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  VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3 JUNE 2014  

    Honored | FACES OF YSD | ON STAGE & SCREEN
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Salovey Gets Realistic
John Beinecke, Gaily Beinecke, Marta Moret, Peter Salovey, and Victoria Nolan.
John Beinecke, Gaily Beinecke, Marta Moret, Peter Salovey, and Victoria Nolan.
Photo by Levi Stolove.

Yale University President Peter Salovey and his wife, Marta Moret, attended the opening night of Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre on Sunday, April 6. They were joined by Deputy Dean and Managing Director of Yale Repertory Theatre Victoria Nolan (Faculty), and Gaily Beinecke and John Beinecke ’69, chair of the Yale School of Drama Board of Advisors. The critically acclaimed play was commissioned and first produced by Yale Rep in 2012, with development and production support provided by Yale’s Binger Center for New Theatre.

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Anne Trites Makes a Change
Belene Day, Daniel Cress, Anne Trites, Maggie Elliot, and Steven Padla.
Anne Trites (center) with members of her staff:
Belene Day, Daniel Cress, Maggie Elliot, and Steven Padla.
Photo by Christopher Ash ’14.

Anne Trites (Faculty) stepped down from her position as Director of Marketing and Communications at Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre at the end of the spring semester. She will begin her new role as Director of Development at Theatre Development Fund on June 30, and will stay on to teach two courses at YSD in the 2014–15 academic year.

Prior to joining the YSD faculty in 2002, Anne served as Director of Marketing, Communications, and Development for Toronto’s Canadian Stage Company, Confederation Centre of the Arts on Prince Edward Island, and the Grand Theatre in Ontario. She also worked for Ontario’s Shaw Festival and the Vancouver Playhouse.

“Anne has been teacher, advisor, and mentor to countless Drama School students over the years. Those of us in Theater Management, who work so closely with her, feel particularly privileged to call her a colleague and friend,” said Eric Gershman ’15, SOM ’15.

“Throughout her tenure, Anne has committed herself wholeheartedly to her staff, her students, and the welfare of this institution,” said James Bundy ’95 (Dean). “We are so pleased that she will continue to teach at the School in the coming year.”

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Tom Sellar at the Voice

Tom SellarTom Sellar ’97, DFA ’03 (Faculty), editor of Theater magazine at YSD, has been appointed the new chief theatre critic for the Village Voice. The announcement came during the 59th Obie Awards celebration at Webster Hall in Greenwich Village on May 19. Upon receiving the appointment, Tom said: “I’m happy to have the weekly page after 13 years of writing for the Voice—and the immediacy of a national media outlet is a nice balance with the slower journals world.”

The Village Voice theatre section has published the work of many current YSD faculty, including Jim Leverett, Elinor Fuchs, Marc Robinson ’90, DFA ’92 and Gordon Rogoff YC ’52. Former faculty member Erika Munk was once the theatre editor, and Michael Feingold ’72 and Jonathan Kalb ’85, DFA ’87 (Former Faculty) have been theatre critics. Tom has been contributing to the Voice since 2001.

As happy as Tom is to have received a regular forum for his work, he wanted it made absolutely clear : “YSD and Theater magazine are my first and truest loves—and my real job!”

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New Alumni Fund Co-Chairs

Tommy Russell and Meghan PressmanMeghan Pressman ’10, SOM ’10 and Tommy Russell ’07 have been appointed co-chairs of the Yale School of Drama Alumni Fund. In their new roles, Meghan and Tommy look forward to engaging with alumni in new ways and increasing annual giving. This year, alumni donations provided more than $380,000 in vital support for financial aid at the School.

Meghan and Tommy bring a wealth of energy and fundraising experience to the job. After graduating with dual degrees from YSD and SOM, Meghan spearheaded fundraising and strategic planning as associate managing director of Berkeley Rep, and currently she serves as director of development for Signature Theatre Company in New York City.  Tommy, an actor and producer, first stepped into his role as a class agent in 2007 and has become increasingly involved in the University’s alumni affairs.

“I never thought I would be in a position to help the School by boosting alumni donor participation and bringing us closer together as a community,” says Tommy. “YSD and the University community changed my life. In my last year at YSD, I acted in a Cabaret clown show that Meghan produced. Now we’re really excited to be teaming up again.”

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Summer Cabaret’s 40th Anniversary

Yale Summer CabaretCo-Artistic Directors Luke Harlan ’16 and Jessica Holt ’15, Managing Director Gretchen Wright ’16, and Associate Managing Director Sooyoung Hwang ’16 have announced the 40th Anniversary Season of the Yale Summer Cabaret, which will include Christopher Durang’s ’74 comedy Why Torture is Wrong and The People Who Love Them; the New England premiere of Erin Courtney’s OBIE Award winning play A Map of Virtue; Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915; Will Eno’s Middletown; and Summer Shorts: A Festival of New Voices featuring the work of six Yale School of Drama alumni playwrights. The season runs from June 5 through August 17. For tickets and more information visit the Yale Summer Cabaret website.

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Going West

Jeffrey HerrmannSeattle Repertory Theatre has announced that Jeffrey Herrmann ’99 will become its new managing director this summer. “Seattle Rep is the flagship theatre of the Pacific Northwest,” Jeffrey says. “I was at Perseverance Theatre in Alaska for eight years—it’s where I met my wife—and we have lots of friends in that part of the world. Seattle Rep is an amazing theatre company and this is a great opportunity.” For the past five years, Jeffrey has served as managing director at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C.

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Fugard Revisits YSD
Athol Fugard
Photo by Michael Marsland.

On April 14, South African writer, actor, and director Athol Fugard DFAH ’83 visited Yale for a conversation with students, staff, and faculty. After an introduction by Ed Martenson (Faculty), Fugard called Yale “a shining place on the American theatrical map,” and took a moment to salute the faculty and staff members in the room who had been at the School and the Rep during the world premiere productions of several of his plays—A Place with the Pigs (1987), The Road to Mecca (1984), and Master Harold…and the boys (1982)—as well as the American premiere of A Lesson from Aloes (1980).

Fugard spoke passionately about his craft, as well as the basic human emotions that have driven his work for decades: shame and redemption, both individual and political, in his native South Africa. “You can’t legislate confession and forgiveness into existence,” he said. “They are profound mysteries. You can’t legislate mysteries of the heart.”

Above all, Fugard advised artists to capture their local worlds. “Be a regional writer,” he insisted. “Don’t try to write for a general white English-speaking audience. That would be the death of theatre.”

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Stephen Brown-Fried Takes on Shakespeare

Stephen Brown-FriedStephen Brown-Fried ’05 has begun his post as artistic associate and casting director of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ). In these dual roles he is responsible for casting touring companies and seven mainstage shows, as well as supporting the mission of Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte. After a very busy six-year career as a freelance director, Stephen wanted more. “I began to feel hungrier and hungrier to be part of an institution itself,” he says. “I didn’t want to be only a guest artist who dropped into a theatre, directed a play, and left.” But this new job is hardly a signal that his freelance directing career is over. “STNJ has guaranteed me time off every fall,” Stephen says. “In fact, I’ll be directing Clifford Odets’s Paradise Lost at YSD in the fall of 2014.”

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Picture Perfect Graduation
graduation
Photo by Steven Koernig ’16.

Members of the Yale School of Drama Class of 2014, comprising 62 MFAs, 2 DFAs, 7 technical interns, and 1 certificate recipient, posed for group photos before commencement exercises on May 19, 2014. A warm welcome and hearty congratulations to these 72 new members of the YSD alumni community!

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  HONORED
O’Neill Center Honors Meryl
Standing left to right: Joseph Grifasi ’75, Ken Ryan ’76, William Ivey Long ’75, Meryl Streep ’75, DFAH ’83, Jeremy Smith ’76, Marcell Rosenblatt ’76, Carmen de Lavallade (Former Faculty), Victoria Nolan, Alma Cuervo ’76, Richard Bey ’76. Seated: Deborah Berman, Alvin Epstein, Betsy Parrish.
Standing left to right: Joseph Grifasi ’75, Ken Ryan ’76, William Ivey Long ’75,
Meryl Streep ’75, DFAH ’83, Jeremy Smith ’76, Marcell Rosenblatt ’76, Carmen de Lavallade (Former Faculty), Victoria Nolan, Alma Cuervo ’76, Richard Bey ’76.
Seated: Deborah Berman, Alvin Epstein (Former Faculty), Betsy Parrish (Former Faculty).
Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Monte Cristo Award is given annually to a theatre artist who exemplifies O’Neill’s “pioneering spirit, unceasing artistic commitment, excellence, and accomplishment.” On April 21, at a gala at the Edison Ballroom in New York, the award was given to Meryl Streep ’75, DFAH ’83.

Old friends, classmates, and colleagues paid tributes, including playwrights John Patrick Shanley, Tony Kushner, and Tracy Letts. Meryl’s classmate and friend, actor Joe Grifasi ’75, presented her with the award. After hearing her fellow artists praise and poke gentle fun, Meryl reminisced about working at the O’Neill Center with Joe immediately following their graduation from YSD and thanked its founder George White ’61, YC ’57 for the opportunity and for the “amazing place you dreamed up.” With humor and grace that have come to be hallmarks of her career, she drew similarities between herself and the O’Neill Center. “We are both like venerable old ladies who don't like to think of themselves as ‘a lauded old institution.’ No matter how many tributes we’ve gotten, no matter how many successes we’ve launched, we like to think new work will come to us and that our best work is ahead.”

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Tony for a Lifetime

Costume sketches from Act One, courtesy of Jane Greenwood.The Tony Awards Administration Committee selected Jane Greenwood (Faculty) as this year’s recipient of the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, which was presented at the 68th annual awards ceremony on Sunday, June 8.

One of Broadway’s preeminent costume designers, Jane has designed costumes for more than 125 productions on Broadway since her first job designing the costumes for Edward Albee’s adaptation of Carson McCullers’s Ballad of the Sad Café in 1963. Her credits since then include Once Upon a Mattress; The Little Foxes; An American Daughter; High Society; Master Class; Passion; She Loves Me; Same Time Next Year; California Suite; Medea; Plenty; Heartbreak House; The Iceman Cometh; Ah, Wilderness!; Long Day’s Journey Into Night; and Our Town. In the 2013-2014 Broadway season she designed the costumes for two new plays: Sharr White’s The Snow Geese and James Lapine’s Act One, for which she received her 18th Tony nomination. She has previously been honored with the Irene Sharaff Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, the Helen Hayes Award, and the Lilly Award.

“I love the camaraderie of the theatre,” Jane has said. “I also love the fact that when you work on a play or an opera or a ballet, you are always learning something new. I think it keeps one very much alive.”

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Annenberg Fellows

Sarah Sokolovic and Molly BernardThe Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts, a ten-year program now in its seventh year, awarded fellowships to seven “young artists of exceptional promise,” that include grants of $50,000 a year for up to two years. Two of these seven artists are actors from Yale School of Drama: Sarah Sokolovic ’11, nominated by YSD, who has performed in The Shaggs (Drama Desk nominee for best featured actress in a musical)and Detroit at Playwrights Horizons, and as Stella in the Yale Repertory Theatre production of A Streetcar Named Desire; and Molly Bernard ’13, nominated by Lincoln Center Theater, whose recent roles include Feletti in Chris Bayes’s (Faculty) production of Accidental Death of an Anarchist at Yale Repertory Theatre and Angie Sullivan on the Amazon original series Alpha House. Actors Bryce Pinkham ’08 and Austin Durant ’10 were named Annenberg Fellows in 2012.

“This journey: the nomination, the application process, and now being selected as an Annenberg Fellow,” Molly says, “has been a tremendous opportunity to deepen my understanding of who I am as an artist, and this award will only help further this process. I could not be more grateful.”

Sarah echoes Molly’s sentiments. “I am honored to be part of Leonore Annenberg’s legacy and I am moved that I was nominated by Yale School of Drama, a place that I cherish so very much. These next two years will be a really exciting adventure.”

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Director of the Year!
Our Class at the National Theatre of Lithuania.
Our Class at the National Theatre of Lithuania.
Photo by Mikko Waltari.

Yana Ross ’06 has become the first female director to receive the Golden Stage Cross—a prestigious Lithuanian theatre prize—for Best Director of the Year. Her production of Our Class by Polish playwright Tadeusz Słobodzianek also took top awards in acting and design, including costumes by Zane Pihlstrom ’06, making it the hit of the season for the 650-seat main stage of the National Theatre. British theatre critic Bryce Lease called the production “a visual masterpiece.” Our Class has been invited to the Belgrade International Theatre Festival and other major festivals in Europe.

Yana’s response to her award included a thank you to the School: “I am deeply indebted to Yale School of Drama for making me believe in my art, the change it can bring, and the joy I get from making it. And thank you for believing in me.”

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It’s Awards Season!

YSD alumni have taken top design prizes this year for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. At the 68th Annual Tony Awards, set designer Christopher Barreca ’83 received an award for his work on Rocky, alongside costume designers Linda Cho ’98 (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) and Jane Greenwood (Faculty), who received a special Tony for lifetime achievement in the theatre. Barreca, Christopher Akerlind ’89 (lighting, Rocky), and William Ivey Long ’75 (costumes, Bullets Over Broadway) were recipients of Drama Desk awards earlier this month. And at the 59th Annual OBIE Awards, Jiyoun Chang ’08 and Hannah Wasileski ’13 received special citations for lighting and projections for The World is Round.

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  THE FACES OF YSD

Sarah Krasnow, Philip Howze, and Alyssa Simmons
Sarah Krasnow Philip Howze Alyssa Simmons

Sarah Krasnow ’14 (Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism) “Sometimes I catch myself thinking, ‘I’ll get to that reading in a few days, when things calm down.’ Then I come back to reality: things never calm down at YSD! In a given week, I might be performing in a Cabaret show, working as dramaturg on a Shakespeare play with five-hour daily rehearsals, attending a Q&A with a renowned playwright, or going on a trip to The Public Theater to discuss global warming with the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. All this is on top of the usual course work, which often includes reading multiple post-dramatic plays, and believe me, those aren’t exactly page-turners. Our schedules are packed because every member of the YSD community is talented and ambitious. We never stop, and the faculty in particular has a superhuman capacity to simultaneously work and teach. If I am ever able to glean as much from seeing a play five times as the dramaturgy faculty members can after one viewing, I’ll consider that an accomplishment. I have learned to say yes to as much as I can during my time here, and though I might sometimes curse the late nights, I never regret having taken on as much as I have. I feel ready to take on anything.”


Philip Howze ’15 (Playwriting) “Yale Cabaret is a force of nature. Prior to attending YSD, I couldn’t have told you a thing about it. But once I got in there, I was hooked. The Cab is a dangerous mix of pure passion and irrational scheduling, often fueled by Pabst Blue Ribbon and hot wings from Est Est Est. On a Cab show you become an automatic resident of the state known as Hysteria, regularly pushing past midnight to finish those final set details and cueing that last light. Here at YSD, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating on four Cabaret shows. And while that may sound impressive to my mom, it pales in comparison to the nine shows my friend Helen Jaksch ’15 has helped create! So many of us work on Cabs not because we have the time or the energy—in fact, we don’t have either of those, and still we can’t stop ourselves. If you are apprehensive to get involved, allow me to offer these words of encouragement: any Cab experience will transform you. And if that isn’t inspiration enough, perhaps consider the following devotional written by my friends, The Crazy Shepherds of Rebellion:

We come to the Yale Cabaret / To collide, to build, to see, to hear / The chorus of our comrades chanting secret psalms of freedom / The sound of our own spirit playing the symphony of our transcendent love!”


Alyssa Simmons ’14 (Theater Management) “How do I succinctly describe the most transformative experience of my life? Sometimes I try a single word: Overwhelming. Challenging. Surprising. Delightful. Stimulating. Frustrating. Inspiring. At other times I attempt to recount memorable events over the past three years: Drafting a mission statement on a stained, crumpled, green placemat from Sullivan’s (RIP) with Eric Gershman ’15 and Sonja Thorson ’14; analyzing financial statements in the UT conference room with Lauren Wainwright ’14 and Brittany Behrens ’14 into the wee hours of the morning; watching the powerful Cab 46 show He Left Quietly through my tears; playing softball with Sophocleats and feeling shocked whenever we won! I’m still searching for the right way to distill my time at YSD to a single moment. Perhaps it’s this: getting the call from Ed Martenson (Faculty) inviting me to join the program was the most euphoric and terrifying moment of my life. In that moment, I could see how everything would immediately change—not just leaving my current job and moving across the country, but the new, unknown path that would extend in front of me after graduating from YSD. I’m not wrong when I say that this experience has altered me in more ways that I can count or even articulate. I’m a better artist, manager, and person because of YSD.”

 

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  On STAGE AND SCREEN
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Below is a sampling of the work of YSD alumni and faculty.

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Richard III by William Shakespeare, directed by James Bundy ’95 (Dean), began previews June 3 at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, featuring Franchelle Dorn ’75, Al Espinosa ’94, costumes by Ilona Somogyi ’94 (Faculty), and sound by Sarah Pickett ’08.

Dog and Pony, a new musical with book by Rick Elice ’79, opened June 5 at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, with scenic design by Kris Stone ’98.

Healing Wars, created and directed by Liz Lerman (Faculty), opened June 6 at Arena Stage.

Fly By Night, a new musical with book, music and lyrics by Michael Mitnick ’10, Kim Rosenstock ’10 and Will Connolly ’10, opened June 9 at Playwrights Horizons. It was originally produced at the Yale Summer Cabaret.

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This is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Anna D. Shapiro ’93, opened June 10 at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Beyond Therapy by Christopher Durang ’74 opened June 10 at Vermont Stage in Burlington, VT.

The Last Ship, a new musical by Sting, opens June 10 at Bank of America Theatre in Chicago, with lighting by Christopher Akerlind ’89.

The Roundabout Theatre Company held a special benefit reading of Lynn Nottage’s ’89 (Faculty) Intimate Apparel on June 15 at the Laura Pels Theatre.

The Who and the What, a new play by Ayad Akhtar, opened June 16 at Lincoln Center, with costumes by Emily Rebholz ’06.

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When We Were Young and Unafraid by Sarah Treem ’05, YC ’02 opened June 17 at the Manhattan Theatre Club’s City Center Stage I, with scenic design by Scott Pask ’97.

Othello opened June 22 at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, starring Kristen Connolly ’07 as Desdemona.

Marissa Neitling ’13 has a recurring role in The Last Ship, which began June 22 on TNT.

A Little Night Music, directed by Ethan Heard ’13, previews June 30 at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA, as a part of the Berkshire Theater Festival. The production features Monique Barbee ’13, lighting by Oliver Wason ’14, and sets by Reid Thompson ’14.

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On July 7, Williamstown Theatre Festival presents Just Call Me Nikos, a salute to Nikos Psacharopoulos ’54 (Former Faculty). The evening will feature Dylan Baker ’85, Kate Burton ’82, James Naughton ’70 and Steve Lawson ’76.

Sex With Strangers begins its run July 8 at Second Stage, with sound design by Fitz Patton ’01.

4,000 Miles by Amy Herzog ’07, YC ’00 begins its run July 11 at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN.

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Ether Dome by Elizabeth Egloff ’89 begins a three-theatre production on July 13 at the La Jolla Playhouse. The play then goes on to Hartford Stage in September, and winds up at the Huntington Theatre’s new stage, the Wimberley Theatre, in October.

On July 21, Williamstown Theatre Festival presents Living with Lewis, an evening of standup by Lewis Black ’77.

The Public Theater’s production of King Lear begins its run July 22 at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. The cast includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ’15, Andrew Burnap ’16, Christopher Ghaffari ’16, and Slate Holmgren ’10.

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Cedars, a world premiere by Erik Tarloff, begins previews July 26 at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, MA, featuring James Naughton ’70.

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, directed by Jonathan Moscone ’93, begins previews July 30 at California Shakespeare Theatre.

Design for Living by Nöel Coward begins previews July 30 at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA. The cast features Tom Pecinka ’15, Ariana Venturi ’15 and Christopher Geary ’15.

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The Wayside Motor Inn by A.R. Gurney ’58 begins previews in August at the Pershing Square Signature Center.

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A Lover’s Tale: Scenes by Giuseppe Verdi, Charles Ludlam, and Alexandre Dumas begins its run at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA, on August 23. Directed by Dustin Wills ’14, the evening is composed of scenes from Dumas’s The Lady of the Camellias, Ludlam’s Camille, and Verdi’s La Traviata.

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  Yale School of Drama

Yale School of Drama
P.O. Box 208244
New Haven, CT 06520-8244
203 432 1559
drama.yale.edu/alumni

 

ON & OFF YORK STREET is a publication of the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, Yale School of Drama

Deborah S. Berman, Director
Barry Jay Kaplan, Editor
Jane Youngberg, Associate Editor
Kathleen A. Martin, Graphic Designer

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June 2014, Vol. Three, Issue 3