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On&Off York Street--E-newsletter for the Yale School of Drama Community
On&Off York Street--E-newsletter for the Yale School of Drama Community On&Off York Street--E-newsletter for the Yale School of Drama Community On&Off York Street--E-newsletter for the Yale School of Drama Community On&Off York Street--E-newsletter for the Yale School of Drama Community On&Off York Street--E-newsletter for the Yale School of Drama Community
  volume 2, issue 2
SPRING 2013  
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Summer of Giants
Yale Summer Cabaret
Artwork by Dustin Wills '14

This summer marks the 39th year that Yale Summer Cabaret has heated up and cooled off the doldrums in New Haven. This season—the “Summer of Giants”will offer work by some of the greatest playwrights from all periods of history, including the French baroque, the eve of the European 20th century, revolutionary Spain, the American avant-garde, and modern England. As Artistic Director Dustin Wills ’14 says: “This summer we stand on the shoulders of giantsthose great writers who came before us, those ambitious students from 1974 who had the daring to form the Summer Cabaretand we embrace our artistic past, present, and future.” This year’s team includes Associate Artistic Director Chris Bannow ’14, Managing Director Molly Hennighausen ’15, Associate Managing Director Anh Le ’15, Production Stage Manager Geoff Boronda ’13, Scenic Designer Kate Noll ’14, Technical Director James Lanius ’15, Costume Designer Seth Bodie ’14, and Lighting Designers Solomon Weisbard ’13 and Oliver Wason ’14. Tickets go on sale April 22.

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Below is a sampling of the work of YSD alumni and faculty.

Lucky Guy, by Nora Ephron, featuring Courtney B. Vance ’86, opened April 1 at the Broadhurst Theatre.

I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, starring Bette Midler and featuring sets by Scott Pask ’97 and sound by Fitz Patton ’01, opens at the Booth Theatre on April 24.

Jackson Gay ’02 directed Collapse by Allison Moore for the Women’s Project. The play opened April 7 at New York City Center Stage II. The production features Elliot Villar ’07, along with scenery by Lee Savage ’05 (Faculty), and lighting by Paul Whitaker ’02.

Motown: The Musical, a new musical featuring Bryan Terrell Clark '06 as Marvin Gaye, opened April 14 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater.

Staff is Cheered
Bill Reynolds and Sarah Stevens-Morling
photo by Marguerite Elliott

The George Pierce Baker Awards—which honor YSD staff and faculty members for exceptional dedication to the Drama School community—were announced at the February all-staff meeting. Director of Safety and Occupational Health Bill Reynolds ’77 (Faculty) and Online Communications and Advertising Manager Sarah Stevens-Morling were greeted by applause and whooping cheers from their colleagues as they received their awards.

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John Lee Beatty '73 designed the set for The Nance, by Douglas Carter Beane, which opened April 15 at Lincoln Center.

The Big Knife, by Clifford Odets opened April 16 at the Roundabout Theatre Company. The show features Reg Rogers ’93 and Billy Eugene Jones ’03, with sets by John Lee Beatty ’73, costumes by Catherine Zuber ’84, and lighting by James F. Ingalls ’75.

Manhattan Theatre Club's production of The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenberg ’85, directed by Lynne Meadow ’71, with sets by Santo Loquasto ’72 and costumes by Jane Greenwood (Faculty), opened April 17 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

The Last Will, by Robert Brustein MAH ’66, YC ’51 (Former Dean), featuring Christianna Nelson '05, opened April 17 at the Abingdon Theatre Company.

Arts Council Citing

James Bundy, Ruth Feldman, and RomaineIn December, the Arts Council of Greater New Haven hosted its annual Arts Awards Luncheon at the New Haven Lawn Club. These awards honor excellence and outstanding achievements of visual, performing, and literary artists, arts organizations, architects, arts educators, advocates, and administrators whose contributions enable the arts to thrive in the region. One of this year’s honorees was Director of Education and Accessibility Ruth M. Feldman, whom the Council cited for her successful efforts “to improve audience participation by encouraging, engaging, and expanding accessibility for youth, adults, and especially the hearing and visually disabled. Her impact has been profound.” Congratulations, Ruth!

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Jennifer Tipton (Faculty) designed the lighting for The Testament of Mary, by Colm Tóibín, which opens April 22 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

Pippin, by Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Schwartz, opens April 25 at the Music Box Theatre featuring sets by Scott Pask ’97.

Old-Fashioned Prostitutes (A True Romance), written, directed, and designed by Richard Foreman ’62 and featuring Stephanie Hayes ’11, opens April 30 at The Public Theater.

Yale Rep's Next Season

The 2013-14 Yale Repertory Theatre season will begin and end in New Orleans, starting with Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Directed by Mark Rucker ’92, Streetcar will be followed by plays set in England, Italy, and Russia: Caryl Churchill’s Owners, directed by Evan Yionoulis ’85, YC ’82 (Faculty); Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo, directed by Chris Bayes (Faculty); The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls by Meg Miroshnik ’11; the world premiere of These Paper Bullets, adapted by Rolin Jones ’04 from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and directed by Jackson Gay ’02; and finally, back to New Orleans with The House That Will Not Stand, written by Marcus Gardley '04 and directed by Patricia McGregor ’09.


Nikolai and the Others, by Richard Nelson (Former Faculty), opens at Lincoln Center Theater on May 6, with costumes by Jane Greenwood (Faculty) and sound by Daniel Kluger YC ’08.

The New Group's production of Bunty Berman Presents opens May 9 at Theatre Row, with scenery by Derek McLane ’84, costumes by William Ivey Long ’75, and projections by Wendall Harrington (Faculty).

They Go and They Come

Katie LibermanJust before Michael Barker ’10, SOM ’10 ended his tenure as general manager of The Laguna Playhouse, he suggested to Katie Liberman ’13, SOM ’13 that she apply to replace him. Katie went to Laguna for an interview, and got the job. “I’m very excited,” Katie said, though she admitted that the notion of actually moving to California was a daunting prospect. “I’ve never lived there, but I’m hoping the job will make that aspect of my life smoother.” This will happen sooner rather than later: Katie graduates on May 20 and begins her role as general manager three weeks later.

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Far From Heaven, a new musical adapted from the film by Richard Greenberg ’85, opens June 2 at Playwrights Horizons.

The world premiere of Three Kinds of Exile, by John Guare ’63, opens at the Atlantic Theater Company on June 11.

Choir Boy, a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney ’07, and directed by Trip Cullman ’02, YC ’97, begins previews at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Stage II on June 18.

Playing Around

Lynn NottageLynn Nottage ’89 (Faculty) was recently honored at PlayGround’s 2013 Benefit & Awards Night, which took place on April 1 at American Conservatory Theater. “I’ve long followed and admired Lynn’s work,” said PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann ’92. “She preceded me at Brown and then at YSD, and I felt the story of her journey as a playwright and artist, as well as her observations on the field today would resonate with our supporters and emerging writers. The PlayGround Gala is an opportunity to focus the community’s attention on one of the country’s most important playwrights and Lynn is certainly very deserving of that honor.” Jonathan Moscone ’93 served as honorary chair of the event and Joy Carlin ’54 was on the committee.

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Around the Country
Big Fish, a new musical with costumes by William Ivey Long ’75, lighting by Don Holder ’86, and produced by Bruce Cohen YC ’83, began previews April 2 at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago.

The Winter's Tale, directed by Rebecca Taichman '00, opened April 4 at the McCarter Theatre. The company includes Ted Van Griethuysen '60, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind '89, and music director Ellis Ludwig-Leone YC '11.

Iran On-Screen

Ali Pour IssaCold Ground, a short film directed by Ali Pour Issa ’11, has been accepted into the non-European dramatic short category of the European Independent Film Festival. Cold Ground concentrates on the last days of a family’s chaotic life in a 2012 Iranian nuclear winter and is the only entrant from Iran in the festival. “It offers a different aesthetic from other Iranian films known in the world, which would be interesting for the audiences at the festival,” says Ali. “I see myself as an activist bringing up issues of social and political injustice in 2012 and 2013. The idea of apocalypse is at the heart of the film.”


The world premiere of Head of Passes, written by Tarell Alvin McCraney ’07 and directed by Tina Landau YC ’84, and lit by Scott Zielinski ’90, opened April 4 at Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Venus in Fur, by David Ives ’84, opened April 5 at Asolo Rep. Another production opens at the George Street Playhouse on April 23, and yet another at the Geva Theatre Center on May 16.

Kate Burton’s Lifetime

Kate Burton Kate Burton ’82 will be honored with the 2013 Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts at the 17th Annual Pell Awards, to be held on Monday, June 10 at Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence, RI. “Since setting foot on the Brown campus in September of 1975 at the age of seventeen, I began a lifelong love affair with Brown, Providence, and the state of Rhode Island,” says Kate, who serves on The Brown Creative Arts Council and on The Corporation of Brown University. “But it is my time in the classrooms, with both the undergraduate actors and the MFA Acting candidates, that has been the most meaningful to me through the years. It is a profound honor to receive the Pell Award for work in the arts in Rhode Island, a state that I love so dearly.”

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Leigh Silverman directs the world premiere of American Hero, by Bess Wohl ’02, ART ’98, which opens June 26 at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Belleville, by Amy Herzog '07, YC '00 opens June 27 at Steppenwolf.

Fly by Night, conceived by Kim Rosenstock ’10 and co-written by Kim, Will Connolly ’10, and Michael Mitnick ’10, opens April 26 at the Dallas Theatre Center, and will open at Playwrights Horizons in New York in June 2014.

Tech Awards
LEFT: Ben Sammler ’74 (Faculty) presents the award to Neil Mazzella, photo by USITT/Ross Zentner RIGHT: Dr. Bernhard Works presents the award to Dan Perez
LEFT: Ben Sammler '74 (Faculty) and Neil Mazzella. Photo by USITT/Ross Zentner.
RIGHT: Dan Perez and Dr. Bernhard Works. Photo by USITT/Daryl Pauley.

Neil Mazzella ’78 (Former Faculty) received the 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award in Technical Production from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). Neil is founder and CEO of Hudson Scenic Studio, creator of scenery, automation, lighting, technical supervision, and production management for hundreds of Broadway, off-Broadway, touring, and specialty productions. During more than 30 years of examining shows at the hammer-and-nails level—including building the original Broadway set for Les Miserables—Neil has acquired a rarefied knowledge of what works on a stage. Also at the conference, technical designer Dan A. Perez ’13 was awarded the 2013 Frederick A. Buerki Golden Hammer Scenic Technology Award. Dan helped engineer the pink cotton candy cloud that held Katy Perry as she sailed over the audience in her 2011 California Dreams tour. Dan also designed the stage rigging system for Chaplin the Musical on Broadway last September. The awards were both presented at USITT’s Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Milwaukee, WI on March 20‐23.

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The Dining Room, by A.R. Gurney ’58, begins previews at Westport Country Playhouse on April 30.

Abigail/1702, by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa ’03, opens May 4 at City Theatre in Pittsburgh.

His Girl Friday, adapted by John Guare ’63 from The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur and from the Columbia Pictures film His Girl Friday,opens May 28 at La Jolla Playhouse.

American Night: The Ballad of Juan José, by Richard Montoya, developed by Culture Clash and Jo Bonney, and directed by Jonathan Moscone ’93, opens May 29 at California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, CA.

People’s Light and Theatre in Malvern, PA presents Barcelona, by Bess Wohl ’02, ART ’98. The production, which begins performances on May 29, is directed by Jackson Gay ’02 and features costumes by Jessica Ford ’04.

New Literary Prize at Yale

Tarell  Alvin McCraneyLast month, the Beinecke Library announced Tarell Alvin McCraney ’07 as one of the inaugural winners of the Windham Campbell Prize. The other winning playwrights are Naomi Wallace and Stephen Adly Guirgis. Named for the late Donald Windham and his partner, Sandy M. Campbell, the prize of $150,000 is awarded for outstanding achievement in fiction, nonfiction, and drama. A collection of correspondence among Windham, Campbell,  and other writers such as Tennessee Williams, E.M. Forster, Truman Capote, and Christopher Isherwood, is part of the Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Library. The Beinecke will host a ceremony for the winners on September 10, and a literary arts festival involving several of the prize recipients is scheduled for September 10-13 on the Yale University campus and in the New Haven community.

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Film and TV
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Baltimore’s Center Stage asked 50 of the country’s leading playwrights—including Christina Anderson ’11, Christopher Durang ’74, Marcus Gardley ’04, Kenneth Lin ’05, James Magruder ’88, DFA ’92, Lynn Nottage ’89 (Faculty), and Alena Smith ’06—to write a monologue that answers the question "What is my America?" Director Hal Hartley filmed actors performing the monologues, which can be viewed at myamerica.centerstage.org.

Sound Editors are Heard

Robert Cotnoir and Erich StratmannEach year the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) presents the Golden Reel Awards, acknowledging the year’s best work in the various areas of sound editing. At this year’s gala on February 17, Robert Cotnoir ’94 (left) won for music editing on the television show Smash, and Erich Stratmann ’94, YC ’93 (right) won for music editing on the feature film Life of Pi.


Alyssa Howard, Joel Abbott, and Keny Thomason
Alyssa Howard Joel Abbott Keny Thomason

Alyssa Howard ’13 ( Stage Manager) My greatest joy is in my collaborators, and I’ve spent almost three years grateful for and inspired by the people whom I’ve been honored to call my classmates and colleagues. I love discovering new ways to optimize my work so that I can support others in optimizing theirs. During the past year, I’ve been writing a non-traditional thesis about occupational burnout and career longevity in the field of stage management. In the last couple of months, I’ve worked almost nonstop on wildly different shows at the Yale Cabaret. Right now, I’m figuring out how to respond to my grandmother, who wrote me a letter asking if “show biz” is like what she sees on Smash.

Joel Abbott ’14 (Sound Designer) The time I’ve spent at YSD has been all about transformation, about making what formerly seemed impossible, possible. It feels achievable to find success working on big shows, in New York, and in larger regional theatres. I feel comfortable working on ambitious new plays with smart directors and designers at the highest level. Being here makes it seem feasible to achieve both artistic success and financial security. Yale School of Drama is an opportunity for which I’ve sacrificed more than ever before; attending YSD has demanded years of commitment, thousands of dollars, and only being able to see my wife—who lives in Vermont—for a few days every five or six weeks. A favorite phrase of ours is, “It will be hard, but it will be worth it.” My time at YSD has been hard, and I have faith that all of the work and sacrifice will be worth it.

Keny Thomason ’15 (Technical Design and Production) My experience at Yale School of Drama means the world to me because I have been given the opportunity to cultivate and continue a legacy through the art form of theatre. I grew up in a theatre family—my father is a technical director/professor and my mother is a performer/writer. It was not until I was in college, however, that I pursued theatre production. The desire to work in this aspect of the arts led me on a journey toward YSD. I am grateful for the chance to continue my growth within the Technical Design and Production program and blessed to establish a strong network within a new, extended theatre family. I’m building on the legacy that my parents have begun.


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Zach Appelman as Henry V

Zach AppelmanAccording to Chair of Acting Ron Van Lieu (Faculty), actors need persistence to carve out a career in the theatre. But Zach Appelman ’10 went from Yale right into the Lincoln Center production of War Horse, to his movie debut in Kill Your Darlings, to the title role in Henry V at Washington D.C.’s Folger Theatre—where he got the kind of reviews that not even a collaboration between his parents and his agent could generate. Here are some excerpts: “An actor with both the physical bearing and the brains to play a great warrior-king. The occasion is one for toasts and cheers.” (Peter Marks, The Washington Post) “So eloquent, so engaging, that it’s hard not to leave the theater thinking of Henry V as one of the greatest male characters Shakespeare ever wrote.” (Sophie Gilbert, Washingtonian) “Appelman makes Shakespeare’s words so much the King’s and provides such authentic behavior that you will find yourself identifying with this young man in every scene.” (Robert Michael Oliver, MD Theatre Guide) Phew! Henry V is now closed, having run from January 22 to March 3.




  Yale School of Drama

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P.O. Box 208244
New Haven, CT 06520-8244
203 432 1559


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Spring 2013, Vol. Two, Issue 2