conlan ’81 Donato D’Albis ’88 Campbell Dalglish ’86 Richard Davis ’83, DFA ’03 Kathleen K. Dimmick ’85 Anne D’Zmura ’89 Sasha Emerson ’84 Michael Fain ’82 Terry Fitzpatrick ’83 Joel C. Fontaine ’83 Anthony M. Forman ’83 Walter M. Frankenberger III ’88 Meredith Freeman ’88 Randy R. Fullerton ’82 James Gage ’80 Judy Gailen ’89 J. Ellen Gainor ’83 Steven J. Gefroh ’85 Michael J. Giannitti ’87 Carol A. Gibson-Prugh ’89 Charles F. Grammer ’86 Rob Greenberg ’89 John Harnagel ’83 Babo Harrison ’89 Catherine Hazlehurst ’83 James W. Hazen ’83 Sara Hedgepeth ’87 Alan Hendrickson ’83 Donald S. Holder ’86 Charles R. Hughes ’83 David Henry Hwang ’83 Chris P. Jaehnig ’85 Michael D. James ’89 Jane Kaczmarek ’82 Jonathan Kalb ’85 Carol Kaplan ’89 Bruce Katzman ’88 Edward Kaye ’86

David K. Kriebs ’82 Edward Lapine ’83 Kenneth Lewis ’86 Peter Gray Lewis ’87 Benjamin Lloyd ’88 Quincy Long ’86 Andi Lyons ’80 Cathy MacNeil-Hollinger ’86 George Mercier ’83* Cheryl Mintz ’87 Isabell Monk-O’Connor ’81 David E. Moore ’87 Patrick Murphy ’88 Thomas Neville ’86 Regina Neville ’88 Arthur E. Oliner ’86 Erik Onate ’89 Carol Ostrow ’80 Joumana Rizk ’87 Joan E. Robbins ’86, DFA ’91 Laila V. Robins ’84 Constanza Romero ’88 Russ Rosensweig ’83 John Rubin ’80 Cecilia M. Rubino ’82 Steven A. Saklad ’81 Kenneth Schlesinger ’84 Alec Scribner ’80 Tony Shalhoub ’80 Deborah Simon ’81 William P. Skipper ’83 Teresa Snider-Stein ’88 Barbara Somerville ’83 Mark Stevens ’89 Mark L. Sullivan ’83 Thomas Sullivan ’88 Bernard J. Sundstedt ’81 Jane Savitt Tennen ’80 Courtney B. Vance ’86 Darryl S. Waskow ’86 Susan West ’87 Robert M. Wildman ’83 Alexandra R. Witchel ’82 Carl Wittenberg ’85 Terrence Witter ’85 Steven A. Wolff ’81 Dianah Wynter ’84 Evan Yionoulis ’85, YC ’82

1990s Narda E. Alcorn ’95 Bruce Altman ’90 Angelina Avallone ’94 Leslie Brauman ’91 James Bundy ’95

Katherine Burgueño ’90 Kathryn A. Calnan ’99 Robert Campbell ’90 Vincent Cardinal ’90 Juliette A. Carrillo ’91 Robert Coleman ’98 Magaly Colimon-Christopher ’98 Sean P. Cullen ’94 Scott T. Cummings ’85, DFA ’94 Sheldon Deckelbaum ’92 Michael Diamond ’90 Fran Egler ’95 Connie Evans ’93 Glen Fasman ’92 David Gainey ’93 Stephen Godchaux ’93 Naomi S. Grabel ’91 Regina Guggenheim ’93 Susan Hamburger ’97 Alexander Hammond ’96 Scott Hansen ’99 Mercedes Z. Herrero ’95 Jeffrey C. Herrmann ’99 Nathan Hinton ’95 John C. Huntington ’90 Clark Jackson Jr. ’97 Suzanne Jackson ’90 Kristin Johnsen-Neshati ’92, DFA ’02 Elizabeth A. Kaiden ’96 Samuel Kelley ’90 David Koppel ’98 L. Azan Kung ’91 Suttirat Larlarb ’97 Chih-Lung Liu ’94 Sarah Long ’92, YC ’85 Tien-Tsung Ma ’92 Laura Brown MacKinnon ’93 Elizabeth Margid ’91, YC ’82 William F. McGuire ’91 Charles McNulty ’93 Daniel Mufson ’95, DFA ’99 Kay Neale ’91 Dw Phineas Perkins ’90 Amy Povich ’92 Katherine Profeta ’99, DFA ’09, YC ’91 Mary Rose ’96 Peggy Sasso ’99 Liev Schreiber ’92 Jennifer Schwartz ’97 Paul Selfa ’92 Thomas W. Sellar ’97, DFA ’03 Jane M. Shaw ’98 Jeremy Shapira ’97 Vladimir Shpitalnik ’92 Jeremy V. Stein ’94

Erich Stratmann ’94, YC ’93 Michael Strickland ’95 David Sword ’90 Deborah L. Trout ’94 Erik Walstad ’95 Rich Whittington ’98 Marshall Williams ’95 Paul Wong ’99

2000s Paola Allais Acree ’08, SOM ’08 Alexander Bagnall ’00 Pun Bandhu ’01 Sarah K. (Bartlo) Chaplin ’04 Sarah Bierenbaum ’05 Ashley Bishop ’02 Frances Black ’09 Mattie Brickman ’09 Colin Buckhurst ’04 Jonathan Busky ’02, SOM ’02, YC ’94 David B. Byrd ’06 David Calica ’08 James Chen ’08 Bryan Terrell Clark ’06 Shoshana Cooper ’09 Derek DiGregorio ’07 Janann Eldredge ’06 Dustin Eshenroder ’07 Marcus Dean Fuller ’04 Leiko Fuseya ’03 Hannah Grannemann ’08, SOM ’08 Evonne Griffin ’05 Marion Grinwis ’04 John J. Hanlon ’04 Heidi Leigh Hanson ’09 Amy S. Holzapfel ’01, DFA ’06 James Guerry Hood ’05 Melissa Huber ’01 Rolin Jones ’04 Peter Young Hoon Kim ’04 O-Jin Kwon ’02 Drew Lichtenberg ’08 Lisa Loen ’10 Elizabeth Morrison ’05 Matthew Moses ’09 Neil Mulligan ’01 David Muse ’03, YC ’96 Arthur Nacht ’06 Erica O’Brien ’09 Barret O’Brien ’09 Adam O’Byrne ’04 Phillip Owen ’09 Jacob G. Padrón ’08 Gamal Palmer ’08 Michael Parrella ’00

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

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Donors A PR I L 1, 2020-APRI L 30, 2021

Laura Patterson ’03 Jonathan Reed ’08 Kevin Rich ’04 David Roberts ’08 Brian Robinson ’00 Rebecca Rugg ’00 Sallie Dorsett Sanders ’02 Christopher Sanderson ’05 Kathleen McElfresh Scott ’06 Shawn Senavinin ’06 V. Jane Suttell ’03 Sarah Treem ’05, YC ’02 Shira Beckerman Turner ’06 Carrie Van Hallgren ’06 Arthur Vitello III ’05 Elaine Wackerly ’03 Brad Ward ’05 Amanda Wallace Woods ’03

2010s Emika Abe ’16, SOM ’16 Shaminda Amarakoon ’12 Trent Anderson ’19, SOM ’19 Celeste Arias ’15 Mamoudou Athie ’14 Michael Barker ’10, SOM ’10 Shawn E. Boyle ’15 Andrew Burnap ’16 Byongsok Chon ’10 Caitlin Crombleholme ’19 Brett Dalton ’11 Matt Davis ’18 Laura Eckelman ’11 Hugh Farrell ’15 Adam Frank ’18, SOM ’18 Christopher Geary ’15 Eric Gershman ’15, SOM ’15 Chris Ghaffari ’16 L.T. Gourzong ’19 Matthew Gutschick ’12 Amanda Haley ’10 Ethan Heard ’13, YC ’07 Al Heartley ’18 Ashton S. Heyl ’14 Armando Huipe ’19 Martha Jurczak ’11 Tara Kayton ’11 Chiara Klein ’17, SOM ’17 Katie Liberman ’13, SOM ’13 Lisa Loen ’10 Annie Middleton ’16 Josef Moro ’15 Leora Morris ’16 Jason Najjoum ’18, SOM ’18 Jennifer Harrison Newman ’11 Nathan Roberts ’10

15 6

Melissa Rose ’18 Devon Smith ’10, SOM ’10 Stephanie Smith ’14 Rachel Shuey ’18 Erik Sunderman ’10 Chris Swetcky ’10 Rebecca Terpenning ’18 Sophie von Haselberg ’14, YC ’08 Sarah Williams ’15 Gretchen T. Wright ’17, SOM ’17

2020 Dani Barlow ’20 Noah Diaz ’20 Oakton Reynolds ’21 Bryn Scharenberg ’23 Caitlin Volz ’20

friends of ysd and yrt (Gi s of $500 and above) Actors’ Equity Foundation Susan Rose-Ackerman GRD ’70 and Bruce Ackerman Law ’67, HON ’74 Nina Adams GRD ’69, NUR ’77 and Moreson Kaplan Americana Arts Foundation Anonymous Debby Applegate GRD ’98 and Bruce Tulgan Rudy Aragon LAW ’79 Paula Armbruster GRD ’64 Alice GRD ’72, Ph.D.’74 and Richard Baxter GRD ’72 The Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation John Beinecke YC ’69 Sonja Berggren and Patrick Seaver YC ’72 Santino Blumetti SOM ’99 Carmine Boccuzzi YC ’90, LAW ’94 and Bernard Lumpkin YC ’91 Lynne and Roger Bolton Cyndi Brown Donald and Mary Brown James Bridgeman ENG ’69 Clare and Sterling Brinkley YC ’74 David Budries Anne and Guido Calabresi YC ’53, LAW ’58, HON ’62 Lois Chiles Janet Ciriello Connecticut Department of Economic and Community

YA L E S C H O O L O F D R A M A A N N UA L 2 0 2 0 –21

Development Daniel Cooperman MAH ’14 and Marial Harris Bob and Priscilla Dannies HON ’90 Wendy Davies Robert Dealy YC ’51 Colleen and Kipp deVeer Nicholas Diggs Educational Foundation of America Catherine and Elwood Davis Scott Delman YC ’82 Lily Fan YC ’01, LAW ’04 Barbara and Richard Franke YC ’53, HON ’87, HON ’01 Anita Pamintuan Fusco YC ’90 and Dino Fusco YC ’88 Howard Gilman Foundation Jeff Glans and Louise Perkins Mabel Burchard Fischer Grant Foundation Betty and Joshua Goldberg The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Kristine and Marc Granetz Jerome L. Greene Foundation Shelley Geballe LAW ’76, EPH ’95 Molly and Matthew Goren Claudia and Dr. Eduardo Groisman MAH ’11 F. Lane Heard III YC ’73, LAW ’78 and Margaret Bauer ’86, ART ’91 Stephen Hoffman YC ’64 Mark Hollinger LAW ’85 Sally Horchow YC ’92 Betsy and Reed Hundt YC ’69, LAW ’74 Peter Hunt Ellen Iseman YC ’76 Jana Foundation David G. Johnson YC ’78 Pamela Jordan Ann Judd and Bennett Pudlin LAW ’78 Helen Kauder and Barry Nalebuff HON ’89 Dr. Harvey Kliman and Sandra Stein Richard Lalli MUS ’80, DMA ’86 and Michael Rigsby MED ’88 The Ethel and Abe Lapides Foundation Maryanne R. Lavan Charles H. Long Lucille Lortel Foundation Cheryl MacLachlan and Fred Gorelick Wendy and Peter McCabe Drew McCoy

Deborah McGraw Susan Medak and Greg Murphy Roz Milstein Meyer YC ’71, GRD ’73, GRD ’77 and Jerry Meyer MED ’72 David and Leni Moore Family Foundation James Munson YC ’66 Merle Nacht National Endowment for the Arts NewAlliance Foundation Victoria Nolan and Clark Crolius Eric Nold and Ramond Curtis Barbara and William Nordhaus YC ’63, MAH ’73 F. Richard Pappas YC ’76 James Perakis James Perlotto YC ’78 and Thomas Masse MUS ’91, Artist Diploma ’92 The Raymond Plank Foundation Point Harbor Fund of the Maine Community Foundation Kathy and George Priest YC ’69, HON ’82 The Prospect Hill Foundation Alec Purves Faye and Asghar Rastegar HON ’88 Sharon Reynolds Robina Foundation Abigail Roth YC ’90, LAW ’94 and R. Lee Stump Deborah Rovner Ruderman Family Foundation Ruth Hein Schmitt Tracy Chutorian Semler YC ’86 Sandra Shaner The Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gi Fund The Shubert Foundation, Inc. The Carol Sirot Foundation Anna Deavere Smith HON ’14 Ken Sonnenfeld and Peg Brivanlou Dr. and Mrs. Dennis D. Spencer Shepard and Marlene Stone Matthew Suttor Stephen Timbers YC ’66 Andrew and Nesrin Tisdale Trust for Mutual Understanding Esme Usdan YC ’77 Sylvia Van Sinderen and James Sinclair Paul Walsh Donald R. Ware YC ’71 Shana C. Waterman YC ’94, LAW ’99 Vera F. Wells YC ’71 The Wilke Family Foundation * Deceased