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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 3
Summer 2013  
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Commencement 2013
Yale Summer Cabaret
photo by Arnold Gold

On the 20th of May, 73 new graduates joined the Yale School of Drama alumni community. These 61 MFAs, 4 DFAs, 7 technical interns, and 1 certificate recipient comprise the newly minted Class of 2013. Congratulations and welcome!

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Biking to Benefit Vets

Technical Director Neil MulliganTechnical Director and TD&P faculty member Neil Mulligan ’01, who served two tours of active duty—as an infantryman in the Gulf War and as a medic at a military hospital in Afghanistan—began a 2,500 mile cross-country bicycle journey on June 1 from Portland, OR, to New Haven, CT, to raise money for three veterans’ organizations: Fisher House Foundation, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and Veterans’ Voices. As a veteran himself, Neil said he wanted to do something to help others who served. To see additional photos from the trip, visit his website: http://pedalforvets.com.

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

Patricia Clarkson ’85 appears as Zelda Fitzgerald in a staged reading of Scott and Zelda by Kay Cattarulla at Williamstown Theatre Festival on July 1.

Oklahoma!, featuring Austin Durant ’10 as Jud Fry and Chasten Harmon ’15 as Ado Annie, opens July 1 as part of the Berkshire Theatre Group’s 85th summer season.

Brenda Davis ’08 designs the scenery, Costanza Romero ’88 the costumes, and Chris Akerlind ’89 the lighting for The Liquid Plain by Naomi Wallace, which opens at Oregon Shakespeare Festival on July 2. The production also features Kimberly Scott ’87.

Choir Boy, a play with music written by Tarell Alvin McCraney ’07 and directed by Trip Cullman ’02, YC ’97, opens July 2 at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Stage II.

Shana Cooper ’09 directs Romeo and Juliet at California Shakespeare Theater. The production opens July 2 and features Joseph J. Parks ’08 as Mercutio.

Walton Wilson (Faculty) returns to Shakespeare & Company in Richard II, directed by Timothy Douglas ’86 and opening July 5.

The End of an Era
photo by Prema Cruz ’14

At the turn of the millennium, it was Cavanaugh’s. For the last ten years it was Sullivan’s—a family-owned Irish pub at the heart of the Yale campus; a home away from home for the School of Drama’s faculty, staff, and students; a gathering place known for great atmosphere, hearty food, and generous drinks. Dean Digioia managed Sullivan’s for ten years but felt it was time to retire. And so, sadly, the restaurant closed its doors on June 8 and YSD responded with an outpouring of emotion. Laura Eckelman ’11 said: “I have spent more hours in Sullivan’s than I should probably admit to. Dean always took such good care of me; he was always there with a hug and a smile.” Eric Gershman ’15, SOM ’15 agreed: “That’s it then, I’m moving to New York. If you want me to come back in August, I need a new bar that will be as lively, welcoming, and friendly as Sullie’s.” To Dean: Goodbye, friend. Chapel Street won’t be the same without you.


Kate Burton ’82 stars in Tom Stoppard’s Hapgood at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which opens July 10. The show is directed by Evan Yionoulis ’85 YC ’82 (Faculty), with scenery by Chris Barreca ’83 and lighting by Don Holder ’86.

A Parallelogram by Bruce Norris, directed by Anna D. Shapiro ’93, with scenery by Todd Rosenthal ’93 and lighting by James F. Ingalls ’75, opens July 10 at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Liz Wisan ’10 is in Bill W. and Dr. Bob by Samuel Shem and Janet Surrey, which opens at the Soho Playhouse on July 16 with sets by Wilson Chin ’03.

Maura Hooper ’15 is featured in the Williamstown production of Pygmalion, which opens July 17. The production’s scenery is designed by Alexander Dodge ’99 and its lighting by Philip Rosenberg ’59. The Festival also presents, for one night only on July 22, My Fair Lewis, an evening of stand-up with comedian Lewis Black ’77.

Flying High
Kim Rosenstock, Will Connolly, and Michael Mitnick
photo by Dana Driensky

In her proposal to be artistic director of the Yale Summer Cabaret in the fall of 2008, Kim Rosenstock ’10 included a new musical she planned to write with classmates Will Connolly ’10 and Michael Mitnick ’10. Fly By Night premiered at the Cabaret that summer, marking the beginning of a five-year odyssey of development and production at theatres around the country, including the Dallas Theater Center and Playwrights Horizons. “The Summer Cabaret acted as a powerful catalyst for the creation of our show,” Kim says. “We had the opportunity to write a piece and see it up in production within the span of a few months—that’s unheard of in most places.”

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Gamal Palmer Leads

Gamal PalmerGamal Palmer ’08 is the new senior director of leadership development for the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. His job is to rebuild, rebrand, and rejuvenate the Federation’s leadership programs, and to design a comprehensive mentorship program for participants to build relationships with successful individuals and philanthropists. Trained in acting at YSD, Gamal credits his extra year of study in the School’s Theater Management program and at Yale School of Management with preparing him for this career transition. “It was during that year that I was able to hone an entire new set of skills.”


The Cat and the Canary, directed by Ethan Heard ’13, features Chris Geary ’15, Ashton Heyl ’14, Matthew McCollum ’14, Tom Pecinka ’15, Ariana Venturi ’15, and Sophie von Haselberg ’14. It opens July 31 at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Stage.

A new musical-in-progress, Loving vs. Virginia, written by Marcus Gardley ’04 and directed by Patricia McGregor ’09, plays four performances on August 11 and 12 in the directing studio at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

The Public Theater’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost, A New Musical, opens at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park on July 23, directed by Alex Timbers YC ’01, with sets by John Lee Beatty ’73, costumes by Jennifer Moeller ’06, and featuring Bryce Pinkham ’08.

Oblivion by Carly Mensch, directed by Mark Brokaw ’86, opens August 20 at the Westport Country Playhouse.

Walton Wilson (Faculty) is featured in Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of Anna Christie, which opens August 20.

After the Revolution, written by Amy Herzog ’07, YC ’00 and directed by Eleanor Holdridge ’97, opens at Washington D.C.’s Theatre J on September 7.

Sheria Irving ’13 appears in the ensemble of David Leveaux’s production of Romeo and Juliet, opening at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on September 19.

Awards All Around!
Summer Cab staff members (L to R) Anh Le, Molly Hennighausen, Dustin Wills, and Chris Bannow. Jess Goldstein
Jess Goldstein (photo by John Zich

Here are some of the awards and honors recently given to YSD alumni:

Jess Goldstein ’78 (Faculty) won the Michael Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration. “What made it even more special was having it presented to me by Walt Spangler ’97, one of my former Yale students,” Jess said. Alexandru Mihail ’12 and Louisa Proske ’12 were selected as 2013 Fellows of the Drama League Directors Project—Alex in the New York Fall Directing Program and Louisa in the Hangar Summer Residency. Lileana Blain-Cruz ’12 is one of six recipients of the new 2050 Fellowship at New York Theatre Workshop. Christopher Durang ’74 won the Drama Desk, Drama League, and Tony Awards for his play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Tony Awards also went to Courtney B. Vance ’86, John Lee Beatty ’73, William Ivey Long ’75, and Ming Cho Lee (Faculty), who was given a special Tony for lifetime achievement in the theatre. Amy Herzog ’07, YC ’00 received the Benjamin H. Danks Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. At the Playwrights Horizons 2013 Gala, Amy Herzog, Wendy McLeod ’87, Melissa James Gibson ’95, Lynn Nottage ’89 (Faculty), and Sarah Ruhl (Faculty) were honored.


California Shakespeare Theater’s production of A Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, directed by Patricia McGregor ’09, opens September 25.

Venus in Fur by David Ives ’84 opens at Milwaukee Repertory Theater on September 25.

William DeMeritt ’12 has a role in the HBO film The Normal Heart, which airs later this fall.


Alyssa Howard, Joel Abbott, and Keny Thomason
Reynaldi Lolong
photo by
Flordelino Lagundino
Dustin Wills
photo by
T. Charles Erickson
Mary Laws
Brett Jameson

Reynaldi Lolong ’13 (Theater Management) “It’s been a blessing to have spent the last three years at Yale School of Drama. Yes, I came wanting to know more about management. Yes, I imagined there’d be many late-night battles with spreadsheets. Yes, I figured I’d be seeing a lot of shows. But with graduation already starting to fade into the past, it’s the little joys that resonate in my memory: the view from East Rock on a summer morning, hurricane parties and snow days, and mastering the fine art of pie-crastination (baking a pie in lieu of doing actual work). What I’ll remember most, though, are the people, and I can’t wait to see my friends, classmates, and colleagues flourish.”

Dustin Wills ’14 (Directing) “A few years ago I walked into the office of my undergraduate mentor Fran Dorn ’75 at the University of Texas to invite her to a show I had directed in Austin. I recall her throwing whatever she was holding in her hand at my head and hollering,‘What are you still doing here? Go away!’ She did this out of love, and her protest eventually led me to apply to the Yale Directing program. Fast forward a few years: I now have the pleasure of leading the 2013 Yale Summer Cabaret—of which, coincidentally, Fran Dorn was the first (co)artistic director in 1974. It is to her and to that season that I owe a debt of gratitude for our ‘Summer of Giants’ idea. The Cabaret, both in summer and term-time, is integral to YSD because it grants students a space—a laboratory, if you will—where we can experiment with our craft, learn from each other and ourselves, and invite the community to witness the magic we’ve concocted. Back when Fran proposed Yale to me as an idea, the Cabaret was definitely a huge selling point. And now, here I am!”

Mary Laws ’14 (Playwriting) “I am regularly inspired by the TD&P students at YSD. Don’t tell anyone I said so, but they might be the hardest working students at the School (or anywhere, for that matter). Since I entered the Playwriting program, I have watched from the sidelines as they built plexiglass floors and spiraling staircases, crafted forests and castles and ratty fraternity apartments, and effortlessly executed wildly imaginative ideas onstage while simultaneously managing teams of student workers, keeping everyone safe, writing theses, and cooking vats of chili for Beers every Friday night. I’ve asked a few of them if they thought it was too late for me to change disciplines, but who am I kidding? I will never be cool enough to be a TD&P. I’ve learned something from them and from all of my collaborators at YSD: anything is possible. As a result of their hard work and impressive accomplishments, my writing has grown bigger, braver, and bolder since my first semester here. Instead of thinking, ‘that’s too hard to do onstage,’ I think, ‘what other new, totally rad thing can I write into a play so that a TD&P can make it happen?’ I owe this new outlook entirely to my peers at the Drama School who are brilliant, celebrate risk, and make magic in the theatre every day. They are inspired and inspiring.”


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  Yale School of Drama

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


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Summer 2013, Vol. Two, Issue 3