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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 4
FALL 2013  
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Yale Celebrates Ming Cho Lee

Hair, designed by Ming Cho Lee for the Public Theater, 1967. Courtesy of Ming Cho Lee.“Stage Designs by Ming Cho Lee”— an exhibition that will showcase 65 of Ming’s famous scenic models, along with sketches and photographs selected from the nearly 300 productions he has designed—opens November 21 at the Yale School of Architecture Gallery. It has been curated by Ming Cho Lee (Faculty), Michael Yeargan ’73 (Faculty), and Barbara Cohen-Stratyner, the Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg Curator of Exhibitions at Shelby Cullom Davis Museum, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Ming Cho Lee began teaching set design at Yale in 1969, and co-chaired the design department until 2012. His incredible work on stage has influenced hundreds of design students at Yale, and beyond. “Ming Cho Lee’s contributions to the art of theatrical storytelling, as a designer and as a teacher, are far reaching,” says James Bundy ’95 (Dean). “This retrospective is an extraordinary opportunity for all of us at Yale, and all of us in the field, to celebrate his distinctive artistry—a legacy which will undoubtedly inform, instruct, and inspire generations to come.”

The retrospective, jointly sponsored by the Yale School of Architecture, Yale School of Drama, and Yale College, and supported in part by the Tobin Foundation for Theatre Arts, with additional support from Long Wharf Theatre and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, was on view in 2011 at the Shanghai Art Museum and Ningbo Museum in China. The exhibit, free and open to the public, will be on view at 180 York Street through February 1, 2014.

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Rep Merits Award

Merit Award from the New Haven Preservation Trust (NHPT)In 1977, Yale Repertory Theatre was presented with a Merit Award from the New Haven Preservation Trust (NHPT), given, according to NHPT Preservation Services Officer John Herzan, to “an historic building that has been sensitively rehabilitated for adaptive use.” The theatre is included in the Chapel Street historic district, part of the National Register of Historic Places. The building that houses the Rep was, in its original incarnation, the Calvary Baptist Church, designed by Rufus G. Russell, and built in 1871.

This past summer the building was restored, including replacing the original brownstone elements, repointing the façade, cleaning and re-leading the stained glass windows, and installing bright red entrance doors. The NHPT issued a new plaque to be displayed on the exterior of the renovated building. The original plaque, chipped, painted and re-painted, weathered and rusty, a memento of the past, is pictured here.

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AYA Medal Winner

Nina Relin AdamsSummer Cabaret Board Member Nina Relin Adams ’69 MS, ’77 MSN has been selected by the Association of Yale Alumni to receive the Yale Medal in 2013. The award is conferred to recognize outstanding individual service to the university.

After 20-plus years as a nurse practitioner at Yale University Health Services and as a Yale School of Nursing (YSN) faculty member, Nina retired to direct Film Fest New Haven, an international, competitive festival of independent film. She still continues to screen and program films, and consults on film festivals.

Upon receiving notification of receiving the Yale Medal, Nina said: “It’s the recognition of not just me but of art and clinical nursing that I’m most proud of with this award,” adding, with characteristic modesty, “though I consider my work on the Summer Cabaret Board more privilege than work.”

Nina is in very good company. This year’s other recipients are G. Leonard Baker Jr. YC ’64, Guido Calabresi LAW ’58, William Folberth YC ’66, Jane A. Levin ’75, and former president of Yale Richard C. Levin GRD ’74.

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


When We’re Born, one of The Hill Town Plays by Lucy Thurber, opened September 5 at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, directed by Jackson Gay ’02.

After the Revolution by Amy Herzog ’07, YC ’00 opened September 7 at Theatre J in Washington, DC.

Fly, by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Kahn, opened September 7 at the Cincinnati Playhouse’s Marx Theatre, and featured Will Cobbs ’12 and Eddie Brown ’09.

Fetch Clay, Make Man by Will Power opened September 12 at the New York Theatre Workshop, with settings by Riccardo Hernandez ’92.

Four, the independent film based on the play by Christopher Shinn, was released September 13 at 10 AMC Theaters across the nation. The cast included Aja Naomi King ’10.

The Tony Award winning play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, by Christopher Durang ’74, opened September 20 at the Roda Theatre at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The play also opened October 12 at the City Theatre Company in Pittsburgh.

Yale Repertory Theatre’s production of The Servant of Two Masters opened September 27 at Seattle Repertory Theatre, directed by Chris Bayes (Faculty), with sets designed by Katherine Akiko Day ’10, lighting designed by Chuan-Chi Chan ’10, costumes by Valerie Therese Bart ’10, and sound design by Charles Coes ’09 (Faculty) and Nathan A. Roberts ’10. Rick Sordelet (Faculty) was the fight director. The cast included Adina Verson ’12 and Liz Wisan ’10.

A Winter’s Tale, directed by Patricia McGregor ’09 at California Shakespeare Theater, opened September 25.


The Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Bad Jews opened at the Laura Pels Theatre on October 3, with sound design by Shane Rettig ’99.

The Seagull, directed by Max Stafford Clark and produced by the Culture Project, features Rachel Spencer Hewitt ’10 and Slate Holmgren ’10. Performances began October 3.

Anthem, produced by Austin Shakespeare, opened October 4 at the Jerome Robbins Theatre. Featured in the cast is Alex Teicheira ’09.

The Last Goodbye, a musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, opened October 6 at The Old Globe Theatre, with costumes by Jennifer Moeller ’06 and sets by Christopher Barreca ’83.

Big Fish opened October 6 at the Neil Simon Theatre, produced by Bruce Cohen YC ’83, with costumes by William Ivey Long ’75 and lighting by Donald Holder ’86.

About Schmidt

Steven SchmidtSteven Schmidt ’11 returned to 222 York Street on July 29 as the associate head of production/student labor supervisor. After graduating from the Technical Design and Production Department, Steven served as the technical director for the B Street Theatre in Sacramento, CA. He has also been working on the second edition of Structural Design for the Stage—originally written by Ben Sammler ’74 (Faculty) and Alys Holden ’97–updating the chapter on steel design.

Originally from Davis, CA, Steven earned his undergraduate degree from Boston College, then taught stagecraft to high school students in Davis, where he managed the Richard Brunelle Performance Hall. Steven was also the founder and artistic director for ten years of Barnyard Theatre in Davis where, every summer, while the barn’s horses lived outside, he and his crew turned the barn into a community theatre.

When Ben Sammler called and offered him the job of associate head of production, Steven did not hesitate to say yes. “I’m excited to return to YSD and be part of such a great organization,” Steven says, “and be back with all those great people who were my teachers.”


dance of the holy ghosts: a play on memory by Marcus Gardley ’04, directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, opened October 9 at Baltimore's Center Stage.

The Philadelphia Theatre Company production of 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog ’07, YC ’00, opened October 11 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. The South Coast Rep production opened October 18 at the Segerstrom Stage.

Ka-Tet Theatre Company presents Lydie Breeze by John Guare ’63 (Former Faculty), opened October 12 at the Greenhouse Theater Center in Chicago.

Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill by Paul Downs Colaizzo opened October 15 at the Signature Theatre’s ARK Theatre, directed by Michael Kahn, and featuring Christopher McFarland ’09.

Tilted Field
Jacob Padron ’08, Becca Wolff ’09, Roberta Pereira ’08, Dorothy Fortenberry ’08, Michael Locher ’08, Alex Knox ’09, Teresa Lim ’09, and Ji-Youn Chang ’08
From LEFT TO RIGHT: Michael Locher ’08, Becca Wolff ’09, Ji-Youn Chang ’08, Dorothy Fortenberry ’08, Alex Knox ’09, and Jacob Padron ’08. Not Pictured but in the company: Teresa Lim ’09 and Roberta Pereira ’08.

Tilted Field is a theatre company whose membership includes Jacob Padron ’08, Becca Wolff ’09, Roberta Pereira ’08, Dorothy Fortenberry ’08, Michael Locher ’08, Alex Knox ’09, Teresa Lim ’09, and Ji-Youn Chang ’08. It had its genesis when Becca and Jacob ran the Yale Cabaret together during its 40th anniversary season. “We were so taken by our experience of creating a platform for artists to produce their passion projects that we wanted to continue that experiment, with many of the same classmates who had made the 40th anniversary so special,” Jacob says. “So we decided to form an ensemble company committed to the same values that guided our work at Yale: an appetite for rebellious, relevant, and groundbreaking work.” This past summer was a milestone for the company, with productions in Los Angeles of The Last Days of Mary Stuart, an electro-opera conceived and directed by Becca, and No Static at All, a one-man play written by and starring company member, Alex, scheduled to be remounted later this month as a part of the Seattle Fringe Festival. Next for Tilted Field is a tour of both these shows nationally, and the development a three-city festival of new works inspired by the Odyssey and the Illiad.

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A Dean for this Season

Kristin SosnowskyKristin Sosnowsky ’97 was named interim dean of the Louisiana State University (LSU) College of Music and Dramatic Arts in Baton Rouge, LA. Kristin was formerly an associate professor of arts administration, chair of the LSU Department of Theatre, senior associate dean for finance and operations, and managing director of Swine Palace, the professional company affiliated with the University’s theatre department.

“I am honored for this opportunity to work alongside the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the College of Music and Dramatic Arts,” Kristin said, “as we continue to advance the college’s long-standing tradition of artistic and scholarly excellence and to promote its contributions to the university, state, national and international communities.”

As interim dean, Kristin will also be working on a number of initiatives and crossovers with other colleges. Some of these initiatives involve the College of Engineering, which will combine students in the College of Dramatic Arts with those in the College of Engineering. The Department of Theatre is also partnering with the College of Biological Sciences to bring science and art together.

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Amy AquinoAmy Aquino ’86 was re-elected for a third term as Secretary-Treasurer of SAG-AFTRA. Amy and the re-elected president Ken Howard ’69 will each serve two-year terms.

“This is an extremely exciting time for our union,” Amy said. “And I’m deeply grateful to my fellow members for their vote of confidence in what we’ve already achieved, and for the continued opportunity to help focus SAG-AFTRA’s resources to build the effective organization that we all need and deserve.”

Amy was first elected national secretary-treasurer of SAG in 2009 and was elected to a second term in 2011. She previously served as a SAG officer for 11 years, including two terms as vice president.

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New AD at Cal State

Anne Justine D’Zmura ’89Anne Justine D’Zmura ’89 is the new artistic director and department chair of Theatre Arts at California State University Long Beach. Anne is looking to increase the Theatre Arts Department’s community presence through new engagement and sustainability initiatives that will be inaugurated during the 2013-2014 season. “We are on a threshold of moving more actively into our community and starting to passionately invest in new and existing partnerships, as well as continuing to expand our international programs to provide our students and community members greater opportunities to participate in international theatre and socially enhancing initiatives,” she said.

Anne is interested in deepening collaborations with local and global community members and artists, developing structures to better support new play development, and strengthening the bridge between educational and professional arts enterprises. “I believe theatre can serve as a strong vehicle for positive social change and I am committed to listening to and nurturing our next generation of active and engaged theater artists.”

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Archie, Veronica and Roberto

Archie meets GleeFor 72 years Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead have been a cheerful—who wouldn’t be cheerful being 17 years old for 72 years?—group of iconic teenagers at Riverdale High. Now they’ve been joined by writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa ’03. While at YSD, Roberto wrote a play that featured Archie coming out as gay and moving to New York. His reward was a cease-and-desist order from Archie Comics. But last year the company had a change of heart and hired Roberto to write a new comic book, “Archie Meets Glee,” which was published earlier this year. Roberto will also be writing the upcoming horror series, “Afterlife with Archie,” a zombie take on the classic characters. And coming soon: the script for an Archie feature film.

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Bly’s Gift

Mark Bly ’80 (Former Faculty) Former Board Chair of The Literary Managers and Dramaturges of the Americas (LMDA) Mark Bly ’80 (Former Faculty) has awarded the organization a $100,000 Creative Capacity Grant to allow LMDA to expand its artistic work. The grant was announced at LMDA’s 28th Annual Conference this past June.

Mark was one of the founding members of LMDA in 1984 and served as the chair of its board of directors from 2000 to 2006. In 2010, he received the organization’s G.E. Lessing Career Achievement Award, given for a lifetime of work in the field of dramaturgy. Mark’s reason for his generous gift: “I have had a 30-year love affair with this organization,” he said. “I care about its financial health and its artistic health. I wanted to provide some artistic oxygen to the organization, to allow it to develop creative momentum that will drive the whole profession forward.”

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Vandercook Joins Raue

Mark Bly ’80 (Former Faculty) Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake, Illinois, welcomed Michael Vandercook ’09 to its staff as the director of production. Mike has served as the director of operations and technical director for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. He has been a technical director for the Dorset Playhouse, the Elm Shakespeare Company, and Yale Repertory Theatre. Mike is also the executive director and a founding member of Generous Company and the managing director for WordBRIDGE Playwright’s Laboratory. Of his new position, Mike says: “It is great to be a part of a theatre organization that has such a breadth of programming, a blossoming resident theatre company, and a staff and community that fully invested in the success of the institution.”


Romeo and Juliet opened October 16 at Classic Stage Company, featuring John Rothman ’75 and directed by Tea Alagic ’07.

Davis Ives’s ’84 Venus in Fur opened October 16 at the Neuhaus Stage at the Alley Theatre.

The film 12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen, with Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti ’94, YC ’89 and Lupita Nyong’o ’12 opened October 18. 

Zach Appelman ’10 plays Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Julie Taymor, at Theatre for a New Audience, which opened October 19. Zach also appears in the film Kill Your Darlings, which opened October 16.

A Time to Kill, a new play adapted from the novel by John Grisham, opened October 20 at the John Golden Theatre, featuring Tijuana Ricks ’04.

Luce, by JC Lee, opened October 21 at the Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center, directed by May Adrales ’06.

The English Bride, by Lucile Lichtblau ’56, began October 22 at 59E59, with Michael Gabriel Goodfriend ’96.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder began performances October 22 at the Walter Kerr Theatre, with Joanna Glushak ’99, Bryce Pinkham ’08, Jefferson Mays YC ’87, and Lauren Worsham YC ’05.

The Arden Theatre Company production of Stick Fly by Lydia R. Diamond, opened October 24 at the Arcadia Stage in Philadelphia, directed by Walter Dallas ’71.


Venus in Fur by David Ives ’84, opened November 1 at Cleveland Play House and will open November 9 at San Diego Rep’s Lyceum Space.  

After Midnight, a celebration of Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club, opened November 3 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, with sets by John Lee Beatty ’73.

Domesticated, by Bruce Norris, directed by Anna D. Shapiro ’93, with Lizbeth Mackay ’75, lighting by James Ingalls ’75, and sets by Todd Rosenthal ’93, opened November 4 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center.

Laila Robins ’84 will appear in Sorry, one of Richard Nelson’s (Former Faculty) Apple Family Plays at The Public Theater, beginning November 6.

Family Furniture by A.R. Gurney ’58 opens at the Flea Theater on November 12.

Tarell Alvin McCraney ’07 has adapted and will direct Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra at the Stratford-Upon-Avon, home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, opening November 13. The play will subsequently be staged at Gable Stage in Miami in January 2014, and open in February at The Public Theater in New York. 

Paula Vogel’s (Faculty) A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration, directed by Rebecca Taichman ’00, opens November 19 at Baltimore’s Center Stage.

The Commons of Pensacola opens November 21 at the Manhattan Theatre Club at New York City Center Stage 1, directed by Lynne Meadow ’71.

Macbeth opens November 21 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, with sets by Scott Pask ’97, costumes by Catherine Zuber ’84, and a cast including John Patrick Doherty ’10, Austin Durant ’10, Malcolm Gets ’92, and Ben Horner ’11.


American Psycho, the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, has been adapted for the musical stage by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa ’03 and produced by David Johnson YC ’78. It opens December 12 at the Almeida Theatre in London.

The Yale School of Drama Holiday Party, featuring every alumnus and alumna who ever attended the school, plus spouses, staff and faculty, occurs Monday, December 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. This year the party will take place in the Grand Ballroom on the 20th floor of the Yale Club.

Two Princess Grace Winners

Dustin Wills ’14 and Kristen Robinson ’13 The Princess Grace Foundation granted Director Dustin Wills ’14 a Theater Scholarship, the Lynn Wyatt Theater Award. Designer Kristen Robinson ’13 received a Theater Fellowship, the Pierre Cardin Award, to work at the Westport Country Playhouse. The awards were presented at a gala on October 30 at Cipriani 42nd Street. The mission of the Princess Grace Foundation is to identify and assist emerging talent in theater, dance, and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships. 24 colleges, universities, and not-for-profit theater and dance companies throughout the United States are represented.

“Receiving the award was fantastic for a number of reasons,” Kristin Robinson said. “First because I will be developing a relationship with a great theatre and be working with Mark Lamos, and David Kennedy ’00 as well as the other designers that I will be assisting. The fellowship is lending a financial ease to this first year after school which I am hoping will provide me with additional time to develop my own projects.”

Dustin Wills was similarly effusive. “I am thrilled to receive the Lynn Wyatt Theatre Award which, coincidentally, is named for a native Texan, like myself, and close friend of Princess Grace. This award allows me to focus my time and energy on creative endeavors in my final year and not get overwhelmed with finances. What also makes the occasion so pleasurable is that I get to enjoy the award with my friend, collaborator, and recent YSD graduate Kristen Robinson who won the Pierre Cardin Award from the Princess Grace Foundation this year. It's nice to have a date for the awards gala!”

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McCraney Granted MacArthur

Tarell  Alvin McCraneyOn September 25, Tarell Alvin McCraney ’07 was named a MacArthur Fellow along with a distinguished honor roll of 23 other recipients in various fields of study. These fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are informally known as the “genius awards.” Tarell’s first professional success was The Brother/Sister Plays, written and staged while he was a student here at Yale. They subsequently went on to the Public Theater and productions around the world.

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A Broadway Salute

Over the years Stephen H. Arnold ’60 has worked with stars as disparate as Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Carol Channing, and Harry James. His roles have been equally assorted. Stephen, a member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, has also been a technical director and lighting designer. At the fifth annual Broadway Salutes celebration, Stephen was honored by the Broadway League of Theatres and Producers and by the Coalition of Broadway Unions for his twenty-five years of service as a company manager of Broadway and touring shows. A fitting tribute to an extraordinary career!




Ben Ehrenreich, Ilya Khodosh, and Sophie Von Haselberg
Ben Ehrenreich
photo by
Ilya Khodosh
photo by
Sophie Von Haselberg

Ben Ehrenreich ’14 (Lighting Designer) “Being at Yale School of Drama has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. Learning from Jennifer Tipton and Wendall Harrington and Ming Cho Lee has been everything I could ever have hoped for and more. But it’s the things I've learned from my classmates and colleagues that have stuck with me almost as much. I am constantly in awe of everyone here, no matter in what department or discipline. And seeing how much heart and effort everyone devotes to their work constantly makes me want to try harder and strive higher. When I leave here I know that I’ll have the skills that I will need to succeed but I also know that I’'ll have friends and colleagues who I will work alongside and learn alongside for the rest of my life.”

Ilya Khodosh ’14 (Dramaturg) “Though I live in a dingy walk-up and not a storybook Neo-Gothic fortress like the undergrads do, my experiences at Yale range from profoundly enriching (taking writing workshops with Donald Margulies and Amy Herzog) to downright surreal (discussing Chekhov with Paul Giamatti over pizza). My own department teaches me rigor and grace, the pleasures of immersing myself in text and patiently unlocking its rewards, and the knowledge that enterprise and experimentation are the surest path to that sublime elusive feeling to which our work aspires. I relish Gordon Rogoff’s stories and wisdom, and I’ll never forget the time Catherine Sheehy showed her comic theory class a three-minute Marx Brothers clip and treated us to a virtuosic moment-by-moment deconstruction of each laugh. Mostly I’m grateful for the passion and kindness of my collaborators, and for the haven I've found in the laughter and support of the office of Development and Alumni Affairs.”

Sophie von Haselberg ’14 (Actor) “I began my first year at Yale School of Drama hopelessly intimidated—and, to be honest, frightened—and spent the whole year worried that I wasn't supposed to be here. Yes, teachers told us that all first-years think the School made a mistake, but in my case, I was sure they had, in fact, done so. I had barely any theatrical experience and even less confidence in my talent and ability. The one thing I absolutely knew was that I desperately wanted to be an actor, and that it was vital for me to be at YSD, vital because I had never seen such a focused, interested, lively group of people who were all in the same place with similar goals in mind. With each passing day, watching my flabbergastingly talented classmates, seeing new sketches drawn by designers, listening to new words by new playwrights, I began to feel more and more a part of this community. As I enter my third year, not only do I feel a part of YSD, but I feel it is truly my home, and I want to say thank you to the most amazing, talented, welcoming community I have ever been privileged to be a part of.”


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  Yale School of Drama

Yale School of Drama
P.O. Box 208244
New Haven, CT 06520-8244
203 432 1559


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

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Fall 2013, Vol. Two, Issue 4