Annual Magazine of Yale School of Drama 2011â€“2012
Yale school of Drama
Hudson Scenic Studios
Building a Better Broadway
From the Dean
Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre James Bundy ’95 Dean, Artistic Director Victoria Nolan Deputy Dean/Managing Director
or me, following our graduates is … F an inspiration to do our work in New Haven as well as we possibly can.
Nobody looks forward to the arrival of this magazine more than I do. Like many of you, I am fortunate regularly to see the work of alumni in theatres across the country. I am particularly grateful that my daughters, when watching film and television, are reasonably patient with my elbows in their ribs, accompanied by the whispered interjection, “YSD alum!” Indeed, it is the thrilling alchemy of a small school like Yale School of Drama to magnify its impact on our culture, by drawing gifted and ambitious young people into one place where they may prepare together for the opportunities and obligations of artistry in the broader society. For me, following our graduates is both a way to stay in touch with that value proposition, and an inspiration to do our work in New Haven as well as we possibly can. But there is no practical way to wrap our arms around the full breadth of your work without this annual missive, nor to experience the diversity of your voices without hearing them in these pages. This magazine is the most concentrated look we can take at the swirl of alchemical reactions taking place at the School and around the world—in your artistry, enterprise and innovation. Thank you for sharing your stories with us; for the generosity with which you support the School as volunteers and donors; for the panoply of endeavors in which you are making your mark; and for the extraordinary community of creativity that you comprise. Sincerely,
Yale School of Drama Board of Advisors Neil A. Mazzella ’78, Chair John Badham ’63, yc ’61, Vice Chair John Beinecke yc ’69, Vice Chair Amy Aquino ’86 John Lee Beatty ’73 Lynne Bolton Clare Brinkley Sterling B. Brinkley, Jr. yc ’74 Kate Burton ’82 Lois Chiles Patricia Clarkson ’85 Converse Converse yc ’57 Sue Ann Gilfillan Converse ’55 Peggy Cowles ’65 Edgar (Trip) M. Cullman III ’02, yc ’97 Michael Diamond ’90 Polly Draper ’80, yc ’77 Charles S. “Roc” Dutton ’83 Heidi Ettinger ’76 Marc Flanagan ’70 Donald P. Granger, Jr. yc ’85 David Marshall Grant ’78 Ruth Hendel Catherine MacNeil Hollinger ’86 Ellen Iseman yc ’76 Asaad Kelada ’64 Sasha Emerson Levin ’84 Mark Linn-Baker ’79, yc ’76 Sarah Long ’92, yc ’85 Elizabeth Margid ’91, yc ’82 Drew McCoy Tarell Alvin McCraney ’07 David Milch yc ’66 Carol Ostrow ’80 Amy Povich ’92 Liev Schreiber ’92 Tony Shalhoub ’80 Michael Sheehan ’76 Jeremy Smith ’76 Ed Trach ’58 Courtney B. Vance ’86 Henry Winkler ’70
Bundy photo by Harold Shapiro.
21 By Baker Bred
The Mighty Hudson Scenic
Viva Viva LasLas Vegas Vegas
The Mighty Hudson Scenic
Adam Richman: Alive and Eating
By Peter Marks yc ’77
By Mark Blankenship ’05
By Baker Bred: Maureen Watkins at Yale
In and Out of Africa
By Catherine Sheehy ’92, dfa ’99 (Faculty)
By Barry Jay Kaplan
Viva Las Vegas By Barry Jay Kaplan
Departments 3 On and Off York Street
11 Alumni Events 36 The Season in Review 46 Graduation
48 Honors and Awards 50 In Memoriam 56 The Art of Giving 58 Bookshelf 59 Alumni Notes 86 Contributors
From the Editor
Dear Friends, I’m always learning something new about the School of Drama. Last winter, I heard for the first time about the mousetrap competition, an annual event run by Neil Mulligan ’01 (Faculty), in which the TD&P students put into practice what they’ve learned about using the tools in the shop. They are challenged to create a miniature vehicle, employing found materials, with only a standard mousetrap’s spring as its source of energy. The competition is to see whose vehicle, once released by the spring, goes the farthest. The winner gets a gift certificate to Sullivan’s. One of the coolest ones I saw was a long-playing record whose turning mechanism was engineered with an elastic band! Thinking about the mousetrap race made me realize how the training at the School yields levels of technical production that range from reconfiguring found objects to the most cutting-edge of computer wizardry and back to the root basics of hands-on theatre in rural communities. This continuum gives the School a very wide and deep reach around the world. Our cover story highlights Neil A. Mazzella ’78 and his company, Hudson Scenic Studio, which has employed countless TD&Ps from the School over the years and has constructed the sets for such legendary Broadway mega-hits as Les Miz, Phantom of the Opera and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Those framed posters on the wall behind Neil on this magazine’s cover represent less than a third of the productions Hudson Scenic has built. There is also a direct—and surprising—route for technical designers from Yale to Las Vegas, and I went out there, with associate editor Barry Jay Kaplan, to see for myself what the attraction was to that city in the desert. It became immediately clear that the most advanced technical production opportunities are in abundance there, in the lavish hotel shows on the Strip and especially at Cirque du Soleil. During a behind-the-scenes tour I saw the intricate and specialized winches, tracks, cable retention systems, motion control and motor drive equipment and multiple axes of motion used at Cirque, and how they are devised, built and managed by former students of Ben Sammler ’74 (Faculty). This kind of futuristic legerdemain is at one end of the spectrum. At the other is our story of the adventures of a group of YSD students, teaming up with students from the Divinity School, to create socially transformative theatre in small villages in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The physical aspects of creating theatre can be high tech—creating the original falling chandelier for Phantom or rigging a high-wire performance at the MGM Grand Hotel—or low—stringing lanterns around a circle of dirt in the communities of Mabibo and Mburhati in Tanzania. In other words, when it comes to the theatre, there are a lot of ways to build a better mousetrap.
annual MAGAZINE YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA Fall 2011, Vol. LVI
Editorial Staff Deborah S. Berman Editor Barry Jay Kaplan Associate Editor Belene Day Managing Editor Debbie A. Ellinghaus Consulting Editor Susan Clark Editorial Coordinator Elizabeth Elliott ’11 Editorial Assistant Alexandra Ripp ’13 Editorial Assistant Rachel Smallwood Editorial Assistant
Contributors Christina Anderson ’11 Mark Blankenship ’05 Devin Brain ’11 Maya Cantu ’10, dfa ’16 Lucas Dixon ’12 Leon Dobkowski ’11 Laura Eckelman ’11 Jacob Gallagher-Ross ’09, dfa ’16 Dipika Guha ’11 Matthew Gutschick ’12 Ethan Heard ’13 Edward Herrmann Miriam Hyman ’12 Jennifer Lynn Jackson ’11 Po Lin Li ’11 Reynaldi Lolong ’13 Peter Marks yc ’77 Charles McNulty ’93 Meg Miroshnik ’11 Michael Mitnick ’10 Edward T. Morris ’13 Lupita Nyong’o ’12 Ken Prestininzi (Faculty) Art Priromprintr ’11 Catherine Sheehy ’92, dfa ’99 (Faculty) Alexandra Trow ’12
Design Jack Design, jackdesignstudio.com
Special Thanks to Ben Sammler ’74, Joan Channick ’89, Maria Leveton, Grace O’Brien ’04
On the Cover
Neil Mazzella ’78 in the Hudson Scenic conference room against a backdrop of posters from some of the Broadway shows he has built. Photo by Gabriel Zimmer
On and Off York Street
News fromYale School of Drama
Catherine Sheehy ’92, dfa ’99 (Faculty) and Paul Giamatti ’94, yc ’89.
Giamatti photo by Michael Marsland
Paul Giamatti, Son of Yale Film star Paul Giamatti ’94, yc ’89, visited New Haven as the inaugural recipient of a Louie, a new award given to prominent Yale alumni by Mory’s, Yale’s legendary private club. Following the ceremony, Paul participated in an open conversation with YSD’s own Catherine Sheehy ’92, dfa ’99 (Faculty). The leading actor of such films as Barney’s Version, The Illusionist and Win Win, Paul comes from a prominent Yale family. His father, A. Bartlett Giamatti, served as president of the University from 1978 until 1986 and often took his son to theatre productions while the family lived in New Haven. In fact, his mother and father actually met while performing together in a Dramat production of Cyrano. Paul addressed the difference between stage acting and acting for the camera: “When you act on film, they put a camera just a
few inches from your face, so you feel cut off from the other person. Certain imaginative muscles atrophy when you go a long time without acting on stage.” Paul made it clear, however, that he had no complaints about his career. After starting out playing “junkies and FBI technicians,” he was able to take on more significant roles, such as the flawed hero in his Academy Award–nominated performance in Sideways and such prominent historical figures as the eponymous hero of the HBO miniseries John Adams. He credits his ability to make this transition in large part to his theatrical training. Fittingly, then, this proud YSD graduate told the audience that he is eager to act again on stage: “I truly miss the sense of real space that theatre affords.” Matt Gutschick ’12
On and Off York Street Two Lifetime Achievement Awards for Lynne Meadow
Facing Mortality: A Work in Progress When Derek Lucci ’03 was a student at the School of Drama, he often worked on his own material in a storage room at 149 York Street that was usually used to house lockers, papers and old furniture. Derek returned to that room last spring to do a workshop of his stage adaptation of Agapè Agape, the final book by the novelist William Gaddis. In the play, an old man—played by Derek—is confined to a bed and surrounded by seemingly endless pages of unfinished writing. Gaddis was dying of cancer as he worked on the novel Agapè Agape and, according to his daughter Sarah, wrote “without mercy about the human condition even as he faced his own mortality.” After the workshop at Yale, Derek and his production team took Agapè Agape to Washington University in St. Louis, home of the William Gaddis Archive, and completed a three-week workshop that incorporated all the elements from previous workshops. Derek says that there are a number of ways to describe what the process has been like; it is similar to his response when someone asks him what the play is “about.” “In the text, Gaddis quotes a line from Joyce,” Derek notes. “The line is: ‘It’s not about something, it is something.’ This is fairly spot on,” he adds, “in that the most efficient way for me to tell you about Agape is simply to do it.”
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Lynne Meadow ’71
Derek Lucci photo © 2011 Jane Huntington
Derek Lucci ’03
Artistic Director of Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow ’71 received a Lilly Award for Lifetime Achievement. Named for playwright Lillian Hellman, the Lilly Awards were created in 2010 to recognize the extraordinary contributions made by women to the American theatre. This marks Lynne’s second lifetime achievement award this year. In April she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Lucille Lortel Awards for producing and directing new work Off Broadway. The body of work created Off Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club under Lynne’s artistic direction has garnered hundreds of awards, and the artists nurtured by her and the company have made MTC a world-class theatre. “Receiving two lifetime achievement awards this spring made me feel proud and grateful,” Lynne says, “but also reminded me how many lifetimes are possible in this one. I still want and intend to do so much— shows to direct, playwrights to produce, artistic innovations to implement, and maybe return to Yale soon to end my 40-year leave of absence after year two at YSD and finally earn my MFA. Or perhaps, if I hang around long enough, I’ll get an Honorary Degree from Yale University. Now that would be a lifetime achievement.”
News from Yale School of Drama
Critic to Critic: Gordon Rogoff Talks to Charles McNulty The Zelig-like career of Gordon Rogoff yc ’52 (Faculty) in theatre began immediately upon graduating from Yale College. After studying acting in England, he made some notable entrances and exits: at the Actors Studio, working for Lee Strasberg, the Open Theater with Joseph Chaikin and Yale School of Drama, recruited by Robert Brustein ’51, ’66 mah as Associate Dean and head of directing, returning in the mid-’80s to help guide the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department, his current home. Teaching and directing in the 1970s, Gordon won an OBIE for his staging of Old Timers’ Sexual Symphony and other Notes, written by his life partner, Morton Lichter. Criticism was a sideline that his talent for writing would turn on occasion into a starring role. His theatre writing has earned him the George Jean Nathan Award and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award by The American Academy of Arts and Letters. With two collections of criticism behind him, he is currently working on a new book, Sunset Over Ice: Late Works of Verdi, Ibsen, Richard Strauss, Ingmar Bergman, and Matisse, parts of which have already appeared in The Yale Review and Parnassus: Poetry in Review. This interview was conducted by Los Angeles Times theatre critic Charles McNulty ’93, dfa ’95 as a series of e-mails posted with the courteous languor of Victorian letters. Gordon, you’re one of those rarities among distinguished theatre critics—you’ve spent at least as much time working in the theatre as you have writing about the art form. How comfortable are you with the label “critic”? Why wouldn’t I be comfortable with a label applied to writers from Hazlitt to Henry James, including my favorite mentors, Eric Bentley, Stanley Kauffmann and Richard Gilman? You’ve been a mentor to quite a few critics during your years at the Drama School. Do you think critics are made, or are they temperamentally born to the role? Temperament never hurts, but there has to be a calling. Love the drama as you love life, and you’re close to being a critic. An equal calling to think and write with blinding clarity also doesn’t hurt. Add to that a delight in reading elegant prose, a determination to listen only to your own voice and a powerful need to protect the good from being driven out by the bad—then at last you’re on the road to a full life in which criticism is just one of many pleasures.
Gordon Rogoff yc ’52 (Faculty)
Who are the artists that helped you formulate—or better still, reformulate— your idea of what theatre can be? Reformulating will go on until I drop, but in my beginnings are not quite my ends. I started with baby excitement—four years old to be precise—when my mother took me to On Your Toes with Ray Bolger, Vera Zorina and Balanchine’s “debut” with “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” and then I graduated to hapless tap-dance adventures imitating Fred Astaire (not exactly built for it), finally besotted with the Group Theatre survivors doing Miller, Williams and even Inge. True graduation came in England, where I discovered those knights and dames who kept purveying versatility and the heady thrills to be found in bouncing iambics. I met my match while serving Strasberg, only to be banished when I failed to be subservient after suggesting a session at the Studio on what actors might learn from Brecht. My first break-past and break-through was with Joe Chaikin and The Open Theater, from which the rest followed: Brook, Grotowski, the Moscow Art’s Three Sisters, avant- and even rear-guard work seen worldwide, and back again to New York, where innovation kept trumping inexperience. From 1956 to now the looming progenitor has been Beckett.
Any Yale Rep highlights? Nothing has ever erased the memory of Robert Lowell’s Prometheus Bound when the Rep was new under Bob Brustein. It had everything, especially the great Irene Worth, a gorgeous, provocative design by Michael Annals, and those words, oh those words. Writers and ambition were in charge then, including a wonderfully dizzy production of Joseph Heller’s We Bombed in New Haven. Sunset Over Ice, the book you’re writing on artists’ late work, makes connections between early biographical landmarks and the culminating masterpieces of a few Olympian talents. How much of the young Gordon Rogoff, the Yale undergrad with dreams of becoming a classical composer, is in this eagerly awaited study by Gordon Rogoff, the veteran Yale Drama School professor? Barring time wasted trying to be a good son to a number of insistent fathers, I’ve managed to grow old without surrendering my youth, though the surrounding losses are hard to take. I may be gay, but music is my mistress, and drama is my bride. Luckily, even if equal rights still seem distant, my real marriage is with a glorious painter who lends me his eyes. The good news is that we’re both getting better at what we do best, getting younger at it every day.
On and Off York Street Edward Herrmann: An Actor Encourages Actors The recipient of a Beinecke Fellowship in conjunction with his role of Tobias in Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance at Yale Repertory Theatre, Edward Herrmann spoke to YSD students at the conclusion of the play’s run. The following is a brief excerpt: Three-time Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Edward Albee
The Persistence of Edward Albee One of the theatre’s living treasures, playwright Edward Albee appeared before a packed house on the stage of the Yale Art Gallery’s McNeil Lecture Hall on the occasion of the Yale Repertory Theatre production of A Delicate Balance. Wearing a tweed sport jacket and sweater, ensconced in a chair in front of a curving red curtain, the playwright looked on with a slight smile as moderator Catherine Sheehy ’92, dfa ’99 (Faculty) made a brief introduction and listed his major awards: three Pulitzer Prizes, the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Kennedy Center Honor, the National Medal of Arts and a Tony Lifetime Achievement Award. She then turned the floor over to the playwright, but he eschewed a prepared talk, suggesting instead a dialogue with the audience, to whom he turned and asked for questions. We know from his plays that he is skilled at writing a laugh line, so it was not surprising that he enjoyed engaging in the ensuing repartee.
Today is the last day of our production here at Yale of Tobias’s tale. One finds oneself, at sixty-seven years old, facing the same peanut shell-strewn circus ground, indentations in the grass where the tent has been, crumpled programs and an empty parking lot. It is that way after every production. What do I do now? Will I see any of the friends I’ve made here again? Maybe, but probably not. How long will it be before I get another job? Does anybody care if the work was well done? Who has seen it? My agent? My manager? No. They are in California and are simply waiting for me to get this poisonous “live theatre” germ out of my system so I can get back to
How does it feel to win all those awards? Stick around long enough and they give you things. Aren’t you impressed with your Tony Lifetime Achievement award? But I haven’t achieved my lifetime yet! How do you write your plays? What comes first? A plays happens first in the unconscious, waiting to be written. For me, characters come first. I find out about my plays by writing them. But thinking about what I do gives me a headache. Are your plays autobiographical? All drama is family drama. But what happens in my plays is much more interesting than anything that happens to me. What did you think of the film version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? They were supposed to cast Bette Davis and James Mason. Bette Davis was 56 at the time and James Mason was 40, perfect for the characters, since Martha is older than George. But Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were big stars at the time, and they did it. No one really cared about appropriate casting. I found no fault with Burton and Taylor, but the producer paid himself $250,000 to write the screenplay. He added two lines: “Let’s go to the roadhouse. Let’s leave the roadhouse.” Do you think you’ll be remembered after you’re dead? I’d rather go on than be remembered.
Edward Herrmann as Tobias in Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance at Yale Repertory Theatre 2010.
News from Yale School of Drama
work. The critics? Trolls, not to be countenanced. A few friends have come by and, I’m happy to say, my family full of love and forgiveness, and they enjoyed it greatly, it seems. But the show is over at the very moment when we in the cast think we are about ready to open! And this gloomy rumination comes at the closing of a show that was successful by most accounts. Think what titanic glooms await a genuine flop!
I had thought, when I was young, that my drift theatre-ward was because I was lazy and frightened of the real world.
Edward Herrmann photo by Joan Marcus; Liev Schreiber photo by Victor Kang, Yale Daily News staff photographer
So it is of the most compelling importance, should you wish to endure it, for all of you who have committed yourselves to our way of life, to build a fortress of healing and succor, and surround it with a moat of inviolability. A first step for me came with the reading of Alfred North Whitehead’s Religion in the Making. I had thought, when I was young, that my drift theatre-ward was because I was lazy and frightened of the real world. I thought that the “arts” as a whole was something that comfortable bourgeois people bought to hang on their walls, that we artists were basically decorative, not essential. It was Whitehead who assured me, in his massive and often impenetrable work of metaphysics, Process and Reality, that the creative impulse is the absolute bedrock of the universe, seen and unseen. It followed that what I was drawn to was not frivolous but essential to the survival of what we are pleased to call civilization. This notion did not make it easier to master the crafts necessary to practice my trade, but it gave me the confidence that what I was trying to do was important.
Liev Schreiber ’92
Liev Schreiber Speaks the Speech On January 31, 2011, Liev Schreiber ’92 spoke at the University Theatre as the 2011 Maynard Mack Lecturer. Dean James Bundy ’95 moderated the conversation that followed with an enthusiastic audience of several hundred people. An accomplished actor of stage and screen, Liev shared his thoughts on embodying Shakespearean language through careful attention to scansion, meter and antithesis. As opposed to looking at character psychology first, Liev said, he approaches Shakespeare by examining the structure of the text. “The more structure, the better,” he said. Understanding Shakespeare’s plays as detailed musical scores can “release fascinating stuff.” When Macbeth speaks ten lines without punctuation, Schreiber asked the audience, “What if you didn’t stop? What if you didn’t breathe?” Shakespeare is telling us, Liev argued, that the idea flows out of Macbeth until he is out of air. Thus, if the actor follows Shakespeare’s instructions, he will naturally find his diaphragm lifted and be close to tears. Liev comes from a family of classical musicians. Practice and rehearsal were part of his upbringing. “You have to know the text backwards and forwards before you can play with it,” he said, and so “memorization is 90 percent of the game.” But luckily, “verse lends itself to repetition,” like a nursery rhyme.
What if you didn’t stop? What if you didn’t breathe? Liev Schreiber
Liev wants something other than his intelligence to lead him. His goal as an actor is to be “possessed on stage” by that “primal, dangerous thing.” And so his preshow ritual includes drinking a glass of wine in one gulp. This act reminds him of his grandfather and the ”spirits” he wants to let into his body. The “big secret” of acting, Schreiber said, is that “it’s really easy and fun.” Ethan Heard ’13
On and Off York Street
To Russia, With Plays The doors of Sheremetyevo Airport slid open, and we were hit so much so that the first rehearsals made them nervous. The with the hot June smells of Moscow: exhaust, lilacs and tar. audience watched with intense concentration the talented work We were gathered up, driven to our flats and hotels, and then of the performers and directors but also insisted they be allowed walked about the city like awkward cousins. The playwriting to know the text’s intentions intimately. When one director’s posse from Yale School of Drama took a moment to survey showmanship made it difficult for the audience to discern how, Moscow’s immensity spread out before us. where and why the text existed, they were quick to demand a In the previous fall semester four Russian theatre artists reckoning at the talkback afterward: “Where is the text?! We (two directors, two playwrights) visited the School under the want the play. You must let the play be on stage.” Discovering auspices of the CEC ArtsLink’s Open World Cultural Leaders Moscow audiences’ passionate desire to invest in new plays on Program. In New Haven they were hosted by Joan Channick ’89 their own terms was, for the playwrights, an example of faith (Associate Dean) and the student artistic team of the Cabaret. rewarded. The Russian plays were translated, rehearsed and presented to These laboratory workshops demonstrated to the writers how the community, and the artists attended a variety of classes and alive and elastic their writing was; their own ideas about their events. plays were challenged and expanded. The Russian artists in turn So successful was the visit that talks began immediately to initiate a sister project in Moscow to bring YSD playwrights and YSD’s teaching of master classes to their Moscow colleagues interested in “new drama.” Joan conferred with two of the visiting Russians and their Moscow allies, and in less than six months four MFA playwrights, Joan, David Chambers ’71 (Faculty) and I were on the way to Moscow to continue the artistic exchange and collaboration begun in New Haven. John Freedman, a theatre aficionado, critic and editor for the English-language Moscow Times explained that “new drama” is any new play that challenges the theatrical establishment by way of language, form or content. Those energized by the new playwriting in Russia today, Freedman noted, gravitated toward plays that reveal a “personal territory” while also exhibiting a “violent, (Left to right): Amelia Roper ’13, Lyudmila Tsishkovskaya, Ken Prestininzi (Faculty), fantastic style tempered by a perceptible willingNina Belenitskaya, Martyna Majok ’12, Martha Jane Kaufman ’13. ness to demonstrate the vulnerable qualities of key characters.” The work of the Yale playwrights selected for the exchange—Martha Jane Kaufman ’13, Martyna Majok showed how these new plays cross and confound boundaries ’12, Meg Miroshnik ’11 and Amelia Roper ’13—all exhibit and expectations. Contradictions were not eliminated but such qualities. In each of their plays hope and dreams brought clarified. danger into the world that had to be faced and embraced. In It was intoxicating to be in a roomful of Russians who take the land of Chekhov and the Kremlin the playwrights’ works for granted that great theatre must be newly made and freshly were translated into Russian and performed with unabashed debated if it is to exist at all. And even though Moscow can seem gusto to sold-out houses. The plays were given a strong physical overwhelming in its history, its artists are our allies and fellow workout by four casts under the direction of four Russian travelers. At the end of the two days of performance labs we student directors from the Moscow Art Theatre and the Russian presented our Russian collaborators with Yale baseball caps and Academy of Theatre Arts. toasted them with vodka as we hoped and promised to return The Yale playwrights were surprised to see how fiercely the for more successful collaborations next summer. actors seized and enjoyed the challenges their plays offered, Ken Prestininzi, Associate Chair of Playwriting
News from Yale School of Drama
Words Coming in Like a Song: A Conversation with Ella Joyce
Bona Lee ’11
Erich Bolton ’11
Bona Lee and Erich Bolton photos by USITT: Tom Thatcher; Ella Joyce photo by Joan Channick
Yale School of Drama Reaps Tech Awards Awards were presented to Erich Bolton ’11 and Bona Lee ’11, recognizing their status as outstanding young designers and technicians, at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology’s (USITT) 51st Annual Conference & Stage Expo in March in Charlotte, NC. Erich received the USITT Frederick A. Buerki “Golden Hammer” Scenic Technology Award and Bona, the KM fabrics, Inc. Technical Production Award. Both were nominated by Ben Sammler ’74 (Faculty) who pointed out that in the 16 years since the inception of these awards, Yale School of Drama graduates have received three-quarters of them. A national panel of renowned professionals with expertise in the specific area of the award review the portfolios of the Young Designer & Technician nominees. One of them, Fritz Schwentker ’94, noted that for Bona “there is an incredible amount of hard work and study that has gone into becoming such a talented technician.” In regard to Erich, Mr. Schwentker noted “I hope and expect that he will continue to bring a wealth of new knowledge to our industry.” USITT’s YD&T awards were initiated in 1995. Each award includes cash prizes, the opportunity to interact with key professionals, to meet with the awards sponsors, and to enjoy the accolades of peers. The Conference draws about 4,000 design and technology professionals, and Conference registration is included in the awards package for each winner.
As Lady Paradis, the icily beautiful matriarch of Kirsten Greenidge’s Bossa Nova at Yale Repertory Theatre, Ella Joyce created a powerful portrait of a woman in emotional deep freeze. Let nobody mistake Bossa Nova’s Lady for the lady herself. When Ella, a Beinecke Fellow, sat down with YSD students for an informal conversation, she blazed with vitality and warmth. During the discussion, which took place on December 11, Ella shared a medley of flamboyant anecdotes and professional insights. Strewn across the table in front of her was a mosaic of programs and scrapbooks: mementoes of a diverse career, with acting credits ranging from the world premiere productions of Lynn Nottage’s ’89 Crumbs from the Table of Joy and August Wilson’s Two Trains Running (at Yale Rep) and King Hedley II, to the sitcom Roc, co-starring Charles S. Dutton ’83. An accomplished producer, writer, and director, Ella also welcomes unconventional projects. A longtime admirer of Neil Simon’s plays, she recounted staging The Prisoner of Second Avenue at a correctional facility, to the inmates’ delight. Ella couples her eclecticism with focused dedication to her craft. Her current project, a solo piece which she created, wrote and acted in, is A Rose Among Thorns: A Tribute to Rosa Parks. The piece has already been seen in more than 26 cities; Ella reminisced about performing in front of a “completely integrated audience on Rosa’s birthday” at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. She praised the inspiration of the late Yolanda King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., with whom Ella appeared in the Disney television film Selma, Lord, Selma: “I learned a lot from Yolanda, and her one-woman show Tracks,” a celebration of Yolanda’s father. The power of mentorship pervaded the discussion: Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Morgan Freeman are among the artists who have shared their wisdom and guidance with Ella. She also spoke with reverence of Lloyd Richards (Former Dean), who directed her in Two Trains Running, from whom she learned the importance of attentive detail: “listening to the other actors is the most important thing…your line comes in like a song.” Ella views the theatre as a collaborative cycle moving through generations: “You become a little bit of everyone you get to work with and learn from,” she told her audience. And the circle spins on. Maya Cantu ’10, dfa ’16
Beinecke Fellow Ella Joyce shares her memories with Sheria Irving ’13.
On and Off York Street
Alexandra Henrikson ’11, Michael Place ’12, Hallie Cooper-Novak ’12, Kate Burton ’82, Laura Gragtmans ’12, Stéphanie Hayes ’11, Brian Lewis ’12
special ticket offer for YSD Alumni
Kate Burton Drops by for a Chat Kate Burton ’82 paid a surprise visit to Yale School of Drama on February 8. During a three-hour informal talk in the third-floor lounge at 222 York Street, approximately 40 actors came and went between classes and rehearsals. As they entered, Kate greeted them, asked their names, and resumed her talk without missing a beat. On how she decided to become an actress: “I was a Russian-studies student at Brown with an eye on international diplomacy. Coming from a theatre family and having grown up backstage”—her father was Shakespearean actor and
Today, when I act, it feels that all my acting teachers are there, sitting on my shoulders, whispering to me. Believe me, what you learn now will stand you in good stead thirty years from now.
Kate Burton ’82
movie star Richard Burton—“I decided to try acting and came to Yale. It took me three years here to admit to myself that I really wanted to be an actress.” On her teachers: “I was in Lloyd Richards’ first class, and Earl Gister was my acting teacher. Today, when I act, it feels that all my acting teachers are there, sitting on my shoulders, whispering to me. Believe me, what you learn now will stand you in good stead thirty years from now.” On being a Yale School of Drama graduate: “The training at YSD is really profound—I only realized this years later. Once you’re out in the world, you have the imprimatur of Yale, and that helps to move you along the line. There is a Yale network. That may sound crass, but it is wonderful. Any Yalie is there for you.” On working in Los Angeles: “I went to Los Angeles at age 48 to join my husband, Michael Ritchie, who is the artistic director of the Los Angeles Theatre Center. I was determined not to get a face lift. It’s like I said to my pal Frances McDormand ’82: We have to be the ones not to do it. Someone has to play the grandmothers!”
Yale Repertory Theatre is pleased to offer YSD alumni $20 tickets for every Yale Rep show for the entire 2011–12 season For tickets and information call the Rep box office at (203) 432-1234
The YRT season includes:
A Doctor in Spite of Himself by Molière Adapted by Christopher Bayes and Steven Epp November 26 – December 17, 2011
Good Goods By Christina Anderson February 3 – 25, 2012
The Winter’s Tale By William Shakespeare March 16 – April 7, 2012
The Realistic Joneses By Will Eno April 20 – May 12, 2012
YSD Reception, 2 TCG National Conference (2011)
Casa restaurant, Los Angeles
1 Nelson Eusebio III ’07, David Muse ’03, YC ’96 Becca Wolff ’09, Lisa Stern
2 Joanne Blum, Bill Blum ’67
3 Merle Nacht, Arthur Nacht ’06 4 Jennifer Newman ’11, Joan Van Ark ’64 5 Roger Guenveur Smith ’83 6 David Roberts ’08, Art Priromprintr ’11 7 Heather Woodbury, Ari Teplitz ’05, Eve Wood
New York Holiday Party (2010)
at The Yale Club of New York Photos by Anita Shevett/Shevett Studios
1 Phyllis Warfel ’55, Bill Warfel ’57, YC ’55 (Former Faculty), Robert Hock ’59, YC ’54
2 David Roberts ’08, Brian Henry ’07, Michael Braun ’07, YC ’00, Austin Durant ’10
3 David Shookhoff ’69, Marcus Henderson ’11, Gordon Rogoff YC ’52, Lonnie Carter ’69
4 Tiffany Stewart ’07, Rao Rampilla, Tijuana Ricks ’04
5 Christopher Mirto ’10, Brook Parks ’08,
Alexander Major ’08
6 Jean Randich ’94, Julie Lawrence-Edsell ’93, Catherine Sheehy ’92, DFA ’99 (Faculty)
West Coast Alumni Party (2011)
at the home of Asaad Kelada ’64 Photos by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging
10 7 Esther Chae ’99, Paul von Zielbauer, Asaad Kelada ’64
8 Heather Mazur ’03, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa ’03
9 Aaron Moss ’10, Aja King ’10, Susan Kim ’11
10 Drew McCoy, Greg Copeland ’04,
Bruce Katzman ’88, Dean James Bundy ’95, Amy Aquino ’86
11 Brandon Christy, Bridget Flanery Fownes ’02, Julius Galacki ’98
12 Malcolm Darrell ’07, Heidi Hanson Barker ’09 13 Joe Gantman ’53, Florence Van Putten, Peter Nelson ’53
14 Darlene Kaplan YC ’78, Esther Zuckerman YC ’12, Stephen Zuckerman ’74
15 YSD-themed popcorn and baked goods
by Glen Sturgis ’06
The Mighty Hudson Scenic By Peter Marks YC â€™77
A piece of the set for Les Miserables en route from Hudson Scenic Studio to the Broadhurst Theatre. Photo courtesy of Hudson Scenic. 14
“This is a nice job,” Neil A. Mazzella ’78 declared as he examined the handiwork of his painters and carpenters—and “nice,” in this instance, was not merely synonymous with well executed, but also with sizable. Neil had built sets for the Tony telecast before, so he knew precisely what the project entailed. “When they win the awards, and they go up the stairs…” He pointed to a structure in the corner. “These are those stairs.” Where telegenic staircases and other technical elements of the stage are concerned, Neil Mazzella is theatre royalty: a crown prince of production. His company, Hudson Scenic Studio, is one of a handful of firms in the business of painstakingly assembling the components of the artificial landscapes of Broadway stages and beyond, a workaday palace of paintbrushes, hydraulic lifts, two-byfours and klieg lights. To the average theatregoer, Hudson Scenic may be familiar as a name buried in the back pages of a Playbill. In fact, its role in the oiling of Broadway’s complicated machinery is writ far larger. Hudson is the house where Les Miserables was built. And The Phantom of the Opera. And Crazy for You. And Rent and Monty Python’s Spamalot and Spring Awakening and a slew of other hit shows over the years, all the way up to such splashy current tenants of Broadway as Billy Elliot the Musical and War Horse. In workshops spread over Hudson’s sprawling, 125,000-square-foot complex, Neil’s crew—at peak times 150 strong—takes the blueprints from set designers and technical directors and makes them threedimensional. From Yonkers the finished products are trucked to the theatres, where Neil is also often hired to supervise backstage operations during a show’s run.
The company’s eclectic assignments range from the sacred— it oversaw technical production for the mass at Yankee Stadium celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008—to the cheekily profane: Neil’s technicians were responsible for outfitting Priscilla, the splendiferous illuminated tour bus of the jukebox stage version of the cult movie, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. “Thirty-thousand LEDs,” Neil declared proudly of the individual light-emitting diodes that were meticulously applied in his shop to the exterior of the vehicle, which rolls on dazzlingly at the Palace Theater. “From the molds to the fiberglass shells—all hand-wired, hand-made.”
With his trademark salt-and-pepper pony tail, Neil looks more like a roadie for Willie Nelson than a Broadway businessman who keeps his Harley-Davidson parked in a locked storeroom and is widely viewed among industry types as the go-to guy for backstage know-how. “Anyone who knows anything about the things we do knows who Neil Mazzella is,” said Michael David ’68, president of Dodgers Theatrical Production, Inc., a company that has been producing on Broadway and the road for 30 years. Its first big show, 1985’s Big River, a musical based on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was built under Neil’s supervision. “What distinguishes him in this world,” David added, “is his ability to talk to anyone, from the stagehand to the producer.” The set and other technical aspects of a Broadway production account for anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of its total budget, David said, so the performance of an outfit like Hudson Scenic
The shoe being constructed for Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Photo courtesy of Hudson Scenic.
becomes a crucial element in a show’s success. With the potential paydays so huge—a big project can mean as much as $1.8 million to the firm—the pressure to execute what the producers expect can be extraordinary. This is especially so given the fact that sets are ever more automated, ever more susceptible to confounding glitches. Though he’s worked with most of the great designers of our time—from Julie Taymor to Robin Wagner, from John Lee Beatty ’73 to Santo Loquasto ’72—his is not an aesthetic responsibility. “No one is interested in my opinion,” the self-effacing Neil said as he talked about his career in his unpretentious office, a room more like a den than an executive suite. “I’m not high enough on the food chain.” Still, in more than 30 years of examining shows at the hammerand-nail level, he’s acquired a rarefied knowledge of what works on a stage—and certainly, what doesn’t. He recalled, for example, his warnings to the director and stage manager of the 2005 Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross after they decided that the custom-made aquariums on Loquasto’s Chinese restaurant set had to be filled with water before being rolled onto the stage. “I said, ‘I’m not letting you guys put water in the fish tank,” Neil said. “‘It’s going to explode.’ ” The danger, he explained, was that the undulation of the water as it was rapidly wheeled on and off couldn’t be prevented and the increasingly violent movement of the liquid would lead to disaster. As Neil characterized it, no one was interested in his opinion. “They said, ‘Let’s go for it.’” And when they did, Neil heard the results with his own ears. “The fish tank,” he said, “exploded.”
Around blinking buses and exploding aquariums does a setbuilder’s life revolve. Neil, a Staten Island native, got his start in the early ‘70s working backstage Off Broadway and occasionally onstage, as an actor. He’d initially imagined a life as a writer for The New Yorker and attended an upstate branch of the State University of New York to achieve that goal. A little bit of the liberal arts persuaded him otherwise. “Everybody has that unfinished book in them,” he said. “I have several.” He’d liked the theatre but didn’t become serious about it until he’d settled back in the city and begun working for adventurous companies like the WPA and the Chelsea Theater Center—the organization that would change his life. He learned on the job about stage management, about being an electrician. Michael David, who also taught at YSD and was Chelsea’s executive director, urged Neil to apply to Yale School of Drama’s Technical Design and Production program. “He had distinguished himself in our little nonprofit family,” David said, “and it seemed Yale was not an unreasonable place for Neil to go both for what you’d learn and who you’d meet.” David wrote a letter of recommendation, and Neil was accepted into the program from the waiting list. “There were a lot of things that I learned that I’d never done before,” he said of his three years in New Haven, studying design and production. “It was about getting an education and becoming part of a network that would lead somewhere.” The contacts he made at Yale would be instrumental all through the years, both personally and professionally. Not only would mentors such as Michael David remain in his network, but he also found the men at the School who would become his lifelong friends:
The finished shoe for Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Photo courtesy of Hudson Scenic.
On such occasions are fates cemented. Although in the ensuing years the cycles of business on Broadway would dip down and up and then down again, Hudson would survive, even prosper, on the strength of its work and Neil’s reputation as Mr. Reliable. “You know how many times I’m asked to do things that can’t be done?” Neil observed, his voice trailing off. He knows that his livelihood depends on being a credible navigator of the channels separating designers, producers and handymen. “Part of our job is understanding that the audience always needs to know where they are,” he said. “You watch Waiting for Godot and you see a tree and a stone, and you know exactly where you are.” John Lee Beatty, the Tony-winning set designer, remarked about his collaborations with Neil: “The simple version is, I’m responsible for what the front looks like, and he is responsible for the back. And the front should be attractive and the back shouldn’t fall down.” More subtly, however, Neil fulfills another role. “The thing you should know about Neil,” Beatty said, “is that he’s sort of the Daddy shop owner for Broadway. There’s a lot of tough stuff and a lot of nervous people out there that Neil takes care of.” Julie Taymor was one of them. He worked with her on another
obscure wisp of a show called The Lion King. At one point, the show’s producers at the Walt Disney Company flew Neil to London for a meeting with the director, because, they told him, “You’re the only one who can talk to Julie.” You can see, in Neil’s disarmingly egalitarian manner, why that might be true. He remembers calling her out when he had to, as on the occasions when she would offer suggestions that she considered revolutionary but that Neil knew as variations on practices already tried and true. “ ‘How come,’ ” Neil recalls asking her, “ ‘when I have a good idea, it’s old, and when you have an old idea, it’s good?’ ”
Neil’s stories never come across as mean-spirited; they’re told with the confidence of a guy who likes what he does and with whom he gets to do it. John Lee Beatty laughed when he said he felt guilty around Neil. “He seems to love the theatre so much more than me!” (Their latest projects together were Manhattan Theatre Club’s Good People and the Broadway transfer of Jon Robin Baitz’s comedy-drama, Other Desert Cities, after its wellreceived run earlier this year at Lincoln Center Theater.) In the theatre, Neil found an even more profound love: the actress and singer Laurie Beechman, whom he married in 1992 and who died of cancer six years later. Beechman, nominated for a Tony for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, was perhaps best known for a lengthy Broadway stint as Grizabella in Cats, and her rendition of “Memory” is a version considered by many the definitive one. After her death, Neil produced a documentary about her, and he gently pressed a DVD of it into the hands of this visitor. Surrounded by theatre books and other Broadway mementos—a sign in his office reads, “Nobody Gets In To See The Wizard”—Neil has designed on the Yonkers waterfront his own notion of Oz. Broadway’s elite regularly makes the trip up out of the city to see the sets that Neil insists must be set up in his space before approving them for theirs. And there is always the next project to line up. At the moment, he was looking over the plans for a revival in Cambridge, MA, of Porgy and Bess with Audra McDonald that afterward goes to Broadway. Soon he was on the phone to the production stage manager, to figure out when he’d have to have the sets finished. “When is Audra available?” Neil asked, as he jotted down possible dates for moving into the theater. A few minutes later the project’s parameters were effectively set in Neil’s mind. “I have enough information,” he declared crisply into the receiver. “Let me take it from there.” Y Peter Marks is the chief theater critic for the Washington Post.
Photos courtesy of Hudson Scenic.
actor Mark Linn-Baker ’79, yc ’76 and comedian Lewis Black ’77, who was in the playwriting program. With several partners he opened Hudson Scenic in October 1980, and as the mini-industry in which sets were built went through a series of compressions and retrenchments, his business grew. There were hits to work on—“We built the boat for Cats,” he noted—and unanticipated calamities. Moose Murders, Neil said, his eyes rolling at his mention of one of the most notorious bombs of the ‘80s. The huge break for Hudson can be summed up in two French words: Les and Miserables. The groundbreaking 1987 show—whose trademark minimalist look was the turntable on which its teeming scenes and characters spun—was secured by Neil after another, more established shop opted to take on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s kinetic Starlight Express instead. “That decision to give us Les Miz was the beginning of changing the industry,” Neil said. The success of the mega-musical propelled Hudson into the advantageous orbit of producer Cameron Mackintosh. At the time, there was nobody on Broadway thinking as big—or churning out quite so many blockbusters. And the next one he was contemplating was a modest little property about a half-masked romantic anti-hero who haunted a Paris opera house—one with deadly chandeliers. As Neil tells it, co-producers Mackintosh and Lloyd Webber would divvy up the various tasks involved in readying Phantom for Broadway. And fortunately for Hudson, Mackintosh chose the production’s general manager, Alan Wasser, who hired Hudson.
The set for Billy Elliott during construction. (opposite) Phantom of the Opera proscenium.
By Baker Bred: Maurine Watkins at Yale By Catherine Sheehy ’92, dfa ’99 (Faculty)
Maurine Watkins, the enigmatic author of the original play Chicago, left a file of documents in the YSD archives that tell the story of writing the play at Yale.
Having created one of the most vibrant, uninhibited characters of the 1920s, she sought to bury herself in an unmarked grave. Having wooed and won success, she wed herself to obscurity beneath veils both figurative and literal. A prim, gifted daughter of Indiana, she abandoned graduate study in classics at Radcliffe for a byline at the Chicago Tribune to cover the murder beat, including the trials of Leopold and Loeb, who got life, and a parade of jazz babies, who got off. (If in the latter you scent a Bob Fosse musical, give yourself a cigar!) Maurine Watkins was paradox personified, and her file in the Drama School archives makes for fascinating reading. The year was 1925, and Watkins was in on the ground floor: George Pierce Baker had just brought his famous 47 Workshop from Harvard to the Yale Department of Fine Arts at 52 Hillhouse Avenue. Though a former Radcliffe student and a denizen of “47” in 1920–1921, Watkins wasn’t sure where Yale was in Connecticut (an early inquiry about admission was dispatched to Hartford), but she knew Baker was there, and Quo Vadis-like, that’s where she wanted to be—at least so far as matriculation went. New Haven itself was another story. Watkins commuted to Yale from New York despite constant promises that if the residency requirement were to be waived for just a little while, she’d get around to making an Elm City nest. She pleaded penury, work (she was an editor at Macmillan), enervation, and convenience (all those meetings with potential, and then very
real, producers would be impossible otherwise). An index card lists both a now-quaint SUsquehanna 7-1858 phone number, where the department secretary could reach her if class wasn’t going to meet, and a host of New York City addresses. Thus Baker’s indulgence proved the genesis of a rich correspondence. Her most frequent, indeed insistent, question to Baker was, “What do you think?” Often a plea for actual advice, but sometimes a suit for forgiveness for a past action (missing class) or one proposed but already unavoidable (missing class), sometimes a come-on for praise, the question leaves no doubt Watkins thought the world of Baker. In one note that addresses him as “Dear Teacher” she calls him “a divining rod for truth.” She requests (then requests again, in her next letter) a picture of Baker: “I’m starting my gallery of People-whohave-influenced-me, with you.” And while Baker was clearly fond and flattered, there is evidence of an occasionally frayed patience at her insecurity, but more often his correspondence with his anxious pupil exibits genuine warmth; to her query about whether she was really welcome to the Workshop, he assures her, “I’m counting on you.” A good deal of the advice she seeks revolves around the play that was to become Chicago. Called variously The Jazz Slayer, The Brave Little Woman, Play Ball (for the cooperation that corruption required in order to flourish in the Windy City), The Press Presents and (least compelling) Getting Away with Murder, it was minted in Baker’s class,
and she frequently sought his advice about navigating the minefields of her first Broadway production. Unsurprisingly, casting Roxie Hart was the knottiest problem. Watkins’ correspondence on the subject becomes a who’s who of refusals: Jeanne Eagels began rehearsing but threw it over just before a New Haven tryout because she “decided, as I expected, that although she liked the part, the play, etc., she could not give up her audience by an unsympathetic role (advise your students to mold their parts for Lilian Gish).” Watkins wanted Francine Larrimore, who would eventually land the part but was not a favorite of the producer (“she’s Jewish and looks it”) or Watkins’ agent, who was “pained at my low taste, as Francine would ‘lower the tone of the production.’ (Roxie may be a perfect lady by the time it’s over.)” Other near misses for the homicidal beauty were Alice Brady, who got another play; Fay Bainter, who had lost her girlish figure to maternity, and the most intriguingly wrongheaded idea, Tallulah Bankhead, who was busy in London. However, now it can be told: The true, original Roxie was Baker himself, who read workshop plays aloud to the class! Charmingly, Watkins enthuses, “I always see [Francine], but hear you!” In fact, in a note apologizing for having missed class in March 1926, she assures Baker, “I’d rather hear you read a play than see 99 out of 100 productions.” Baker’s mentorship did not end when the bell rang or the curtain rose. Chicago opened at the Music Box on December 30, 1926, and
a week later he sent a two-page confidential letter telling Watkins what he thought needed addressing in the production. And though the notices had been genuinely positive, with the New York Times calling the play “the 20th-century hit,” there were detractors, even from within the Ivy aerie. John Clark Archer of Yale’s Divinity School seethed through the first act, grabbed his hat, and made for his desk to dash off a screed eventually picked up by both the Times and the Tribune, branding Chicago “vile, immoral, and blasphemous.” The item spurred letters to Baker and a telegram requesting comment from the Evening Post. He simply urged all of Watkins’ detractors to “go see the play.” Chicago received the highest grade ever given in Baker’s class—98 percent. And though Maurine Watkins reenrolled for the next year, she left halfway through to work on another Broadway play. By June 1927, Baker is cabling her, “Are you working terribly hard that we have heard nothing from you in so long?” Come November 1928, she’s holed up in Canada, so Baker writes that she must get another play up to preserve her New York reputation. She never does (though she worked in Hollywood for a while before becoming a true recluse). Finally, with touching symmetry, Baker writes to Watkins in 1929, requesting an autographed picture “to decorate the walls of my study.” The file doesn’t indicate that she ever sent it. Y
viva By Barry Jay Kaplan
The kind of training Yale provides its Technical Design and Production students is arguably the best in the country, and certainly that is the perception in the field. Ben Sammler ’74 (Faculty) points out that in the 16 years since the inception of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology’s awards in Scenic Technology and Technical Production, YSD graduates have received three-quarters of them. “In school we introduce people to technology and management, an introduction into principles,” Ben says. “When they are at the school, we ask them every year: what makes you happiest? What makes you look forward to the day? Is it sitting at a computer figuring out how something will work? Or is it working together interpreting and supporting a designer’s ideas? To do this, you have to have confidence in what you’re saying, even in saying, ‘I don’t know’ and accepting that that is a legitimate thing to say. Or are you more at home at your desk, your computer, figuring out how to produce?”
as Vegas needs no explanation that hasn’t already been given. It defies original description. It’s the city America loves to revile and can’t help revisiting, an over-the-top example of conspicuous tastelessness, unrestrained ambition and unbridled consumerism in the middle of a desert, a sybarite’s playground of guilty pleasure, once a potent symbol of glamour and vice, flaunting disreputability and crime in the glow of the world’s largest supply of neon lights, a monument to family fun and at the same time the go-to place for theme marriages and quick divorces. So what’s all this sequined razzle-dazzle got to do with the Yale School of Drama? The combination of modern Las Vegas as a man-made homage to crude excess—built out of sand, ambition and greed in the 1950s—and the ivied walls of Yale University that date back to 1701 is unlikely, dubious, an odd match, an unnatural fit. In fact the two are—in look, aesthetic, purpose and population—absolutely antithetical. Las Vegas has assumed a place in American culture that stands for all that is overblown, hyperbolic, disposable, commercial and even of questionable morality about the ways in which Americans find their pleasure. Yale stands for history, discretion, a combination of Yankee tradition and European roots, brilliance, artistry, the elite of American seriousness about itself and its culture. Yale has existed for centuries and has deep roots in the American consciousness; by comparison Las Vegas, which celebrated its 75th year in 2011, is a pioneer outpost. Given all the ways in which they don’t come together, what is the explanation for the fact that there seems to be a direct pipeline from the technical departments at the corner of York and Chapel to the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road? In other words: what are so many Yale School of Drama alumni doing in Las Vegas, and why are they having such a good time?
A character glides across the pool in O. Photo by Véronique Vial. YSD 2011–12
Some people go to Las Vegas because of the scale of projects, the complexity of the technology. The largest contingent of TD&P graduates go to work at LORT theatres, in schools, or with opera companies because they’re interested in live performances. The ones who go to Las Vegas go because of their fascination with spectacle and the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art technology. They work for companies that supply equipment and stage technologies for large shows and productions. Out in the desert, twenty minutes from the neon-lit Strip, via a straightaway with a 75mph speed limit, surrounded by distant mountains and next door to the Richard Perry Racetrack, sits an industrial park that houses Fisher Technical Services, an automation company that uses motion control and projections and builds the software that controls them. “We use everything we learned at Yale,” says David Calica ’08, who came to Fisher right after he graduated from Yale. “Our training was great preparation for the challenges we’re asked to face. Once the design is built, we make sure it runs and keeps the pieces and parts moving. Solve the problem and do it efficiently. Get the light plot and set it up in the theatre.” What he learned at Yale was particularly useful in technical management, says David’s coworker Jonathan Willis ’08. “When we worked on Spiderman, it was all computer driven. Our equipment is flying the performers and controlling everything on the stage that moves. We were brought in very early and did all the flying, all the rigging and all the controls.” Another example of the technical challenges they faced at Fisher was the chandelier for the Las Vegas production of Phantom of the Opera. “It’s the most sophisticated piece of theatre equipment in Las Vegas,” Jonathan says. “We designed 3D software to control the chandelier that, for the first time, was constructed in four separate tiers. The software knows where all four pieces of the chandelier are in space … flying over the audience on cables … using tracks and winches … 32 different axes of motion. Each tier goes up and down and tilts. This required a lot of programming, considering that the chandelier in the original Broadway version was simply one piece on a pendulum.” This kind of work is precisely why David moved to Las Vegas; while at YSD, he had interned at Fisher and saw the possibilities. Though he still deals with artists, he says it is not the same kind of collaboration he experienced when he worked in regional theatres. “Here it’s: ‘this is what I want to happen.’ In the theatre it’s: ‘can we collaborate and make this happen?’ ” The stage-machinery program was what initially drew Jonathan to Yale. “At that time I didn’t know if it was regional theatre or somewhere else I wanted to be,” he says. “I did a lot of lighting for corporate events, but I didn’t want to be a lighting designer.” In Las Vegas, unlike New York theatres, historical buildings are not a problem. “If it’s twenty years old, it’s time to tear it down,” David says. “There’s no retrofitting.” While the work is exciting and challenging, both men agree that living in Las Vegas presents its own set of challenges. “Yes, there’s
more culture in New York,” David says. “There are little nuggets here, but you have to search them out.” And the cultural treasures in Los Angeles, only 270 miles away, largely means working in film, which they do occasionally, but as Jonathan says, “With rigging on movies there’s lots of time just sitting around. Plus, you’re just being jobbed in. There is no ongoing entity.” Some graduates gravitate toward established producing organizations, meaning: steady employment. In another industrial park not too far from the Strip, Kristan (Tan) Wells ’05 and Shawn Senavinin ’06 work at Freeman AVS, a group of companies whose focus is the trade-show industry, producing corporate and association events, product launches, academic presentations and large-size room events including audio/camera, as well as headliner events. Tan is production-services manager and Shawn is production manager. To Shawn, the work is “everything we do in the theatre but expanded.” He began as an intern at Seattle Repertory Theatre under artistic director Dan Sullivan and was part of the team that brought Bill Irwin to Broadway in Scapin. “I was a shop guy in college,” he says. “I could do everything, so I tried stage management.” He worked on Broadway shows for a few years, including Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Producers. The decision to move to Las Vegas—and the decision to stay there—was one he and his wife made after a lot of deliberation. “We decided not to pursue theatre after graduation but to go toward Cirque du Soleil or industrials,” he explains. “I didn’t want to go back to New York theatre after Yale. I had been gone for six years, and I’d have to start over. It was heresy at Yale to talk about money, but we make more here than anywhere except Broadway, and that’s just too hard to get into, and it takes years to make money, and there’s so much uncertainty.” Shawn admits that there is something missing about his work life. “I loved working with artists. I miss that … as tough as it can be.” Tan, once William Reynolds’s ’77 (Faculty) assistant, came to a similar decision. “In my twenties, theatre was my life,” she says, cradling her six-week-old son in her arms—“Freeman is a babyfriendly place,” she adds—“but as you get older, you wonder, can I do this all day?” Wondering if she and her family could have a normal life in Las Vegas, Tan learned that of the two million or so people living in the Las Vegas valley, fewer than 1 percent live on the Strip. And, she began to see Las Vegas as a town that could support two production jobs. Tan and husband Nathaniel Wells ’06 are part of a community. “Plus there’s a different standard of living than in New York. We were able to buy a house. We had kids. It’s easy to live in Las Vegas. No state taxes. A great infrastructure. There’s a lot of real life outside the Strip.” And there is the security of steady work, “100 percent of technical-design people are working in directly related fields, a case not necessarily true for the artists,” Shawn says. Referring to the nontheatrical nature of their work at Freeman, Tan adds: “With conventions, product launches, fashion shows, award shows, there
Aerialists high above the pool at a performance of O. Photo by Tomasz Rossa.
Horizontal stage at KA in process of becoming a 90 degree vertical. Photo by Nils Becker
is the same equipment, the same designers. This is what used to be called ‘corporate theatre.’ The stage managers and TD&Ps find Vegas very attractive. They love high production values, and the companies that serve them, like Freeman and Fisher, are based in Vegas.” Neither Tan nor Shawn see—or if they do, they are not bothered by—an aesthetic disconnect between the theatre and corporate theatre. “In technical design and production you learn tech principles to work in the theatre. In corporate theatre you need a different kind of artistry,” Tan says. “But Cirque dancers are no different from the dancers in Arts & Ideas in New Haven. It’s presenting theatre.” Shawn agrees: “Doing this work, I use all the skills I learned at Yale.” Other Yale alumni have also come and stayed: Scott Hansen ’99, technical director at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, is currently weighing the option of buying a house now that real-estate deals are there for the taking. Tracey Stark ’94, the head carpenter and safetycommittee chairperson for Cirque du Soleil’s underwater epic O, and her partner, Bonnie McDonald Stark ’93, recently had a baby; they appreciate the 24-hour daycare supplied by the MGM Grand Hotel, since Tracey works the five-to-midnight shift. After earning an MFA from Yale, Brackley Frayer ’80 worked all over the country as a lighting designer, taught at Dartmouth College, West Virginia University and the University of Florida and finally settled in Las Vegas, for many of the same reasons as Tan
and Shawn. He is chairman and head of lighting design at UNLV, where he has been for 16 years. He sees his job as something of an extension of the training he received at Yale. “Ours is a popular program for technical design” Brackley says. “We’re a draw because prospective students know we’re trained at Yale. The perception is that Yale is too great, and they won’t get in. And it’s true that Yale has the best tech education in the USA. I tell my students: Yale has the great professional designers on the faculty, plus visiting teachers who are the best in sound and projection, plus its proximity to New York. By comparison, we have quite a few faculty members that are Yale-trained, and UNLV is one mile from the best laboratory in the country: the Strip.” Having a job on the Strip is something else entirely. Nathaniel Wells works at Zumanity in the MGM Grand Hotel. The show is billed as the sensual Cirque du Soleil, its first adult-themed show, part burlesque, part cabaret, provocative and sexy, with sensational acrobatic daring. The entrance to Zumanity is designed in hot reds and art-nouveau swirls, brothel-like, to establish the atmosphere of sensuality that is the hallmark of this particular Cirque show. As Nathaniel explains, “Cirque employs the concept of ‘contamination.’ This means they begin to create the mood of the show the moment the customer steps through the doors. The hotel and casino disappear, the mood is set even before the show begins. Inside the theatre the
Nathaniel Wells ’06 in the control room at Zumanity.
the production.” Ray points out that, by contrast, Spiderman cost $65 million and “is unsustainable. Here the runs are guaranteed for ten years, and the contracts are always extended. There are extensive benefits, healthcare, medical coverage. And there is no state tax.” On the other hand, you can go home again. Grace O’Brien ’04 saw a Cirque performance in Orlando and decided that would be a great place to work. Through a well-placed call from Mary Hunter (Faculty) she landed a summer internship. Grace served on the stagemanagement team for KA during its creation and early run, but the reality of life in Las Vegas did not turn out to be as she had hoped. “Ultimately, it came down to wanting to be near my extended family in the East,” she says. “Life in Las Vegas was fun before I had a child, but I saw a much greater potential for him in Connecticut.” And so the fall of 2010 found her happily back at Yale, working as Ben Sammler’s administrative assistant.
floors are carpeted with images of reclining nudes. The front rows are a series of red-velvet two-seater sofas.” Nathaniel ascends to his position high above the stage floor in the control booth, where he sits at a console, managing the automation, one eye on the controls, the other on the stage. He is in direct communication with the stage managers backstage, so that if a hole is opening on the floor and he sees a performer about to fall into it, he can alert the stage manager and an accident can be averted. Nathaniel came to Las Vegas after serving a post-Yale internship in London with Stage Tech. When the company began operations in Las Vegas, he was hired to go along. His work had him flying all over the world. Once he married Tan and they started a family, his priorities changed. Echoing the sentiments of his wife, he says, “I wanted a job that was set and predictable.” Nathaniel’s training at Yale in hydraulics and automation was superb preparation for his job at Cirque. “Alan Hendrickson’s ’83 (Faculty) course work speaks directly to what I’m doing now,” he says. “What I learned at Yale is the basis for all theatre automation.” Alan specialized in tech management. “Ben Sammler would understand the application of all our training.” As director of technical operations and theatre projects manager of Cirque du Soleil, Raymond Forton ’85 has a deep and wide appreciation of the opportunities that abound in technical production. Ray was at the Guthrie Theatre for thirteen years, ten as technical director. He loved the Guthrie but says that coming to Cirque was the ultimate progression. “The budgets were smaller there than they are here, but the problems are the same,” he says. “Just add a few zeroes.” It has been thrilling to work on a scale that is grander than a theatre could ever achieve. The show he is supervising now is KA, and it is epic in scope, directed by Robert Le Page, who just directed a production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera. Ray started with Cirque in Orlando, controlling installation of the shows, then came to the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas to oversee the building of KA at a cost of $200 million. “The theatre was built to the specifications of the show, and there is a huge range of what you can do artistically,” he explains. “The space was gutted, the floor was removed, the land dug deeper to accommodate the new theatre and the development of the theatrical systems to support
It is not too much of a leap to posit that graduates of Yale School of Drama’s Technical Design and Production Department have blazed a trail from York Street to the Vegas Strip and found there a kind of paradise of technical and design opportunity. If the alternatives are the commercial theatre and nonprofit theatre, where there is little money for the kind of lavish production values Las Vegas routinely stages, how can that not have an impact on a TD&P’s career choices? Imagine the satisfaction of working in a place where production values are at the very least as highly valued as every other aspect of theatre. And so a relationship that at first glance seemed unpropitious, ungainly, an aesthetically disharmonious fit, seems, on closer look, to have more of a shot at a long-term marriage than most of the ones performed at the wedding chapels on the Strip. Viva Las Vegas! Y
Several YSD alumni in Las Vegas recently gathered at Fiamma restaurant in the MGM Grand. (Left to right) Scott Hansen ’99, Happy Frayer, David Calica ’08, Brackley Frayer ’80; Bonnie McDonald Stark ’93, Tracy Stark ’94, Nathaniel Wells ’06, Deborah Berman, Barry Kaplan and Shawn Senavinin ’06.
“ I know people are going to watch and say, ‘This piece of *@!& is a Yale graduate? All you do is travel and eat!’”
Adam Richman ’03 Photo © The Travel Channel
Adam Richman: Alive and Eating by Mark Blankenship ‘05
It’s not always obvious, but Adam Richman ’03 acts for a living. 2008 saw the premiere of Man v. Food, a reality series on the Travel Channel that sent him on “eating challenges” around the country. If a diner served a 12-pound hamburger, Adam would eat it in under an hour. If a rib joint promised the world’s deadliest hot sauce, he’d swallow two pints in twenty minutes. It probably horrified nutritionists, but the series made Adam a star. He’s now a talk-show regular, a published author, and the host of another Travel Channel show, a playful newsmagazine called The Traveler’s Guide to Life. Those achievements underscore Adam’s value to Man v. Food: his personality has turned it from a purely gluttonous spectacle into the story of a relatable guy who’s living an American fantasy of consumption. Adam’s appeal is even more important in the show’s fourth season, whose June premiere was set in New Haven. Now called Man v. Food Nation, the revamped series has Adam reporting on the cuisine in various cities and mentoring average Americans as they (instead of the host) face a local restaurant’s eating challenge. But despite the program’s easy appeal, Adam is not just showing up and being himself. Sure, he really is friendly and assured, he really loves food, but it takes more than that to host a show. It takes the training he received in the acting program at theYale School of Drama. “Pushing out that much text for twelve hours, doing my voice-over sessions, that’s all breath support and articulation; there are direct corollaries to how I learned to create a solid vocal technique,” Adam says. “Even in the talk-show appearances I’ve done—doing Conan, doing Leno—it’s ultimately still a show. It’s presentational as opposed to representational, but you still have to stay open to the audience. You have to learn your lines and be ‘that guy.’”
Adam also has had to master “artificial spontaneity.” If he’s interviewing a line cook and someone drops a tray of dishes, then he refilms the conversation as if for the first time. If he greets the people in a crowded restaurant and the boom mic slides into frame, then he greets them all over again. That’s taught him the danger of overthinking. “One can be too clever for one’s own good,” he says. “It’s very easy to create this great bag of tricks that you can draw on. In the very beginning, I’d come up with a really clever joke, and I’d hammer that son of a bitch so much, and it never really worked. When I honestly found myself just being open to reactions, it was me using what Evan Yionoulis ’85, yc ’82 (Faculty) taught me.” While Adam’s “legit” credits include roles in Joan of Arcadia and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, he accepts the reality that most people will never notice his acting work in Man v. Food. He laughs, “I know people are going to watch and say, ‘This piece of *@!& is a Yale graduate? All you do is travel and eat!’ But if what people are seeing is a man eating food on a show called Man v. Food, then that’s probably the right thing. If that’s all they’re seeing, then I’m doing my job well.” Even though Yale prepared Adam for his job, it didn’t prepare him for the fame that came with it. “It’s a dance that I am not yet as good at as I would like to be,” he says. “The show engenders a very visceral response and a very enthusiastic, at points overly enthusiastic, response from fans.” He adds, “But I know that for every fan, that’s job security. For every fan who wants to say, ‘I made two turkeys, why don’t you come over and eat them,’ it means they’re watching and they like it. To be completely honest with you, I couldn’t afford cable until I got on cable, and if someone’s choosing to watch me over the 800 other stations that are on there, then I owe them a debt of gratitude.” Y YSD 2011–12
In and Out of Africa by barry Jay kaplan Drawings from the sketchbook of Edward MOrris â€™13 (set design)
A wall painting outside Parapanda Theatre Lab
Liberation Theology class
Last July, for the first time in Yale’s history, the School of Drama entered into a collaborative effort with the Divinity School to provide students from both schools the opportunity to engage marginalized communities in Tanzania through theatre, music and religion. The schools would work with the Parapanda Theatre Lab Trust, Tanzania’s long-standing theatre company, and its artistic director, Mgugna Mwa Mnyenyelwa, in preparing community workshops and performances. These were intended to help raise awareness and shape public policy and to promote wholeness and well-being in both the participants and the audiences who witnessed the artistic collaboration between Yale and Paparanda. The moving force behind the program was Gamal J. Palmer ’08 who, along with Rebecca Rugg ’00, dfa ’05 (Faculty) had created and taught a course in arts and public health in South Africa and Swaziland as part of Yale’s Summer Program in 2008 and 2009. The experience inspired him: “I was committed to fostering working environments that empower all of those involved in international exchange programs.” Of all the students who applied to participate, eight were chosen: along with Gamal and Fay Simpson (Faculty), from Yale School of Drama, Lileana Blain-Cruz ’12, Winston Duke ’13, Edward Morris ’13, and Kristen Robinson ’13, and from Yale Divinity School Dawn Mays-Hardy (Faculty) and students Jared Gilbert ’12 and Uju Okasi ’13, as well as students Charles Gillespie ’12 and Marilyn Kendrix ’13 from the Institute of Sacred Music. After one week of training in New Haven, the group was off to Tanzania. Excitement and anticipation were coupled with apprehension and nervousness. Would the collaboration with the artists of Parapanda be successful? Would the community welcome them? How would audiences respond to the work? Adding to the uncertainty was the fact that the group landed in Tanzania during a power outage, so that they could see nothing of the terrain. They packed their luggage into a van, guided only by a driver with a flashlight, and boarded a bus to the as yet unseen city. “We drove
Peace Memorial Building
through the dark,” Lileana recalls, “and then there was candlelight glowing along the side of the road. And suddenly the city was there! We were in Dar Es Salaam!” Once the Yale group was settled in—and power was restored— it took only a short time for them to become accustomed to their new and very unfamiliar surroundings. And their doubts about being welcome were put to rest, according to Fay, “by the Tanzanians’ constant curiosity, their virtuosity as artists, and their open generosity as people.” Winston was struck by their sense of community. “Everywhere I went I was called kaka (brother) and the women were called dada (sister). The sense of kinsmanship was clearly seen and felt, welcoming us everywhere we went.” Armed with his sketchbook and watercolors, Edward began documenting the sights he saw. And so the work began. Guided by discussions with religious leaders, ethnomusic historians, storytellers, poets, and public-health administrators, the students set out into the communities of Mabibo and Mburhati. Their mission: canvas the areas, speak to the people about what concerned them most, distill the answers down to the root causes and create a relevant dramatic presentation about these concerns to present to the community members.
Everywhere I went I was called kaka (brother) and the women were called dada (sister). The sense of kinsmanship was clearly seen and felt, welcoming us everywhere we went.
Traditional shirt design
A view of the Halls of Justice
Bumpy ride on the dala dala (bus)
A small sailboat used for fishing and to get goods from Tanzania to Zanzibar
While walking through the villages and speaking to the residents, the group saw some disquieting sights: a little girl playing in the sewage while her mother did her hair, flies swarming around bins of beans and hanging meat, babies playing in the muddy rivulets of trashstrewn sewage coursing through the narrow dirt streets, piles of trash bags lying on corners waiting to be collected. They also heard stories of school buses that won’t pick up a child who cannot pay for the ride, of girls who bribe the school-bus drivers with their bodies, of teachers who are overworked and use corporal punishment to maintain discipline. “We went into the community and asked people what were their biggest concerns,” Gamal says. “The two issues mentioned most often were abuses in the educational system and waste, meaning human waste, garbage and waste management.” Incorporating the
This was theatre meant not just to entertain; it was a theatre of action. Dummers warm up the crowd before the performance begins.
information they had gathered, the group worked with Parapanda’s artists to create an interactive theatre and music piece, the end of which would be to activate the audience into dialogue, spark a rethinking of how they handle these issues and hopefully, put into effect movement toward social change. The students from Yale and the artists from Parapanda devised two fifteen-minute playlets to be performed in the neighborhoods where they had collected the data. The event began with the beating of drums. Then hip-hop musicians arrived. There were drums and whistles, and a man on stilts who helped to create an atmosphere of celebration
and unity. The crowd began to assemble; first the children, then the mothers and fathers and other community members gathered into a bustling circle. The space was roped off, and local entertainer Hambone Charlie warmed up the crowd with his impression of dala dala (the community’s name for a bus). Lileana remembers that at the moment right before the performances began, the energy was electric as audience and performers were filled with anticipation. In one vignette children are seen playing and eating near waste. In the other, a school-bus driver initiates a sexual relationship with a young girl, the scene confronting head on the issue of sexual abuse
Traditional Tarab music group
Jared Gilbert with camera
and the need for parents and educators to exercise more control. For Lileana, one of the most terrifying and fulfilling parts of the experience was acting the role of the main character in one of the plays. “I swore that someone else—someone who could speak Swahili!—would be better playing the part of a young schoolgirl, but the Tanzanians laughed and encouraged me and pushed me as a member of the ensemble. They were the epitome of collaboration. And so there I was—acting! In Swahili! And it was great! Girls in the audience wearing the same school uniform that I was wearing recognized themselves in the story. And it was so much fun to hear the rollicking laughter that erupted from the circle as we imitated the dala dala.” But this was theatre meant not just to entertain; it was a theatre of action. At the moment of climax in each play, the story did not resolve. Instead, the action froze, and what emerged were the conversations, emotions and frustrations from the community. “People in the audience were taking control over their own story,” Lileana explains. “They were debating with each other ways to better their community. They were creating dialogues with the artists on an equal footing. And that was incredible. The diversity of voices, the emotion that rumbled in the voice of a woman who saw herself in a character, the interaction between people in the neighborhood with their community leaders was something that I will never forget.” For Gamal, audience response was gratifyingly positive. “People talked openly about the issues,” he says. “What happens and why, who was at fault, possible solutions. A Muslim sheikh as well as a Christian religious leader, who was also a top-level officer from the community council, participated in the discussion, the first time these two religious and community leaders had been in the same room together to discuss religion and waste management. It was surprising to me that the religious community had not taken on these issues more directly before, particularly since Islam has much to say about cleanliness. But now they were encouraged by the community’s response to the performances. They felt that more people would come to their meetings at which one hundred must be present to enact changes.” The American embassy was pleased with the performance and the
A wall painting outside Parapanda Theatre Lab
Sheikh Abdul, local religious and government leader
A view of the Halls of Justice
ensuing community dialogue and was eager to know how it might support this kind of work in the future.” The heads of the National Arts Council from Tanzania also came to the performances and were so impressed they want to continue the relationship with Yale. The three-week residency was the longest any foreign company had ever worked with Parapanda Theatre Lab Trust. “A lot of red tape had to be gotten through to make this happen,” Gamal says, adding: “The fact that everyone stuck with it in spite of the obstacles, and that it went as well as it did in Tanzania, is a testament to the commitment to social change of both Yale and Parapanda.” Gamal also observed that within the successful outcomes, shared leadership and ethical entry into foreign space continue to be a challenge. “There was more openness now,” he says. “Everyone could see that we were in at the beginning of a new dialogue to join the human spirit of both countries.” Y
Gamal J. Palmer ’08 and friend.
Yale Repertory Theatre
The Season in Review
Yale repertory theatre’s 2010 – 2011 Season
Yale Repertory Theatre has a tradition of presenting a season of plays that expresses the variety and scope of Theatre itself. This year was no exception as audiences saw: Shakespeare’s most enduring love story. A musical version of an American gothic novel. A stage adaptation of an Ingmar Bergman film. A racially charged world premiere. Timeless American classics by August Wilson and Edward Albee. This was Yale Repertory Theatre’s 46th season.
the piano lesson
LeRoy McClain ’04, Charlie Hudson III, Charles Weldon and Keith Randolph Smith in The Piano Lesson by August Wilson, directed by Liesl Tommy. Photo by Joan Marcus.
we have always lived in the castle
Rebecca Henderson and Candy Buckley in the US premiere of Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata, directed by Robert Woodruff. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Jenn Gambese and Sean Palmer in the world premiere musical We Have Always Lived in the Castle, book and lyrics by Adam Bock, music and lyrics by Todd Almond, based on the novel by Shirley Jackson, directed by Anne Kauffman. Photo by Joan Marcus. 36
2010 – 2011
Yale Repertory Theatre
Romeo and Juliet
a delicate balance Irene Lucio ’11 and Joseph Parks ’08 in Romeo and Juliet.
Kathleen Chalfant and Edward Herrmann in Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance, directed by James Bundy. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Malenky Welsh, Ella Joyce and Francesca Choy-Kee in the world premiere of Kirsten Greenidge’s Bossa Nova, directed by Evan Yionoulis ’85, yc ’82 (Faculty). Photo by Joan Marcus.
Yale Repertory Theatre
The Season in Review
Designers Talk About
romeo and Designers Talk Aboutjuliet romeo and juliet
One of the great things about Yale Repertory Theatre is its role as a professional training ground for student designers. In this season’s production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by recent graduate Shana Cooper ’09, all the designers— Jennifer Lynn Jackson ’11, Laura Eckelman ’11, Leon Dobkowski ’11, Po-Lin Li ’11—were current students. We asked each of them to write about how they worked with the director and each other to produce a unified vision of the play.
Jennifer Lynn Jackson ’11, Sound Design
Shana wanted to start the process early to figure out how these people lived and what kind of world they lived in. Beginning in September, we got together at least once a month. We looked at images from Italy and of decrepit buildings and ruins and from that emerged the focus of stone, dirt and heat. Shana stressed the intensity of heat, and we had to figure out how to portray it on stage with sound and light. I had to ask myself, “What does heat sound like?” I always imagine heat equating to insects. Shana wasn’t keen on having typical insect sounds but told me to do whatever I needed to do to add energy to the air. I processed and fiddled with a variety of insect sounds so that they created a strong but indistinct energy. The sounds were subtle and ambient, so that when they disappeared, it felt different but not different enough for an audience member to wonder where the sound effects had gone. The aim was not only to convey heat, intensity and energy, but also to find when it disappeared or heightened. Depending on the scene, I would either use the ambience or take it away. The set helped a lot for sound—we didn’t have to use a single mike. It was probably one of the best sets for acoustics I’ve ever had. While I created ambient effects and designed the system, an outside composer filled in the rest. Shana and the composer talked quite often about intensity of human emotion and passion. They discussed when the music’s tone could change and how those changes could happen without projecting anything. They didn’t want to allude to the tragedy until it actually happened, so they almost followed the play in music as opposed to projecting what the next scene would be about. I had to figure out how to not overtake the composer’s vision while still supporting the world with sounds that had effect. The goal was for the audience to not necessarily notice things until, for example, the tomb scene or the poison monologue of Juliet, when the sound became more obvious. I also had to figure out how to add shape to the composer’s music, which already had its own shape, once in the space in terms of how it was presented, what it sounded like, and where it came from.
Laura Eckelman ’11, lighting design
Romeo and Juliet is a huge piece—physically, emotionally, temporally. Shana and I agreed that the lighting needed to function on the same grand scale as the play itself and that it should follow both the time and place in which events occur as well as their emotional context. So the design became about creating broad expressionistic strokes, sometimes with color, sometimes angles, sometimes compositionally. Shana also made a point about structure that really hit home with me and affected many design choices: Shakespeare’s play doesn’t become a tragedy until Romeo slays Tybalt. Shana really wanted the visual storytelling to underline that descent into darkness and chaos, so starting after intermission we played with overlapping some scenes and highlighting the darker moments in others. This created a sense of foreboding that built and built until we finally landed in the greenish blackness of the tomb.
Henry Stram and Joseph Parks ’08. Photos by T. Charles Erickson
2010 – 2011
Yale Repertory Theatre
Andy Murray, Irene Lucio’11, Joseph Parks ’08, Christopher McHale. Irene Lucio ’11 and Cynthia Mace.
Po Lin Li ’11, Set Design
Leon Dobkowski ’11,,Costume Design
Shana was interested in Shakespeare’s being relatable and understandable to a modern audience, so that was the impetus behind keeping the characters in somewhat modern dress. Out of that sprang the idea that rather than the play being about two different families, it would be more about two different generations and their different ways of looking at love and hate and how those clash. For the costumes we created an older-generation look, which turned out to be postwar Italy high fashion. However, we didn’t want the clothes to say that we were specifically in Verona. It was more important for them to show that we were in some Mediterranean location that was not America. For the adults’ clothes, hair style and hair color implied status and were the outer shell presented to the world. For the younger generation the focus was more on the body. You could see their bodies underneath their clothing, so for them, unlike the adults, clothing was not armor. We emphasized the men’s physical strength, so they were shirtless a lot and wore thin, transparent fabrics draped on their bodies. We tried to make the Capulet boys look a little different from the Montague boys, but we weren’t so concerned with that aspect. The fight scenes didn’t need to be about what families were fighting; they just needed to be big stage pictures of hate. Romeo and Juliet are the two people who don’t quite fit into the roles that they are expected to fill. With 22 people on stage, we had to make sure that you could really pick these two people out. For example, in the party scene Romeo’s gorilla suit let there be no mistaking where he was at any moment. Lady Capulet was a bleached-out blonde whom you could quickly find in this group of people without having to look for her. When an audience doesn’t understand the language, it’s important that they can quickly find the key people.
At the beginning of the process Shana, Leon, Laura and I all agreed that we were not interested in a classic, romantic Romeo and Juliet but rather wanted to create a violent, dangerous and sensual world in which we could highlight the pure love of Romeo and Juliet. We wanted to set it in modern times, somewhere in the Mediterranean, but Shana and I discussed how to illustrate the scenes in a less realistic and more poetic way that still utilized related research material. The building in the production, for example, was based on image research. We wanted to create a world that was neutral but still specific enough to show where we were. We used very few pieces of furniture to dictate location, and the sparseness of the ground floor allowed Shana to define the space however she wanted to. To express the danger and the violence of the world, we used color as well as the scale and structure of the building. We made the floor bright red and the building rusty and crumbling. The set also suggests that here people have been fighting every day for a century. On the two dirt piles were bricks and a pipe, which the Montagues and Capulets use to fight each other. For the balcony scene I had initially thought to fly something down but did not want to ruin the neutrality of the space. We did not want the show to incorporate scene changes; whatever was on stage would stay there. So we can see that the balcony scene is going to happen, but there is still an element of surprise when it does. Leon and I shared research and images and bounced ideas off of each other. He helped me confirm that I wasn’t telling the story from my own point of view. I talked with Laura, the lighting designer, about how lighting would control and define the neutral space I had created, as well as how to use lighting for transitions in lieu of scenic changes. For example, zooming into a small space made the big set seem smaller without the set being moved, while lighting two spaces on stage divided the space into two locations. Laura also used lights to occasionally shift the world from reality into a nightmare, as during Juliet’s monologue before she drinks the poison— Shana was interested in a surreal aspect coming forth.
Yale School of Drama
The Season in Review
Yale school of drama’s 2010 – 2011 Season
What do actors feel about their roles? Where do playwrights find inspiration? How do directors choose what plays to work on? We asked actors, playwrights and directors to answer these questions.
LUPITA NYONG’O ’12 on playing Sonya in Uncle Vanya
Actors Talk About Their
Favorite Roles LUCAS DIXON ’12 on playing Vanya in Uncle Vanya
No theatrical experience to date has affected me more on a cellular level than my time working on Vanya. I was terrified when I learned of my casting, as this was the first time an “iconic” role was entrusted to me. I placed huge stress upon myself to live up to the expectations I assumed came with such roles. But once I got into rehearsals and, under Ron’s glorious guidance, truly allowed the text to live in my body, all of my concerns dissipated and I realized that this was all I could expect of myself. I say “all,” as if allowing another person’s life to invade your own is an easy task and void of costs. But I did learn that if I could allow this, and truly experience the depth of Vanya’s fears and woes and witness the ramifications that such an experience placed on my spirit, and was crazy enough to continue subjecting myself to that pain, well then, I must absolutely love what I do. More importantly, I could earn the right to call myself an artist. Ask me again in 30 years, but at this point I can say that it is all worth it.
When I learned I was cast as Sonya, I panicked. I didn’t understand who she was; how to embody her loving, giving, hopeful nature and her deeply rooted sense of despair and frustration with her unhappy plight. Chekhov wrote with a dependence on the life happening between the lines, which should have been exciting considering the creative freedom it was offering me, but it was at first daunting. Playing Sonya challenged me to do the right kind of homework that would inform the nuances of how I interpreted her story. I had to learn to take everything personally and have a keen appetite for what she wanted. I especially had to learn to get out of my own head and trust myself, the character and the story we were all telling. The key that unlocked Sonya for me was grasping her spirituality. It dawned on me through the “we shall rest” speech at the end that her faith in a better life to come is not what she resorts to after all else fails but is the foundation of her life and her pursuit of love in every scene. With this strong and comforting faith in the unknown, the afterlife, she withstands the disappointment of the present. That was my biggest acting lesson: in order to make the present work on stage, I must have faith in myself and surrender to the unknown, the life after every moment of exchange with my scene partners.
taming of the shrew
twelfth night uncle vanya Lupita Nyong’o ’12 and Max Moore ’11 in Taming of the Shrew. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Lucas Dixon ’12 and Hallie Cooper-Novak ’12 in Uncle Vanya. Photo by Matt Otto ’13
Daniel Binstock ’11 in Twelfth Night. Photo by Matt Otto ’13 Brian Lewis ’12 in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. Photo by Ethan Heard ’13
2010 – 2011
Yale School of Drama
much ado about nothing a streetcar named desire
Miriam Hyman ’12 and Da’Vine Joy Randolph ’11 in Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Charlotte Brathwaite ’11. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Daniel Binstock ’11, Laura Gragtmans ’12, Babak GharaeiTafti ’11, and Alexandra Trow ’12 in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing
ALEXANDRA TROW ’12 on playing Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing
While rehearsing Much Ado, I found great pleasure in borrowing sundry relevant books from Sterling Memorial Library. One of these was Lady Helena Faucit Martin’s On Some of Shakespeare’s Female Characters, first published in 1885. Lady Martin played Beatrice on several occasions in her long and illustrious career and noted that she “could not but admire” Shakespeare’s wittiest creation. This remark buoyed my excitement, until I read her next sentence: “Beatrice has not taken hold of my heart as my other heroines have done. Indeed, there is nothing of the heroine about her, nothing of romance or poetic suggestion in the circumstances of her life.” Reading that gave me pause. I had adored the character of Beatrice quite wholly and perhaps blindly since high school, finding her surface qualities— brilliant repartee and social fluidity and power— totally exhilarating. Was I wrong? Was she, in fact, antiheroic, all razor wit and no real soul? After working on the play last year—with the gift of a great director, dramaturg, cast and design team—I feel, with all due respect to Lady Martin’s sentiments, that Beatrice does take hold of my heart. For me, her sharp wit is the manifestation of her heroic struggle to be extraordinary in the face of the very ordinary. She constantly strives for a life of passionate power in a world where people—women in particular—are expected to be powerlessly pleasant. And in the play’s climactic sequence of crises, when Beatrice suffers the unbearable “undoing” of her adored cousin, Hero, followed immediately by the delightful shock of Benedick’s admission of love, her heroic energy transforms her hurt and confusion and terrible excitement into Herculean action. In no time at all Beatrice’s sheer, unpleasant passion forces her newly beloved to vow to right Hero’s wrong by killing his best friend. So, Lady Martin, I think there is quite a lot of the heroine about Beatrice, not to mention poetry and romance! After all, what could be more romantic than engaging in a battle of the brains with the one person as razor sharp as you, someone who is sometimes—but only very rarely—even faster than you with a provocative double entendre? Of course that kind of romance might not appeal to everyone.… I do like spending time in libraries.
MIRIAM HYMAN ’12 on playing Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire
Blanche Dubois is the classic southern belle. She’s sassy, dignified, blunt, confident, torn apart, a survivor, a widow. She was my next challenge. My transformation into Blanche was joyfully arduous and painfully pleasant. I spent months researching Tennessee Williams and his other great works. I read that of all his characters, Blanche was the one he most identified with. I read that in scene six, when the young bill collector comes to the Kowalski home and finds the coquettish Blanche alone, she interacts with him in an affectionate way, the way she would have imagined her late husband would have. Later we learn that Blanche’s young husband shot himself after she revealed her disgust at him for being homosexual. She blamed herself for his death and her life spiraled out of control from that moment on. Blanche carried a heavy burden on her shoulders. This helped me understand her pain and her desire to survive. During the weeks of rehearsal, I spent the majority of my time as a recluse, not really interacting with anyone except the cast. This was necessary for me because in the world of Streetcar, Blanche was the outsider. Blanche’s habitual routines—like hot baths and constant pampering sessions–became my routines too. Like Blanche, I grew to love the literature of Hawthorne, Whitman and Poe. I memorized all my lines before rehearsal officially began because I wanted her language to become second nature. I didn’t want to act as Blanche but rather to live as Blanche, placing myself in her seat and experiencing her personal roller coaster of emotion, hope, doubt and frustration. I spoke as Blanche in the first person at home and in rehearsal. Every day, I grew closer to Blanche and she to me. We were inseparable. She became me and I became Blanche Dubois. I had six opportunities to breathe life into this individual, and with every performance and every breath I became more drawn into her experience. She became a part of me, and that allowed me to give over to her vulnerabilities while making her plight my own. My last line of the play was “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” and for those six performances, I was the vessel and stranger she depended on to tell her story and live her life. For that I am forever grateful.
Yale School of Drama
The Season in Review
eurydice Directors Talk About Their
Final Projects Michael McQuilken directs Jib
I was on a plane flying home for the winter holiday, and an idea suddenly formed in my head. It was based on a small seed of an idea I had had about personifying spirit guides on stage as a way of showing human beings accepting or rejecting inspiration. In my idea these ghost guides helped living people through the world; the living people were either able to receive the guidance and then notice beautiful things or would reject the guidance and remain unaware of the beauty that surrounds us all. On the plane I thought of a very clear through arc for the character who later became Ben, and this story was the framework to start building upon. I realized that Ben had a particular relationship to inspiration— being self-interested and unable to receive it—so I decided to create characters with different relationships to inspiration in order to provide counterpoints. I had these three separate through lines, and then I found how they affected one another. I wrote the first draft during winter break. I also had the characters use musical ideas without knowing that others were also using the same ones. I used this device to talk about inspiration as an omnipresence we all live in, that doesn’t come from inside a person but from outside; it’s a person’s willingness to look outside of themselves that causes fruitful artistic ideas to emerge. I think that our society puts the onus of coming up with ideas on the individual, whereas I feel that the best ideas are always around us. There are many beautiful things constantly surrounding us that are worth talking about. I wanted to talk about being connected by virtue of the fact that we’re all humans in the world, in ways that we don’t see or truly understand. There is a widening gap between political parties and religions and a huge spike in the number of hate groups in the country. I call it “separatism”: people thinking of their lives as individual pursuits of happiness, as opposed to a collective understanding that if the world is better for everyone, then it’s better for each of us. I don’t have solutions, but I wanted to put forward this conversation: what does it mean to be connected to those around us, and what does it mean to be separated from the world?
Adina Verson ’12, Chris Henry ’12, and Blake Segal ’11 in JIB, written and directed by Michael McQuilken ’11. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Blake Segal ’11, Irene Lucio ’11, and Emily Trask ’11 in Jean Anouilh’s Eurydice, translated by Peter Meyer and directed by Devin Brain ’11. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Devin Brain directs Eurydice by Jean Anouilh
I read the play years ago and was fascinated. Anouilh is writing the play during World War II while France is occupied by Germany, and yet he sets the classical myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in Europe in between the two world wars. He allows the story to come to its well-known conclusion, then adds an entire act in which Orpheus chooses to die. And in the last moments of the play Orpheus and Eurydice are reunited in a perfect kiss while a deathlike figure watches. On one level this is an inversion of the myth: it feels like a happy ending. Yet I found this ending ugly and awful. Whereas most of the relationship between the lovers is melodramatic, filled with fighting and lying, at the end you watch them reunited and perfect, in some ways for the first time. You want them to be happy. This ending was like a splinter, and yet it continued to draw me in. The play is filled with rich philosophical language. Anouilh breaks down the world into two very distinct groups; there are the normal people, who revel in life—they have appetites and affairs and even kill people—and then there are the heroes, who refuse to compromise. He sets these two groups against each other and makes both sides awful: the heroes are so uncompromising that they actually kill the person they’re in love with because they refuse to accept a flaw in “the perfect moment.” The other characters are simply disgusting— grotesque clowns—and yet they are more like most of the people one knows than anyone else in this play. Anouilh challenges the audience to think up a third way of being in the world where you don’t need to die and you don’t need to be corrupt; you need to enjoy the moment and also let it change. This conundrum also kept drawing me back to the play. The thesis project is different from any of the other shows that I’ve worked on at the School. It is an opportunity to evaluate the difficulties that scale brings. Collaboration becomes more difficult when dealing with thousands of dollars. A cast and crew of fifty people require a lot of pre-planning. A big struggle during the process—and with all the forms of collaboration—was the way to strike that balance between how much to plan beforehand and how much to allow to develop along with the artists. I think this project was a success on that level.
2010 – 2011
Yale School of Drama
Playwrights Discuss Their
Plays Passing by Dipika Guha ’11 The Tall Girls by Meg Miroshnik ’11
The Tall Girls began as a “bake-off,” which is an assignment given by Paula Vogel (Faculty) wherein she asks us to write a response to another play as well as a list of other elements. I was assigned Don Juan and Title IX sports. This took me back to a photograph I had seen of my grandfather from 1934, standing as the sole man, a coach, amidst a group of high school girls in starched white basketball uniforms. I was intrigued by the mystery of this part of his life, which I knew nothing about, and also the mystery of that period in history. Then I started thinking about the difference between a sporting event and a theatrical event and how exciting it would be to have actors actually playing a sport on stage – the unpredictability of it and also what it would do to an audience. My hope is that it raises the stakes for the dramatic action of the story. There are plenty of sports plays, and if a playwright writes about baseball, we as an audience have to simply believe that the character is the player he or she claims to be. With basketball, a lot of the action can be moved onto the stage. The audience has tangible proof when a character shoots the ball through the hoop. There’s a moment in The Tall Girls when a character is supposed to be shooting a basket in order to determine whether that character lives or dies. The ball itself really becomes a metaphor for relationships as it gets passed between the various characters in this play.
Sheria Irving ’13 in Blacktop Sky by Christina Anderson ’11, directed by Devin Brain ’11. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Blacktop Sky by Christina Anderson ’11
I wrote Blacktop Sky as a response to the story of Leda and the Swan, in which Zeus sees Leda bathing and transforms himself into a swan to woo her. Accounts differ as to whether or not their encounter was a love scene or a rape. There are plenty of representations of this story in visual art, and it’s interesting to see painters’ takes on whether this was consensual or not. I knew I wanted this story to be in a public space in order to raise the question of witnessing; what would you do if you saw this event take place? A couple of years ago, there was a Puerto Rican Day parade in New York during which some scantily clad women were accosted and violated—their clothes were ripped and water was poured on them. This prompted a debate about whether or not these women “deserved” it. Hundreds of people witnessed this event. I wanted to put that sense of witnessing into Blacktop Sky. The undercurrent of the play is physical danger, a physical narrative about two men and a young woman named Ida, who just graduated from high school. Both males have moments of tenderness with her and also moments of violence. It raises questions about how much we can tolerate as witnesses. When do we feel uncomfortable? Do we take our cues from her? And if she doesn’t know about the danger, then what should we do?
I wrote the play while passing through several countries as a tourist. It emerged from a very immediate response to these new environments, to the museum cultures I observed and to my realization of the shared history of many cultures in relationship to colonization, the shared history of indigenous populations and the strategies that nations use to deal with crimes of the past. Passing is also an homage to Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a book that has haunted me since I read it as a teenager. The Carlotta Festival is special as a moment to look back on how immensely influenced I have been by my colleagues here at YSD. Passing began its life at the Yale Cabaret and is a testament to how graciously my peers shared their gifts over these three years. I’ve been stretched by the writers here and stretched by our writing classes as well as by sharing time with the sound designers, studying clown with the actors and performing in the Cabaret. The courage of the artists here at YSD is infectious. I feel I’m a stronger artist because of my friends and colleagues at the School of Drama who challenge themselves consistently and who have encouraged me to do the same.
Lucas Dixon ’12, Laura Gragtmans ’12, and Molly Bernard ’13 in Passing by Dipika Guha ’11, directed by Charlotte Brathwaite ’11. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
The ensemble of The Tall Girls by Meg Miroshnik ’11, directed by Mike Donahue ’08. Photo by Richard Termine YSD 2010–11
The Season in Review Cab 43 Yale Cabaret’s 2010 – 2011 Season
Violence and beauty. Despair and faith. Terror and laughter. Denial and affirmation. Delicate, grotesque, alarming, uplifting, poignant, tragic, hilarious. Yale Cabaret’s 43rd season. Typical.
Photos by Nick Thigpen
vaska vaska glom Seamus Mulcahy ’12, Adina Verson ’12, and Sarah Sokolovic ’11 in Vaska Vaska Glom, written by Stéphanie Hayes ’11, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz ’12.
2010 – 2011
pleasured A scene from pleasureD, conceived and performed by Molly Bernard ’13, Adina Verson ’12, and Stéphanie Hayes ’11.
dorian gray Kristen Robinson ’13, Maria Hooper ’13, and Meredith Ries ’13 in Dorian Gray, adapted from Oscar Wilde, conceived and directed by Adam Rigg ’13.
wedding reception Colin Mannex ’10, dfa ’13, Emily Reilly ’13, Martyna Majok ’12 and Babak Gharaei-Tafti ’11 in The Wedding Reception, directed by Alex Mihail ’12.
the other shore Babak Gharaei-Tafti ’11 in The Other Shore, directed by Cheng-Han Wu ’12.
Congratulations to our newest alumni— the Class of 2011! Master of Fine Arts/ Certificate in Drama Acting Tomas Andrén Matthew Biagini Daniel Binstock Leodis Byers Brett Dalton Babak Gharaei-Tafti Stéphanie Hayes Marcus Henderson Alexandra Henrikson Benjamin Horner Andrew Kelsey Irene Lucio Max Moore Da’Vine Joy Randolph Blake Segal Sarah Sokolovic Shannon Sullivan Emily Trask Design Dede Ayite Leon Dobkowski Laura Eckelman Alan Edwards Jung Griffin Summer Jack Sang-Hee Kim Po-Lin Li Aaron Mastin Ana Milosevic Chien-yu Peng Jennifer Salim Sound Design Jennifer Lynn Jackson Aaron Chad Raines Michael Skinner Directing Devin Brain Charlotte Brathwaite Michael McQuilken
Dramaturgy Ryan Davis Tanya Dean Anne Erbe Hannah Montgomery Ali Pour Issa Playwriting Christina Anderson Dipika Guha Margaret Miroshnik Stage Management Allison Johnson Lee Micklin Kirsten Parker Lindsey Turteltaub Technical Design & Production Steven Albert Erich Bolton Hsiao-Ya Chen Brian Dambacher Justin Elie Ryan Hales Steve Henson Sandra Jervey Bona Lee Steven Schmidt James Zwicky Theater Management Suzanne Appel Elizabeth Elliott Martha Jurczak Tara Kayton Susan Kim Jennifer Newman Art Priromprintr Technical Internship Certificate Michael Backhaus April Chateauneuf Orlando Chavez Allison Jackson Amy Jonas Nikki Mills Keny Thomason Jackie Young
Charlotte Brathwaite ’11, Marcus Henderson ’11, Da’Vine Joy Randolph ’11, Christina Anderson ’11.
GRADUATION PRIZES Prizes are given each year to members of the graduating class as designated by the faculty.
ASCAP Cole Porter Prize Christina Anderson Dipika Guha Margaret Miroshnik Edward C. Cole Memorial Award Ryan Hales John W. Gassner Memorial Prize Anne Erbe Bert Gruver Memorial Prize Lee Micklin Allen M. and Hildred L. Harvey Prize Erich Bolton Morris J. Kaplan Prize Martha Jurczak Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize Charlotte Brathwaite Jay and Rhonda Keene Prize Jennifer Salim
Leo Lerman Graduate Fellowship in Design Leon Dobkowski Dexter Wood Luke Memorial Prize Alan Edwards Donald and Zorka Oenslager Fellowship Po-Lin Li Chien-yu Peng Pierre-André Salim Prize Devin Brain The Frieda Shaw, Dr. Diana Mason OBE, and Denise Suttor Prize for Sound Design Aaron Chad Raines Oliver Thorndike Acting Award Daniel Binstock George C. White Prize Jennifer Newman Herschel Williams Prize Irene Lucio Max Moore
YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA FELLOWSHIPS AND SCHOLARSHIPS The recipients for the 2010–2011 Academic Year were:
John Badham Scholarship Charlotte Brathwaite ’11 The John Badham Scholarship in Directing Michael McQuilken ’11 The Mark Bailey Scholarship Justin Elie ’11 The George Pierce Baker Memorial Scholarship Ryan Davis ’11 Anne Seiwerath ’12 The Herbert H. and Patricia M. Brodkin Scholarship Laura Gragtmans ’12 The Patricia M. Brodkin Memorial Scholarship Lee Micklin ’11 Kirsten Parker ’11 The Virginia Brown Martin Scholarship Emily Trask ’11 The Paul Carter Scholarship Steven Schmidt ’11 Nicholas G. Ciriello Endowed Scholarship Fund Ryan Hales ’11 The Caris Corfman Scholarship for Students at Yale School of Drama Hallie Cooper-Novack ’12
The Eldon Elder Fellowship Bona Lee ’11 Chi-Chieh (Julia) Lee ’12 Hyun Seung (Nina) Lee ’12 Kee-Yoon Nahm ’12 Lupita Nyong’o ’12 Junghoon Pi ’12 Yi Zhao ’12 The Sylvia Fine Kaye Scholarship Fund Lucas Dixon ’12 Wesley Fata Scholarship Fund Michael Place ’12 The Foster Family Graduate Fellowship Alexandra Trow ’12 The Annie G.K. Garland Memorial Scholarship Allison Johnson ’11 Lindsey Turteltaub ’11
The Kenneth D. Moxley Memorial Scholarship Erich Bolton ’11 The Donald M. Oenslager Scholarship in Stage Design, 3rd year Po-Lin Li ’11 Mark Nagle ’12 The Donald and Zorka Oenslager Scholarship in Stage Design Summer Jack ’11 Leon Dobkowski ’11 Wan Ki Lo ’12 Chi-Chieh (Julia) Lee ’12 The Eugene O’Neill Memorial Scholarship Margaret Miroshnik ’11
Randolph Goodman Scholarship Dede Ayite ’11
The Mary Jean Parson Scholarship Luisa Proske ’12
Jerome L. Greene Endowment Daniel Binstock ’11 Marcus Henderson ’11 Benjamin Horner ’11 Sarah Sokolovic ’11
The Mark Richard Scholarship John Jeppson ’12 Barbara E. Richter Scholarship Fund Gina Odierno ’12
The Jay and Rhonda Keene Scholarship for Costume Design Jennifer Salim ’11 Rebecca Welles ’12
Edgar and Louise Cullman Scholarship Alexandru Mihail ’12
Gordon F. Knight Scholarship Fund Elizabeth Atkinson ’12
Cullman Scholarship in Directing Jack Tamburri ’13 Lileana Blain-Cruz ’12 Michael McQuilken ’11
The Lotte Lenya Scholarship Fund Adina Verson ’12
Scholarship for Playwriting Students Caroline McGraw ’12 The Richard Harrison Senie Scholarship Ana Milosevic ’11 Kristin Fiebig ’12 Daniel and Helene Sheehan Scholarship for Yale School of Drama Students Suzanne Appel ’11 Howard Stein Scholarship Martyna Majok ’12 The Leon Brooks Walker Scholarship William Cobbs ’12 The Zelma Weisfeld Scholarship for Costume Design Nicholas Mramer ’12
The Rebecca West Scholarship Christopher Henry ’12 Babak Gharaei-Tafti ’11 The Audrey Wood Scholarship Dipika Guha ’11
The Pamela Jordan Scholarship Max Moore ’11
The Ray Klausen Design Scholarship Sidney Johnson ’12 Aaron Mastin ’11
Pierre-André Salim Memorial Scholarship Barbara (Maree) Tan-Tiongco ’13 Yi Zhao ’12 Hsiao-Ya Chen ’11
The Constance Welch Memorial Scholarship Seamus Mulcahy ’12 Jillian Taylor ’12
Lloyd Richards Scholarship in Acting Miriam Hyman ’12
The Cheryl Crawford Scholarship Christina Anderson ’11
Holmes Easley Scholarship Fund Matthew Saunders ’12
Benjamin Mordecai Scholarship for Theater Managers Martha Jurczak ’11
Michael Skinner ’11, Dipika Guha ’11, Ben Horner ’11, Babak Gharaei-Tafti ’11
The Stanley R. McCandless Scholarship Laura Eckelman ’11 Alan Edwards ’11
Susan Kim ’11, Elizabeth Elliott ’11
The Alfred L. McDougal (1953) and Nancy Lauter McDougal Endowed Scholarship Fund Alexandra Henrikson ’11 Devin Brain ’11
Alumni and Faculty Honors and Awards 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2011 Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture—Comedy or Musical
The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical
Marcus Gardley ’04 Nominee, every tongue confess, Arena Stage
Paul Giamatti ’94, YC ’89
David Ives ’84
Winner, Barney’s Version
Nominee, The Liar, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, MiniSeries, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Outstanding Costume Design
Emily Rebholz ’06 Nominee, This Wide Night
56th Annual Drama Desk Awards 2011
Outstanding Lighting Design
Outstanding Actress in a Play
Nominee, This Wide Night
Matt Frey ’96
Nominee, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo Winner, Anything Goes
Frances McDormand ’82
Nominee, The Good Wife
Winner, Good People
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Rolin Jones ’04
Nominee, The Mother***ker with the Hat
Nominee, writer, Friday Night Lights Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Series
Rob Klein ’65
Todd Rosenthal ’93 Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Scott Pask ’97 Winner, The Book of Mormon
Nominee, Writer, Saturday Night Live with Betty White, Host.
Derek McLane ’84
56th Annual Obie Awards 2011
Best Costume Design of a Play
Lifetime Achievement Award
René Buch ’52 65th Annual Tony Awards 2011
Nominee, Anything Goes
Jess Goldstein ’78 (Faculty) Nominee, The Merchant of Venice Best Direction of a Play
Anna D. Shapiro ’93 Nominee, The Mother***ker with the Hat Best Costume Design of a Musical
Catherine J. Zuber ’84 Nominee, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Lynne Meadow ’71
Frances McDormand ’82
Derek McLane ’84
Dylan Baker ’85
Nominee, The Good Wife
Outstanding Set Design
Best performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Leah C. Gardiner ’96
Lucille Lortel Awards May 2011
Chris Noth ’85
Winner, Good People
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2010
Nominee, Good People
Outstanding Art Direction for a Mini-Series or Movie
Eugene Lee ’86 27th Annual Helen Hayes Awards April 2011
Nominee, Production Designer, Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Costume Design, Resident production
William Ivey Long ’75
Outstanding Costumes for a Mini-Series, Movie, or Special Event
Nominee, Henry VIII, Folger Theatre
Rita Ryack ’80
Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production
Eugene Lee ’86 Nominee, Oklahoma!, Arena Stage
Derek McLane ’84 Nominee, The Lisbon Traviata, the Kennedy Center
Nominee, Costume Designer, You Don’t Know Jack Outstanding Costumes for a Series
Tom Broecker ’92 Nominee, Costume Designer, 30 Rock Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Tony Shalhoub ’80 Nominee, Monk
The company of the Arena Stage production of every tongue confess by playwright Marcus Gardley ’04. Photo by Joan Marcus
Connecticut Critic’s Choice Awards 2011
Eugene Lee ’86
Nominee, We Have always Lived in the Castle
Nominee, The Train Driver
Best Actor in a Musical
Chien-Yu Peng ’11
The Piano Lesson
Richard Todd Adams
Nominee, Delicate Balance
Winner, Best Play
Nominee, We Have Always Lived in the Castle
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Best Direction of Play
Nominee, Best Musical
Best Actress in a Play
Nominee, The Piano Lesson
Jennifer Tipton, Faculty Nominee, Autumn Sonata
Nominee, We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Best Set Design
Nominee, A Delicate Balance
John Ezell ’60
Best Actress in a Musical
Nominee, We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Nominee, The Piano Lesson Best Director of a Musical
Best Actor in a Play
Stephen Strawbridge ’83, Faculty
Best Lighting Design
Best Sound Design
Chad Raines ’11
Nominee, Autumn Sonata Best Debut
Winner, The Diary of Anne Frank
Aaron Moss ’11
Winner, The Winter’s Tale, Elm Shakespeare
Scott Bradley ’86
Nominee, We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Nominee, Gem of the Ocean
Frances McDormand ’82 in Good People. Photo by Joan Marcus
Robert Brustein ’51, mah ’66 (Former Dean) receives the National Medal of Arts, flanked by First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama.
Honors National Medal of Arts award winner: actress Meryl Streep ’75, dfah ’83. Henry Winkler ’70 received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) from the Queen of England for his work to improve opportunities for children and adults who have learning difficulties. John Lee Beatty ’73 was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre during ceremonies at Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on April 24. Membership in the College is one of the highest honors theatre professionals and educators can confer on their peers. Lebanese-American actor Tony Shalhoub ’80 received the prestigious Arab American of the Year Award. The award is given annually to recognize the contributions of individuals or organizations for committing to the development of their community on both local and national levels. Miriam Hyman ’12 is the winner of the Princess Grace Award for acting.
The Submission by Jeff Talbott ’96 was selected for the 2011 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award. The foundation provides a $50,000 cash award to Jeff and a grant of $100,000 toward the production costs of the play’s premiere at Manhattan Class Company.
David Henry Hwang ’83 received the William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award. Photo by Lia Chang YSD 2011–12
Romulus Linney ’58 in 2010 with his Japanese Noh Mask, used in his YSD thesis production of Eugene O’Neill’s Marco Millions. This photograph is part of Ellen Wallenstein’s “Respecting My Elders” project, featuring people over 80 years old with their prized possessions. The photographs can be seen on her website: www.ellenwallenstein.com.
Points of Intersection Romulus Linney ’58 All playwrights speak in borrowed voices, refracting their perceptions through imagined personas. But in his plays Romulus Linney ’58 often found the surest route to inspiration in the lives and words of real historical people. A career-long writer of history plays and biographical dramas, Romulus discovered himself in the stories of others, often across wide gulfs of time, space or culture—looking, as he once explained to an interviewer, for an imagined point of intersection between his own consciousness and that of his subject. Here are just a few examples: The tyrannical Prussian King Frederick the Great’s deep affection for his hunting dogs recalled Romulus’s father’s own love of bird dogs—and Frederick’s struggles with a domineering father also struck home. The result was The Sorrows of Frederick, Romulus’s first major play and the one that established his reputation. He rewrote ancient plays from the Japanese Kabuki tradition as a way to talk about Vietnam War-era conflicts between duty and honor, and he attempted to complete the artistic project of Europe’s first female playwright, Hrosvitha of Gandersheim—saying the things he felt she had been forbidden to say by the constraints of her time and gender. Romulus adapted works by other writers, writing stage versions of novels by Ernest J. Gaines (A Lesson Before Dying) and Tim O’Brien (Going After Cacciato) and wrote about other writers as well: The struggles of the persecuted Russian poet Anna Akhmatova—featured in Romulus’s Three Poets— spoke to his own strivings as an artist.
His deeply personal Childe Byron approached the poet’s life through a familiar kind of hurt—“the pain” he explained “of a divorced father who can’t reach his daughter.” As though acknowledging that the continuities between Romulus’s astonishing diversity of subjects and breadth of interests could best be contemplated together as a single body of work, the Signature Theatre in New York City—a company that devotes each season to one notable playwright—dedicated its inaugural season to his work. The Signature recently announced it will dedicate The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at the Signature Center, scheduled to open in February 2012. The other great source of Romulus’s creativity was his Southern childhood. He was fond of quoting Katherine Anne Porter’s dictum that “what happens to you after you’re ten years old really doesn’t matter very much, but the things that happen before you were ten matter a great deal.” Although he was born in Philadelphia in 1930, Romulus spent most of his first ten years in North Carolina and Tennessee, and he returned to mythic versions of those settings again and again throughout his career in plays possessed by elemental themes of spirituality, sex and family roots, such as Holy Ghosts (about a sect of snake-handling evangelicals) and Tennessee (a haunted fable about sustaining delusions and dashed hopes, set on a rural front porch at twilight). His family left the South in 1943, after his father died, and moved to Washington. Romulus attended Oberlin College and Yale School of Drama, earning an MFA in directing in 1958. In between he spent two years in the army (while stationed in Japan, he bought the female Noh mask seen in the photograph that prompted his later experiments with the form). In later years he was to become an important mentor for young writers in other graduate programs, teaching at Columbia, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Hunter College, Brooklyn College and the Actors’ Studio, among others. Playwright and performance artist Taylor Mac, just one of Romulus’s many pupils over the years, describes his devotion to cultivating his students’ individual voices this way: “I still use techniques he taught me. He was the most detail-oriented teacher I’ve ever had. He made me examine and justify each beat. It was a great gift to share time with him.” Although he is best known for his plays, Romulus’s wide-ranging ambitions could not be contained by one literary genre. Early in his career he published two novels—Heathen Valley and Slowly by Thy Hand Unfurled (written as a diary kept by a 19th-century woman)— and returned to prose fiction in 1980 with the short-story collection Jesus Tales. Throughout a prolific career—he wrote more than thirty plays— Romulus received many honors and awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts, two OBIE awards (including one for sustained excellence in playwriting), and the Award in Literature and the 1999 Award of Merit Medal for Drama from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was a member of the Corporation of
Linney photo © Ellen Wallenstiein
Yaddo, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Six of his one-acts appeared in Best Short Plays. Included in Best Plays of the Year, 1988–1989, his adaptation of his novel Heathen Valley won the National Critics Award; he won the same award during the 1989–90 season, when it was produced for the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. But commercial success eluded him; he never had a Broadway hit or a West End success. As the Village Voice’s Michael Feingold pointed out in a recent appreciation of Romulus’s work, the playwright was simply too uncompromising to bend his vision to suit the demands of the marketplace: “the artistic complexities [Romulus] embodied kept even his simplest works from being readily marketable…he did not tailor his scripts to fit any conventional set of demands.” Rather, Romulus remained true to his own, more stringent, criteria: reaching across chasms between myth and reality, past and present, and the more concrete divisions between stage and auditorium or teacher and student, always aiming for that elusive point of intersection. Romulus Linney died at his home in Germantown, NY, on January 15, 2011. He was 80 years old. He is survived by his wife Laura Callanan, daughters Laura and Susan and sons-in-law Marc Schauer and Andy Kropa. Jacob Gallagher-Ross ’09, dfa ’14
Artist and Teacher Spencer Beglarian ’86 Spencer Beglarian ’86 was a man of exceptional breadth and depth. He brought passion and talent not only to a wide range of artistic exploits, but also to the lives of students of various disciplines from New York to Los Angeles. Spencer died on April 19, 2011, of lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles, surrounded by family and friends. He was 50 years old. Born in Ridgewood, NJ, in 1960, Spencer and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1969 upon his father’s acceptance of the deanship at the School of Performing Arts at the University of Southern California. Spencer earned his BFA from the USC School of Drama in 1983 and his MFA from Yale School of Drama in 1986; he also studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. He then performed in productions Off Broadway and at Yale Repertory Theatre in addition to teaching and directing theatre in Harlem and South Bronx public schools. In 1991 Spencer returned to Los Angeles to act, write and direct for television and film. His projects included documentaries, short films, educational videos and a 13-episode half-hour weekly TV series on an ABC affiliate channel. Spencer also appeared in films, including his own short, Just Don’t Do It, and on a number of prime-time TV shows. He wrote award-winning feature-length screenplays as well as short films that aired on Bravo and IFC. Additionally, Spencer was an official juror for the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, an event whose winners qualify for Oscar consideration.
Spencer Beglarian ’86 (looking straight at camera), surrounded by his classmates. Top row (left to right): Timothy Douglas, Neal Lerner, Holly Felton, Mark Rafael. Second row (left to right): Courtney B. Vance, Spencer Beglarian, David Officer (deceased 1991), David Wayne Nelson, Kitty Crooks. The “triangle” of women are: Kimberleigh Burroughs Aarn, Amy Aquino, Devora Milman. Acting Class of 1986 members not shown in cropped photo included: Abba Elfman, Aloysius Gigl and Theresa McElwee. Even while his own artistic career was blossoming, Spencer was devoted to teaching others. In 1994 he joined the faculty of Califor nia’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where he taught such classes as Critical Thinking and Effective Speaking. In 1996 Spencer began to teach in the International MBA program at USC, in addition to the summer Law and English Program and the USC Language Academy’s intensive English programs. There he created both online and live courses and helped many MBA students to secure jobs by teaching them professional skills. In 2008 Spencer joined the faculty of the American Musical & Dramatic Academy, where he was active as an advisor and mentor and taught both academic and performing-arts classes. He also guided students who were developing their own scripts for stage and screen, which were then produced as short films. At the time of his death, Spencer had recently been appointed academic dean of the criticalstudies department. He was an enthusiastic and generous teacher, who derived inspiration from his students. “Spencer’s contribution to AMDA LA and to the AMDA community was profound and ongoing,” said AMDA’s executive director, Jan Martin. Spencer is survived by his sister, composer Eve Beglarian of New York City and Brandon, VT; his aunt, Jeree Pawl, and her partner, Judith Pekarsky, of San Francisco; his uncle, Joseph Pawl, of Beulah, MI; his cousins Amy Pawl and Frank Grady and their children Emma and Spencer Grady-Pawl, of St. Louis; Meg and Dave Johnson and their children Victoria and Lillian Johnson, of Farmington Hills, MI; and his great-aunt and great-uncle, Ireta and Roy T. Janiec, of Bend, OR. Alexandra Ripp ’13
In Memoriam Eugene Gurlitz ’57 was born in Brooklyn and graduated from the College of William & Mary. His passion for the theatre led him to Yale School of Drama to study theatre design. Upon leaving Yale, he assisted several New York designers, including Donald Oenslager (Former Faculty). With marriage and family, Gene opted for the semi-security of designing for television commercials and soon had his first break as set designer for Channel Thirteen in the days when the station produced original shows. Two he created there were Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood and George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House. After the station became a showplace for British imports, Gene moved on to work in other entertainment media, including films, theatre, television shows and commercials. He was especially interested in theatre education; he taught a popular design course at The New School and was an interim instructor at Yale School of Drama. He also took part in the international scene, teaching at the Taipei Film Institute in Taiwan. In addition Gene mentored several young designers who, with his advice and encouragement, went on to successful careers. He was also one of the first designers to participate at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in New London, CT, working with playwrights, helping them with the visual aspects of their work. One of the last projects Gene worked on before his retirement was designing sets for the Food Network while the station was in its infancy. Following that production, Gene and Judy retired to North Carolina, where he continued to bestow his advice and enthusiasm on the many community theatres he loved. His friend and classmate Richard Bianchi ’57 writes of his passing: “Gene was a colleague and a very talented and generous friend. We first met in Donald Oenslager’s design class at YSD in 1955, and from that time on, had enjoyed each other’s friendship throughout our careers. I will miss his friendship and his outrageous sense of humor.” Gene Gurlitz died on April 9, 2011, while on vacation with his wife, Judy, in Seville, Spain. He was 81 years old. Alexandra Ripp ’13
An International Voice Dragan Klaic ’76, dfa ’77 Dragan Klaic ’76, dfa ’77 was a recognized authority in the fields of cultural policy and international cultural cooperation. He was a theater scholar, cultural analyst, commentator, and educator who specialized in contemporary performing arts, European cultural policies, strategies of cultural development, and international cultural cooperation and memory. Dragan was born in Sarajevo in 1950 and educated in dramaturgy at the University of Arts Belgrade, and went on to earn an MFA and DFA in theater history and dramatic criticism from Yale School of Drama. During his career he worked as a theatre critic and dramaturg and held professorships at the University of Arts Belgrade and the University of Amsterdam. He co-founded the European Theatre Quarterly Euromaske, led the Theater Instituut Nederland and served as the president of the European Network of Information Centers for
the Performing Arts and of the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage. Dragan was the author of several books, notably Mobility of Imagination: A Companion Guide to International Cultural Cooperation; Reform or Transition: The Future of Repertory Theater in Central and Eastern Europe; and Terrorism and Modern Drama. He was the writer of two documentary series on Belgrade television and a longtime contributor to the Third Program of Radio Belgrade. Dragan also wrote hundreds of articles published in the former Yugoslavia, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands and Norway. He died on August 25 in Amsterdam, survived by his wife, Julia, and daughter, Nora.
Artist, Teacher, Critic Edgar Loessin ’54 Edgar Loessin ’54 died on April 22, 2011, after a life dedicated to the teaching and production of theatre. Yet his legacy persists in the vibrant theatre culture he helped to instill at East Carolina University over the course of decades. Born in 1928, Edgar grew up acting in Houston, TX. He went on to study at Southwestern University and also at the University of North Carolina, where he received a BA in dramatic arts. In 1954 he received his MFA in directing from Yale School of Drama and trained further at the Actors Studio in New York City. After two years of military service Edgar returned to New York to pursue his theatrical career. He directed Off Broadway and summer-theatre shows and stage managed both the Broadway production of Show Girl and the national tour of Gypsy. In 1962 Edgar was called upon to create East Carolina University’s department of theatre arts, which offered practical preparation for theatre careers, and served as its chair for 28 years. The department’s students enjoyed learning from teaching artists who acted professionally for stage and screen (one, Amanda Meiggs, became Edgar’s wife and an integral part of the department). Edgar also established the semiprofessional East Carolina University / Summer Theatre, which mounted full productions of musicals and plays. Here and at the university’s playhouse he directed a wide variety of Western theatre, particularly musical comedies. For these musicals, despite limited resources, Edgar did not stint on sets, costumes, choreography, orchestral arrangement or cast size; his productions were comparable to those in New York, which was rare in North Carolina at the time. At the playhouse and summer theatre, Edgar directed world premiere plays by Romulus Linney ’58, Reynolds Price, Carlyle Floyd and Muriel Resnick. His work in North Carolina theatre garnered him the O. Max Gardner Award, the Roanoke Island Historical Association’s Morrison Award and the Carolina Playmakers Outstanding Alumni Award. Edgar retired in 1991, whereupon he became arts critic for WHRO-FM in Norfolk, VA, for 17 years. His criticism was well known and oft cited, both locally and nationally. In 2001 the ECU Playhouse and Summer Theatre were renamed the ECU/Loessin Playhouse and the ECU/Loessin Summer Theatre in his honor. John Shearin, Loessin’s successor as department chair, credits Edgar as “responsible for East Carolina’s emergence as a major force in the university and professional theatre in the region.” Edgar is survived by his wife, Amanda, his brother Larry Loessin of Pearland, Texas, and nieces and nephews. Alexandra Ripp ’13
Klaic photo by Darragh Kane; Powell photo courtesy Burlington Free Press; Russ photo by Hannah Kanzell ’94
Designer and Educator Eugene Gurlitz ’57
Designer with a Sense of History Charles McClennahan ’84 With his master’s degree from Yale School of Drama—where he studied with Ming Cho Lee (Faculty)—Charles McClennahan ’84 became an innovator in visualization for the theatre. During his third year at YSD, Charles designed the set for the world premiere of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and he continued as the set designer when the show transferred to Broadway. Charles designed many shows around the country, in regional theatres and for such Off Broadway theatres as the Public, Manhattan Theatre Club, American Place Theatre and Theatre Four. He taught design for both film and theatre at North Carolina School of the Arts and then at Winston-Salem State University. He also lectured at Princeton, Texas A&M and Virginia Commonwealth University on computer graphics as a visual training tool in the classroom and on the Internet. Charles was one of the key organizers of the first Annual National Black Film Festival in Winston-Salem, NC, which featured such actors and directors as Bill Duke, Charles S. Dutton ’83 and Rae’Ven Kelly Lattimore. Charles saw his role as an African-American designer as distinctive. At a Theatre Communications Group panel discussion of designers in 2006 he said: “A lot of the great design names—Appia, Craig, Jones, Mielziner, Oenslager—mean very little in terms of the connection with my culture and my experience as an AfricanAmerican. It’s just that I can also trace my design history back to the quilt designers, during the escape of slaves from before Reconstruction, before emancipation. I can trace my design history back further than I can trace my theatre history.” Charles McLennahan died on December 8, 2010. He was 51 years old.
New York Actor Addison Powell ’48 Born in Belmont, MA, in 1921, the son of schoolteachers, Addison Powell ’48 graduated from Boston University and enrolled in the Army Air Force during World War II, during which time he flew 30 missions as a navigator in a B-17. When the war ended, he enrolled at Yale School of Drama and upon graduation began a long and active career as a New York City-based stage, screen and TV actor. Addison married Bunnie Rowley in 1950, and they raised three children on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. A strikingly handsome man with a shock of prematurely white hair, Addison made his Broadway debut in 1954 in The Fragile Fox. Other major New York stage appearances include an OBIE-winning performance in the legendary Circle in the Square production of The Iceman Cometh with Jason Robards; When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder; Fathers and Sons at the New York Shakespeare Festival; as William Faulkner in Faulkner’s Bicycle and as Annette Bening’s father in Coastal Disturbances. After his first film appearance in The Mating Game, Addison went on to have significant roles in The Thomas Crown Affair, In the French Style (as Jean Seberg’s father), MacArthur with Gregory Peck and Three Days of the Condor. His television career began during the Golden Age, with Philco Playhouse in 1951, Lux Video Theatre and Goodyear Playhouse, after which he went on to do guests appearances on Gunsmoke, The Bob Newhart Show, and the earliest episodes of The
Mod Squad and Law and Order. He also played the evil Dr. Lang in Dark Shadows, the 1960s soap opera and camp classic written by Ron Sproat ’58 and starring Jonathan Frid ’57. Addison passed away on November 8, 2010, in the company of his three children, listening to the music of Vivaldi and The Beatles. He was 89 years old.
Writing Behind the Scenes David Rayfiel ’50 David Rayfiel ’50 maintained a careerlong creative association with the film director Sydney Pollack and with Robert Redford. Although he generally chose to keep his work anonymous, David was often called upon by Pollack to fix script problems, edit and rewrite. Top directors, who also knew of his skills, called on him for revisions large and small; he was particularly known for his ability to focus a blurry character through subtle changes. Redford and Pollack have publicly cited the importance of David’s work, which included input on The Way We Were (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975) and Out of Africa (1985), that year’s Oscar winner for best picture. Born in Brooklyn in 1923, David belonged to a family headed by a Democratic congressman and district court judge. He attended Brooklyn College, with an interruption to fight overseas in World War II, and received his bachelor’s degree in 1947. He then went on to earn his MFA in playwriting from Yale School of Drama. David began his career writing for TV series and Johnny Carson’s game show Who Do You Trust? After the Off Broadway theatre Writers’ Stage Company produced his play P.S. 193 with James Earl Jones as its star, he enjoyed better writing jobs in the industry. Pollack directed David’s first three TV dramas as well as the West Coast premiere of P.S. 193, and their artistic relationship continued for the next several decades. With Pollack, David made his feature-film debut with The Slender Thread (1965), which starred Sidney Poitier and Anne Bancroft. The movie, written principally by Stirling Silliphant, was an adaptation of a LIFE magazine article about a young crisis-center volunteer and the suicidal woman who phones him. Pollack so loved a line David wrote for this film—“You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth”—that he used it in three more of his films. David was one of twelve writers who worked on Pollack’s small film, This Property Is Condemned (1966), adapted by Francis Ford Coppola from a Tennessee Williams play, starring Natalie Wood and Robert Redford. David received no credit for the final screenplay but was given his first credit as a cowriter on another small Pollack film called Castle Keep (1969), a World War II drama. He also worked on the bigger Pollack films that followed: Three Days of the Condor (1975), Jeremiah Johnson (1972), The Way We Were (1973), The Electric Horseman (1979), Havana (1990), The Absence of Malice (1981), The Firm (1993), Sabrina (1995, based on the 1954 screenplay) and The Interpreter (2005). Although he worked primarily with Redford and Pollack, he also contributed his talent to Sidney Lumet’s The Morning After (1986), Bertrand Tavernier’s Death Watch (1980) and ’Round Midnight (1986) and Ingmar Bergman’s The Serpent’s Egg (1977). He also collaborated on the screenplays for Valdez Is Coming (1971) and Intersection (1994) and wrote episodes of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery and Columbo. Although he wrote one screenplay alone—Lipstick (1976)— David knew that his real strength was enhancing and shaping the screenplays of others.
In Memoriam Married three times and divorced twice, the second time from actress Maureen Stapleton, David is survived by his daughter Eliza of Sherman Oaks, CA; his stepchildren Danny Allentuck of Manhattan and Katherine Allentuck of Lenox, MA; a brother, Howard, of Sarasota, Fla.; two grandchildren; and his third wife, Lynne Schwarzenbek-Rayfiel. Alexandra Ripp ’13
Breaking Barriers Joanna Russ ’60 Radical feminist writer and academic Joanna Russ ’60 boldly revolutionized science fiction by bringing it into the realm of the woman. Russ is remembered as a brave and intelligent artist who tempered her challenging political commentary with wit, humor and creativity. Joanna began writing at an early age and earned her BA from Cornell University in 1957. When Russ graduated from Yale in 1960 with an MFA in playwriting, her interest in science fiction had already taken root—in 1959, she had published a story in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Joanna became a trailblazer for women in science fiction, both as author and for her characters. At the time, men dominated the genre; female writers wrote under pseudonyms while female characters were portrayed as compliant and domestic. Joanna wrote women who were strong and smart, like the quick-witted (if not beautiful) protagonist “Alyx” featured in her 1960s stories. The feminist interests that emerged in these stories reached fruition in her novels, particularly The Female Man (1975), which is considered the first feminist sciencefiction novel. The book, which features four genetically identical women who inhabit different social contexts, was influential in the concurrent feminist movement. Joanna came out as a lesbian around the time of its publication, when few other women were doing so. Joanna did more than merely discuss women’s issues—she unabashedly prompted debate. Taking advantage of the openness of the science-fiction genre, she created complex and extreme circumstances in which to place her female characters. Her diverse writing style merged humor and the absurd with polemics. Despite some critics’ discomfort with her controversial slant, Joanna is widely praised for her intellectualism, skilful prose and inventive multidisciplinary approach. She wrote six novels, including We Who Are About To… (1977), a feminist subversion of Robinson Crusoe, as well as the nonfiction work How to Suppress Women’s Writing (1983). She published a number of essay collections (Magic Mommas, Trembling Sisters, Puritans and Perverts and To Write Like A Woman), criticism, short stories and the children’s book Kittatinny: A Tale of Magic (1978). Joanna herself is the subject of various critical studies, including On Joanna Russ (2009), edited by Farah Mendlesohn. Joanna lectured at Cornell, the State University of New York at Binghamton and the University of Colorado at Boulder. From 1984 until her retirement in 1994, she served as professor of English at the University of Washington. Joanna won a Hugo award in 1983 for Souls, a historical fantasy novella, and a Nebula award in 1972 for “When It Changed,” the story that she developed into The Female Man. She was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow for 1974–1975. Later in life Joanna became interested in the genre known as
“slash,” homoerotic fiction based on fictional personalities that is most often written and read by lesbians. Her 1985 study Pornography By Women for Women, With Love is a seminal work on the genre. Joanna collected slash extensively, wrote about it in scholarly articles and composed some herself. It is thanks to her that slash has gained more serious recognition in American universities. In the latter part of her life, Joanna withdrew from public life, enduring chronic-fatigue syndrome and severe back pain. She suffered a series of strokes in April and died in Tucson on April 29, 2011, at the age of 74. Alexandra Ripp ’13
Devoted Teacher and Director Charles Vicinus ’65 Charles Vicinus ’65, who died on September 30, 2010, at his summer home in Holderness, NH, was a devoted teacher of theatre who touched the lives of thousands he taught. He remained an ardent theatre director throughout his life, directing 198 shows by his death at age 80. Charles grew up in Rochester, NY, and received his bachelor’s degree from Antioch College in Ohio. After receiving his MFA in directing from Yale School of Drama, he taught at Hamlin University in St. Paul, MN, Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He then joined the department of theatre and film at the University of Toledo, where he earned tenure in 1978 and served as department chair for six years. Charles was an originator and director of the department’s SummerStage program, which mounted popular productions that featured both professional and student actors. At the time of his death he was professor emeritus at the University of Toledo but had been teaching for three years at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. Charles’s love for teaching never flagged, and his vested interest in his students led him to retain strong ties with many of them. Beverly Brumm ’65, a fellow MFA in directing, says: “Following graduation from Yale School of Drama, Chuck and I each spent over 40 years as college professors, teaching theatre, directing theatre, supporting the education of young professionals. This was Chuck’s life, that of a devoted teacher and director. On many occasions I was impressed to see this first-hand—in his relationships with his students, in his rich and continuing friendships with alumni, in his conscious awareness of the lives of those he was teaching and those he had taught over those many years. It was so clear—in the classroom and in the theatre—Chuck was a teacher through and through.” In addition to his work in education Charles also contributed to the arts world. He held administrative positions with the American College Theater Festival and the Ohio Theatre Alliance and was on the boards of both the Toledo Repertoire Theatre and the Toledo Ballet. Charles was a founder and president of the Performing Arts Council of Toledo (P.A.C.T.) and served as co-artistic director of First Night Toledo, P.A.C.T.’s downtown New Year’s Eve celebration, from 1994 to 2002. After his retirement from teaching Charles continued his activity in Toledo’s art scene. He served as executive director of the Toledo Ballet for three years and directed plays at venues such as Toledo Repertoire Theatre, the Valentine and Mrs. Rose’s Dinner Theatre. Charles was also a founder and producer of Toledo Rep’s Edgy Rep
Readings, a series of works less in the mainstream, presented with minimal sets. Charles is survived by his wife of 49 years, Joan; his two children, Julie Fowler of New York, NY, and Adam Vicinus of Hampton, NH, and five grandchildren. He is also survived by a brother, Richard Vicinus, and a sister, Anne Strothard, who both live in Rochester, NY. Alexandra Ripp ’13
Williams. (According to his son, David, one of the things of which Max was most proud was helping to start the scholarship fund at the School in Audrey Wood’s name.) Other books include They’re Playing Our Song: The Truth Behind the Words and Music of Three Generations; OK! The Story of Oklahoma!: A Celebration of America’s Most Beloved Musical; The Golden Age of Television: Notes from the Survivors, Schmucks with Underwoods—Conversations with Hollywood’s Classic Screenwriters; the novel Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (the movie version starred Jerry Lewis) and 15 others, among them the novelization of The Dramaturg and Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. Show Business Chronicler Max’s writing for television includes the screenplays for Raggedy Max Wilk ’41 Ann and Andy and They Said it with Music and episodes of such television classics as Car 54, Where are You, Danger and The Philco-Goodyear Eclectic barely begins to describe the interests Television Playhouse. He won Peabody and Emmy Awards for his twoand talents of Max Wilk ’41, who died on hour television special, The Fabulous Fifties. February 19 at the age of 90. Immediately upon For decades, under the leadership of Lloyd Richards (Former his graduation from Yale School of Drama, Max began his career in his much beloved show business when he toured with Irving Berlin’s This Dean), Max was the dramaturg for playwrights at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, lending his experIs the Army. tise to hundreds of writers, including August Wilson, John Patrick After the war Max began writing for both the stage and the page: Shanley, David Lindsay-Abaire, Doug Wright yc ’85, Lee Blessing, two Broadway revues—Small Wonder in 1948–49 and A Musical Jubilee in 1975–76— and a play— Cloud 7 in 1958. Mr. Williams and Miss Wood, OyamO, Jeffrey Hatcher, Wendy MacLeod ’87 and Willy Holtzman. While he certainly influenced individual writers, perhaps more signifin 1989, was his adaption of a book he had cowritten with the legendary literary agent Audrey Wood, about her relationship with Tennessee icantly, Max made an impact on the American theatre itself. Y
Farewell Don S. Anderson ’69 08.15.2010
Alfred S. Geer ’59 9.27.2010
Howard L. O’Brien ’82 10.30.2010
Edward Toledano ’32 3.19.2010
Spencer Beglarian ’86 4.20.2011
Eugene Gurlitz ’57 4.9.2011
Ruth Catherine Otico ’47 02.26.2011
Shirin Devrim Trainer ’50 03.6.2011
Joyce E. Brown ’62 1.1.2011
Russell T. Hastings ’57 10.28.2010
Addison Powell ’48 11.16.2010
Charles Vicinus ’65 9.30.2010
Cosmo A. Catalano Sr. ’53 1.27.2011
Norbert Hruby ’49 5.18.2010
David Rayfiel ’50 6.22.2011
Russell G. Whaley ’54 4.29.2011
William Diamant ’48 11.16.2010
L. Gilbert Leibinger ’58 8.15.2011
Frank Duane Rosengren ’56 4.29.2010
Frank Duane ’56 4.29.2010
Ann Meltzer Litinsky ’71 8.22.2011
Pamela H. Rosetti ’68 8.22.2011
Thomas Newton Whiteside Rae ’55, yc ’52 4.24.2011
Joyce Elliott ’62 1.19.2011
Edgar Loessin ’54 4.22.2011
Marie Hamilton Russell ’54 3.4.3011
Edith Dallas Ernst ’48 6.02.2011
Richard G. Mason ’53 3.17.2011
Roger Durand Sherman ’38 10.4.2010
James Donald Fisk ’43 1.8.2011
Charles H. McClennahan ’84 12.08.2010
Joe Steinberg ’44 10.19.2010
Edwin Flesh ’56 7.15.2011
Leon L. Munier Jr. ’55 1.6.2011
Don Jo Swanagan ’55 4.7.2011
Max Wilk ’41 2.19.2011 Porter Stevens Woods dfa ’65 7.22.2011
The Art of Giving Cliff Warner Honors a Teacher Who Inspired Him
Frank Torok made New Haven his home, created a business that put students to work and stayed involved even after he retired. Cliff Warner
Cliff Warner ’87 with his three-year-old puggles Rusty and Buster.
As a tribute to Frank Torok, head of the directing and stage management program at YSD from 1970 to 1986, his former student Cliff Warner ’87 pledged $25,000 toward establishing a scholarship in Frank’s name. Cliff has also committed himself to chair a campaign to raise $25,000 from others of Frank’s former students, to bring the total to the $50,000 required to establish a scholarship. “Frank is one of the unsung heroes who made sure everything ran smoothly,” Cliff says of this deeply influential teacher and director. “He was a behind-the-scenes person, a stage manager to the core.” Cliff, who graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in stage and production management, is one of the founders of Thinkwell designs. He cites Frank’s influence as an entrepreneur: “Frank made New Haven his home, created a business that put students to work and stayed involved even after he retired,” he says. “He bought three houses side by side on Howe Street. One is a B and B that he rents to visiting performers at the Rep and to professors; the other two he rents to students and also
to faculty who don’t live in New Haven. He also turned the backyards into a big garden and converted the garages into a garden store and sold plants in September to students returning to school.” A personal story Cliff tells exemplifies Frank’s dedication to his students: “The summer before I came to Yale, I was stage manager for a ballet company. I guaranteed that my crew would get paid, and when they weren’t, I paid them myself, so I arrived at Yale 21 years old, with no money. The school had a policy that if you were under 24, you had to show your parents’ tax returns to qualify for financial aid. According to that, I didn’t qualify. Frank took pity on me and hired me to build the extension on the greenhouse structure behind his house. And that got me through the first semester.” During Frank’s tenure, much of the focus was lavished on the Rep, Cliff says, and a lot less on the school. “Other departments tended to get the limelight, so it was easy for stage managers to get overlooked. Frank made sure that didn’t happen.”
The Idealistic Joneses
Counterparts: Geoffrey Johnson and Noël Coward
Timothy Jones yc ’77 has a long history of philanthropy at Yale. An economics major as an undergraduate, he was on the basketball team and now serves as president of the Yale Basketball Association. And there is another side to Tim: he loves the theatre. So while basketball, tennis and other forms of athletics remain important in the lives of Tim and Annie Jones and their five children—and has been their philanthropic concentration at Yale—the theatre has also been a strong interest. Tim met Annie when they were both in a production of Guys and Dolls at the Quogue Junior Theater Troop. Annie performed Off Broadway and during the summers at the Quogue Theater while she was in high school and continued
There is a long-standing debate as to whether American actors are as technically and temperamentally suited to play Noël Coward as their British counterparts. Geoffrey Johnson ’55, for 40 years half of the Johnson-Liff Agency, one of the most influential casting agencies in the New York theatre, explains the edge American actors have: “I had many conversations with Noël Coward, and he always talked about truth Geoffrey Johnson ’55 and honesty in the performance of his work. American actors are underestimated in terms of doing Coward. They can bring real feelings to characters that might, if played superficially, seem arch.” As an alumnus of YSD and one of the Noël Coward Foundation’s three American trustees, Geoffrey thought it an opportune time to bring the Yale School of Drama and the Foundation together. Based in London and supported by royalties from the plays and music of Noël Coward, the Foundation has a tradition of giving grants to such London acting schools as LAMDA and the Central School of Speech and Drama. Geoffrey believed that the aims of the Foundation—the advancement of education and drama, particularly for those entering or in the early stages of a career in the profession— and the mission of YSD were a potentially fertile match. And so last spring, at his urging and with the full support of his American and British fellow trustees, Yale School of Drama became the recipient of a grant from the Noël Coward Foundation. Ron Van Lieu (Faculty) had the idea of bringing the acclaimed British actress, director and teacher Maria Aitken to New Haven, where she conducted a three-day master class for third-year students in how to act Noël Coward. The class was a satisfying experience for Maria Aitken, an illuminating one for the students and a very personally fulfilling one for Geoffrey Johnson—so successful on all fronts, in fact, that the Foundation renewed the grant for another year. Geoffrey is confident that as time goes on, what the students learn will stand them in good stead. “When I look back on my time as an actor-in-training at YSD, I didn’t realize how much I was learning until years later.” He found it very rewarding to expose the students to the work and style of Noël Coward, and he was particularly gratified to be able to bring this valuable experience to the students at his alma mater.
Warner photo by SDK Photo & Design; Johnson photo by Jinsey Dauk
The Jones Family
to perform while studying art history at Columbia. Tim is a songwriter who has written more than a hundred songs. He and Annie even had a recording contract that took them to Nashville. “Given our love of theatre, the prospect of contributing to the Drama School was very interesting to our family,” Tim explains. “When we heard about the matching challenge and the opportunity to double the value of our gift, that did it.” The Jones’s generosity will go toward support of two Yale Repertory Theatre productions in the 2011–2012 season: William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and a new play by Will Eno called, fittingly enough, The Realistic Joneses.
Publications by and about Yale School of Drama Alumni
The Character Actor’s Do’s, Don’ts and Anecdotes By Phillip Bruns ’56 Foreword by Peter O’Toole Phillip Bruns Publishing March 2011
A Jew on Ethiopia Street Arrow to the Heart By Allan Havis ’80 Broadway Play Publishing; Reissue of Morocco, Hospitality and Mink Sonata in one volume.
Rants and Raves By Robert Brustein ’51, MAH ’66 Smith & Kraus April 2011
Acting for Camera By Julia Fulton ’84, YC ’81 Kendall Hunt July 2011
Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein By Julie Salamon Penguin Press August 2011 “The Mythical Bill, A Neurological Memoir” By Jody McAuliffe ’80 in Topograph, New Writing From the Carolinas and the Landscape Beyond Novello Press October 2010 Abraham Lincoln Was a Witch Shakespeare’s Jewish Sources By Alan Marlis ’70 McNally Jackson Available at the McNally Jackson bookstore, New York City
Cora Urquhart Potter: the Victorian Actress as Provocateur By Craig Clinton ’72 McFarland & Company July 2010
Perfecting Your English Pronunciation By Susan Cameron ’85 McGraw-Hill September 2011 also available as DVD and CD The Designs of Carrie Robbins By Barry and Annie Cleveland USITT in cooperation with Broadway Press March 2011
Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying: Embracing Life After Loss By Allen Klein ’62 Goodman Beck Publishing January 2011 James M. Cain: Hardboiled Mythmaker By David Madden ’60 Kristopher Mecholsky, coauthor Scarecrow Press April 2011
Gone by Sundown By Peter Leach ’61 Gival Press 2011 winner of the sixth Annual Gival Press Novel Award Blood on the Stage: 1950–1975. Milestone Plays of Crime, Mystery and Detection By Amnon Kabatchnik ’57 Scarecrow Press, Inc. April 2011
Wright Morris Territory: A Treasury of Work Co-edited by David Madden ’60 and Alicia Christensen Univeristy of Nebraska Press September 2011 Absalom, Absalom! Edited by David Madden ’60 Salem Press September 2011
The Artistic Links Between William Shakespeare and Sir Thomas More: Radically Different Richards By Charles A. Hallett DFA ’67 Palgrave Macmillan May 2011
London Bridge in Plague and Fire By David Madden ’60 to be published in 2012
Defined by a Hollow: Essays on Utopia, Science Fiction and Political Epistemology By Darko Suvin ’66 Peter Lang May 2010 Daughters of the Serpent By Gaye-Darlene Bidart de Satulsky ’64 Honduras Government Printing office, Imprenta Cultura
Joan (Feldman) Kron ’48 has had a long and satisfying career as a style journalist. This year marks her 20th anniversary as contributing editor-at-large of Condé Nast’s Allure magazine, where she covers beauty and cosmetic surgery. On May 9, 2011, she won first prize for magazine journalism from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) for her February 2010 article, “Implant Nation.” Joan’s book, Ms. Faux Pas: A Non Guide to Glitterati Manners, has been optioned for an independent Hollywood film. A memoir of her 40 years in journalism is posted at www.joankron.com, along with many of her articles. She is working to post her full bibliography on line, but it takes time. She is also in preproduction on her first documentary film. Earlier this year, Joan attended a seminar in New York on documentary filmmaking sponsored by Yale in Hollywood. She has stopped going to Yale reunions because she never sees anyone from her class.
In 2010, Robert Brustein ’51, mah ’66 (Former Dean) received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama in a ceremony at the White House, and in 2011 he was inducted into The Players Hall of Fame. Robert is teaching at Suffolk University and the A.R.T./MXAT Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard while writing plays, mostly about Shakespeare. The Armory Art Center and The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, FL have partnered for a joint educational project of Jane Davis Doggett’s ’56 Talking Graphics and the Magic of the Everglades. Jane’s lecture, “Talking Graphics from the Green Earth,” was read by Lani London Click ’73 at The Society in February 2011. The production of the 1940 gothic thriller Ladies in Retirement was directed for Off Broadway’s Pulse Ensemble Theatre by
Amnon Kabatchnik ’57, garnering unanimous positive reviews and lauded as “a lavishly detailed gem of suspense.” Due to failing eyesight, James D. Karr ’54 has had to retire from a career in Los Angeles area theatre. He and his wife, Nora, are proud of their children: Mary Kate, and her twoyear-old daughter, Elyse; Michael, an elementary school teacher; and Amanda, an actress and mother of another grandchild, Elizabeth. The English Bride by Lucile Lichtblau ’56 won first prize in the Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre full-length play competition and was read there on June 10 and 11, 2011. The play has also had readings at the Centenary Stage Women Playwrights Series in Hackettstown, NJ, and the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon, CA. Lucile’s play Car Talk was produced in March 2011 at And Toto too Theatre in Denver, CO. She also had a short play done at the Hudson Opera House in Hudson, NY, in November 2010. “We celebrated the birth of our 10th grandchild last October,” Lucile writes, and “Hello to all in the class.” The Arroyo Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, is currently showing the art jewelry collection of Gordon Micunis’59. He is also curating Western and Native American antiques. When in Santa Fe, please call him or his husband, Jay Kobrin ’61, to say hello and visit. Turning 78 in April, Kenneth Stein ’59 still lives in St. Augustine, FL, whose main virtue, he writes, is being close to a number of airports. He travels about five months of the year to keep abreast of the cultural scene.
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In two annual visits, totaling about a month, he saw 40 shows in London. Two weeklong visits to New York City added another 20 shows. Two-week visits to Vienna and Paris, plus summers in Vail, CO, keep him up to date on the concert and dance scene. Kenneth writes that, at 78, he “cannot always remember what I’ve seen. I can thank Yale for my love of the theatre.” After 45 years at the same address, Zelma Weisfeld ’56 has moved to an independent retirement village in Dexter, MI, nine miles from her Ann Arbor home. That is as far away from A2 as she could separate herself after 51 years, 28 as professor of theatre at the University of Michigan. Her new address: 320 McCormick Place, Dexter, MI 48130-8702 Phone: (734) 424-0617.
Alpine Theatre Project, a regional theatre that David Ackroyd ’68 helped found in Whitefish, MT, had its sixth summer season. In the past few years, ATP has realized a 550 percent growth in its audience and has garnered recognition in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, American Theatre Magazine, CNN and MSN. It is now a LORT D theatre, presenting a three-play summer repertory as well as two productions with local middleand high-school kids (this year it’s Alice in Wonderland for the middle school and Rent for the high school), a Valentine’s Day concert, a new “Winter LAB” of newer, cutting-edge work, and an annual fundraising gala. Past productions run the gamut from The Full Monty to the world premiere of Olympia Dukakis’ adaptation of The Tempest. David writes: “Whoever would have thought that at the age of 70 I would be able to tie my own shoes, much less help to manage an ambitious operation like ATP?” Fortunately, David has two very energetic and much younger partners (Betsi Morrison, the artistic director, and her husband, Luke Walrath, the executive director) and he gets to act and direct. He wants to thank Jimmy Naughton ’70 and Henry Winkler ’70 for serving on the
Alumni Notes After 46 years of teaching at UC Irvine, Robert Cohen dfa ’65 had one of the campus’ Update Us theatres named for him. Robert wrote and Please remember to update us on address, directed a new play, Abraham and Isaac in Jerusalem, on the UC Irvine campus and pubemail, and phone changes. And, if you know lished his second article on Waiting for Godot alumni who aren’t receiving mail from Yale in Modern Drama (the first, also in Modern School of Drama, please tell us! Drama, was published in 1964, when he was a Contact the Development and Alumni Yale Drama student). Affairs Office at email@example.com or Still “living out of a suitcase,” John D. Ezell (203) 432-1559 ’60 commutes regularly between his studio in Kansas City and a dozen theatres in the United States and abroad. He was recently awarded the 2011 Connecticut Critics Circle City and Cincinnati. He was on location in Award for Best Professional Sets for his Lima, Peru, and in the Amazon River basin designs for The Diary of Anne Frank at the researching locations for a new, operatic Westport Country Playhouse. Last season he production of Werner Herzog’s film Fitz designed Jeffrey Hatcher’s new play, Ten carraldo. He continues to serve on the boards Chimneys, at the Arizona Theatre Company in of directors of the College of Fellows of the Tucson and Phoenix as well as You Can’t Take American Theatre at the Kennedy Center in it with You, a joint production of the Repertory Washington, DC, the Edgar Snow Foundation Theatre of St. Louis and the Cincinnati Play and the National Council of the Sam Fox house. He continues to design the extravagant School of Art and Design at Washington Janet Burroway ’63 new touring production of The Nutcracker for University in St. Louis. He is the Hallmark the Cincinnati Ballet, with costumes by Corporation Foundation’s Hall Family Carrie Robbins ’67. In 2012 he will design Foundation Distinguished Professor of Design theatre’s honorary board. David is thrilled to David Mamet’s Race for the Repertory Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. say that his Yale School of Drama MFA has of St. Louis and Jeffrey Hatcher’s newest play, The Phoenix Syndrome, a new play by J. Allen also paid off in a completely different way: Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Fitz-Gerald ’63, was tried out in the Lake every year he spends four weeks in Venice Placid region. It is a drama about a philanthroteaching ancient Greek/Roman, medieval and Club, for the Arizona Theatre Company. In 2010 he designed a new production of A pist whose daughter, an environmentalist, Renaissance theatre to Montana college stuChristmas Carol for the Kansas City Repertory inspires him to take extreme actions to predents as part of their semester in Venice. vent climate chaos. J. Allen’s goal is to do ben“Those A.M. Nagler mah ’60 (Former Faculty) Theatre as well as the Great Lakes Theatre Festival’s 35th revival of the Dickens’ classic. efit productions to raise money for Bill notes really come in handy,” David writes. McKibben’s international efforts via 350.org Based in New York City, Susan Barber ’63 is The retrospective of his 45 years of designs, first mounted by the USITT, has been travelto mitigate climate change. Tryouts continue working mainly at promoting special hotels ing nationally to museums and galleries in the Lake Placid region. and villas abroad. She enjoys the theatre in including Phoenix, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas the city and is active in a small privately continued on page 62 owned theatre at 59th Street and Park Avenue. She welcomes the opportunity for alumnae gatherings. A musical based on the Barry Unsworth novel Morality Play, with book and lyrics by Janet Burroway ’63 and music by Matthew M. Kiedrowski, had its first reading at Midwest New Musicals in Chicago in February 2011. Janet’s play Long Time No See was revived by Bloomington Playwright’s Project for its “Vintage Scenes” fundraiser. In retirement, Raymond (Ramon) Carver ’61 has authored or adapted over 76 plays for the Living Room Theatre of Salado, TX. Productivity is its own reward, he writes. After returning from a trip on The Sea Cloud along the coast of Cornwall, Vienna CobbAnderson ’67 went to Poland last summer and to Iran in the fall. She writes: “Health is good. Life is good. Retirement is good. Hope One of the University of California Irvine campus’ theatres named for Robert Cohen dfa ’65. the same is true for all of my classmates.”
that doesn’t exist, and in many cases, they don’t even know what they’re creating. So the fact that many artists are anxiety-ridden, nervous and unsure of themselves is not very surprising. They need an environment that supports them, so that they don’t have to be fighting a rear-guard action against management. You have done a lot of work building institutions and sustaining them. What has been your primary work doing that? A lot of my work has been helping boards of directors strengthen themselves and grow in their capacity to support the organization. Obviously, support includes financial support, but that’s not by any means the only kind of support that a good board can give. So sustainability stems from the board?
Charles Dillingham ’68, yc ’65. Photo by Craig Schwartz
Charles Dillingham: Theatre Manager Extraordinaire Charles Dillingham ’68, yc ’65 has spent more than forty years at the helm of some of the most important theatre and performing arts institutions in the United States. Last year he ended a 20-year tenure as Managing Director of Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles and in July became vice president in the Los Angeles office of Arts Consulting Group. He has successfully guided organizations through artistic leadership transitions, a sea-change in arts audiences and donors and financial and labor crises. In this interview, originally conducted for the Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base, Charles discusses the role of the theatre manager and the trends that he has seen over the course of his career. How has your role as a manager changed over the course of your career? The partnership with the artistic director, in general, has grown to be a stronger partnership. The original concept for artistic directors was, “I’m going to take care of the art, and you deal with everything else.” That didn’t really work for a variety of reasons. As these organizations grew and became more institutionalized, more complex, and needed more money, the role of the artistic director grew and became more complex. As a result, artistic directors became much stronger partners, not only with the managing directors, but with the board of directors and the staff in general. You were at Yale School of Drama right at the beginning of Robert Brustein’s time there, and his training was that the manager’s primary job was to create the best environment for the artists to do what they needed to do. Has that been a guiding force in your career?
It’s a key component. If it’s neglected, other components won’t fall into place. The board brings advice on earned revenue, business advice, as well as leadership in the community. Fundraising is important, but without leadership in the community, you can’t raise any funds. Are there things that you wish you had worked on or seen to completion? I regret that the whole field of the arts has not organized itself both organizationally and financially to be a player in the national debate about governmental priorities. I think we’ve been on the margins. For example, the groups that rallied together to push through the Americans With Disabilities Act in the 1970s were successful because they made that issue a central part of the national agenda. The ADA eventually became one of the biggest pieces of social legislation in the history of the 20th century, but it didn’t happen because Congress all of a sudden decided to do something for people in wheelchairs. It’s now part of the fabric of life. The arts did not push themselves into the center of the national agenda the way they did. I regret that we didn’t undertake it when the opportunity was there in the ’70s. How would you describe the challenges facing arts organizations today? The biggest challenge for the artists is to produce work that will resonate with audiences who have so many more claims on their time and attention than they had 40 years ago, starting with their Blackberries. My biggest disappointment is that the vision we all had 40 years ago for contributed income to come from a wide variety of sources—the NEA, corporations, foundations, state and local governments, individuals—has not materialized. We have gotten to the point where we are almost entirely dependent on wealthy individuals, and that’s not healthy. No one wants to have all of the eggs in one basket. It’s riskier. Art Priromprintr ’11
Absolutely. That is what the manager’s job is in a nonprofit theater: to create the best possible environment for artists to do their best work. That does include finances, but it isn’t only finances. Artists need enormous amounts of support. Artists are creating something
Keith Fowler dfa ’69 continued from page 64 Soon to retire as the head of directing at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine, Keith Fowler dfa ’69 directed the school’s large-scale revival of The Threepenny Opera a year ago and followed it with an intimate staging of Playhouse Creatures in April 2011. Sun.Ergos, A Company of Theatre and Dance, now in its 34th season, continues to be led by Artistic and Managing Director Robert Greenwood ’67. The company has created 62 productions over the years, performing in Canada, the United States, Scotland, England, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Israel, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Mexico. Robert received the highest cultural award from the president of Croatia in 2004—the Redom Danice Hrvatske s Likom Marka Marulica—as well as having been honored by the United States, Canada, Poland and Slovakia. Sun.Ergos did a Virginia Honneus ’64
world premiere at the Medunarodni Djecji ˇ Festival in Šibenik, Croatia, last June as part of its 50th anniversary season of Clever Cherries, a production of Japanese folk tales. Robert continues to do 150–350 events per year. He celebrated 65 years in theatre this year, for 44 of which he has been a professional actordirector-designer-writer. He continues to teach workshops and residencies in schools and communities in North America, Eastern Europe and Mexico. After studying dance and theatre at Stephens College and Yale School of Drama, where her teacher was Pearl Lang, Virginia Honneus ’64 continued her ballet studies in New York City with many noted teachers, including Gabriela Darvash and David Howard. She has performed as a modern dancer with groups throughout the country and has danced principal roles in Carousel, Evita, The King and I and Man of La Mancha. In New York City she has performed at the 92nd Street Y and at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. She has taught children and adult ballet classes in Scarsdale, Chappaqua and Pound Ridge, NY, and has been a member of the faculty of Scarsdale Ballet Studio since 1998. Virginia is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Aka Dr. Sue, Susan Horowitz ’69 sang and played songs from her original musical El Señor X: Shakespeare Meets Salsa: A Romantic Thriller with Spice! in New York City in June 2011 and at the 2011 Hell’s Kitchen Arts Fest and Sing for Hope-Pop Up Pianos on the Lincoln Center-Hearst Plaza and in Tribeca Park. While in Santa Fe in March, Derek Hunt ’62 met up with Terry Gates ’62, who, Derek reports, is fine, thriving and still painting and getting ready for an exhibition of “Poetic Nudes.” Back in Lake Geneva—the Newport of the Midwest— after a year at MIT and a quarteryear in Paris, Robert W. Lawler ’67 found that his neighbor, Bethany, had started The Baker House Players, a group of young people and volunteers who will give a period ambiance to The Baker House, a magnificent Queen Anne mansion that has been turned into a luxury boutique hotel and lounge on the lake-front. Robert is thrilled to spend time with such wonderful youngsters and to see how they will build characters rooted in local history and engage in context-sensitive improvisation. Louis Armstrong, Artie Shaw
Susan Horowitz ’69
and others played at the Riviera Ballroom, a hundred paces away on the lakeside. Robert shares the local rumor that this was also a favorite hangout of Frank Sinatra. In the fall of 2011 David Madden ’60 became Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University, where he had his first teaching position— teaching drama—the year before he attended Yale School of Drama on a John Golden Fellowship. Judith Ebert McMahon ’61 recently played Emma Goldman in Assassins with the SRO Company in Binghamton, NY; wrote and directed a children’s show, All Things Seussical, at the Discovery Center, and last year
Terry Gates ’62
co-founded a readers’ theater, Southern Tier Actors Read. Public performances have included The Little Foxes and Our American Cousin at the Phelps Mansion Museum. He is still teaching at Rutgers University and holds the vice president’s chair of United Scenic Artists local 829, and in the last year F. Mitchell Dana ’67 was the lighting designer for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, designed by Ray Klausen ’67, at the Paper Mill Playhouse, and for a new play, Wanamaker’s Pursuit, at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia. Mitchell also spent time in St. Louis designing the lighting for six musicals at The Muny, American’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theater. Mitchell’s wife, Wendy, and their kids are fine, and their grandchildren keep getting bigger. “Keeping busy,” he writes, and “best to all.”
Retired from teaching and from writing theatre criticism, Julius Novick dfa ’66 now volunteers at the Housing Works Bookstore and Caf in New York City, whose profits are devoted to work with AIDS patients. Julius writes: “I’ve been hanging around bookstores all my life; I figured I might as well do it usefully.” Although semi-retired from a long career designing scenery and costumes for live theatre, in the fall of 2011 Dwight Richard Odle ’66 launched The Collection Ltd., a costumerental source housed in a 4,000-square-foot facility, geared exclusively to professional Southern California designers, who will be able to select from some 30,000 garments in stock. Richard Olson ’69 performed improvised movement—solos and duets— to live music
John Guare Looks Ahead There’s little in John Guare’s ’63 conversation that reveals any anxiety about the critics. He can see them through the window of Hurley’s Saloon on West 48th Street as they stroll into the Walter Kerr Theatre to watch the highprofile Broadway revival of his 1971 play, The House of Blue Leaves, directed by David Cromer and featuring Edie Falco, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Ben Stiller. In fact, at the window table of Hurley’s, John’s full attention is on the future and his newest play, Are You There, McPhee?, the world premiere of which is slated to round out the 2011–2012 McCarter Theatre season in Princeton, NJ. Described by John as “weirdly autobiographical,” Are You There, McPhee? encompasses “ten days in Nantucket that literally changed my life.” Though he asserts that “every work is personal,” he suggests that McPhee may be more so: “When it happened 35 years ago, I said, ‘I’m in a play. This is the play.’ I didn’t learn certain information about it until a couple of years ago that filled in all the blanks that allowed me to write it.” The new play’s director, Sam Buntrock, joins John at the table. John jokes that he chose this Englishman to helm McPhee as a way “to help him get his green card.” For now, John is keeping the play close to his chest. Even when asked about the origin of the name McPhee, he refuses to answer. Sam chimes in, laughing, “It’s answered on page two.” Responding to a buzz on his Blackberry, John excuses himself to check an e-mail from the McCarter’s artistic director, Emily Mann, regarding some rewrites to McPhee. Aside from speaking engagements, teaching classes at the Yale School of Drama, traveling, adjudicating the Yale Drama Series Prize for Emerging Playwrights, sitting in on rehearsals for Blue Leaves and polishing a new one-act, John’s attention has been primarily immersed in the world of Are You There, McPhee? “It’s just been a loose tooth all these years—with a maddening lack of information,” he says when he has finished his phone call. “I lived it on Nantucket. I wrote it in Rome, I wrote it in New York, I wrote it in the subway, on an airplane. … And now, 35 years later, those ten days are about to come to life on the stage.” And then it’s eight o’clock. The last audience members are scrambling into the Walter Kerr. John settles his bill and makes his good-byes, then strides across a street of racing taxicabs and limos to the second Broadway revival of the play that 44 years ago introduced his darkly comic, off-beat and singular voice to the American theatre. Michael Mitnick ’10
and recorded samples in the Mixed Move ment show at Brooklyn Ballet. He also improvised movement, sounds and words with a flutist in Movement Research’s Open Per formance series at Dance Theater Workshop. Richard now has a granddaughter, Madison, in addition to his grandson Bryce, both born of his daughter Auguste, who also lives in Manhattan. Living with History: Camus Sartre De Beauvoir, written by Howard Pflanzer ’68 in collaboration with Barbara Vann and the Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble, received its premiere production on April 28 at the Medicine Show Theatre in NYC. Howard’s collaborative theatre project, Alien, developed in January 2011 with Teatr Palmera Eldritcha in Poland, was first performed on May 5 in Pozna ´n and appeared in July at the 2011 Malta Inter national Theatre Festival (Pozna ´n). While in Poland, Howard was asked by the Theatre of the Eighth Day to reprise his lecture, “Jerzy Grotowski, Judith Malina and the Living Theatre and Alternative Theatre in the U.S.” George Potsic ’62 signed a contract with Mavrick Artists Agency in Hollywood to go on auditions for commercial work in 2011–2012. In her 20th month of design work on a new Nutcracker for the Cincinnati Ballet, Carrie Robbins ’67 writes that “by the time it opens, this ‘new’ Nutcracker will be old.” A full professor in the Department of Theatre at Hunter College, Michael Ruten berg ’60, dfa ’65 is still teaching after 46 years at the institution. In 2004 and 2005 he was awarded the New York City Chancellor’s Certificate of Recognition for scholarly achievement. In 2005 he was given a Ful bright Grant to Haifa University in Israel as Writer/Artist-in-Residence. In 2006 Michael received the Hunter College Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2009 he directed the premiere Off Broadway production of Death in Mozambique. He is listed in the 2011 and 2012 editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. Ike Schambelan dfa ’64 continues to run Theater Breaking Through Barriers, which he started 32 years ago. TBTB is now building a core of company members to help Ike with management and to create succession, though Ike intends to stay until, like George Abbott, he is 104 years old. Recently TBTB did a reading of Light Up the Sky with Vicki Rauch ’64 and Marvin Lichterman ’66 playing Stella and Sidney. In addition to spending her time in the
Alumni Notes ongoing theatre and film training and production center for actors, screenwriters/playwrights and directors. Roger recently directed and acted in the studio’s annual Bard at the Bar at the historic Players club featuring Charles Turner ’70 and William Otterson ’76. Currently working on various writing projects, E. Gray Smith ’65 is the founder/execuA.D. Carson ’79 on one of his self-built tive director of The Street Theater, Inc., which recumbent bicycles. has been in existence for 34 years. He has also been the operator/owner of Wildrivers, Inc. writes Lisa Carling ’72. Several years after she for 25 years. graduated, divorce and single motherhood Using his directing and coaching skills to help United States ambassadors and other fed- forced her to rethink her career options. In eral executives improve their press interviews 1983, she began working for Theatre Development Fund (TDF) in the organizaand presentations “keeps my mind percolating,” Frank Staroba dfa ’64 writes. He and his tion’s access program, intending to stay only long enough to raise her son. The challenge wife, Arden, like the DC theatre scene, which has one of the best Shakespeare companies in and commitment to level the playing field for Bill Peters ’79 and Sarah Albertson ’71 people with disabilities attending theatre took the United States. They often see Ted Van recently taught theatre workshops at the Actors’ hold, and now, 28 years later, Lisa believes Griethuysen ’60 there. Centre in London and at the International there is much more to be done. Highlights Institute of Performing Arts in Paris. along her journey at TDF include the opportunity in 2011 to launch the Autism Theatre . ............................ Initiative, making theatre accessible to chilBerkshires of Massachussets painting, and dren and adults on the autism spectrum and singing in two choruses, Carol Sica ’66 acts In the summer of 2011, Sarah Albertson ’71 their families. Other “firsts” include starting whenever she has the opportunity. She and Bill Peters ’79 taught theatre workshops TDF’s open-captioning services on Broadway recently played Sister Aloysius in Doubt. Her at the Actors’ Centre in London and at the for people with hearing disabilities; beginning daughter just received a master’s degree and International Institute of Performing Arts in Access for Young Audiences that provides capworks in New Hampshire. Carol’s partner, Paris. During the rest of the year they contintioning, audio description and interpreting Marcia, is also retired, so they have the time to ued to teach, produce and direct in the San services for students with hearing and vision really enjoy doing all those things they used Francisco Bay area. Bill teaches at San loss attending specially scheduled Wednesday to dream about. “I am having a wonderful life,” Francisco State University, where he directed matinees on Broadway; TDF’s National Open Carol writes. Hamlet in the fall of 2011, and Sarah teaches at Captioning Initiative, partnering with Roger Hendricks Simon ’67 recently Cabrillo College, where she will direct Three regional theatres across the country to expand played a part based on Hank Greenberg, head Sisters. Sarah fondly remembers working on audiences; and implementing “Interpreting of AIG, in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money the role of Irina in Nikos’ class long ago, when for the Theatre,” a one-week intensive for proNever Sleeps for 20th Century Fox, opposite she was an ingénue at the Drama School! fessional theatre interpreters that ran for 12 Michael Douglas, Josh Brolin and Shia LeBoef. “The training I received in the Acting years at the Juilliard School, setting national He got the role because Oliver Stone saw him Program— especially the ability to observe standards in the field. Lisa is still very much in the lead role in Georgiana Nestor’s recent and empathize with other people—has stood involved in theatre—not in exactly the way independent feature The Sublet, a film that me well in my unanticipated career path,” she had expected—and loving the way her life won several awards at the Garden State Film has turned out. She writes: “Hello to all my felFestival in New Jersey, Treasure Coast Lisa Carling ’72 low classmates and I hope you are being the International Film Festival in Florida and All wears a 1920s outfit best that you can be, wherever that path has American Film Festival in North Carolina, as from the Theatre taken you!” well as having a run at the Quad Cinema in Development It took 22 years for A.D. Carson ’79 to retire. New York City. Roger has also been producing “Theatre is a remembered love now,” he writes. Fund’s Costume and directing—with his wife Sarah Levine A.D. has worked in construction around Collection at Simon and their son Dan Simon—the Web Milwaukee, but the recession has allowed him an event at the opera film series Bread Today for Emerging to ease into very modest entrepreneurship— National Arts Club Pictures’ Opera in Cinema broadcasts of La almost a living—building recumbent bicycles. in December 2010. Scala and other international opera producA.D. remarks that his winter program in metPhoto by Milton tions in United States movie theatres. His alworking at YSD in 1977 has put down rather Simon Studio, located at the Arthur Seelen Trexler odd roots, but he is delighted that all that eduTheatre at the Drama Book Shop in New York cation didn’t go to waste! City, is now celebrating its 33rd year as an
After running Philadelphia’s Freedom Theatre for sixteen years, Walter Dallas ’71 is celebrating his third year as senior artist-inresidence at the University of Maryland, College Park. He loves living in the DC area. He just took a small group of faculty and graduate students from UMD to Ghana, West Africa, where he visits at least once a year. He is still directing but has found new passion as a professional portrait photographer. Walter has had three exhibitions, including a threemonth showing at Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre, of his African photographs. He has done many varieties of photography, from traditional weddings and pro boxing matches in Ireland to traditional naming ceremonies in Ghana and the Navajo Nation Fair in Arizona. Having come to the end of a 33-year career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as technical director, Dennis Dorn ’72 was celebrated by events in Madison and at the 2009 USITT conference. Named a USITT Fellow in 2000, Dennis was honored most recently with the 2011 USITT Distinguished Achievement Award in Technical Production, an event that included kind comments by previous honoree Ben Sammler ’74 (Faculty). All these events were shared by many friends and students as well as by his companion of 43 years, Kathy Dorn. A second edition of Drafting for the Theatre, coauthored with Mark Shanda, will be available on bookshelves, and perhaps on e-books, by the end of 2011. His professional activities remain strong while he also engages in travel, biking, yoga, golf and community committees. Since 2002, Bob Eimicke ’79 has served as Chief Counsel at the New York Stock Exchange. It is career number four for Dirk Epperson ’74, this one as an orchestrator. After migrating farther and farther from the arts, the sale of his software company a year ago has given him the opportunity to pursue his dream of orchestration and synthestration. So far he has managed to do an opera, some musicals, numerous songs and a few TV commercials. Dirk has also created a college-level course in these skills, which he hopes to be teaching soon. Winner of the 2011 L.A. Weekly Theater Award for Best Female Comedy Performance was Christine Estabrook ’76 in Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them by Christopher Durang ’74. Robert Gulack ’78 directed the world premiere of his new full-length play Churchill in Athens at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in
March 2011. The play featured music by fourtime Emmy-Award-winning composer Larry Hochman (composer of the incidental music for Robert’s The Complete Works at Yale School of Drama in 1978). It’s been a busy year for Jim Ingalls ’75: he has designed the lighting for Once in a Lifetime at A.C.T. with Mark Rucker ’92 directing; Griselda at Santa Fe Opera, Dunya Ramicova ’77 doing costumes; Crumb Songs at CalPerformances, Ojai Music Festival, Dunya Ramicova costumes; The Wooden Floor Dancers at Irvine/Barclay Theatre, Luke Cantarella ’00 designing scenery; Desdemona at Wiener Festwochen and Royal Flemish Theatre, Brussels, with Elizabeth Marvel, and Bill Camp reading Cassio on tape; Stage Kiss at the Goodman, Todd Rosenthal ’93 scenery; August: Osage County, Neil Patel yc ’86 scenery and Christopher Liam Moore directing; The People in the Picture at the Roundabout, Riccardo Hernandez ’92, scenery, built by the Neil Mazzella ’78 team at Hudson Scenic; Celts at Sacramento Ballet; Hercules at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dunya Ramicova costumes; lighting design intensive, UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance; Nixon in China at the Metropolitan Opera, Adrianne Lobel ’79 scenery, Dunya Ramicova costumes. Barnet Kellman ’72 was granted tenure by the University of Southern California. He is
now a full professor of directing in the School of Cinematic Arts and is proud to be able to share some of his Yale training with students. In spite of the company’s randomly firing people while hiring others, Walt Klappert ’79 is still an inventor at Rovi and glad to continue producing play readings for the Yale Cabaret Hollywood (YCH) with his fellow alumni and others. Yale Cabaret Hollywood is ten years old this year! The season began with Buckshot, a Christmas piece by Charles Bartlett ’90 and Jack Cooper. Nick Hormann ’73, now on YCH’s board, directed at the Café Metropol in downtown Los Angeles, with Barbara Bragg ’87, Michael Gross ’73, Peter Katona ’01 and Graham Shiels ’99. Next YCH did four short plays at Gregory BergerSobeck’s ’98 new 49-seat theatre in his teaching studio in Atwater Village. Walt directed an excerpt from Bill Ballantyne’s ’70 Limited Run. Barbara Bragg came in with a live adaptation of her father Bill Bragg’s award-winning short story, Ten Sleep Mail, about the Old West, which the group is trying to get into the Autry Museum. Julius Galacki ’98 wrote and directed Five Tigers Go to the Mountain, and Nance Crawford, spouse of David Stifel ’74, finished the evening with Buona Notte, Granna Sara, directed by Dyanne Asimow ’67. Bob Barnett ’89 continues to support YCH from New York and with occasional visits. Elizabeth
Members of the Yale Cabaret Hollywood’s Short Play readings at Gregory Berger-Sobeck’s ’98 new theatre, (from left to right): John Lordon (front), Feodor Chin, Jennifer Chang, Ewan Chung, Kim Swennen yc ’03, Richard Azurdia, Brian Slaten, Dyanne Asimow ’67, Brian Pope, Rebekah Voss, Paul Ainsley, Cameron Oro, Stephen Mendillo ’71, Julius Galacki ’98, Tyler McClain, and Walt Klappert ’79.
Alumni Notes Fenner, spouse of Brian Robinson ’00, along with Steve Mendillo ’71 were among the readers. Finally, Heritage Square demanded that YCH come back for the fourth year, and the group read a bit of Peter Nelson’s ’53 screenplay Inventing Mark Twain, and Dani Roter and Walt adapted a play called Ah Sin, which Mark Twain wrote with Bret Harte. Obi Ndefo ’97, yc ’94 joined as a reader. YCH also started two projects with Steve Robman ’73 and Steve Zuckerman ’74. From January 2009 until September 2010, Drew Kufta ’77 was the project manager for the renovation of Mory’s at 306 York Street in New Haven. Mory’s was gutted and restored with all new systems and structural improvements. It is now code compliant, safe and comfortable, with two new bars, patio dining, and a new kitchen, while preserving the old booths, paneling, tables and much of the memorabilia. Immediately after that project Drew managed the construction of a new space for another New Haven institution, Rudy’s Bar and Grill. At the beginning of May, 2011, Rudy’s reopened as a high-style European bistro at its new, much larger location on the corner of Chapel and Howe Streets. Marty Lafferty ’72 continues as CEO of the Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA), which this year is conducting a series of “Content in the Cloud” conferences at major trade events, including the National Association of Broadcasters’ 2011 NAB Show. Last spring Marty also became the administrative officer for District 5 of the United States Power Squadrons.
Marty Lafferty ’72 attends conferences at major trade events, including the National Association of Broadcasters 2011 NAB Show.
Two Friends by Adrianne Lobel ’79 Southern Oregon is paradise for Charles Levin ’74, yc ’71. He is in retirement there with a great pug named Boo Boo Bear, memories of a beautiful woman, Katherine DeHetre ’71, three great kids— Jesse, an attorney; Kate, a doctor; and Ben, eccentric extraordinaire. He is happy, by his own admission not too fat, and writes that he is considered by many to be the meanest person on Facebook. He had great times at Yale and Harvard, made many dear friends, countless enemies and “worked as hard as I could so that I would never have to tap dance for the white folk again nor deny myself anything advertised in the New Yorker. I retired, partially defeated by Hollywood’s inane cruelty and New York’s delusions of grandeur and art. I still love to act, and I can become anyone I want in the wilds of Oregon and have a ball doing it.” It was a great year for Adrianne Lobel ’79. Nixon in China, for which she designed the scenery, opened in February 2011 at The Metropolitan Opera and was a hit. Adrianne is working on a new piece for the Mark Morris Dance Group, for which she is using her own paintings; she also had a one-woman show of those paintings at the Bowery Gallery in Chelsea in October 2011. Robert Long ’76 and his Theatre Consultant Collaborative colleagues recently opened the new Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA, and a new home for the Austin City Limits production in Austin, TX. Robert is also working with Jim Simpson ’81 and Carol Ostrow ’80 on the new home for the Flea Theater in New York City. Forty-one years after getting his MFA at YSD, George Moredock ’70 will soon graduate with another master’s degree, this one in science. Starting a second career in the field of mental
health, George will soon be counseling people like himself, who have had difficulties with substance abuse. He feels lucky to begin again. Having recently finished the libretto for an opera—Enemies, with composer Ben Moore— that was performed by the Kentucky Opera in Louisville in the fall of 2011, Nahma Sandrow Myers dfa ’70 has books still in print and a musical that is occasionally revived; she continues to lecture on Yiddish and American ethnic theatres. This has been a busy year for Patricia Norcia ’78 as she continued her exploration of theatre with horses. Her beautiful dressage horses performed in another dance piece with the Equus Projects Dancing with Horses. The company created a new hour-long work called Celebration, performed at Mount Holyoke College, in New York City’s Prospect Park and as a benefit for the High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center in Connecticut. Patricia collaborated with New York choreographer Joanna Mendl Shaw and rode in all the pieces. Elizabeth Norment ’79 spent New Year’s week in Berlin, tracing Brecht’s footprints in the city and seeing shows at the Berliner Ensemble. Last spring she was Kathleen Turner’s stand-by in High on Broadway and reconnected with YSD classmate Jess Goldstein ’78 (Faculty), who designed the costumes. Elizabeth was also in the new Off Broadway play Manipulation at the Cherry Lane Theatre. A production of Hamlet at the New York City rock venue Webster Hall, in the spring of 2011 gave William Otterson ’76 the opportunity to play Claudius. He also played three flawed kings in Roger Simon’s ’67 Bard at the Bar, an
William Otterson ’76 in Hamlet
evening of Shakespeare at the Players club in May 2011. In addition, he played Wolfgang Heine, an evil psychiatrist, in Excuse Me for Living, a film featuring Christopher Lloyd, Jerry Stiller, Wayne Knight, Robert Vaughn, James McCaffrey and many other award-winning actors. He played President Obama in The Man With the Red Right Hand, a film that kicked off Visionfest 11 in June 2011. William produced a museum installation at the Muscatine Arts Center in Iowa that consisted of Civil War soldier Daniel J. Parvin reading letters in front of a diorama of a Civil War campground. The installation, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, will remain in place for several years. Steve Pollock ’76 was pleased to announce the marriage of his daughter, Lia, in October. Steve writes: “While it’s hard to believe that it’s been 35 years since exiting the Drama School, the concept of 30-year old children and the prospect of grandkids is simply mindblowing!” Steve’s business at Auerbach Pollock Friedlander San Francisco continues to grow, with project work for Cirque du Soleil, Michigan State University, Juilliard and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In his 41st season as a member of the company, Ralph Redpath ’75 appeared in Witness for the Prosecution at the Flat Rock Playhouse. In July, Peter Roberts ’75 retired as production director for the English section of the National Theatre School of Canada, now celebrating its 50th anniversary. Peter will remain in Montreal, undertaking planned and ad hoc projects. His partner, Wendy Reid, PhD, is on the faculty at the business school Hautes Etudes Commerciales, affiliated with the University of Montreal, where she conducts research and teaches arts administration, management and leadership. Peter writes: “Let us know if you plan to visit this vibrant, truly bilingual and bicultural city!” As a member of the Actors Center Workshop, John Rothman ’75 has been working with Ron Van Lieu (Faculty) and Chris Bayes (Faculty) and mentoring a couple of YSD grads. He is also working on Game Change for HBO and has a few small juicy parts in the movie Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. His daughter, a Yale alumna, is in the journalism school at CUNY, and his son is an assistant to a manager at 3Arts in Los Angeles. John spent the spring of 2011 auditioning on the West Coast and doing guest shots on a couple of series. George Street Playhouse did a successful tour of the new version of Bob Sandberg’s ’77
IRL: In Real Life. Dramatic Publishing commissioned The Shirt for its anthology The Bully Plays. Passage Theatre did a workshop and reading of What Can’t Be Seen, and Bob directed A Broad Abroad at Princeton and was the dramaturg for Another Girl at PlayPenn. Currently the artistic director of the 60-year old Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, an island institution, John Shea ’73 is also in early preproduction on Grey Lady, a feature film he wrote and will direct for Beacon Pictures. In June 2010, Charles Steckler ’71 was appointed Dwane W. Crichton Professor of Theatre at Union College, where he has served as the resident designer for 40 years. Charles also continues to pursue his career as a visual artist, with gallery exhibitions of his graphic and sculptural work: “Sketcher Recalls: Concerning the Art of Drawing,” 2011, at The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY; “Collage: Allegories, Dramas, Pageants & Dreams,” 2010, at the Clement Gallery, Troy, NY; “Boxed Sets: Dioramas & Stage Designs,” 2010, at the Perrella Gallery, FultonMontgomery Community College, Johnstown, NY; “Small Wonders: The Perspective Boxes of Charles Steckler,” 2010, at The Butzel Gallery, John Sayles School of Fine Arts, Schenectady, NY; “Bricoleur/Bricolage,” 2008, at Lake George Arts Project, Lake George, NY. His calendar for 2011 is set: Roy Steinberg ’78 will be directing Say Goodnight Gracie, The Understudy, Steel Magnolias, The Woolgatherer and This Wonderful Life, all at Cape May Stage.
Edith Tarbescu ’76 Roy will also be playing painter Mark Rothko in Red. In 2010 he directed The Importance of Being Earnest at the Hudson Guild in New York, with Lynn Cohen as Lady Bracknell. Edith Tarbescu ’76 has written a new mystery novel titled One Will: Three Wives and is looking for an agent. She has also written a one-woman play, titled Suffer Queen. With his world of teaching, directing and coaching expanding worldwide, Mark Travis ’70 would like to share his discoveries and techniques with writers, directors and actors from as many cultures and backgrounds as possible. And he would love to hear from all YSD alumni who would be interested in sharing, collaborating or in any way participating in sharing the wealth.
Charles Steckler ’71
Carol Waaser ’70 On January 28, 2011, Carol Waaser ’70 retired from the staff of Actors’ Equity Association after 28 years. Carol had served in many different positions, ending her career there as acting executive director. She considers it a privilege to have represented professional actors and stage managers over the years and has been awed by the extraordinary talent that populates the stages around the country. While working for Equity, she also crossed paths with many YSD alumni: actors, stage managers, directors, designers, managers, producers, press agents. Carol also completed a four-week cycling tour through Italy, following the route of Garibaldi’s march, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. She writes: “The history and
politics were fascinating, and the cycling was very challenging and, needless to say, the food and wines were extraordinary.” Michael Whaley ’77 lives in Spring Green, WI, home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin and Hillside Home School and American Players Theatre. He is on the core faculty of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Archi tecture, teaching writing and criticism. Michael and wife, Gigi, have three children, all of whom have at least one college degree and all are, for the time being, within 250 miles of home. Their dog, Pie, three years old and an extraordinary runner, is usually but not always within that range. Never having been one to plan his life, Stephen R. Woody ’76 is pleasantly surprised to have been spending the time since 2006 on his third career, working first in South Korea and most recently in China, as head teacher and language-learning director, teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). He writes: “It was my background in the Performing Arts that got me my first job offer. What next? Onward and Upward.” Glad to have returned to Connecticut, Scott Yuille ’77 is enjoying being part of the CAPA/ Shubert-New Haven team and is still pinching himself that he is working in the state’s most complete arts-magnet high school. He also enjoys talks with Bill Reynolds ’77 (Faculty) and Ben Sammler ’74 (Faculty) when they meet on the street, and his visits to the renovated Owl Shop! 2011 was a very busy year for Steve Zuckerman ’74. Steve and his wife, Darlene Kaplan yc ’78 have spent a lot of time in New Haven visiting their daughter, Esther Zuckerman yc ’12, who is the online editor of the Yale Daily News. Steve’s production of Shem Bitterman’s Influence in Los Angeles with Yale alums Alan Rosenberg ’74, Eve Gordon ’81 and Cameron Meyer yc ’91 received multiple award nominations. For television Steve directed multiple episodes of Melissa & Joey, Working Class, State of Georgia and Bleep my Dad Says. He has also been teaching at USC.
An associate professor at LSU Shreveport, Robert Alford ’85 most recently directed productions of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress by Alan Ball, Southern Girls by Sheri Bailey and Dura Temple and Inherit the Wind
Stephen R. Woody ’76 in China
by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, starring Sy Richardson as Henry Drummond. Living in Kentucky with his wife, PJ, and children, Taylor, 13, Cameron, 11, and Theresa, 10, Todd Berling ’89 still works as a theatre design consultant with his firm, Harvey Marshall Berling Associates, and is happily continuing his relationship with YSD as adjunct lecturer. In the fall of 2010 he taught a class in stage rigging and stage machinery for second- and third-year students. Among other things, Todd has been working on a riggingrenovation project at YSD for the antiquated stage rigging system in the University Theatre. With his new position at Hunter College Mark Bly ’80 will be closer to the folks in New Haven. Mark has missed being around former students Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa ’03, Marcus Gardley ’04, Sarah Treem ’05, Karen Hartman ’97, Ken Lin ’05, Alex Woo ’97, Rachel Sheinkin ’95, Tom Sellar ’97, dfa ’03, Jami O’Brien ’04 and others he admitted, such as Tarell Alvin McCraney ’07, Amy Herzog ’07, yc ’00, and many others. He will also get to act as dramaturg for Moisés Kaufman, Doug Hughes, Rajiv Joseph and Liz Egloff again on and off Broadway. The position at Hunter is an eight-months-a-year gig, leaving time to do dramaturgy and conduct playwriting- and dramaturgy-intensive workshops elsewhere. He conducted a dramaturgy intensive July 23–31 at the Kennedy Center. Mark is fully recovered from his “heart event” of January 17 and his quadruple bypass surgery. He writes: “I have the heart of a 20 year old now! The increase of oxygen has enhanced my IQ I swear… “ Living and working in Pittsburgh, Sharon Brady ’88 just finished Superior Donuts at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. She is teaching at Point Park University and anxiously awaiting the moment when she and her husband Vidya join their daughter Oona in Rome after her semester abroad and continue on to India to see the family. It’s been another busy year for Rick Butler ’88, with seasons two and three of the HBO series Bored to Death now complete. Rick also completed designs for the Lionsgate feature film We the Peeples, starring David Alan Grier ’81, scheduled for release in the fall of 2011. Still heading the Arts program at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ben Cameron ’81 learned that Oprah Winfrey (or more likely her staff) had tweeted his Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) talk from Calgary that was featured as a TED Talk of the Day, and his image was featured in the iPad
Melissa Cochran ’81 holds her new grandchild, with her son, left (who was born during her second year in YSD Stage Management program), and her husband. campaign. Ben received an honorary doctorate from Goucher College and continues to guest teach at YSD in the administrative program. Reconnecting with old classmates— Jan Eliasberg ’81 most recently—is always a great pleasure. Having pretty much retired from professional design work, Tina Cantu-Navarro ’86 remains an adjunct faculty member at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX. This past year she taught classes in theatre design and a survey course in theatre production. She had hip surgery in the summer and was back teaching in the fall of 2011. She writes about what a privilege it was to study under Ming Cho Lee (Faculty) and Jane Greenwood (Faculty). Her son, Dave, was born when Melissa Cochran ’81 was in her second year in the stage management program, and he has just given Melissa and her husband their first grandchild. She writes: “We are all a bunch of happy idiots over her.” 31 years after finishing at YSD, Chas Cowing ’80 is still living in New York. His 21-year old son attends the University of Rochester, interested in art curation and electronic music. After 30 years of marriage Chas lost his wife, Evianne, to pancreatic cancer. He and his son are still somewhat in shock but eager to get back out in the world and rock! Chas wishes great things for all his colleagues: “Live long and prosper!” A critically acclaimed African-American production of A Trip to Bountiful was the realization of a dream for Timothy Douglas ’86. The production featured Lizan Mitchell at the Cleveland Play House and Round House Theatre. After that, Timothy moved to Chicago to begin his tenure as artistic director of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company in July
2011. Along with his classmates he celebrates the life force that was Spencer Beglarian ’86. Acting together for the first time since a production of Peer Gynt at Yale School of Drama, Jan Eliasberg ’81 and John Bedford Lloyd ’82 appeared in the CBS show Blue Bloods. Jan has been directing nonstop, going from Supernatural to Parenthood to Criminal Minds, then NCIS: Los Angeles, Blue Bloods and finally In Plain Sight. Jan is currently developing three series as a writer/director/producer. In his continuing efforts to reintroduce himself to the performance/production aspect of the business, Jon Farley ’83 has played lead roles in a web series called Freelance and an indie feature film called sLip Page, released in the fall of 2011. He has also been cast as Meera in a stage production of Sam Shepard’s Tooth of Crime. On the tech side, John did two lighting designs last year, one for the holiday show Holly Jolly Hulla baloo and the other for a locally written project called Sherman: A Jazz Opera. His wife, Karen Barnes Farley, who was on the Yale Rep running crew from 1981 through 1983, stage managed Sherman. John continues his software engineering work, but most of his clients are nontheatre. He has also started taking circus aerial classes. “Life is good,” writes Linda Fisher ’72. “Work is scarce.” Tim Fricker ’89 left the theatre world in the fall of 2005 to pursue a new career in the bicycle industry. After more than five years as lead mechanic and service manager of a small, independently owned specialty bike shop, he assumed ownership of the shop in late 2010. In 2009 he was one of 600 to race in the Brompton World Championship (BWC), a UK
Jan Eliasberg ’81 with John Bedford Lloyd ’82 while she was directing an episode of Blue Bloods
Tim Fricker ’89 raced in the 2009 Brompton World Championship bike race in the UK. race in which all riders must ride their Brompton folding bikes dressed in “business attire.” Tim writes that he plans to return to race in the BWC in the summer of 2011, where he fully expects to finish firmly in the middle of the field again. In May, Eve Gordon’s ’81 web series, Versailles, premiered on mydamnchannel.com, in which she stars, along with Patricia Heaton and William H. Macy. It got hundreds of thousands of hits within a few days, which makes Eve hopeful that it will turn into some sort of paying venture. Eve appears in Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 for ABC. Last spring she acted on stage in Influence with Alan Rosenberg ’74, directed by Steve Zuckerman ’74, and in The Autumn Garden at Antaeus with Jane Kaczmarek ’82, their first joint theatre venture since The Suicide at YSD in 1980! “Greetings from Poughkeepsie, NY,” writes Christopher Grabowski ’89, where he has just started his 18th year on the faculty of the drama department at Vassar College. He has been the director of the Experimental Theater there all those years, and at the present time he is chair of the department. He still directs other projects: Irma Vep at Portland Stage, with YSD pal Anita Stewart ’88 designing the set. Chris has also been working quite a lot with the Academy for Classical Acting in Washington, DC, working his way through the Jacobean plays. This year Chris has been consumed with writing, directing and
Tamara Heeschen Gaglioti ’85 with her husband, Paul, and daughter, Katy
traveling with a project he has put together called “Vassar Voices” for the Vassar College Sesquicentennial. It had a splashy launch in NYC at Jazz at Lincoln Center with a cast of Vassar grads, among them two YSD grads: Meryl Streep ’75 and Elliot Villar ’07. Following up on their Lilith opera collaboration Allan Havis ’80, with composer Anthony Davis, is working on a free adaptation of Lear for an invited workshop presentation at Princeton’s Atelier in the coming academic year(s). Tamara Heeschen Gaglioti ’85 is so happy to be living in St. Paul, MN, closer to her family, and loving all that the area has to offer in the way of outdoor activities, theatre, music, etc. Daughter Katy continues to delight as she heads into second grade. Tamara is working part-time for Weight Watchers, and Paul continues to search for an engineering job. (They never expected the job market to be so difficult when they relocated two and a half years ago,) She was excited to stage manage her brother’s play for the Minnesota Fringe Festival in Minneapolis last August, her first foray into theatre work since becoming a mom. Her husband, Dave (Yale School of Medicine resident ’88), built a custom soundproof room for her, so now Heather Henderson ’87 can narrate audiobooks in the comfort of her home. After five very fruitful years as Frank B.
Weeks Visiting Professor of Theater at Wesleyan University, David Jaffe ’84 is moving on to Connecticut College to be the chair of the theatre department. It was an offer he could not refuse, affording him the opportunity to make some exciting things happen and, as a bonus, living not five minutes from the campus. David recently ran into an old National Theatre Institute student Alexis McGuinness ’06, who is thriving and teaching at Fordham, working with Julie Boyd ’84. David’s son Jake, who at 18 now stands 6’4”, has finished his first year at University of Vermont, and his little brother Jonathan, 11 years old and 5’ even, finishes up fifth grade and really loves fencing. David sends a “thanks” to Tyrone Wilson ’84 for putting some great old photos up on Facebook. September 2011 marked 30 years since their arrival in New Haven. Taking a hiatus from The Lion King at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, in early 2011 Patrick Kerr ’87 joined the South Coast Rep production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Mark Rucker ’92. Other YSD alumni involved in the production included: Michael Manuel ’92, Rob Campbell ’90, William Francis McGuire ’91, Elijah Alexander ’96 and Nephelie Andonyadis ’90, who designed the costumes. When the show closed, Patrick returned to The Lion King and will stay with it until the end of 2011. Kirk Jackson ’88 finished his tenth year
David Jaffe’s ’84 sons Jonathan and Jake
Mintz photo by T. Charles Erickson
John Harnagel ’83, Dianah ‘Roneyah’ Wynter ’84, and Angela Bassett ’83 at the Director’s Guild of America’s Celebration of International Women’s Day, where Angela gave a tribute to director Kathryn Bigelow
teaching drama at Bennington College with fellow alumni Kathleen Dimmick ’85, Jean Randich ’94 and Michael Giannitti ’87. He continues his association with Ivo van Hove, assisting him on The Little Foxes at New York Theatre Workshop. He also directed Legends! at the Studio Theatre in DC last summer and The Importance of Being Earnest with the Old Globe MFA actors in San Diego last winter. He is still acting, too, including playing Louis de Rougemont in Shipwrecked!, directed by classmate Matthew Wiener ’88. Projects in 2011 for Quincy Long ’86 include Loulou, a musical in development at the Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada; Church Laugh, a play with songs developed in the Civilians’ R&D Workshop; The Huntsmen at Portland Stage’s Just Add Water Festival; The Gospel According to Trains, a commission from the New York State Council on the Arts through America-in-Play; the leading role in Monarchs and Men, a film by the German director Jan Hammer.
Jane Macfie ’88 played Madam Arcati in Doug Wright, Neal LaBute and Moisés Blithe Spirit for young director Damaso Kaufman. A portion of its proceeds go to the Rodriguez at A Noise Within and went on as LA Gay and Lesbian Center’s Vote for Equality Miss Havisham in Great Expectations for a program. Wendy’s new play, Find and Sign, week, making entrances in a wheelchair on a will premiere in January 2012 at the Pioneer raked stage. She saw and loved Anne Justine Theatre in Salt Lake City. D’Zmura’s ’89 production of Silent Sky at A graduate of both Yale School of Drama and South Coast Rep with Colette Kilroy ’88. the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Jane’s daughter Renata is now seven and a half Clown College, Patrick Markle ’89 became and likes to perform, but Jane still hopes she’ll the new chief administrative officer of be a doctor or a scientist. Auerback Pollock Friedlander, Performing “This Flight Tonight” by Wendy MacLeod Arts/Media Facilities Planning and Design, ’87 appears in Standing on Ceremony: The Gay and Auerbach Glasow French, Architectural Marriage Project, an evening called a “burgeon- Lighting Design and Consulting. As chief ing phenomenon” by the Los Angeles Times, administrative officer, Patrick takes leaderwhich also features plays by Paul Rudnick, ship on all administrative operations for the
The Ideal World of Cheryl Mintz Soon after she graduated from Yale School of Drama, Cheryl Mintz ’87 was hired as a stage manager on a Broadway show. The experience was a determining factor in her future career. On the one hand, “two years is a big commitment,” she says. On the other hand, “once the play closes, you’re out of work.” Her job as resident stage manager at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ, which she has held for twenty years, has been a much more satisfying fit. “For one thing, there’s never not a job,” she explains. “And the artistic level is very high. There are not many venues where I’d be with better people.” The question is: can interest and enthusiasm be maintained after being in one place for so long? “Twenty years is a long time to be anywhere in this business,” she admits, “but with stage management you don’t have to go to a different venue for fulfillment. If you find a theatre whose artistic mission speaks to you, you can stay there. Emily Mann’s [Artistic Director] mission at the McCarter became my mission. I’ve done 20 productions with Emily, and I think there are not many stage managers who have worked that consistently with an A-list director.” And in case she had any lingering doubts about the road not taken, she had another chance when the McCarter’s production of Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics made the move to New York. “It was great to do a Broadway run again,” she admits. “But once it opened, I felt I was just part of the machine, whereas at the McCarter I can make an impact on the community, on the training of the interns, on the theatre itself. It’s not a physical job. I don’t pick things up. It’s multitasking: paperwork, scheduling, keeping track of the artistic direction of the show.” Cheryl often invites staff members from across departments to sit in the booth during a performance of a show. “It’s a way to educate the staff, and I find that they are very invigorated once they see how a show is called and can take that back to their jobs in marketing and development or whatever and be really turned on.” Highlights of her career include shepherding Anna to Broadway, the McCarter and Kennedy Center run of Emily Mann’s Mrs. Packard and the American premiere at the McCarter of the musical Take Flight by John Weidman, with music and lyrics by David Shire and Richard Maltby, Jr., and directed by Sam Buntrock. Asked if her job made her the envy of stage managers everywhere, she laughed. “You’d have to ask them all! But I do feel I have one of the best stage-management jobs there is. Here I can balance life, marriage, motherhood and also be artistically fulfilled.”
firm as well as participating in strategic planning , marketing and public relations. In the fall of 2010, Nobel-prize-winning playwright Wole Soyinka came to Duke to collaborate with Jody McAuliffe ’80 on a production of his play The Beatification of Area Boy. In the spring, Jody directed the world premiere of Neal Bell’s Now You See Me at Manbites Dog Theater. Charles McCarry’s ’86 recent projects include: Material Queen, TV series, Next Media, Production Designer (Taiwan); Gods Behaving Badly, Feature, Warner Brothers, Art Director; Law & Order: Criminal Intent, TV series, NBC, Art Director; A Legal Mind, Pilot, USA Network, Art Director, 2010; Ugly Betty, TV series, ABC, Art Director. Jennifer McCray Rincon ’87 is the executive artistic director of a new nonprofit she started called Visionbox. The company is a result of 20 years of teaching and directing in Denver, primarily as head of acting at the National Theatre Conservatory, which is closing in May 2012. Visionbox came out of a long collaboration with Bill Pullman on a project they created called Expedition 6. Jennifer looks forward to reconnecting with classmates and grads. A lot of opportunities exist for anyone interested. Jennifer’s children are grown up: Catalina is 19, a sophomore at American University in DC; Sonia is 16, has been studying in Bogota and will come home for junior year at East High School; Carlo is 11, entering sixth grade and switching from soccer to football. Jennifer’s mother died on November 1, 2010, which was a big passage in her life, but she is really excited about her new job and life. She turned 53 this year. Please stay in touch. Frances McDormand ’82 sends greetings from Newport, RI, where she is working on
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Alec Scribner ’80 Moonrise Kingdom, a Wes Anderson film. She has had many great adventures this year, including working on her first franchise films: Transformers 3 and Madagascar 3. She traveled to Dublin to work with the Italian director Paolo Sorrentino. Frances was in the original Broadway cast of David LindsayAbaire’s new play, Good People, and won a Tony Award for best performance by an actress. Frances writes: “I am one lucky 54 year old broad. My family is hale and hearty and life is sweet.” It was while taking Leon Katz’s (Former Faculty) classes that Brighde Mullins ’87 fell in love with teaching and has gone on to teach at Harvard, Brown and CalArts. Currently she is running a multi-genre creative writing program at USC called Master of Professional Writing. Brighde is living in downtown Los Angeles and working on a new play that she developed at Bard in the summer of 2011. Recent plays of hers are Monkey in the Middle and Those Who Can, Do, published by Playscripts, Inc. She recently received a United States Artists fellowship,
Bradford W. Smith ’87 and Ivan Menchell ’87 at the world premiere of the musical Bonnie and Clyde at The LaJolla Playhouse
and will use it to research another play. An associate professor of film directing at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena for over 10 years, Stephanie Nash ’88 has taught student directors how to work with actors as well as consulting on film projects. Stephanie has also been teaching mindfulness meditation for twelve years. She just started up a nonprofit—Mindfulness Arts— which incorporates integrative approaches to meditation, movement, music and performance. Increasingly composing music, Serge Ossorguine ’84 recently placed a piece in a Dairy Queen commercial, which was lots of fun. On the more serious side, he composed a track for HBO’s production of Mildred Pierce. Tim Saternow’s ’87 paintings were recently seen in a solo show at the George Billis Gallery on West 26th St, NYC. His paintings were also recently published in the new book, Splash 12. His show in October was at the LILI-UBEL Gallery, Paris, France. All of this painting was done while being an art director for the film Salt, starring Angelina Jolie, and the upcoming Bourne Legacy. Reelected president of Theatre Library Association (TLA) for a second two-year term, Kenneth Schlesinger ’84 helped TLA produce its third symposium at Lincoln Center, “Authenticity and Adaptation in Shakespeare Today.” A project at Walt Disney Imagineering took Alec Scribner ’80 for two weeks in Paris, Provence, Cinque Terra, and Venice, vacationing and researching architectural facades and details. Alec writes that his “peu de bit” of French got him through, but his Spanish worked best in Italy. Bradford W. Smith ’87 has spent the last year based in Los Angeles, working on several of his films as well as spending a lot of time in San Francisco consulting with production companies and talent agencies. He continues to monitor his investments—with good friend Michael Jenkins—in A Christmas Story, The Musical, which began its national tour in Hershey, PA, and will play Chicago during Christmas, and Bonnie and Clyde, a musical by Ivan Menchell ’87, Frank Wildhorn and Don Black, which will land on Broadway late in 2011. Bradford continues to be open to new experiences and would love to find the right job that would allow him to come home every evening and spend more time with his family. Stephen Strawbridge ’83 (Faculty) has recently enjoyed a number of collaborations with Yale School of Drama alumni and
faculty: Athol Fugard’s Coming Home for Long Wharf and Berkeley Rep, with costumes by Jessica Ford ’04; Battle of the Blacks and Dogs for YRT, directed by Robert Woodruff (Faculty), with scenery by Riccardo Hernan dez ’92, costumes by Thom McAlister (Faculty) and sound by Chad Raines ’11 ; School Boy Play at the National Theatre of Portugal, with costumes by Donna Zakowski ’83; We Have Always Lived in the Castle at YRT, with costumes by Ilona Somogyi ’94 (Faculty); James and the Giant Peach for Goodspeed Musicals, with scenery by Chris Barreca ’83; The How and the Why by Sarah Treem ’05 for McCarter Theatre with costumes by Jennifer Moeller ’06; Black Tie by A.R. Gurney ’58 for Primary Stages, directed by Mark Lamos (Former Faculty), with costumes by Jess Goldstein ’78 (Faculty); Madame Butterfly for Washington National Opera; and Rigoletto for Dallas Opera with scenery by Michael Yeargan ’73 (Faculty). Adam Versényi ’86, dfa ’90, yc ’80 participated in the conference “Invisible Presences: Dramaturgy, Translation, and Performance” at Queen’s University in Belfast in April 2011. He continues to teach Dramatic Art and Global Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, where he is also the dramaturg for PlayMakers Repertory Company. In addition, Adam is founder and editor of The Mercurian: A Theatrical Translation Review. The latest issue, published in February 2011, contains a new translation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters by Libby Appel and Allison Horsley ’01, commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Oliver Mayer’s updated translations of two Cervantes’ entremeses; and Daniel Brunet’s translation of Electronic City by the German contemporary playwright Falk Richter. Robert Wierzel ’84 designed the lighting for Story/Time, a new dance-theatre piece with choreography by Bill T. Jones, decor by Bjorn Brighde Mullins ’87
Amelan, projection designed by Janet Wong, costumes by Liz Prince; Medea, music by Luigi Cherubini, libretto by François-Benoît Hoffmann, directed by Michael Barker-Caven, scenery and costumes by Joe Vanek, at the Glimmerglass Festival; Carmen, music by Georges Bizet, libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy, directed by Anne Bogart, scenery and costumes by James Schuette ’89, choreography by Barney O’Hanlon, at the Glimmerglass Festival; Tales of the City, a new musical based on Armistead Maupin’s stories, book by Jeff Whitty, music and lyrics by Jake Shears and John Garden, directed by Jason Moore, scenery by Douglas Schmidt, costumes by Beaver Bauer, at A.C.T., San Fran cisco; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, music by Benjamin Britten, libretto adapted from William Shakespeare by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, directed by Tazewell Thompson, scenery by John Conklin ’66, yc ’59, costumes by Kay Voice, at Boston Lyric Opera; Rappahannock County, a theatrical song cycle about the Civil War, music by Ricky Ian Gordon, lyrics by Mark Campbell, directed by Kevin Newberry, image projection by Wendall Harrington (Faculty), costumes by Jessica Jahn, produced by the Virginia Arts Council and Virginia Opera; Lucia di Lammermoor, music by Gaetano Donizetti, libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, directed by Tomer Zvulun, scenery by Erhard Rom, image projection by Ruppert Bohle, at Atlanta Opera; Macbeth, by Giuseppe Verdi, with an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, directed by David Schweizer, scenery by John Conklin, costumes by Nancy Leary, at Boston Lyric Opera; Essentialist Acts, a new piece by the Streb Extreme Action Company, movement created by Elizabeth Streb and company, at Park Avenue Armory, NYC.
Haff photo © Carole Parodi
Dallas Adams ’93 finds it hard to believe he’s been working as an accounting manager in Las Vegas for twelve years. Only a few credit hours away from a BS in math at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Dallas is debating whether to go on and get the MS first or just skip ahead to the PhD program. His wife Diane just completed a culinary program, so he now has a chef making all his meals. His children are eight and nine, and Dallas and Diane are homeschooling them. “It all really makes for a good life,” he writes. continued on page 74
Stephen Haff ’92 and a student in his Still Waters in a Storm program in Brooklyn, NY
Stephen Haff in Still Waters In a small room in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, students gather after school for a group writing session led by Stephen Haff ’92. Between slices of Fortunata’s Pizza, they share stories, poems, thoughts and ideas. This is Still Waters in a Storm, a neighborhood program Stephen founded in 2009 to give Bushwick residents, be they students or adults, the “opportunity for safe self-expression.” Now in its third year, Still Waters is “more than a program, it’s a place,” Stephen explains. “This neighborhood can be violent and noisy, so I think of Still Waters as a quiet place where people can come to read and write and listen to each other. Places like that are hard to find.” Stephen knows what it’s like to try and find a quiet place in a noisy world. After YSD he moved to New York to direct workshops for New Dramatists, but after a while, looking for a way to have a bigger impact on his community, he left to become a schoolteacher in Bushwick, a mainly Latino section, where 75 percent of the children live in poverty. He founded the Real People Theater, a company of student performers who gave a Brooklyn spin to classic plays. RPT’s success would lead to a partnership of that company with The Wooster Group that continues to this day. Stephen felt that there was still more work to be done in the community and turned to his experiences as a dramaturgy student at Yale for ideas. He cites the late Richard Gilman (Former Faculty) as inspiration. “I thought about his criticism workshop,” recalls Stephen. “We’d take turns writing and reading aloud, and classmates would critique. It was a model of how people could listen with great care to each other.” This model formed the basis of what eventually became Still Waters in a Storm. Starting with just twelve participants, Stephen has seen the number grow to nearly three dozen regulars, but his door is always open for more. “Still Waters is open weekdays for whoever walks in and needs help with reading, writing, speaking and listening, or a sanctuary for thinking and being. All ages, all needs.” Stephen’s work has taken him down a career path he admits he never envisioned. But now that he has taken it, he feels he’s finally found his niche, and gently cautions today’s generation of YSD students not to rule out any possibilities. “There are many ways in which theatre and performance and self-expression show up, so keep your sails open to the wind. You might be surprised where you end up. Surprised, and delighted.” Reynaldi Lolong ’13
Joanna Glushak ’99
Michael Sean Graves ’97 and his wife Dorothy welcomed their daughter Rowan Miles Graves on July 1, 2010.
Esther Chae ’99 and Paul von Zielbauer
continued from page 73 Continuing to cultivate those YSD skills, Ed Blunt ’99 is currently in the midst of leading leadership training for Novo Nordisk and preparing for several edblunt.com speaking engagements in NYC and LA. His VIP Travel Club is growing in Israel and the UK and just opened in Hong Kong among several other countries. Ed gives a big “Thank you” to YSD for so many opportunities!! Having just finished renovations on a new house and becoming an uncle to his second nephew, Trulane, David Boevers ’96 is still at CMU and actively looking to book riggingtraining gigs. After a five-year hiatus from the full-time work force to spend some quality time with her three young daughters—Kaitlyn, 9; Caroline, 6; and Megan, 2—Kathryn Calnan (Parrella) ’99 is pleased to have joined the staff of Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI, as director of development in August 2010. It has been a true “full circle” experience for her, since Trinity hosted her as an intern during her senior year of college and employed her—ironically, in the development department—for two years after college before she came to YSD in 1996. It has been exciting and professionally rewarding to return to this organization as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014. After becoming engaged on a mountaintop in Tanzania, Esther Chae ’99 was married in Santa Monica, followed by a traditional Korean wedding in Seoul. The year 2010 was a busy one for Esther’s solo performance, So the Arrow Flies. She performed it at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City, the Greenburg Theatre in DC, the October Nights Festival in Imola, Italy, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her husband is Paul von Zielbauer, former New York Times investigative journalist, who now leads expeditions with his company Roadmonkey Adventure Philanthropy. Aaron Copp ’98 recently designed My Coma Dreams for Fred Hersch. During this last year Aaron also designed national and international tours for Yo-Yo Ma and Natalie Mer chant and lit Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend Off Broadway. He also served as lighting director for the Lincoln Center Festival. Robert Cotnoir ’94 has been working as a music editor on the two hit TV series Damages and Rizzoli & Isles and has been nominated for the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ Golden Reel Award for Best Music Editing: Television in 2007, 2009 and 2010, and took home the trophy in 2005 for his work on the hit series
Sanaa Lathan ’95 (left) starred in Lynn Nottage’s ’89 (Faculty) By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Medium. Bobby is presently serving his brothers and sisters on the board of directors of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700, and looks forward to catching up with classmates and sharing his experiences with the current class. In a recent production of The Mystery of Irma Vep with The Ensemble Theater of Santa Barbara, Joseph Fuqua ’90 wore his first dress. And in April 2011 he portrayed Elyot Chase in Noel Coward’s Private Lives at The Laguna Playhouse. Last summer he directed King John with The Teen Shakespeare Program of The Rubicon Theatre Company of Ventura, CA. From a field of 2,400 entries Julius Galacki ’98 was a finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s Eighth Annual American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest. Julius directed a new draft of his play Black Flamingos as part of the Dramatists Guild’s Friday Night Footlights West playreading series in North Hollywood, CA. The cast included Bridget Flanery ’02. And in February 2011 his Five Tigers Go to the Mountain—which he also directed—was part of the Yale Cabaret Hollywood’s evening of Four Short Tales at the Berg Studio Theatre, Gregory Berger-Sobeck’s ’98 new space in Los Angeles. Walt Klappert ’79 produced the evening. Julius’s short screenplay, adapted from his play All Things Chicken, was named a quarter-finalist in the 15th Annual (2011) Fade In Awards. Malcolm Gets ’92 recently returned from the La Jolla Playhouse, where he appeared in the premiere of Little Miss Sunshine by William Finn and James Lapine. In the summer of 2011 he went to Williamstown to work on a new
piece, conceived and directed by John Doyle, called Ten Cents a Dance, with the music of Rodgers and Hart. A lot has happened in the last 10 years of Joanna Glushak’s ’99 life, but right now she is just happy to be back in New York after two years’ touring with the musical Young Frankenstein as Frau Blucher and prior to that, touring for nine months with Xanadu, The Musical. She is hoping now to stay in New York for a while and settle back. Her web-design business, Little Fish Studios, is entering its 14th year, writes Marjorie Goodsell Clark ’91. Her husband, Darren Clark ’92, is still a senior AV system design engineer at HB Communications, and their daughters, Hannah and Emma, are thriving tweens. Michael Sean Graves ’97 is working as a Production Manager on national corporate events as well as designing lights in dance and theatre. Rowan Miles Graves was born to Michael and Dorothy in July of 2010. “This past year has been incredible to have her as part of our lives!” Michael writes: “I still think
about YSD and all my fellow Yalies. If you ever find yourself in Little Rock, please call.” Still running the directing program at Catholic University of America’s drama department, Eleanor Holdridge ’97 is also doing as much freelancing as she can. Martha Hostetter ’98 and James Krouse ’98 welcomed their son Peter Jacob into the world on May 27. Big brother Ian is now two and a half. In November 2010 Jennie Israel ’96 launched Peaseblossoms, a unique baby clothing company with designs inspired by the James Krouse ’98 and son, Peter Jacob, born words of William Shakespeare and other May 27, 2011 poets. Most recently Jennie played Claire in Boston Marriage by David Mamet and Christine in Dollhouse by Theresa Rebeck at Kent ’99 was recently one of twelve people the New Repertory Theatre. In February 2012 working to develop the new Sustainable she will play the title role in Medea for The Technology Environments Program (STEP) Actors’ Shakespeare Project. rating system that will be a companion to the The costumes for a Bangkok production of U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED System. Macbeth were designed by Ritirong Kitchen Hamlet, the first feature film of Jiwakanon ’95. Daniel Elihu Kramer ’91 has been seen at the While he continues to work on performing- Garden State Film Festival, Seattle True arts projects in a sustainable way, Raymond Independent Film Festival, Tupelo Film Festival, Appalachian Film Festival and Southern Appalachian International Film Festival. His play Pride@Prejudice received its Tom McCarthy’s Multi Media East Coast premiere at Chester Theatre Thomas McCarthy ’95 earned his MFA in acting from Yale School of Drama, and indeed, he has had an enviable string of roles on the big screen (Good Night and Good Luck, Jack Goes Boating, Syriana), the small screen (The Wire, Leave Your Legacy Boston Public), and on stage (the 2001 Broadway revival of By including Yale School of Drama in your Noises Off ). Tom has also enjoyed parallel success as a financial plan, you make a significant writer (he cowrote Pixar’s Up), and he was the writer and commitment that will strengthen the School director of The Station Agent and The Visitor. Perhaps it’s and, through faculty and students, touch and his generosity with actors when he directs his own scripts inspire countless lives. that have garnered Tom a slew of raves for his work— “perceptive,” “compelling,” “inspirational,” “fascinating,” A life income gift can offer you the best of “memorable.” many worlds: dependable income for you and In his latest film, Win Win, which he both wrote and directed, Tom collaborated with an old your family, current and future tax savings, friend from his days on York Street: “Paul Giamatti ’94, yc ’89 and I met at the Drama School,” and a means to support scholarships and the Tom says. “We kept in touch and remained good friends. Win Win felt like the right project. unique programs that have made Yale School So around Thanksgiving I approached him and said, ‘Hey, I think I have something for us.’ We ended up spending Thanksgiving at his house and decided it felt right.” of Drama a leader in arts training for more When he directs a film, Tom enjoys working with actors who have stage training because that than eighty years. experience streamlines the expense and time crunch of making movies. “Most of the actors I Whether planning for retirement, the work with come from the theatre,” he says, “so we try to do as much table work as we can before educational expenses of children, or the care we shoot. Once we get on the set, we don’t have the time to say, ‘Let’s discuss this.’ There can’t be of loved ones, life income gifts are an excellent 150 people waiting while we have a conversation. We have to have the questions answered way to balance your goals. . . . for you and for before we get there.” Still busy with press and Win Win screenings, Tom was about to fly off to India to write a the School. screenplay for the Disney Company. “It’s based on the real story of a sports agent from L.A. who To learn about these opportunities, set up a contest in India called ‘The Million Dollar Arm’ in an attempt to find some major-league please call Susan Clark at (203) 432-1559 baseball pitchers among the ranks of Indian cricket players.” or email@example.com With a full plate, Tom’s fervent hope is to get back to acting, the area he studied at Yale Drama only 16 short years ago. Michael Mitnick ’10
Patrick Kerr ’87 as Bottom and Michael Manuel ’92 as Thisbe in South Coast Repertory Theatre’s production of Midsummer Night’s Dream Company in July 2011. Daniel also directed Jeffrey Hatcher’s The Turn of the Screw there last summer. In the spring he directed a reading of Reservoir by Eric Henry Sanders, and the two are working together to develop a film based on Eric’s script. Daniel has just finished his second year teaching directing and acting at Smith College. Upon accepting a position at Six Flags as corporate vice president of Insights and Interactive Marketing, Mark Kupferman ’96 and his wife, Elizabeth, moved to Dallas, TX. Costume designer Suttirat Ann Larlarb ’97 did the costumes for Slumdog Millionaire and for the National Theatre Production of Frankenstein, working both times with director Danny Boyle. After stepping away from acting for three years to work as manager of major gifts at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Bill Langan ’90 is heading back to working with actors again. In the fall he began teaching acting— scene study, Shakespeare, auditioning and more— in the BFA program at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. While this position is only a oneyear sabbatical replacement, Bill considers any opportunity to teach a gift and a privilege. In addition he is excited to be going back east for an extended period after spending so
much of the last ten years in the remote mountains of Oregon. After six-plus years Malia Lewis ’97 is well ensconced in Cleveland Heights. Malia’s business, Blue Real Estate, has survived both the mortgage meltdown and economic recession. She is now managing rental property for those who have moved away but cannot sell their houses, in addition to managing her own. It turns out, however, that climbing ladders for a living strains the body; she just had an arthritic joint in her foot fused, so she is unlikely to return to the extension A-frames of her youth. Luckily Heights High is rebuilding the loading rail to their auditorium fly system, so she looks forward to lighting her children’s, Claude and Ella’s, many future talent shows from the ground. She and her wife, Margot, recently marked their 25th anniversary with a family trip to Portugal. The children are practicing their key phrase: “Quiero uma gelada faz favor.” During a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream at South Coast Rep, Michael Manuel ’92 was very happy to be reunited with friends from YSD. Mark Rucker ’92 directed and Nephelie Andonyadis ’90 designed the costumes. Michael learned to play bridge with fellow mechanicals Patrick Kerr ’87 and William Francis McGuire ’91, while Elijah Alexander ’96 and Rob Campbell ’91 were busy on stage. Many old pals came to see the show, including Jonathan Moscone ’93, Kadina De Elejalde ’91, Tony Ward ’94 (who was there doing The Weir) and Amy Povich ’92. Wesley Fata (Former Faculty) surprised everyone by coming to the last show. Michael
Robin Miles ’94 won an Audie Award for Distinguished Achievement in Production.
Malia Lewis ’97 with partner Margot Damaser and their children Ella and Claude in Washington, DC for inauguration of President Barack Obama, January 2009. occasionally plays golf with Chris Bauer ’92 and Reg Rogers ’93, while Dan Rubin ’93 refuses to play Xbox with him. Michael also stays in touch with Bo Foxworth ’94, Tom Whyte ’92, Cammy Monet (Sanes) ’92 and Michael Potts ’92. He misses all of his classmates and friends from school and is glad that whenever they run into each other, time seems to disappear. Michael Manuel and Roxanna Augesen ’93 are still married and have a beautiful daughter, named Lily, who is in high school. Charles McNulty ’93, dfa ’95 won the 2009–2010 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for his reviews and essays published in the Los Angeles Times, where he is the chief theatre critic. He also took first prize for General Commentary in the Excellence-in-Features Writing Competition held by the Society for Features Journalism. Last spring Charles taught his first class at the California Institute of the Arts, a play-analysis seminar, with YDS alum and CalArts dean Travis Preston’s ’78. Audiobooks gave Robin Miles ’94, yc ’86 a fulfilling artistic outlet while she was pregnant. Her daughter is now eight, and Robin still loves narrating and has added producing and directing. She feels lucky to perform deeply emotional work for the most part and to use lots of accents, too. Her two recent bestselling titles are Cleopatra: A Life and The
Marjorie Craig Mitchell ’97
Warmth of Other Suns. Her big producing project, Here in Harlem, just won an Audie Award—basically, an audiobook Oscar—for Distinguished Achievement in Production, “representing the best the format has to offer in listening excellence.” Nathan Hinton ’95 and Michael Early ’87 have worked on this project as well. Robin travels around the country teaching the art of narration at conservatory programs and conferences, adapting her curriculum to different groups. She traveled to Missouri, Chicago, LA, Boothbay, DC and Spartanburg last summer, saw Stephen Derosa ’95 in San Diego and caught up with Ashlee Temple ’94 in Denver last year. A Founding Member of Atlantic Stage, the first and only Actors’ Equity theatre in Myrtle Beach, SC, Marjorie Craig Mitchell ’97 is stepping into new territory as managing director. Classmates Rich Whittington ’98 and Preston Lane ’96, founders of Triad Stage, NC, and Jennifer Schwartz ’97, a financial
management consultant in San Francisco, have agreed to act as mentors in this new position. Marjorie is still friendly with Liza Vest ’97 and Janet Takami ’96, both stage managers on Broadway, and stays in touch with Jenny Friend ’98, still production stage manager with Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Company. Somerset New-Stein and Marty New ’92 have launched ClimbTime Yoga, child-parent partnering in yoga, in Santa Barbara, CA. The manual for ClimbTime Yoga came out in the summer of 2011. Paul Niebanck ’97 was part of the Humana Festival premiere of Jordan Harrisons’ Maple and Vine, directed by Anne Kaufman, with a cast that included Peter Kim ’04. Paul was also recently in Our Lot, by David Hancock and Kristen Newbom, with the New York City company Clubbed Thumb. YSD Alum May Adrales ’06 was the director, Nathan Hinton ’95 was in the cast and Alixandra Englund ’06 designed the costumes. Compagnia de’ Colombari, a New Yorkbased company that performs frequently in Italy, boasts a number of YSD alumni, including Michael Potts ’92 (who is currently performing on Broadway in The Book of Mormon), Elliot Villar ’07 (who was in After the Revolution at Playwrights Horizons and is in War Horse at Lincoln Center) and Michael Rogers ’85. Christopher Akerlind ’89, Tony Award–winning lighting designer of The Light in the Piazza, serves on the Board of Trustees, along with John Conklin ’66, yc ’59. Karin Coonrod (Faculty) is the Artistic Director of the company.
Bob Schneider ’94 and his wife, Francoise, in Bruges, Belgium
After having been executive director of the Exhibit Designers & Producers Association since 2008, Jeff Provost ’95 made a switch into experiential marketing a few years ago and is running a different kind of show business now, working closely with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) graduate students studying Exhibition Design via his University Affiliations Program. These students are focused in much the same way as YSD students, and Jeff reports that “it’s fun to be around this kind of vibrant energy again.” The FIT Graduate Studies program (through SUNY) gives him the opportunity to work with adjunct professor Matthew Moore ’92. As he put the finishing touches on his sixth play— a comedy set mostly inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza—Bob Schneider ’94, dfa ’97 writes that his son complains that
1 Tracy Stark ’94 and Bonnie McDonald Stark ’93 welcomed their daughter Jessica McDonald Stark on September 2, 2010 2 Deanna Stuart’s ’94 daughters, Ana and Xiu. Photo by Clix 3 Chris Weida’s ’95 four children (left to right): Danny, Emily, Alex, Connor 4 Marty New ’92 and her son Somerset New-Stein
Alumni Notes 95 percent of the play concerns masonry. Bob told him that was because of writer’s block. “Some plays are pointless,” he goes on, “but not this one. You can’t write seriously about a pyramid without coming to the point; the geometry of the subject forbids it.” Two of his characters are named after classmates, but Bob is not saying which two. Flora Stamatiades ’94 recently went to Sydney, AU, for the executive committee meetings of the International Federation of Actors (FIA), the organization that brings together actors’ unions around the world. Flora has also been spending a lot of time in Los Angeles on various projects, and she was in London in June 2010 for some further meetings about international actor exchanges. All in all, she writes, it’s been a busy time. Tracy Stark ’94 and Bonnie McDonald Stark ’93 welcomed their daughter Jessica McDonald Stark on 9/2/2010. They are having a grand time as new parents. Named head of theatre at the Brooks School this year, Deanna Stuart ’94 also co-directed her first show last spring. Daughters Xiu and Ana are growing like weeds. They all traveled back to China last summer with the charity Grace and Hope for Children to help out in the orphanages with special-needs children. Deanna is always looking for folks to talk with her theatre students, so any alumni who are interested and in the Boston area, give a yell. In addition to acting, Jeff Talbot ’96 continues writing plays and won the inaugural Laurents/Hatcher award in February 2011 for his play The Submission. It was produced Off
working or being a dad, Chris is trying to remodel their 1970s home to bring it visually into the new century, Rosalyn Coleman Williams ’90 lives in Manhattan, where she operates Red Wall Productions with her husband, Craig. Their independent film company has produced several award-winning short films. Her passion is teaching, however; she is in the second year of teacher training with Ron Van Lieu (Faculty) at The Actors Center. Roz was recently voted Best On-Camera Teacher in New York by Back Stage readers and has developed a series of teaching tools, including the Everything Acting Podcast/App and the iRoz App, both of which are available in the iTunes Store. She is currently shooting a new pilot for HBO. Her latest creation will be a Father’s Day book she is writing with her six-year-old son, Coleman. Rosalyn Coleman Williams ’90 Broadway in September and October by MCC Theater in NYC. Mary K. Walden ’90 directed Pippin last spring at Fieldston Middle School in the Bronx with seventh and eighth graders, and Mary couldn’t have been more proud! “What a joy witnessing them unearth this production,” she writes. Still living in Milwaukee, Chris Weida ’95 is working for TJ Hale, leading the client management group responsible for all client service and project management. Chris and Rosanne have four children—Danny, 4; Alex, 11; Connor, 9; and Emily, 7. When not busy
Enjoying a new career in film, Amy Alta donna ’07 has been working in location sound and audio post-production. Her work has appeared on TV and the Web and will soon be coming to the silver screen. She continues to design plays and is loving life. The world premiere of Guggenheim-award winner Thomas Bradshaw’s Mary at the Goodman Theatre was directed by May Adrales ’06. May also directed the world premiere of A. Rey Pamatmat’s ’03 Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, featuring Teresa Avia Lim ’09, at the Humana Festival. In the
1 Rosie Strub ’05 and husband Jim Knable yc ’98 with son Jameson Ramsey Strub Knable. 2 Amy Strahler Holzapfel ’01, dfa ’06 and her husband Simon welcomed their second child, June Margaret (right). She already adores her brother Ezra (left). 3 Lee Wambsgans, born to Dorothy Fortenberry ’08 and Colin Wambsgans on January 18, 2011 4 On May 25, 2011, Jon Reed ’07, his wife Sarah, and big sister Emma welcomed Henry Alan into their family. 5 Courtney DiBello ’02, with her husband Joe and children Waverly and Weston.
fall of 2011 she will direct Dael Orlander smith’s Yellowman at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Living in New York with Michael Banta ’03 are Luke Banta, 3, and Sandra Goldmark ’04, who designs sets and costumes in New York and regionally and is assistant professor of professional practice in design at Barnard College in New York. Sandra is also resident designer with Transport Group. Michael is production manager at Barnard College. Luke is very helpful at notes calls and loves painting and sweeping. By her own admission a little late, on May 8, 2010 Sarah Bierenbaum ’05 married Kurt Uy in her hometown of Williamsburg, VA. Sarah’s full ’05 stage management posse was in attendance—Marion Friedman Young ’05, Anne Michelson ’05 and Melissa Turner ’05—so they got to reprise their 2005 YSD class photo (minus the Women’s Table). Sarah and Kurt had a great time partying with the ’05 ladies as well as with Burke Brown ’07, Katherine Cusack ’06, Valerie Oliveiro ’04, Karen Quisenberry, Cat Tate Starmer and John Starmer ’06. The family is living in Brooklyn now, where Sarah works at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in general management. Valentine’s Day saw the birth of Garrett Paul to Ashley Bishop ’02 and her husband Brian. Last year’s revival of David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre marked the Broadway co-producing debut of Frances Black ’09. Frances is the director of member services at A.R.T./New York. continued on page 80
Sarah Bierenbaum ’05 celebrated her wedding to Kurt Uy on May 8, 2010. (back row) Katherine Cusack ’06, Burke Brown ’07, Anne Michelson ’05, Cat Tate Starmer, Marion Friedman Young ’05, John Starmer ’06, Melissa Turner ’05. (front row) Sarah Bierenbaum ’05, Kurt Uy, Valerie Oliveiro ’04, Karen Quisenberry. Photo by Heather Hughes Photography
YSD alumni from the class of ’06 reunite at the Opening Night of Christopher Durang’s ’74 Beyond Therapy at Westport Country Playhouse, directed by David Kennedy ’00. (left to right) Lee Savage ’05, Brian McManamon ’06, Erin Buckley ’06, Emily Gresh ’06, Arthur Nacht ’06, Liz Alsina ’06, Shira Beckerman ’06, David Byrd ’06
Rachel Myers, Designing Woman After graduation, ready to begin her career as a designer, Rachel Myers ’07 headed for New York City, but when she saw many of her fellow Yale grads “barely subsisting on assistant jobs,” she changed direction. “I had come out to LA in the spring before graduation and had a few job interviews,” she recalls. “I even got an offer which I couldn’t take because it overlapped with Ming’s Clambake. But it did make me optimistic about my future out West.” A native of Los Angeles, Rachel decided to go home, and if being busy is any criterion, she made the right move. In the few years since graduation she’s done costume, set and production design work on more than a dozen films and over two dozen plays, commercials and music videos in addition to teaching at California State University Channel Islands and winning a few film festival awards for art direction. How has she managed to do it all? “Persistence and a limited social life,” is her semiserious answer. Rachel’s most exciting project to date has been designing costumes for the world premiere at South Coast Repertory Theatre of Julia Cho’s Language Archive, directed by Mark Brokaw ’86, with sets by Neil Patel yc ’86 and lighting by Mark McCullough ’91. “Mark, Neil and Mark are all Yalies, and it was nice to connect with them. We had many conversations about the characters, and then I’d show them a few drawings, and Julia would say something like: the character is kind of the Isle of Man meets Nepal. Sometimes I’d do 20 different sketches because the style of the play was magic realism, very quirky but very specific. All in all, it was a very rewarding experience.” Rachel’s future continues to be jam-packed. “I have a film in preproduction from a script by Stephen Mills ’69. We’re collaborating and hope to go into production in September. I’m working on the design now, basically creating the look of the world of the film, which, as written, is kind of a dreamscape. We’ve gone through many incarnations of the design, which is reflective of a theatre sensibility.” Rachel admits that in addition to persistence, she’s been very lucky. “I design commercials and music videos, and I’ll continue with that as well as teaching, which is great. But I want to design full time. I saw Jane Greenwood (Faculty) at the YSD Los Angeles party and she said, ‘It’s time to roll up your sleeves and do some hard work.’” Rachel laughs: “I’m ready for that!”
Alumni Notes Institute and is enjoying heading up its national membership, donor and alumni programs. AFI’s headquarters in Los Angeles feels to him a lot like YSD, since it has the AFI Conservatory, a graduate film school, in production year-round. Los Angeles, of course, has much better weather. He is still continuing to develop independent film and TV projects through his company, Hollywood Farms, and though there are much longer time horizons than he originally hoped for, things are moving: he has a feature in development at Paramount, a TV show being shopped through Andrew Farrow ’06 and Jo (McInerney) Relativity Real and two feature dramas being Farrow ’08 on their honeymoon in Rome packaged for financing. Greg has also been doing some volunteer social work with the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, Celebration Theatre and Gay for Good. Jason Davis ’04 and Maureen Davis are having a wonderful time in Southern California. Jason is working as the animation global program manager for Walt Disney Imagineering, and Maureen is helping out at some of the local theatres. Their three children—Austin, 11; Sophia, 9; and Kevin, 6—are all interested in drama and perform in nearly continual school/professional productions. After being named the inaugural recipient Kate Bredeson ’02, dfa ’06 of the Drama League’s Classical Directing Fellowship, Snehal Desai ’08 spent his sumcontinued from page 79 mer at the Old Globe in San Diego. He recently directed Heartbreak/India at Columbia After spending her DFA and post-DFA years University and had a reading of his new play, in Paris, Nova Scotia and Chicago, Kate Diary of a Lost Boy, at the Lark Play Develop Bredeson ’02, dfa ’06 now lives in Portland, OR, where she is an assistant professor of the- ment Center. Hubby Joe and Courtney DiBello ’02 are atre at Reed College. She works as a dramaturg with Hand2Mouth Theatre, teaches MFA play- now parents of two: Waverly, 5, and Weston, 1. Courtney is teaching stage management at writing at Hollins University, continues her Oklahoma City University as well as stage research and writing on political theatre in managing for the Oklahoma City Ballet and France in the 1960s and spends much of her Canterbury Choral Society. She hasn’t done a summers in Paris. play in years but writes, “Isn’t it strange how The director of KUPresents at Kutztown Yale prepares you for anything?” University, J. Andrew Cassano ’01, was As a member of the 2011 Old Vic New Voices named to the ArtsQuest Performing Arts US/UK Exchange, Michael Donahue ’08, board in Bethlehem, PA. He will be responsialong with 45 writers, directors, producers ble for programming content, including and actors from NYC, went to London for a music, cinema, theatre, dance, comedy and week to perform new work on the Old Vic traditional performing arts. stage and hold industry meetings. Roberta In 2011, with her job as understudy to both female leads in The Importance of Being Earnest Pereira ’08, Frances Black ’09 and Dipika Guha ’11 also went. Michael directed A starring Brian Bedford, Amanda Leigh Cobb Number for Playmakers Repertory Company ’05 made her return to Broadway. in August/September 2011, with Burke Things are busier than ever for Greg Copeland ’04 in Los Angeles, and 2011 is look- Brown ’07 designing lights. He also recently did a production there of Kim Rosenstock’s ing to be the start of the best decade yet. In ’10 99 Ways to Fuck a Swan with the school’s January Greg started a new gig as director of grad actors, costumes designed by Moria Individual Giving for the American Film
Amanda Leigh Cobb ’05 and Tim MacDonald backstage during The Importance of Being Earnest at the Roundabout Theater Clinton ’09. Michael will direct a production of the Shostakovich operetta Moscow, Cheryomushki for Chicago Opera Theater’s 2012 season, with a newly adapted libretto by Meg Miroshnik ’11 and production designed by Anya Klepikov ’08. Kyoung-jun Eo ’09 is working as a freelance technical manager in Korea. After getting married in May of 2010, Andrew Farrow ’06 and Jo McInerney Farrow ’08 honeymooned in Dublin, Rome, Florence and on the Amalfi Coast. Back in New York City both have been busy. Drew is still working in the Design and Engineering Department at Showman Fabricators, where he has been a technical designer for many different projects in the last year at television studios, Broadway productions, tours and such events as fashion and auto shows. Jo has been stage managing for Off Broadway theatre companies, such as Theatre for a New Audi ence, the Atlantic Theater and The Play wrights Realm, while also stage managing regularly for STREB as well as working in the event world with Production Glue and 360 Designs. Lauren Feldman ’08 devised and adapted Lady M for the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival in the fall of 2011; devised The Orpheus Variations in NYC, also in the fall of 2011; devised The Food Play in NYC in the spring of 2012; wrote Now/Not Now, a solo performance Sandra Goldmark ’04 and Michael Banta ’03 with their son Luke
Paul Gelinas ’09 has wrapped eight months of work as the assistant art director on Ang Lee’s latest film, The Life of Pi. The production designer for the film was David Gropman ’77. John Hanlon ’04 continues to run the theatre program and teach senior humanities seminars at a college prep school in Jackson Hole, WY. His translation of Maksym Kurochkin’s Mooncrazed was part of hotINK 2010 in New York and was featured at CUNY’s Segal Center. In January 2011 Kurochkin’s Fighter Class “Medea” was one of two contemporary Russian plays selected for The Soviet Arts Experience, a 16-month-long festival in Chicago. John has also become involved with two local theatre companies: he directed Ionesco’s The Lesson for Riot Act, Inc., in November 2010 and played Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps for Off Square Theatre in February/March 2011. With a nod to the legendary course at YSD, he established and hosts ThinkTank 47, Off Square’s monthly workshop for local playwrights. In the summer of 2011, Brian Hastert ’09 toured Portugal, the United Kingdom and Austria with Mission Drift, a new musical about American capitalism and the myth of the frontier, created with his company The TEAM. They will bring it to New York for a month-long run in January 2012. John Hanlon ’04 and Morgan Barcz in The 39 Steps at Off Square Theatre (Jackson, WY). Amy Strahler Holzapfel ’01, dfa ’06 and Photo by Zac Rosser her husband, Simon, were delighted to welcome their second child, June Margaret, into piece for an acrobat, in HOT Festival at Dixon program in theatre at Columbia University, the world last year. She already adores her Place in July 2011; wrote the full-length play Jason Fitzgerald ’08 is studying alongside older brother, Ezra, who just graduated from The Egg-Layers, premiering at Barnard College Susanna Gellert ’06 and Joseph P. Cermatori kindergarten. Amy is still teaching theatre at in the spring of 2012; and teaches at Two River ’08. Graduate school 2.0 has been challenging Williams College. Theater Company and at Bard High School and rewarding on all fronts, he writes, but he After three glorious seasons, Brendan Early College in Queens. misses being able to unwind at Sullivan’s or Hughes ’04 wrapped up his tenure as impreAfter many years of freelancing and job have an extra scoop of ice cream at the sario of the Harbor Stage at the Wellfleet hunting, seven years in Wisconsin creating Cabaret. Jason is also the dramaturg for the Harbor Actors Theater on Cape Cod in order to Real Coffee and more than a year of living on Playwrights Realm Writing Fellows group, devote himself to a long-fantasized featurethe road in Hawaii, taking on grandchildren where Stephanie Ybarra ’08 is producing and more searching, Susan Finque ’03 has director. The 2010–2011 group included finally found the newest direction for her Mattie Brickman ’09 along with three other career and love of the theatre. She is happy to talented writers. Jason also continues to write have been accepted into the PhD program in for Back Stage magazine. drama at the new Center for Performance As artistic director, auteur director and theStudies at the University of Washington, atre artist, Gia Forakis ’04 announced the under the leadership of Professor Odai launch of Gia Forakis & Company, a collective Johnson. She had been feeling a bit underchal- of theatre artists that includes James Chen lenged and untethered in her directing and ’08 and Jennifer Lim ’04; the group is committeaching and has long craved a new artistic ted to the exploration, experimentation and home. Susan and her partner Maria are blissapplication of One-Thought-One-Action in Mercedes Ruhl and Bess Rous in Sarah Treem’s fully at home with doggies Zannzy and Koda, ACTION™. ’05 The How and the Why, directed by Emily kitty Wonder and, for the time being, her son Lee Wambsgans was born to Dorothy Mann for McCarther Theatre. Photo by T. Jesse and grandson Tyler. Fortenberry ’08 and Colin Wambsgans on Charles Erickson In his second year of course work in the PhD January 18, 2011
Vincent Olivieri ’01 and Sarah Olivieri ’08 celebrate the premiere of his play High, at the Booth Theatre on Broadway in April 2011.
film project. He continues to develop bizarre and humorous ontological lectures with no particular purpose. He will be married in July 2011 to cinematographer Emily Topper, with whom he lives in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles. After joining the acting faculty at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in Hollywood, Nathanael Johnson ’03 served as a guest artist at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He went on to direct a production of The Tempest at Lamar University, with Scott Pask ’97 as the scenic designer. Nathanael also became a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) through the Yoga Alliance and teaches Vinyasa flow in the Los Angeles area.
Peter Katona ’01 is living and working in Los Angeles as an actor. He recently booked a recurring guest-star role on The Wedding Band, a new hour-long comedy set to air on TBS in the summer of 2012. He is also in the process of developing, with Greg Derelian ’01, AdvoCoach, a coaching business that works with trial attorneys on courtroom presentation. He has just completed his third year of teaching scenic design at California State University Fullerton, and Fred Kinney ’02 enjoys working with his colleague and fellow Bryan O’Byrne, Peter Francis James (Faculty), YSD alum Ann Sheffield ’87. He has also been U.S. Navy Lieutenant Jason Duff, Bryce Pinkham ’08, Elizabeth Marvel busy with freelance work this year, including two shows at South Coast Repertory, where his wife, Lori Monnier ’01, is general manager, and two shows at Triad Stage in position as literary associate at the Shakes Greensboro, NC, most recently opening peare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Masquerade, directed and adapted by Preston Jennifer Lim ’04 starred in the world preLane ’96. Fred also attended his first USITT miere of David Henry Hwang’s ’83 Chinglish, conference this year, and it was great to catch directed by Leigh Silverman, at the Goodman up with so many YSD friends. His favorite Theatre. Anita Yavich ’95 designed the project continues to be being daddy to Kate costumes. and Gigi, who turn two in July 2011. Living in Paris, where her husband is on a Alex Knox ’09 made his Los Angeles theatre three-year scientific fellowship at the Pasteur debut in April 2011 with the award-winning Institute, Claire Lundberg ’02 expects her Antaeus Company under the managing direc- first child in late fall of 2011. Claire enjoys livtion of Michael Barker ’10 in Marston’s The ing in Paris; she is doing some consulting for Malcontent, a production that also starred Bo French and British film companies and workFoxworth ’94 and Adrian LaTourelle ’99. ing with an NYU-grad acting friend on finding Alex then spent the summer as Orsino in Lake American plays to perform in translation. She Tahoe Shakespeare Festival’s Twelfth Night. recently saw classmate Will Frears ’01, also a While working on his Doctorate of Fine Arts recent parent, who gave her lots of good newfor Yale, Drew Lichtenberg ’08 studied in the parent advice. Berlin archive of the Akademie der Künste. Since graduation, Timothy R. Mackabee When he returned in July, he began his new ’09 has been associate set designer for the West
YSD alumni at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (left to right): Jacob Padrón ’08, Kimberly Scott ’87, Tyrone Wilson ’84, Patricia McGregor ’09, Brooke Parks ’08, Isabell Monk O’Connor ’81, and Peter Macon ’03
Nondumiso Tembe ’09, photo by Andrew McGibbon.
new work that opened at the Geffen Playhouse in 2011 and performed with his band, The Night I Found I Was Adopted, at the Prague Quadrennial in June 2011. Jacob Padrón ’08 has joined Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s artistic staff as the new literary manager. Jacob gave a speech at the national Theatre Communications Group (TCG) conference in Los Angeles in the summer of 2011 on transformation in our theatre institutions. In the fall of 2010 he co-founded Several of the ’01 class reunite at Botanica on the production company Tilted Field with May 19, 2011 in New York City. (left to right) Becca Wolff ’09. Rio Puertollano ’01, Josh Scher ’01, Still playing Jonathan on NBC’s 30 Rock, Sean Cunningham ’01, Regina Bain ’01, Maulik Pancholy ’03 also does the voice of Amy Rogaway ’01, Edward O’Blenis ’01, Baljeet on Disney Channel’s animated series Anne Davison ’01, Claudia Wilsch Case ’01, Phineas & Ferb. This August he began filming Pun Bandhu ’01 Christopher Carter Sanderson ’05 the new NBC series Whitney, and in the summer of 2011 he was seen on Lisa Kudrow’s As an actor, Rio Puertollano ’01 was a guest Showtime series, Web Therapy. End, African and Amsterdam productions of star on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Bryce Pinkham ’08 made his Broadway Fela! (Marina Draghici ’88, costume designer); debut in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. He also was also seen on Blue Bloods opposite Donnie set designer for Off Broadway’s Our Lot (May Wahlberg and Jennifer Esposito. His short performed with Kelli O’Hara, Victor Garber Adales ’06, director; Gina Scherr ’06, lighting and the American Symphony Orchestra in film, Tamarind was the winner of the Reel 13 designer; Alixandra Englund ’06, costume Competition and aired on television on Kurt Weill and Maxwell Andersons’ designer); Seed for Classical Theatre of Harlem. Knickerbocker Holiday at Lincoln Center. Bryce WNET/ THIRTEEN. His new short film, Broken Regional credits include: Disney’s Tarzan for Wings, is about a man who discovers he has and Peter Francis James (Faculty) were part North Shore Music Theatre, Saint-Ex for of a cast of actors in a project called Theater of cancer. Rio has produced with various producWeston Playhouse, Evita for Northern Stage, tion companies and is currently working with War that traveled to Guantanamo Bay to perDue Onto Others and Make Believe for Princeton form scenes from Sophocles’ Ajax for service the Michaels Producing Group. University (Gina Scherr, lighting designer). Rebecca M. Rindler ’09 left Booz Allen at members and their families struggling with Timothy has also worked in industrial design issues surrounding post-traumatic stress disthe end of September to work in internal stratfor Target Stores events in Shanghai, China. egy with Bloomberg Government a web-based order. Bryce wrote about his experience for Sam Michael ’09 is living and working in the July/August 2011 issue of American Theatre news and analysis service focused on the busiMinnesota. ness impact of public sector policy and magazine. Harvey Gardner Moore ’00 has co-written and co-directed—and also acts in—a short film for the HBO short film competition. The film is called Slow. Harvey writes that “it captures my vision of the future of film making, which is ideal for the classically trained theater actor.” After closing La Cage Aux Folles on Broadway, Neveen Mahmoud ’00 is now on the road with the Chicago tour. Thriving in Southern California, Sarah Olivieri ’08 completed the Assistant Directors Training Program in March and is now a second AD in the Directors Guild of America, working on television and film in Los Angeles. She has been fortunate to work on such shows as Chuck, 24, Weeds and Cougar Town and the movie Battleship, due for release in the summer of 2012. Sarah’s husband, Vincent Olivieri ’01, is finishing his fourth year at UC Irvine as assistant Brad Powers ’03 and Corrine Larson ’03 were married on September 5, 2010, in Winona, Minnesota. professor of sound design and composition. YSD alumni in attendance were Michael Field ’02, Kate Bredeson ’02, dfa ’06, Paul Whitaker ’02, He has designed Extraordinary Chambers, a Laura Patterson ’03 and Jenny Mannis ’02.
Erica Sullivan ’09, Barret O’Brien ’09 and daughter Miranda at their August 13, 2011, wedding in Clinton Corners, NY
Bill Thompson ’02, Executive Director of Young StoryTellers Foundation, with young storytellers from Walt Disney Elementary in Burbank, CA actions. Rebecca is very excited about this new opportunity. Now living in Peru and working on theatre and film, Gonzalo Rodriguez Risco ’09 has written the book for his first musical, called Carmín, El Musical, which opened in July 2011 and ran for two months in Teatro Marsano, one of Lima’s most important theatres. Gonzalo is now working to produce his thesis play, The French Play, in Lima next year. Tommy Russell ’07 is living in New York, working on several projects including directing intheCypher, a show that’s part poetry slam/part play, which was conceived by Sarita Covington ’07 and Gamal Palmer ’08 and premiered in the Yale Cabaret; creating an
Benjamin Thomas Horner ’11 and Lina Jessica Ahlberg were married on June 16, 2011, at The Public Restaurant in New York City. Dipika Guha ’11 conducted the ceremony.
interview-style, two-person show with Tiffany Rachelle Stewart ’07; and raising money for the School of Drama. As of March 31, 2011, the new executive director of Kentucky Repertory Theatre is Christopher Carter Sanderson ’05. Still in Syracuse, NY, with his family, Randy Steffen ’01 is the technical director at Syracuse Stage and teaching at Syracuse University. Randy and his wife had a baby last fall, bringing their total to five! He made a quick trip back to New Haven in March and got a kick out of seeing what has changed— and what hasn’t—at the Drama School. Working with the Thornton Wilder Estate as programs director and manager for playwright Ken Ludwig keeps Rosie Strub ’05 pretty busy. She and her husband, Jim, had a little boy last July, Jameson Ramsey Strub Knable. Nondumiso Tembe ’09 landed a recurring role on the HBO series True Blood. The South African actress/singer played a Creole maid haunted by her past, on Season Four, Summer 2011. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue film and television production in 2005, Bill Thompson ’02 took a volunteer job at an underserved elementary school. His work with Young Storytellers Foundation quickly became the best hour of his week, and he is now the organization’s executive director. The Young Storytellers Foundation is an arts
education nonprofit that places Hollywood mentors in arts-poor public schools. Over the course of nine weeks the mentors guide the students as they create their own personal screenplays, which are then performed by professional actors at an in-school assembly for the students’ parents, teachers, and peers. Bill lives in South Pasadena with his wife, Amy, and their son, Theo. Recently commissioned by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in the UK, Jennifer Tuckett ’08 is an attached writer at the Octagon Theatre in England and recently had plays produced by the Liverpool Everyman Theatre and Playhouse as well as by the Octagon. Jennifer is also an associate producer on Beast, a short film starring Edmund Kingsley and Jack Fox, directed by Christopher Granier-Deferre and produced by John Schwab. She was recently commissioned by Vision and Media to adapt I am a Superhero (written at YSD) into a screenplay. Jennifer continues to run the playwriting courses at the University of Salford in the UK and is the chair of The Alligators, a group for playwrights based in the northwest of England. Heather Violanti ’02 was dramaturg on A Little Journey by Rachel Crothers at the Mint Theater, directed by Jackson Gay ’02, with lighting design by Paul Whitaker ’02 and sound design by Jane Shaw ’98 and featuring Joey Parsons ’99 in the cast. This summer she was dramaturg for the New York International Fringe Festival’s production of Pearl’s Gone Blue by Leslie Kramer ’02. She is also a member of the Women’s Work LAB at New Perspectives. Based in Brooklyn, Michael Walkup ’06 recently began working as associate director of Page 73 Productions in New York. Page 73 supports playwrights who have yet to receive a professional production of their work in
on his futon, Michael Barker ’10 accepted the position of associate managing director at Laguna Playhouse. He and Heidi Hanson Barker ’09 are moving south to join the burgeoning YSD population in Long Beach, splitting the difference of their increased commutes—Michael south, Heidi north to the studios. Michael and Heidi are looking forward to things settling down a bit. Aaron Moss ’10 won a Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Debut Performance of 2010–2011 for his performance as Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale at the Elm Shakespeare Company. Aaron is starring in the feature film The Life of the Party and appeared as Lucio in Measure for Measure at the Elm Shakespeare Company. After finishing Yale, Donesh Olyaie ’10 quickly fell back into old habits and reentered the political field, accepting a job with the Democratic Congressional Campaign A scene from Lysistrata at the Teatro Abril in Guatemala City, the first production since Luis Abril ’10 Committee. He is currently working as a politassumed the role of artistic director of the theatre ical strategist with public employees’ unions in California while volunteering with local theatre groups in Los Angeles. New York through premiere productions and Adjustment Bureau, and is in A Mann’s World, Meghan Pressman ’10 just completed her several development programs, including an the new NBC series created by Michael Patrick first season as associate managing director at annual fellowship, a weeklong summer resiKing. Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The position was dency on Yale’s campus and a biweekly writcreated for her through the Theatre ers group, Interstate 73, which Michael runs. Communications Group New Generations Bradlee Ward ’05 is living in London, where ............................. national grant program. She is having a terhe works as a sound project manager for Blitz rific time in California and hopes to see more Communications. He designs on a freelance After an extensive nation-wide search, San YSD faces out there. basis and recently designed .45 by Gary Francisco’s cutting-edge Cutting Ball Theater It’s official: Ryan Retartha ’10 and Amy Lennon at The Hampstead Theatre in London. announced the appointment of Suzanne Jonas (TD&P Intern ’10, ’11) are engaged to Working steadily this year, Amanda Mason Appel ’11 as its first managing director. The be married. Ryan and Amy are looking forWarren ’08 did guest spots on AMC’s Rubicon, company was co-founded in 1999 by Paige ward to moving to Greensboro, NC, where on Gossip Girl (playing Blake Lively’s theraRogers and Rob Melrose ’96 and voted “Best Ryan will be taking over as production manpist) and on Detroit 1-8-7; she also performed Theater Company” in the 2010 San Francisco ager at Triad Stage. in Nathan Louis Jackson’s Lincoln Center Bay Guardian Best of The Bay issue. Cutting The new Director of Social Media for LCT3 world premiere production of When I Ball Theater was featured in the February 2010 Threespot Media is Devon Smith ’10. The job Come to Die with Chris Chalk, Neal Huff and issue of American Theatre Magazine and the meant moving to Washington, DC. Devon David Patrick Kelly, directed by Thomas Kail. company’s production of Marcus Gardley’s also sits on the Board of Directors for Peter She also performed in her first film, The ’04 …and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi Kyle Dance in New York City. Y recently won three Bay Area Theater Critics Circle awards. In addition to teaching math, technical theatre and acting at St. George’s School, a private Yale Alumni Association boarding high school in Rhode Island, Adam Not a member of AYA? Join now—it’s free! Ganderson ’10 will be the theatre program’s As a member, you can register for the School technical director, resident designer and proof Drama Listserv where you can post and duction manager. Adam writes: “This will be a receive notices intended for YSD alumni. bit of a stretch from stage management, but if YSD taught me anything, it’s that there is Many other services, including the online nothing that can’t be done if you give up Alumni Directory and the Yale Career Network, Aaron Moss ’10 as Autolycus in The Winter’s enough sleep.” are available at www.aya.yale.edu. After a whirlwind first year in Los Angeles, Tale at the Elm Shakespeare Company. Photo by including a month of hosting Ryan Hales ’11 Judy Sirota Rosenthal.
Contributors Contributors to Yale School of Drama Annual Fund 2010/11 1930s Virginia M. Shaffer ’37
1940s Lawrence D. Amick ’49 Virginia W. Bowie ’47 Edith Dallas Ernst ’48 Sarah C. Ferry ’41 Patricia F. Gilchrist ’44 Alfred S. Golding ’49 Albert Hurwitz ’49 Joan Kron ’48 Mildred C. Kuner ’47 Eugene F. Shewmaker ’49 Yun C. Wu ’49
1950s William H. Allison ’52 Vienna Cobb Anderson ’58 Robert A. Baldwin ’55 Cornelia H. Barr ’58 Robert W. Barr ’53 Ezekial H. Berlin ’53 Melvin Bernhardt ’55 Richard E. Bianchi ’57 Phillip H. Bruns ’56* Robert Brustein ’51, mah ’66 Ian W. Cadenhead ’58 Joy G. Carlin ’54 Sami Joan Casler ’59 Cosmo A. Catalano, Sr. ’53* Joseph Chomyn ’53 Patricia J. Collins ’58 Forrest S. Compton ’53 Kathleen R. Conneely ’57 Sue Ann Gilfillan Converse ’55 George Corrin, Jr. ’51 John W. Cunningham ’59 Allen Davis III ’56 Jose A. Diaz ’52 John J. Dolan ’55 Peter C. Donat ’53 William F. Dowling ’52 Mildred N. Ebbin ’57 Philip R. Eck ’59 Marcus Eisenstein ’59 Sonya G. Friedman ’55 Joseph Gantman ’53 Alfred S. Geer ’59* Robert W. Goldsby ’53 David Zelag Goodman ’58
James W. Gousseff ’56 Bigelow R. Green ’59 Albert R. Gurney ’58 Eugene Gurlitz ’57* Phyllis O. Hammel ’52 Marian E. Hampton ’59 Louise Rudd Hannegan ’53 Carol Thompson Hemingway ’55 Betsy N. Holmes ’55 Evelyn H. Huffman ’57 James Earl Jewell ’57 Geoffrey A. Johnson ’55 Marillyn B. Johnson ’50 Donald E. Jones, Jr. ’56 Amnon Kabatchnik ’57 James D. Karr ’54 Jay B. Keene ’55 Arthur J. Kelley, Jr. ’53 Bernard Kukoff ’57 David Jeremy Larson ’50 Romulus Linney ’58* Edgar R. Loessin ’54* Henry E. Lowenstein ’56 Paul David Lukather ’53 Elizabeth Lyman ’51 Jane B. Lyman ’51 Marvin M. March ’55 Lewis R. Marcuson ’54 Richard G. Mason ’53* Beverly W. May ’50 David Ross McNutt ’59 Ellen L. Moore ’52 George Morfogen ’57 Marion V. Myrick ’54 Franklin M. Nash ’59 Grace T. Noyes ’54 Michael A. Onofrio, Jr. ’53, yc ’50 Kendric T. Packer ’52 Eilene C. Pierson ’50 David S. Pomeran ’55 Gladys S. Powers ’57 Mary B. Reynolds ’55 Harry M. Ritchie ’55, dfa ’60 David A. Rosenberg ’54 Philip Rosenberg ’59 A. Raymond Rutan, 4th ’54 Raymond H. Sader ’58 Stephen O. Saxe ’54 Alvin Schechter ’59 William T. Schneider ’56 Forrest E. Sears ’58 James A. Smith ’59 Kenneth J. Stein ’59 Pamela D. Strayer ’52 Edward Trach ’58 Fred Voelpel ’53
participants in Matching Challenge
Phyllis C. Warfel ’55 William B. Warfel ’57, yc ’55 Ann B. Watson ’53 Zelma H. Weisfeld ’56 Marjorie M. Williams ’55 Barbara M. Young ’53
1960s David E. Ackroyd ’68 Richard Ambacher dfa’65 Leif E. Ancker ’62 Barbara B. Anderson ’60 Rita Aron ’69 Mary Ellen O’Brien Atkins ’65 Thomas R. Atkins ’64 Robert A. Auletta ’69 James Robert Bakkom ’64 Philip J. Barrons ’65 Warren F. Bass ’67 John Beck ’63 Jody Locker Berger ’66 Edward Bierhaus, Jr. dfa’69 Jeffrey A. Bleckner ’68 Carol Bretz Murray-Negron ’64 Oscar Lee Brownstein ’60 James Burrows ’65 Donald I. Cairns ’63 Raymond E. Carver ’61 Suellen G. Childs ’69 King-Fai Chung ’62 Katherine D. Cline ’60 Robert S. Cohen dfa ’64 John M. Conklin ’66, yc ’59 Kenneth T. Costigan ’60 Peggy Cowles ’65 Stephen C. Coy ’63, dfa ’69 Laila S. Dahl ’65 F. Mitchell Dana ’67 Michael S. David ’68 Mary Lucille DeBerry ’66 Ramon L. Delgado ’67 Charles Dillingham ’68, yc ’65 John A. Duran ’68 Robert H. Einenkel ’69 David H. Epstein ’68 Leslie D. Epstein dfa ’67, yc ’60 Jerry N. Evans ’62 John D. Ezell ’60 Ann Farris ’63 Richard A. Feleppa ’60 William H. Firestone ’69 J. Allen Fitz-Gerald ’63 Hugh Fortmiller ’61 Keith F. Fowler dfa ’69 David Freeman ’68 Richard D. Fuhrman ’64 Bernard L. Galm ’63
Kenneth L. Geist ’62 Anne K. Gregerson ’65 John E. Guare ’63 Ann T. Hanley ’61 Jerome R. Hanley ’60 Richard A. Harrison ’66 Patricia Helwick ’65 Stephen J. Hendrickson ’67 George L. Hickenlooper dfa ’67 Elizabeth Holloway ’66 John Robert Hood ’61 Linda Gulder Huett ’69 Derek Hunt ’62 Peter H. Hunt ’63, yc ’61 Laura Mae Jackson ’68 John W. Jacobsen ’69, yc ’67 Cynthia Lee Jenner ’64 Lee H. Kalcheim ’63 Asaad N. Kelada ’64 Abby B. Kenigsberg ’63 Carol Soucek King ’66 Marna J. King ’64 Raymond Klausen ’67 Richard H. Klein ’67 Harriet W. Koch ’62 Robert W. Lawler ’67 Peter J. Leach ’61 Gerard J. Leahy ’67 Stephen R. Leventhal ’69 Bradford W. Lewis ’69 Irene Lewis ’66 Fredric A. Lindauer ’66 Janell M. MacArthur ’61 David Madden ’61 Richard E. Maltby, Jr. ’62, yc ’59 Sandra Manley ’68 Thomas O. Martin ’68 Patricia D. McAdams ’61 B. Robert McCaw ’66 Margaret T. McCaw ’66 Robert A. McDonald, Jr. ’68 Bruce W. McMullan ’61 Banylou Mearin ’62 Donald Michaelis ’69 Karen H. Milliken ’64 H. Thomas Moore ’68 Donald W. Moreland ’60 Robert B. Murray ’61 Gayther L. Myers, Jr. ’65 David A. Nancarrow ’63 S. Joseph Nassif ’63 William M. Ndini ’65 Ruth Hunt Newman ’62 Dwight R. Odle ’66 Janet Oetinger ’69 Richard A. Olson ’69 Sara Ormond ’66
John Osander ’62 Joan D. Pape ’68 Howard Pflanzer ’68 Louis R. Plante ’69 Michael B. Posnick ’69 Brett Prentiss ’68 Barbara Reid ’62 Mary Dupuy Roane ’61 Lucy G. Rosenthal ’61 Carolyn L. Ross ’67 Janet G. Ruppert ’63 Clarence Salzer, Jr. ’60, yc ’55 Peter Edward Sargent ’63 Isaac H. Schambelan dfa ’67 Georg Schreiber ’64 Talia Shire Schwartzman ’69 Winifred J. Sensiba ’63 Suzanne Sessions ’66 Paul R. Shortt ’68 E. Gray Smith, Jr. ’65 Helena L. Sokoloff ’60 Mary C. Stark ’61 James Beach Steerman ’62, dfa ’69 Louise Stein ’66 John Wright Stevens ’66 John Henry Thomas III ’62 David F. Toser ’64 Russell L. Treyz ’65 Richard B. Trousdell ’67, dfa ’74 Thomas S. Turgeon dfa ’68 Joan Van Ark ’64 Stephen F. Van Benschoten ’69 Ruth L. Wallman ’68 Steven I. Waxler ’68 Gil Wechsler ’67 Charles R. Werner, Jr. ’67 Peter White ’62 Richard Kent Wilcox ’61 Porter Stevens Woods dfa ’65* Albert J. Zuckerman ’61, dfa ’62
1970s Sarah Jean Albertson ’71 John Lee Beatty ’73 Mark R. Boyer ’77 Michael William Cadden ’76, dfa ’79, yc ’71 Ian Calderon ’73 Victor P. Capecce ’75 Lisa Carling ’70 Cosmo A. Catalano, Jr. ’79 James A. Chesnutt III ’71 Lani L. Click ’73 William R. Conner ’79
Yale School of Drama Alumni Fund
David M. Conte ’72 Marycharlotte C. Cummings ’73 Julia L. Devlin ’74 Dennis L. Dorn ’72 Nancy Reeder El Bouhali ’70 Peter Entin ’71 Dirk Epperson ’74 Femi Euba ’73 Douglass M. Everhart ’70 Marc F. Flanagan ’70 Lewis A. Folden ’77 Abigail J. Franklin ’78 Robert Gainer ’73 Paul Gallo ’77 Marian A. Godfrey ’75 Wray Steven Graham ’77 Joseph G. Grifasi ’75 William B. Halbert ’70 Charlene Harrington ’74 Barbara B. Hauptman ’73 Jane C. Head ’79 Robert C. Heller ’78 Carol Schlanger Helvey ’70 Jennifer Hershey ’77 Nicholas A. Hormann ’73 Cynthia P. Kaback ’70 Barnet K. Kellman ’72 Alan L. Kibbe ’73 Dragan M. Klaic ’76, dfa ’77* Fredrica A. Klemm ’76 David A. Kranes dfa ’71 Frances E. Kumin ’77 Mitchell L. Kurtz ’75 Michael John Lassell ’76 Stephen R. Lawson ’76 Charles E. Letts III ’76 George N. Lindsay, Jr. ’74 Jennifer K. Lindstrom ’72 Robert Hamilton Long II ’76 Donald B. Lowy ’76 William Ludel ’73 Patrick F. Lynch ’71 Elizabeth M. MacKay ’78 Lizbeth P. Mackay ’75 Alan Mokler MacVey ’77 Brian R. Mann ’79 Jonathan E. Marks ’72, dfa ’84, yc ’68 Peggy Ann Marks ’75, yc ’71 Craig T. Martin ’71 Neil Mazzella ’78 John A. McAndrew ’72 Brian R. McEleney ’77 Kate McGregor-Stewart ’74 Patricia M. McMahon ’72 Stephen W. Mendillo ’71 Jonathan Seth Miller ’75
Lawrence S. Mirkin ’72, yc ’69 James Naughton ’70 Elizabeth L. Norment ’79 Richard Ostreicher ’79 Jay P. Parikh ’78 Jeffrey Pavek ’71 William M. Peters ’79 Stephen B. Pollock ’76 Daniel H. Proctor ’70 William Purves ’71 Arthur I. Rank III ’79 Pamela Ann Rank ’78 Ronald P. Recasner ’74 William J. Reynolds ’77 Peter S. Roberts ’75 Steven I. Robman ’73 Howard J. Rogut ’71 Robin Pearson Rose ’73 Alan D. Rosenberg ’74 John M. Rothman ’75 Bronislaw J. Sammler ’74 Robert Sandberg ’77 Suzanne M. Sato ’79 Joel R. Schechter ’72, dfa ’73 Michael D. Sheehan ’76 Charles E. Siegel ’70 Richard R. Silvestro ’76 Jeremy T. Smith ’76 Marshall S. Spiller ’71 Roy Bennett Steinberg ’78 Jaroslaw Strzemien ’75 Russell Vandenbroucke ’77, dfa ’78 Susan J. Vitucci ’76 Eva M. Vizy ’72 Carol M. Waaser ’70 Jeff Wanshel ’72 David J. Ward ’75 Eugene D. Warner ’71 Lynda Lee Welch ’72 Carolyn Seely Wiener ’72 R. Scott Yuille, Jr. ’77 Stephen E. Zuckerman ’74
1980s Michael G. Albano ’82 Sandra L. Albers ’89 Amy L. Aquino ’86 Clayton Mayo Austin ’86 Dylan Baker ’85 Robert James Barnett ’89 Christopher H. Barreca ’83 Robert P. Barron ’83 Michael Baumgarten ’81 Roger Keith Bechtel ’89 Spencer P. Beglarian ’86* James B. Bender ’85
Anders P. Bolang ’87 Katherine R. Borowitz ’81, yc ’76 Sara Hedgepeth ’87 Mark Brokaw ’86 Claudia M. Brown ’85 William J. Buck ’84 Richard W. Butler ’88 Benjamin Cameron ’81 Jon E. Carlson ’88 Anna T. Cascio ’83 Lawrence Casey ’80 Joan Channick ’89 Patricia D. Clarkson ’85 Jane Ann Crum ’85 Donato Joseph D’Albis ’88 Gail A. Dartez ’88 Richard Sutton Davis ’83, dfa ’03 Timothy deFiebre ’83 Kathleen K. Dimmick ’85 Merle Gordon Dowling ’81 Elizabeth Angela Doyle ’84 Mindy Eads ’83 Sasha Emerson ’84 Michael D. Fain ’82 Terry Kevin Fitzpatrick ’83 Joel C. Fontaine ’83 Anthony M. Forman ’83 Raymond P. Forton ’85 Randy R. Fullerton ’82 James H. Gage ’80 Judy Gailen ’89 J. Ellen Gainor ’83 Steven J. Gefroh ’85 Michael J. Giannitti ’87 Jeffrey M. Ginsberg ’81 Charles F. Grammer ’86 Rob Greenberg ’89 Hope E. Hartup ’82 Allan Havis ’80 James W. Hazen ’83 Catherine Hazlehurst ’83 Heather A. Henderson ’87, dfa ’88 Roderick Lyons Hickey, III ’89 Donald S. Holder ’86 Catherine MacNeil Hollinger ’86 Nadine R. Honigberg ’86 Kathleen Ann Houle ’88 Charles R. Hughes ’83 Thomas K. Isbell ’84 Kirk Roberts Jackson ’88 Chris P. Jaehnig ’85 Walker Jones ’89 Jane Kaczmarek ’82
Jonathan F. Kalb ’85, dfa ’87 Carol M. Kaplan ’89 Bruce Abram Katzman ’88 Edward A. Kaye ’86 Richard Kaye ’80 Patrick Kerr ’87 Colette Ann Kilroy ’88 David K. Kriebs ’82 Jonathan M. Krupp ’82, yc ’79 William Kux ’83 Edward H. Lapine ’83 Wing Lee ’83 Max H. Leventhal ’86 Kenneth J. Lewis ’86 Jerry J. Limoncelli, Jr. ’84 Gail A. London ’87 Mark D. London ’89 Quincy Long ’86 Mark E. Lord ’87 Andi Lyons ’80 James E. MacLaren ’89, yc ’85* Wendy MacLeod ’87 Johanna D. McAuliffe ’80 Thomas John McGowan ’88 Joan M. McMurtrey ’84 Katherine Mendeloff ’80 Cheryl G. Mintz ’87 Isabell M. Monk-O’Connor ’81 David E. Moore ’87 Grafton V. Mouen ’82, yc ’75 Mary Elizabeth Myers ’89 Stephanie Bridgman Nash ’88 Tina C. Navarro ’86 Regina L. Neville ’88 Thomas J. Neville ’86 Lynn Ida Nottage ’89 Arthur E. Oliner ’86 Erik Alexander Onate ’89 Carol Susan Ostrow ’80 Robert J. Provenza ’86 Carol Anne Prugh ’89 Margaret Adair Quinn ’81 Ross Sumner Richards ’88 Joan E. Robbins ’86, dfa ’91 Laila V. Robins ’84 Lori Robishaw ’88 Constance Elisabeth Romero ’88 Russ Lori Rosensweig ’83 Steven A. Saklad ’81 Frank Sarmiento ’81 Kenneth Schlesinger ’84 Alexander Scribner ’80 Neal Ann Stephens ’80 Mark L. Sullivan ’83 Thomas Phillip Sullivan ’88
Bernard J. Sundstedt ’81 Jane Savitt Tennen ’80 Patrice A. Thomas ’81 John M. Turturro ’83 Rosa Vega Weissman ’80 Courtney Vance ’86 Craig F. Volk ’88 Mark Anthony Wade ’88 Jaylene Graham Wallace ’86 Clifford L. Warner ’87 Darryl S. Waskow ’86 Geoffrey J. Webb ’88 Susan West ’87 Dana B. Westberg ’81 Carl Wittenberg ’85 Robert M. Wierzel ’84 Steven A. Wolff ’81 Catherine J. Zuber ’84
1990s Bruce Altman ’90 Angelina Avallone ’94 Elizabeth Jeanne Bennett ’97 Sarah Eckert Bernstein ’95 Martin A. Blanco ’91 Erik M. Bolling ’99 Jenny R. Bolling ’98 Debra Booth ’91 John Cummings Boyd ’92 Tom Joseph Broecker ’92 Margaret Anne Brogan ’98 Shawn Hamilton Brown ’90 James Bundy ’95 Kathryn A. Calnan ’99 Robert H. Coleman III ’98 Magaly Colimon ’98 Aaron M. Copp ’98 Robert C. Cotnoir ’94 Susan Mary Cremin ’95 Sean P. Cullen ’94 Edgar M. Cullman III ’02, yc ’97 Scott T. Cummings ’85, dfa ’94 Sheldon Deckelbaum ’92 Michael Lloyd Diamond ’90 Alexander Timothy Dodge ’99 Michael Dale Eaddy ’96 Frances Louise Egler ’95 Tiffany Anne Ellis ’96 Cornelia Anne Evans ’93 Matthew A. Everett ’91 Glen Richard Fasman ’92 Rodrick D. Fox ’99 Donald Stephan Fried ’95 Joseph B. Fuqua ’90 David William Gainey ’93
Contributors Elizabeth Giamatti ’95 Neil F. Gluckman ’92 Stephen L. Godchaux ’93 Stephan Golux ’97 Michael Gabriel Goodfriend ’96 Naomi S. Grabel ’91 Elisa R. Griego ’98 Regina Selma Guggenheim ’93 Corin Lance Gutteridge ’96 Alexander Taverner Hammond ’96 Scott Christopher Hansen ’99 Douglas Rodgers Harvey ’95 Christopher B. Higgins ’90 Barbara J. Hodgen ’94 Raymond P. Inkel ’95 Clark Jackson Jr. ’97 Laura J. Janik Cronin ’96 Kristin Johnsen-Neshati ’92, dfa ’02 Elizabeth A. Kaiden ’96 Samuel L. Kelley ’90 Ashley York Kennedy ’90 L. Azan Kung ’91 Suttirat Anne Larlarb ’97 Julie F. Lawrence-Edsell ’93 Malia Rachel Lewis ’97 Sarah Long ’92, yc ’85 Suzanne R. Cryer Luke ’95, yc ’88 Tien-Tsung Ma ’92 Jessica Mann ’94 Maria E. Matasar-Padilla ’99, dfa ’05 Craig P. Mathers ’93 Mark L. McCullough ’91 Paul S. McKinley ’96 Robert A. Melrose ’96 Richard R. Mone ’91 Daniel Evan Mufson ’95, dfa ’99 Kaye I. Neale ’91 Lori Ott ’92 Steven Oxman ’91 Dw Phineas Perkins ’90 Amy Joyce Povich ’92 Jeffry Stephen Provost ’95 Sarah Gray Rafferty ’96 Douglas Ray Rogers ’96 Reginald Hunt Rogers ’93 Melina W. Root ’90, yc ’83 Mary Margaret Sasso ’99 Liev Schreiber ’92 Jennifer C. Schwartz ’97 Paul Francis Selfa ’92
Thomas W. Sellar ’97, dfa ’03 James Eric Shanklin Jr. ’97 Jeremy M. Shapira ’97 Jane M. Shaw ’98 Graham A.W. Shiels ’99 Vladimir Shpitalnik ’92 Michael Vaughn Sims ’92 Kristin Michelle Sosnowsky ’97 Paul Spadone III ’99, yc ’93 Kris E. Stone ’98 Erich William Stratmann ’94, yc ’93 Michael Eric Strickland ’95 Sy C. Sussman ’94, yc ’87 David Loy Sword ’90 Patti W. Thorp ’91 Paul Charles Tigue III ’99 Deborah L. Trout ’94 Erik William Walstad ’95 Lisa A. Wilde ’91, dfa ’95 Marshall Butler Williams ’95 Liza Barbara Zenni ’90
2000s Jocelyn May Adrales ’06 Paola Allais Acree ’08, mba ’08 Liz Susana Alsina ’06 Alexander G. Bagnall ’00 Sarah Elaine Bierenbaum ’05, yc ’99 Frances Anne Black ’09 Joshua Ray Borenstein ’02 Cynthia T. Brizzell-Bates ’00, dfa ’07 Christopher P. Brown ’08 Jonathan Stewart Busky ’02, mba ’02, yc ’94 Nicholas Carriere ’08 Joseph P. Cermatori ’08 James Q. Chen ’08 Kristen Nora Connolly ’07 Gregory W. Copeland ’04 Katherine Mary Cusack ’06 Malcolm Kishner Darrell ’07 Derek Michael DiGregorio ’07 Michael M. Donahue ’08 Emily Ryan Dorsch ’07 Janann B. Eldredge ’06 Jenifer Endicott Emley ’00 Miriam Rose Epstein ’02 Dustin Owen Eshenroder ’07 Alexandra Jane Fischer ’00 Aurelia K. Fisher ’09
* deceased participated in Matching Challenge
Sarah McColl Fornia ’04 Marcus Dean Fuller ’04 Leiko Fuseya ’03 Carter Pierce Gill ’09 Sandra Goldmark ’04 John J. Hanlon ’04 Amy Carol Herzog ’07, yc ’00 Amy S. Holzapfel ’01, dfa ’06 David Carr Howson ’04 Melissa Huber ’01 Rolin Jones ’04 Bryan Robert Keller ’05 Peter Young Hoon Kim ’04 Jacob H. Knoll ’05 Alexander Justin Knox ’09 Nico M. Lang ’05 Jennifer Chen Hua Lim ’04 William Bradford Love ’07 Timothy Richard Mackabee ’09 Peter Andrew Malbuisson ’05 Jennifer Yejin Moeller ’06 Alice R. Moore ’04 Matthew Moses ’09 Neil W. Mulligan ’01 Rachel Sara Myers ’07 Arthur F. Nacht ’06 David Stephen L. Nugent ’05 Grace Eleanor O’Brien ’04 Adam N. O’Byrne ’04, yc ’01 Phillip Dawson Owen ’09 Jacob G. Padron ’08 Maulik Pancholy ’03 Katharine Warner Perdue ’09 Kevin Michael Rich ’04 Glynis Ann Louise Rigsby ’01 David Jordan Roberts ’08 Brian Wayne Robinson ’00 Joanna Sara Romberg ’07 Thomas Everett Russell ’07 Sallie Dorsett Sanders ’02 Christopher Carter Sanderson ’05 Kathleen McElfresh Scott ’06 Shawn B. Senavinin ’06 Lisa-Marie Shuster ’08 Amanda Spooner ’09 Mikiko Suzuki ’02 Carrie E. Van Hallgren ’06 Elliot Carmelo Villar ’07 Arthur T. Vitello ’05 Elaine M. Wackerly ’03 Bradlee M. Ward ’05 Elena Whittaker ’03
Jennifer Lena Mannis Wishcamper ’02, yc ’96 Amanda Wallace Woods ’03 Marion F. Young ’05
Blake Segal ’11 Michael Skinner ’11 Shannon Sullivan ’11 Emily Trask ’11
Contributors to the Root Boy Slim Fund
Luis Abril ’10 Steve Albert ’11 Alyssa M. Anderson ’10 Christina R. Anderson ’11 Tomas Andrén ’11 Anonymous ’11 Dede Ayite ’11 Michael Barker ’10, mba ’10 Matt Biagini ’11 Daniel Binstock ’11 Devin Brain ’11 Charlotte Brathwaite ’11 Trai Byers ’11 Hsiao-Ya Chen ’11 William Patrick Connolly ’10 Brett Dalton ’11 Brian Dambacher ’11 Tanya Dean ’11 Laura J. Eckelman ’11 Alan C. Edwards ’11 Elizabeth Elliott ’11 Anne Erbe ’11 Whitney Adalist Estrin ’10 Babak Gharaei-Tafti ’11 Jung Griffin ’11 Dipika Guha ’11 Amanda Jane Haley ’10 Marcus Henderson ’11 Alexandra Henrikson ’11 Slate Roy Holmgren ’10 Benjamin Horner ’11 Summer Lee Jack ’11 Allison Hall Johnson ’11 Martha Olivo Jurczak ’11 A.Z. Kelsey ’11 Sang Hee Kim ’11 Bona Lee ’11 Irene Sofia Lucio ’11 Michael McQuilken ’11 Lee Micklin ’11 Meg Miroshnik ’11 Jennifer Harrison Newman ’11 Chien-Yu Peng ’11 Meghan Moreland Pressman ’10, mba ’10 Art Priromprintr ’11 Aaron Chad Raines ’11 Da’Vine Joy Randolph ’11 Jennifer N. Salim ’11 Steven Schmidt ’11
Kirk Baird, Jr. yc ’66 Robert L. Barth yc ’66 Robert W. Brundige, Jr. yc ’66 John C. Fager yc ’66 Samuel R. Karetsky yc ’66 Stephen Prout Lindsay yc ’66 Richard E. Look yc ’66 Robert J. Malovany yc ’66 William S. Monaghan yc ’66 James C. Munson yc ’66 Robert W. Riordan yc ’66 Theodore P. Shen yc ’66, mah ’01 Charles R. Strotz yc ’66 Gregory A. Weiss yc ’66 Thomas B. Wilner yc ’66
Contributors to the Frank Torok Scholarship Ade Ademola ’84 Amy L. Aquino ’86 Clayton Mayo Austin ’86 William H. Baker III ’73 Robert P. Barron ’83 John Lee Beatty ’73 Lewis Black ’77 Debra Booth ’91 Mark Brokaw ’86 Thomas R. Bruce ’79, yc ’75 George Collinson Burgwin ’79, yc ’74 H. Lloyd Carbaugh ’78 Melissa Rick Cochran ’81 Marycharlotte C. Cummings ’73 Liz Diamond Laurie A. Edelman ’75 Kate Moore Edmunds ’78 Tamara Heeschen Gaglioti ’85 Jeffrey M. Ginsberg ’81 Dana M. Graham ’82, yc ’79 David Marshall Grant ’78 Linda-Jo Greenberg ’84 Joseph G. Grifasi ’75 Julie Haber ’77 William B. Halbert ’70 Catherine Hazlehurst ’83 Donald S. Holder ’86 Nadine R. Honigberg ’86 James F. Ingalls ’76 Thomas K. Isbell ’84
Yale School of Drama Alumni Fund
Fredrica A. Klemm ’76 Daniel L. Koetting ’74 Frances E. Kumin ’77 Francis A. Lackner, Jr. ’74 Thomas E. Lanter ’75 George N. Lindsay, Jr. ’74 Gail A. London ‘87 Andi Lyons ’80 Jonathan Marks ’72, dfa ’84, yc ’68 John A. McAndrew ’72 Jonathan Seth Miller ’75 Cheryl G. Mintz ’87 James Naughton ’70 Regina L. Neville ’88 Thomas J. Neville ’86 Victoria Nolan Richard Ostreicher ’79 Margaret Adair Quinn ’81 Sharon and Bill Reynolds ’77 Joan E. Robbins ’86, dfa ’91 Laila V. Robins ’84 Peter S. Roberts ’75 Steven I. Robman ’73 Gordon M. Rogoff yc ’52 Robin Pearson Rose ’73 Russ Lori Rosensweig ’83 Andrew I. Rubenoff ’83 John J.G. Rubin ’80 Bronislaw J. Sammler ’74 Suzanne M. Sato ’79 Vicki Shaghoian Jeremy T. Smith ’76 Barbara Somerville ’83 Neal Ann Stephens ’80 Adam N. Versenyi ’86, dfa ’90, yc ’80 Susan J. Vitucci ’76 Clifford L. Warner ’87 Rosa Vega Weissman ’80 Terrence J. Witter ’85 Evan D. Yionoulis ’85, yc ’82 R. Scott Yuille, Jr. ’77 Grace Zandarski
Friends Americana Arts Foundation Deborah and Bruce Berman law ’79 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Marla J. Beck John B. Beinecke yc ’69 Clare and Sterling Brinkley yc ’74 Mary L. Bundy Nicholas G. Ciriello yc ’59
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 the School as a beneficiary of your will or trust, life income gift, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
2010 –2011 ysd legacy partners Cynthia Kellogg Barrington * Donald I. Cairns ’63
George E. Nichols III ’41, yc ’38 * G. C. Niemeyer ’42 *
Elizabeth S. Clark ’41 *
Mary B. Reynolds ’55 Mark Richard ’57 *
David M. Conte ’72
Barbara Richter ’60 *
Converse Converse yc ’57
William Rothwell, Jr. ’53, phd ’53 *
Raymond Carver ’61
Sue Ann Converse ’55 Eldon J. Elder ’58 *
Forrest E. Sears ’58
Peter Entin ’71
Eugene Shewmaker ’49
Albert R. Gurney ’58
Kenneth J. Stein ’59
Robert L. Hurtgen Joseph E. Kleno *
G. Erwin Steward ’60
Richard G. Mason ’53 *
Phyllis C. Warfel ’55
Dawn and Jim Miller
William B. Warfel ’57, yc ’55 Wendy Wasserstein ’76 *
H. Thomas Moore ’68 Tad Mosel ’50 * Arthur F. Nacht ’06
Edward Trach ’58
Zelma H. Weisfeld ’56 Edwin Wilson ’57
Converse Converse yc ’57 Christine Covell Cass Edgar M. Cullman, Jr. yc ’68 Bob and Priscilla S. Dannies mah ’90 Scott M. Delman yc ’82 Edward John Noble Foundation Debbie Ellinghaus Lois Chiles and Richard Gilder yc ’54, lhdh ’07 Bruce W.J. Graham Donald P. Granger, Jr. yc ’85 F. Lane Heard III yc ’73, law ’78 Ruth and Stephen Hendel yc ’73
Ellen Iseman yc ’76 Frederick J. Iseman yc ’75 Jane Marcher Foundation David G. Johnson yc ’78 Adrian and Nina H. Jones yc ’87 Annie Cardelús and Tim Jones yc ’77 Lucille Lortel Foundation Mrs. Romaine Macomb Romaine A. Macomb Deborah McGraw Frances L. Miller Dawn G. Miller The Noel Coward Foundation F. Richard Pappas yc ’76 Renova Inc. Robina Foundation
Linda Frank Rodman yc ’73, ma ’75 Sonja and Patrick T. Seaver yc ’72 Robbin A. Seipold Sandra Shaner The Shubert Foundation, Inc. Stephen B. Timbers yc ’66 Robert B. Trainer Trust for Mutual Understanding Sally and Cheever Tyler yc ’59 Esme Usdan yc ’77 Reggie Van Lee Charles and Patricia H. Walkup
Mr. & Mrs. Bertrand Weisbart Vera F. Wells yc ’71 David Willson
In-Kind Clare and Sterling Brinkley yc ’74 Anita yc ’90 and Dino Fusco yc ’88 Asaad Kelada ’64 Sasha Emerson Levin ’84
Contributions received from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011
Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage Paid New Haven, CT Permit No. 167
ANNUAL MAGAZINE Yale School of Drama P.O. Box 208244 New Haven, CT 06520-8244
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Annual magazine for faculty, staff, students, and alumni of Yale School of Drama. Fall 2012, Vol. LVI