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Departmental Requirements and Courses of Instruction

Acting (M.F.A. and Certificate)

Walton Wilson, Chair

The Acting department admits talented and committed individuals who possess an active intelligence, a strong imagination, and a physical and vocal instrument capable of development and transformation, and prepares them for work as professional actors. The program of study combines in-depth classroom training with extensive production work. At the conclusion of their training, individuals will be prepared to work on a wide range of material and in a variety of venues.

The first year is a highly disciplined period of training. The first production opportunity comes at the end of the first term with the presentation of collaboratively created projects adapted from source material assigned by the faculty (DRAM 50a, The Collaborative Process). Following the DRAM 50 projects, the first-year actors begin work on the New Play Lab. At the conclusion of the New Play Lab, students in good standing enter the casting pool for Yale School of Drama productions. The year begins with a concentration on realism, and at the beginning of the second term, actors are introduced to text work. Students who have demonstrated and developed their talent during the year will be invited by the faculty to return for a second year of training.

Second-year work expands the focus into verse drama, with emphasis on understanding and performing the works of Shakespeare. Students strengthen their skills and attain a higher level of ensemble work through their classes and through increasing production assignments. In the second term of the second year, the emphasis on heightened and extended language continues through work on Molière, George Bernard Shaw, and diverse texts from world literature. The third year is spent exploring the plays of Bertolt Brecht and challenging material from the twentieth century and today. Students also learn to work on camera, transferring their techniques to the medium of film.

Yale School of Drama production opportunities include work in a diverse season of directors’ thesis productions, Shakespeare Repertory Projects, and new plays by student playwrights. All casting is assigned by the chair of the Acting department (pending approval by the dean) based on the needs of the project as articulated by its director, the developmental needs of each student, and the desire to achieve a balance of collaborative opportunity. Actors should take note of the casting policy, described under Departmental Assignments. During the academic year, acting in projects outside the School of Drama is strongly discouraged, and permission to do so is rarely given.

Yale Repertory Theatre serves as an advanced training center for the department. All acting students work at Yale Rep as understudies, observing and working alongside professional actors and directors. Students may have the opportunity to appear in roles during the season, depending upon their appropriateness to the parts available. Through work at Yale Repertory Theatre, those students who are not members of Actors’ Equity will attain membership upon graduation.

Yale Cabaret provides an additional, although strictly extracurricular, outlet for the exploration of a wide range of material, including self-scripted material, company-devised original work, adaptations, and musicals. The department’s chair works directly with the Yale Cabaret artistic directors regarding approval of Cabaret participation by actors. Actors who are double cast may not participate in Yale Cabaret productions.

Students are required to attend all classes in their curriculum.

Plan of Study: Acting

Required Sequence

  • Year
  • Course
  • Subject
  • I
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama
  • DRAM 50a
  • The Collaborative Process
  • DRAM 51b
  • New Play Lab
  • DRAM 103a/b
  • Acting I
  • DRAM 113a/b
  • Voice I
  • DRAM 123a/b
  • First-Year Speech and Dialects
  • DRAM 133a/b
  • The Body as Source
  • DRAM 143a/b
  • Alexander Technique I
  • DRAM 153a
  • New Games
  • DRAM 163b
  • Text Analysis I
  • DRAM 173b
  • Singing I
  • DRAM 320b
  • Actor-Director Lab
  • DRAM 340b
  • Directing Lab on Greek Tragedy
  • DRAM 403b
  • Stage Combat I
  • II
  • DRAM 163a
  • Text Analysis II
  • DRAM 203a
  • Acting II: Tools not Rules
  • DRAM 203b
  • Acting II
  • DRAM 213a/b
  • Voice II
  • DRAM 223a/b
  • Second-Year Speech and Dialects
  • DRAM 233a
  • Physical Scoring
  • DRAM 243a/b
  • Alexander Technique II
  • DRAM 263a/b
  • Clown
  • DRAM 273a
  • Dance for Actors
  • DRAM 283b
  • Breaking the Code
  • DRAM 405a
  • Stage Combat II
  • DRAM 413a/b
  • Singing II
  • III
  • DRAM 253a
  • Commedia
  • DRAM 303a
  • Acting III
  • DRAM 303b
  • Actor Showcase
  • DRAM 313a
  • Voice III
  • DRAM 313b
  • Voice III: Focus, Application, Self-Calibration
  • DRAM 323a/b
  • Third-Year Speech and Dialects
  • DRAM 343a/b
  • Alexander Technique III
  • DRAM 353b
  • Actor’s Workshop
  • DRAM 363a
  • Creating Actor-Generated Works
  • DRAM 373a/b
  • Yoga III
  • DRAM 383b
  • Voice-Over Workshop
  • DRAM 423a/b
  • Singing III
  • DRAM 433a
  • The Actor’s Imagination on Film
  • DRAM 463a
  • On-Camera Acting Technique
  • DRAM 463b
  • Taming the Cyclops: How to Do Your Best Work in an On-Camera Audition
  • DRAM 543b
  • Guest Artist Workshops

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama See description under Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

DRAM 50a, The Collaborative Process See description under Directing.

DRAM 51b, New Play Lab See description under Playwriting.

DRAM 103a/b, Acting I The first year of scene study focuses on the plays of major twentieth- and twenty-first-century American playwrights in the first term and on the plays of Chekhov and Ibsen in the second term. The class is an all-encompassing exploration of the principles and craft that lead to exceptional acting. Actors engage in a rigorous investigation of text, personalization, character development, and character-specific listening in order to lift language off the page and translate it into the dynamic exchange of energy that stems from human need. Greg Wallace

DRAM 113a/b, Voice I The first year of voice training is structured as a progression of exercises/experiences designed to liberate the individual’s natural voice from habitual psychophysical tensions; to connect image, intention, and emotion to breath and sound; to develop the voice’s potential for expression and awaken the actor’s appetite for language; and to promote vocal ease, clarity, power, stamina, range, and sensitivity to impulse. Walton Wilson

DRAM 123a/b, First-Year Speech and Dialects Speech training seeks to broaden the actor’s range of imaginative vocal expression and to deepen the actor’s sensory relationship to language. Actors conduct a rigorous examination of their own speech habits through exploration of vocal physiology. To encourage speech that flows freely from impulse and breath, the approach uses exercises that are actively rooted in the whole body rather than being limited to the surfaces of the mouth. The exploration of phonetics through the study of fundamental phonemes for the dialects of American English encourages flexibility, specificity, and transformation while lifting the actors’ speech from habitual patterns to mindful, embodied choices. In the second term, the actors broaden the boundaries of their language use through the study of dialects in connection with dramatic text. Ron Carlos

DRAM 133a/b, The Body as Source This class focuses on the relationship between physical precision and spontaneity. Students are encouraged to temporarily shed the “social body” in order to access and embody the farther reaches of the imagination, to deepen the body/emotion connection, and to strengthen their abilities to commit more fully, directly, and immediately to physical impulses and acting choices. The class utilizes various training exercises and includes some application to character creation, the playing of actions, and use of text. Erica Fae

DRAM 143a/b, Alexander Technique I Offered in all three years through class work and private tutorials, this work develops the actor’s kinesthetic awareness, fosters balance and alignment, and, through breath work, promotes the connection between voice and body. Jessica Wolf

DRAM 153a, New Games This course explores the actor’s playful spirit and the notion of the theatrical event as “game.” Through a series of games and improvisation and composition exercises, students develop complicity with fellow actors/the audience and discover qualities of openness, spontaneity, generosity, and attack as they are encouraged to take risks, access their imagination, and play fully with their voice and body. Exercises explore status, focus, scale, presence, flow, and impulse while delving into the mysterious nature of “le jeu,” the actor’s pleasure in playing. Justine Williams

DRAM 163a, Text Analysis II This course seeks to provide students with tools to mine the printed text for given circumstances, character, objective, and action, noting the opportunities and limitations that the printed play script presents, and promoting the freedom and responsibility of the actor as an interpretive artist. James Bundy

DRAM 163b, Text Analysis I See description under DRAM 163a. James Bundy

DRAM 173b, Singing I This class seeks to provide students with basic tools for mining character subtext in the words and music of a song so that the lyrics are activated to their full potential; to explore the nuts and bolts of singing with ease in public and working with an accompanist; to develop the actor’s depth of expression through song. Christine Toy Johnson

DRAM 203a, Acting II: Tools not Rules The first term of the second-year work focuses on the various tools that Shakespeare’s writing puts at the immediate disposal of both the actor and director, and the opportunity to expand the range of one’s capabilities as a performer by playing from choices supporting the demands of the text. Projects are designed to allow each student to perform in a play by Shakespeare. Peter Francis James

DRAM 203b, Acting II In the second term the emphasis on heightened and extended language continues through work on Molière, Shaw, and diverse texts from world literature. Evan Yionoulis

DRAM 213a/b, Voice II In the second year of voice training, students focus on meeting the demands of heightened text with rigorous clarity, emotional depth, and generosity of scale. Continued release work on the body, coupled with a larger array of vocal skills and increased imaginative capacity, gives actors access to their most expansive selves in order to serve the characters in classical plays. Louis Colaianni, Walton Wilson, Grace Zandarski

DRAM 223a/b, Second-Year Speech and Dialects The second year of speech training continues to expand the actor’s range of vocal and imaginative expression and deepen sensory relationship to language as applied to dramatic texts. Intensive study of dialects and the fundamental phonemes for the dialects of American English provide multiple opportunities for the experience of character transformation and creating idiolect. Beth McGuire

DRAM 233a, Physical Scoring In this class students work with scripted material and apply the physical training started in DRAM 133 to character and scene work. A one-act play is rehearsed, building the life of the character through detailed physical exploration, then moving into scene work and staging. This provides a framework for developing the “physical score”—an internal blocking that maps the emotional, energetic, and image-life of a character through the body of the actor. The physical score is tested and revised over time, so the actor learns to make subtle, internal physical adjustments to keep things alive and new in long runs or over multiple takes. Erica Fae

DRAM 243a/b, Alexander Technique II See description under DRAM 143a/b. Bill Connington

DRAM 253a, Commedia This course explores the classical archetypes of the commedia dell’arte. It makes use of mask, physical articulation, sound, and rhythm to develop the transformational power of the actors. When the mask is alive and impulses begin to travel with abandon through the physical psychology of the body, the student begins to understand the actor/audience relationship in all its ferocious beauty. The work is primarily improvisational with the actor/creator at the center of the theatrical conversation. Christopher Bayes

DRAM 263a/b, Clown This course focuses on the discovery of the playful self through exercises in rhythm, balance, generosity, and abandon. The blocks and filters that prevent the actor from following impulses fully are removed. It allows the actor to listen with the body and begin to give more value to the pleasure of performance. Once actors learn to play without worry, they begin to discover the personal clown that lives in the center of the comic world. Christopher Bayes

DRAM 273a, Dance for Actors This class explores some anatomical fundamentals of movement through a rigorous daily warm-up. Movement phrases are embodied investigating weight, intention, direction, and freedom. Original movement creations, musical theater styles, contact improvisation, and some vernacular dance forms are also done in class, culminating in combinations of text and movement where creative freedom in the physical realm is emphasized. Warm-up clothes are worn. Jennifer Archibald

DRAM 283b, Breaking the Code This course is an active investigation of the rhetorical clues embodied in Shakespeare’s text, which can lead the actor to clearer, bolder, and more embodied performances in classical plays. Monologue and scene work is assigned. Steven Skybell

DRAM 303a, Acting III Scene study begins with the study of Brecht and different approaches to action. Students tackle modern and contemporary material to discover how technique is adapted to the requirements of varying texts. Evan Yionoulis

DRAM 303b, Actor Showcase In their final term, students choose and rehearse scenes, which are presented to agents, managers, casting directors, and other members of the industry in New York and Los Angeles. Paul Mullins, Greg Wallace

DRAM 313a, Voice III Through classes and tutorials, the third-year curriculum continues the work of expanding vocal capacity, flexibility, endurance, and expressivity in order to prepare the actor to play any character in any space with ease. A variety of methodologies, including extended vocal techniques, are applied to resonance, range, and vocal extremes such as screaming and shouting. Gentle release work, designed to free the body from habitual muscular tension, is used to stimulate breath and sound, and enhance overall presence. This class also focuses rigorously on applying voice work to text, both with class projects and YSD productions, with the implied goal of empowering actors to trust their voice, follow their imagination, and bring life to language on the stage. Grace Zandarski

DRAMA 313b, Voice III: Focus, Application, Self-Calibration The final term of voice training is designed to move the actor toward self-calibration of voice and body. Through weekly classes and tutorials, this course both reinforces and expands the experience of prior voice training, and introduces core principles of Middendorf Breathwork, in which students build kinesthetic sensation and focus on the entire body as a vocal mechanism. Dawn-Elin Fraser, Walton Wilson, Grace Zandarski

DRAM 320b, Actor-Director Lab See description under Directing.

DRAM 323a/b, Third-Year Speech and Dialects The third year of speech training is structured as a series of tutorials focused on character development and vocal transformation in connection with the Interview Project, a collaboration with acting teacher Evan Yionoulis, which culminates in a performance event in the first term. In the second term, tutorials focus on the development and exploration of individual dialects and speech challenges. Beth McGuire, Ron Carlos

DRAM 340b, Directing Lab on Greek Tragedy See description under Directing.

DRAM 343a/b, Alexander Technique III See description under DRAM 143a/b.

DRAM 353b, Actor’s Workshop A course for actors in their final term of actor training. The course offers actors a number of possibilities for revisiting, via scene work, the basic fundamentals of craft that were emphasized in the first year of their training, as well as an opportunity to stretch themselves in areas that are untested or unexplored. Material is chosen by the instructor as well as by the actors who are participating. Ron Van Lieu

DRAM 363a, Creating Actor-Generated Works The goal of this course is to create actor-generated works for the theater. Students answer these questions: What are they passionate about? What are they longing to express? What are their concerns and desires? Using many techniques of discovery and exploration, the actors create theater works that spring from the answers to these questions. The resulting works celebrate the actor’s individuality and diversity, encouraging access to ethnic roots and traditions. Joan MacIntosh

DRAM 373a/b, Yoga III This course is a detailed introduction to the practice of vinyasa hatha yoga, primarily informed by the Kripalu and ashtanga lineages. Class meetings are spent reviewing fundamental postures (“asanas”), plus their variations, and examining primary breathing techniques (“pranayama”) in conjunction with these postures. Supplemental reading and brief writing assignments investigate the mental and ethical underpinnings of this ancient discipline, and their relationship to the work on (and off) the mat. Students of all levels are welcome. Annie Piper

DRAM 383b, Voice-Over Workshop This course introduces actors to commercial voice-over techniques. The acting students collaborate with sound design students to create individual digital voice-over samples. Billy Serow

DRAM 403b, Stage Combat I Unarmed combat in the first year prepares the actor to execute stage violence effectively and safely. Skills of concentration, partner-awareness, and impulse-response are also fostered in this work. Michael Rossmy, Rick Sordelet

DRAM 405a, Stage Combat II Armed combat in the second year prepares the actor to execute stage violence effectively and safely. Skills of concentration, partner-awareness, and impulse-response are also fostered in this work. Michael Rossmy, Rick Sordelet

DRAM 413a/b, Singing II Through classes and tutorials, this work explores the interplay and integration of imagination, intention, and breath, and the coordinated physical processes that result in a free and expressive singing voice. The actors gain experience in acting sung material through the active investigation of the emotional, linguistic, and musical demands in songs and musical scene work. Glenn Seven Allen

DRAM 423a/b, Singing III Singing in the third year uses classes and tutorials to continue a focus on breath support, ease, range of expression, and clarity, while emphasizing the actor’s commitment to the material in performance. All students will assemble an audition book and perform in a cabaret setting by the end of the spring term. Anne Tofflemire

DRAM 433a, The Actor’s Imagination on Film In this class, the actor learns to illuminate the text with bold, provocative choices, revealing the individual’s private self and promoting authentic behavior on camera. During each session, actors are filmed in either scene work, audition material, or self-taping. Gregory Berger-Sobeck

DRAM 453b, Independent Study: Yale Summer Cabaret Students who want to participate in the Yale Summer Cabaret may audition to be a performer or interview for positions in production, stage management, and administration. Yale Summer Cabaret offers an opportunity to participate in an ensemble company producing plays for the School of Drama, the larger Yale University community, and the city of New Haven. Through the Summer Cabaret, participating students gain hands-on, collaborative experience in all aspects of producing and performing a full summer season. Auditions and interviews are open to nondepartmental students. Chantal Rodriguez

DRAM 463a, On-Camera Acting Technique This class introduces students to working on camera. Brief scenes are filmed the way films are shot: with master shots, two shots, over-the-shoulder, and close-up shots. The takes are edited into films, which are watched and critiqued. Various exercises on film are explored; and in each class, strong performances from well-known films are viewed and discussed. Ellen Novack

DRAM 463b, Taming the Cyclops: How to Do Your Best Work in an On-Camera Audition In this class, students shoot, examine, and reshoot audition scenes from all genres of film and television, helping them acquire the necessary skills to audition successfully both in the audition room and on self-tapes. The class also includes workshops and meetings with some of the leading professional casting directors, agents, managers, entertainment lawyers, and actors working in the industry. All of this provides students with the skills and information needed to make a smooth transition into the professional world. Ellen Novack

DRAM 543b, Guest Artist Workshops Teaching artists from outside the department are brought in to teach master classes covering a variety of topics with third-year actors in their final term of training. Walton Wilson, faculty, and guests

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Design (M.F.A. and Certificate)

Stephen Strawbridge, Michael Yeargan, Cochairs

The purpose of the Design department is to develop theater artists who are masterful designers in set, costume, lighting, projection, and sound for the theater. The department encourages students to discover their own process of formulating design ideas, to develop a discriminating standard for their own endeavors, and above all to prepare for a creative and meaningful professional life in the broad range of theater activities.

In the belief that theater is a collaborative art, it is hoped that through their Yale School of Drama experience design students discover a true sense of joy in working with other people, especially directors, and realize the excitement of evolving a production through the process of collaboration.

Finally, the department endeavors to create an atmosphere conducive to creative experimentation, tempered by honest, open criticism and disciplined study.

Theater is an act of transformation, and for designers it is the transformation of words into visual and musical imagery. Set, costume, and, to a certain extent, lighting and projection designers must have the capacity for visual expression, with its foundation set firmly in the ability to draw and sketch clearly and expressively. Drawing is not merely a technique for presentation; it is the language that reveals one’s thoughts, and thus creates a dialogue among the director, the designers, and their colleagues. Through drawing, one observes and records one’s world. Drawing informs and clarifies one’s vision and is an integral part of the formulation of a design. Drawing should be as natural to the visual designer as speaking; therefore, the department offers a weekly life drawing class so that design students can keep their skill honed.

Students are admitted to the department on the basis of their artistic abilities as shown in their portfolios, as well as their commitment to the theater and their ability to articulate their ideas.

Each entering class is unique, with the ratio of set to costume to lighting to projection designers varying according to the qualifications of the applicants. Approximately twelve students are admitted each year. The Design department faculty make a strong commitment to each student that is accepted. There is no second-tier status. All students participate at the same level and are expected to complete the program of study.

The student’s training is accomplished through approximately equal parts classroom work and production experience. A balance between theoretical work, which students conceive of and develop on their own, and projects which are realized on stage in collaboration with others, is the ever-present goal.

Students of visual design study set, costume, lighting, and projection design in their first year. Lighting and projection designers also take a class in sound design. Starting in the second year, the required sequence of courses for each student focuses more closely on the student’s primary area or areas of concentration. The culmination of the training is a Master Class in Design for the stage, taken by all visual design students, in which a number of unified projects and a thesis project are presented to the combined faculty in the course of two terms. The goal of the department is that students achieve mastery of their own discipline and working knowledge of all disciplines; given that no two students arrive at training with the same skill sets, the department reserves the right to make different course assignments for each student in pursuit of this aim.

Sound design students who are admitted into the Design department are also required to take introductory visual design classes in an attempt to develop a common body of knowledge within the entire design team, and to provide opportunities for all designers to develop collaborative communication and presentation skills.

Designing for Yale Cabaret

The permission of the Design department cochairs is necessary in order to participate in any capacity in a Yale Cabaret production.

Plan of Study: Set Design

Required Sequence

Year

Course

Subject

  • I
  • DRAM 112a/b
  • Scene Design: Background and Practice
  • DRAM 115a/b
  • Costume Design: Background and Practice
  • DRAM 122a/b
  • Stagecraft for Designers
  • DRAM 124a/b
  • Introduction to Lighting Design
  • DRAM 162a/b
  • Life Drawing Studio
  • DRAM 192b
  • AutoCAD for Set Designers
  • DRAM 222a
  • Drafting for Designers
  • DRAM 222b
  • Vectorworks for Set Designers
  • DRAM 224a/b
  • Introduction to Projection Design
  • DRAM 234a/b
  • Visual Storytelling

Weekly production-related seminars

Assignments as assistant designer

  • II
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama
  • DRAM 132a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Scene Design
  • DRAM 134a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Stage Lighting
  • DRAM 135a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Costume Design*
  • DRAM 152a/b
  • Scene Painting
  • DRAM 334a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Projection Design*
  • Weekly drafting review sessions
  • Weekly production-related seminars
  • Design assignments for School of Drama productions
  • III
  • DRAM 142a/b
  • Master Class in Design for the Stage
  • Weekly drafting review sessions
  • Weekly production-related seminars
  • Design assignments for School of Drama productions and possible design assignments for Yale Repertory Theatre
  • Thesis Project: a comprehensive design for a theoretical production
*Students take one or the other.

In addition, all design students are required to take two one-term electives over the course of their second and third years of study.

Plan of Study: Costume Design

Required Sequence

Year

Course

Subject

  • I
  • DRAM 112a/b
  • Scene Design: Background and Practice
  • DRAM 115a/b
  • Costume Design: Background and Practice
  • DRAM 122a/b
  • Stagecraft for Designers
  • DRAM 124a/b
  • Introduction to Lighting Design
  • DRAM 162a/b
  • Life Drawing Studio
  • DRAM 189a
  • Costume Production
  • DRAM 189b
  • Fabric and Fabric Manipulation
  • DRAM 224a/b
  • Introduction to Projection Design
  • DRAM 234a/b
  • Visual Storytelling
  • DRAM 489a/b
  • Costume Seminar

Weekly production-related seminars

Assignments as assistant designer

  • II
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama
  • DRAM 132a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Scene Design
  • DRAM 135a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Costume Design
  • DRAM 162a/b
  • Life Drawing Studio
  • Weekly production-related seminars
  • Design assignments for School of Drama productions
  • III
  • DRAM 142a/b
  • Master Class in Design for the Stage
  • Weekly production-related seminars
  • Design assignments for School of Drama productions and possible design assignments for Yale Repertory Theatre
  • Thesis Project: a comprehensive design for a theoretical production

In addition, all design students are required to take two one-term electives over the course of their second and third years of study.

Plan of Study: Lighting Design

Required Sequence

Year

Course

Subject

  • I
  • DRAM 104b
  • Computer-Assisted Design Techniques for Lighting Designers
  • DRAM 112a/b
  • Scene Design: Background and Practice
  • DRAM 115a/b
  • Costume Design: Background and Practice
  • DRAM 134a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Stage Lighting
  • DRAM 158a
  • Introduction to Sound Design
  • DRAM 162a/b
  • Life Drawing Studio
  • DRAM 222a
  • Drafting for Designers
  • DRAM 224a/b

DRAM 234a/b

Visual Storytelling

Weekly production-related seminars

Assignments as assistant designer

  • II
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama
  • DRAM 132a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Scene Design
  • DRAM 135a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Costume Design
  • DRAM 164a/b
  • Professional Stage Lighting Design
  • DRAM 334 a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Projection Design
  • Weekly production-related seminars
  • Design assignments for School of Drama productions
  • III
  • DRAM 142a/b
  • Master Class in Design for the Stage
  • DRAM 174a/b
  • Advanced Professional Stage Lighting Design
  • Weekly production-related seminars
  • Design assignments for School of Drama productions and possible design assignments for Yale Repertory Theatre
  • Thesis Project: a comprehensive design for a theoretical production

In addition, all design students are required to take two one-term electives over the course of their second and third years of study.

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama See description under Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

DRAM 102a/b, Scene Design An introduction for all non-design students to the aesthetics and the process of scenic design through critique and discussion of weekly projects. Emphasis is given to the examination of the text and the action of the play, the formulation of design ideas, the visual expression of the ideas, and especially the collaboration with directors and all other designers. Three hours a week. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Riccardo Hernandez, Ming Cho Lee [F], Michael Yeargan

DRAM 104b, Computer-Assisted Design Techniques for Lighting Designers This course covers techniques, workflows, and best practices for using computer-assisted design (Vectorworks) to bring a lighting design from concept to professional drawing package. Students develop skills including drawing techniques, drawing structure and layout, utilizing working drawings, managing data and working with Lightwright, developing templates and libraries, and creating clear, well-styled drawings. Students receive individual guidance on approaching design project challenges and critiques of their drafting presentation. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Joshua Benghiat

DRAM 112a/b, Scene Design: Background and Practice An introductory course for all designers in conjunction with DRAM 102a/b. Riccardo Hernandez, Ming Cho Lee [F], Michael Yeargan

DRAM 114b, Lighting Design for Stage Managers This course explores the aesthetics and techniques of professional stage lighting with particular emphasis given to the working relationship between the lighting designer and stage manager. Additionally, this course prepares stage managers for their role in maintaining and recreating lighting designs on touring and long-running productions. Classroom discussion and practical application are equal components. Alan C. Edwards

DRAM 115a/b, Costume Design: Background and Practice A review of the history of civil costume and a study of the technique and practice of theatrical costume design leading to the preparation of designs for productions and the carrying out of the designs in actual costumes for the stage. Criticism of weekly sketch problems. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Two hours a week. Jane Greenwood, Ilona Somogyi

DRAM 122a/b, Stagecraft for Designers An introductory course for all first-year designers in drafting, stagecraft, and production techniques. Michael Yeargan

DRAM 124a/b, Introduction to Lighting Design An introduction for all non-lighting design students to the aesthetics and the process of lighting design through weekly critique and discussion of theoretical and practical assignments. Emphasis is given to the examination of the action of the play in relation to lighting, the formulation of design ideas, the place of lighting in the overall production, and collaboration with directors, set, costume, and sound designers. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Robert M. Wierzel

DRAM 132a/b, Advanced Problems in Scene Design Criticism of design problems for plays, musicals, ballet, and opera. This course continues the work started in DRAM 112a/b, carrying it a step further and focusing on design realization. Prerequisite: DRAM 112a/b. Two hours a week. Riccardo Hernandez, Ming Cho Lee [F], Michael Yeargan

DRAM 134a/b, Advanced Problems in Stage Lighting A course intended to help the student develop a sense of, and a facility with, light as an element in a production. Projects are prepared consistent with best professional practice. Open to nondepartmental students who have taken DRAM 124a/b with permission of the instructor. Four hours a week. Stephen Strawbridge, Jennifer Tipton

DRAM 135a/b, Advanced Problems in Costume Design Detailed practical experience in the preparation of costumes for the stage, including sketches for projected designs and plans for their execution. Prerequisite: DRAM 115a/b. Two hours a week. Jess Goldstein, Ilona Somogyi

DRAM 142a/b, Master Class in Design for the Stage The course seeks to cultivate and reinforce advanced, professional-level processes and practices in the work of third-year set, costume, lighting, and projection designers. In designing plays, operas, and other dramatic works of their choosing, students are encouraged to evolve their own points of view and aesthetics. Work in a student’s primary area of concentration must be complete and comprehensive. Recognizing that no design discipline exists in isolation, students must also be able to express fully thought-out ideas about each of the other disciplines. The class meets every four weeks on a schedule to be announced, with individual tutoring sessions between classes as requested by the students. Combined Design Department Faculty and guests

DRAM 152a/b, Scene Painting A studio class in painting techniques. Problems in textures, materials, styles, to prepare students to execute their own and other designs. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Three hours a week. Ru-Jun Wang

DRAM 158a, Introduction to Sound Design Required of first-year lighting and second-year costume and set designers. See description under Sound Design.

DRAM 162a/b, Life Drawing Studio A course in figure drawing for design students. The course is taken as training by students in every year. Three hours a week. Ru-Jun Wang

DRAM 164a/b, Professional Stage Lighting Design A course to prepare students for the demanding artistic and practical situations to be faced in the professional theater. Large-scale and somewhat complex production problems, such as multiset plays, musical comedies, operas, ballets, and repertory situations may be addressed by students for presentation and critique. Open to nondepartmental students who have taken DRAM 134a/b with permission of the instructor. Two hours a week. Stephen Strawbridge, Jennifer Tipton

DRAM 172a/b, Digital Imaging for Designers A comprehensive introduction to two-dimensional computer graphics as it applies to designing for the theater. Students develop a working understanding of a digital workflow that includes input (scanning and digital photography), computer-aided design (Adobe Photoshop), and output (printing). The course focuses on the possibilities the computer offers scenic, lighting, and costume designers in professional practice. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. David Biedny

DRAM 174a/b, Advanced Professional Stage Lighting Design An independent study course concurrent with DRAM 164a/b. Hours to be arranged with the instructor. Stephen Strawbridge, Jennifer Tipton

DRAM 182b, Portraiture This course is designed for second- and third-year design students who are interested in further developing their painting skills with a live sitter. Through portrait painting, students refine fundamentals including color blocking, paint application, brushstrokes, and balance of painting. Although students are free to choose their paint medium, an opaque approach is preferred. Most students use acrylic. Figure-drawing skills such as composition, perspective, plane break, structure, contrast, and sense of depth are continually addressed. One-on-one guidance and critique are provided in an effort to help students identify and best resolve problem areas in their own paintings. Ru-Jun Wang

DRAM 184b, Interactive Storytelling Strategies in Moving Image (or, The Art of Immersion) See description under Projection Design.

DRAM 189a, Costume Production See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 189b, Fabric and Fabric Manipulation See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 192b, AutoCAD for Set Designers This course covers techniques, workflows, and best practices for using AutoCAD to bring a set design from concept to professional drafting package. Students develop skills and techniques needed to create clear, well-styled drawings that communicate effectively. The class offers individual guidance on approaching design project challenges and critiques of drafting presentations. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Maruti Evans

DRAM 212a/b, Independent Study There may be special circumstances in which a student is allowed to pursue a particular area of inquiry independently, and on his or her own time. Faculty supervision and approval is required in formulating the goals and the methods to be employed and a timetable. Faculty

DRAM 215a/b, Costume Design: Impulse and Approach This class is designed for second-year directors. Working on classic texts set in historic periods in chronological order, the class explores storytelling and character through the discipline of costume research and design. This course is a companion to DRAM 115a/b, with planned coordination between first-year designers and second-year directors. Ilona Somogyi

DRAM 222a, Drafting for Designers This course is taught in conjunction with DRAM 122a/b, Stagecraft for Designers, and focuses on drafting for the stage. Students learn how to create a complete set of drawings suitable for budgeting and/or soliciting bids from shops in the professional theater. Lee Savage

DRAM 222b, Vectorworks for Set Designers This course covers techniques, workflows, and best practices for using Vectorworks to bring a set design from concept to professional drafting package. Students develop skills and techniques needed to create clear, well-styled drawings that communicate effectively. The class offers individual guidance on approaching design project challenges and critiques of drafting presentations. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Lee Savage

DRAM 224a/b, Introduction to Projection Design See description under Projection Design.

DRAM 234a/b, Visual Storytelling See description under Projection Design.

DRAM 334a/b, Advanced Problems in Projection Design See description under Projection Design.

DRAM 489a/b, Costume Seminar See description under Technical Design and Production.

Plan of Study: Projection Design

The Projection Design concentration, offered through the Design department, provides a unique opportunity to develop skills that work in concert with all the other design disciplines of the theater. Projection design for performance is both one of the newest and one of the most rapidly advancing areas of theatrical design. It is vital that future practitioners learn to deliver this new media within the larger context of theatrical storytelling. It is the goal of the program to teach the use of these powerful tools of media and animation to enhance the live experience. Study and projects in all the other design concentrations—set, costume, lighting, and sound—along with the practice of projection design, encourage the creation of total theater artists.

The question of “why projection” is a constant heartbeat of the program. Not all theatrical production can or should support projection. Rigorous exploration of the place and potential of projection media, including the study of its historical usage, assists all potential designers to create relevant work.

The program requires a great deal of hard work. Study and projects in all departments require excellent time management, and both digital and hand skills. The student is required to build set models and create lighting sketches along with projects in media design. Having good hand-drawing skills is very helpful. To help maintain and develop the capacity for drawing, a weekly figure-drawing class is required in the first year. Classes in digital skills and both digital and analog animation are offered as well.

The program includes script analysis, dramaturgy, and the essential collaborative skill, listening. There are opportunities to work directly with playwrights, directors, and other designers in both class projects and public performance. There is no substitute for the experience of creating actual production work, and the opportunities to create as well as to assist are abundant.

Projection design students share studio space with the other visual designers, as well as a production studio and the facilities of the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media. These shared spaces encourage collaboration, camaraderie, and the exchange of ideas essential to the working theater artist.

In addition to course work and production assignments, there is the opportunity to create an installation in collaboration with the sound and directing programs and several programs with Yale Opera.

Required Sequence

  • Year
  • Course
  • Subject
  • I
  • DRAM 112a/b
  • Scene Design: Background and Practice
  • DRAM 115a
  • Costume Design: Background and Practice
  • DRAM 122a
  • Stagecraft for Designers (first 4 weeks)
  • DRAM 124a/b
  • Introduction to Lighting Design
  • DRAM 158a
  • Introduction to Sound Design
  • DRAM 162a/b
  • Life Drawing Studio
  • DRAM 172a/b
  • Digital Imaging for Designers
  • DRAM 224a/b
  • Introduction to Projection Design
  • DRAM 234a/b
  • Visual Storytelling
  • DRAM 239a
  • Introduction to Projection Engineering
  • DRAM 248b
  • Designers and Directors Workshop II
  • Weekly production-related seminars
  • Production assignments as assistants and projection engineers
  • II
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama
  • DRAM 132a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Scenic Design
  • DRAM 134a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Stage Lighting
  • DRAM 244a/b
  • Motion Graphics and Film Production
  • DRAM 334a/b
  • Advanced Problems in Projection Design
  • DRAM 339a
  • Advanced Topics in Projection Engineering
  • DRAM 364a
  • Animation Studio
  • Projection Seminar
  • Production assignments as designers, assistants, and programmers when available
  • One general elective
  • One music elective (a or b)
  • Participation in DRAM 162a/b, Life Drawing Studio, when no conflict with other class or production assignments
  • Up to two small- to medium-scale production assignments (if prepared)
  • III
  • DRAM 142a/b
  • Master Class in Design for the Stage
  • DRAM 344a/b
  • Advanced Professional Projection Design
  • Projection Seminar
  • Two one-term electives
  • One professional projection assignment (if prepared)
  • Design assignments for School of Drama productions and possible design assignments for Yale Repertory Theatre
  • Thesis Project: a fully realized design of one dance and one dance or alternative project

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama See description under Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

DRAM 112a/b, Scene Design: Background and Practice See description under Design.

DRAM 115a, Costume Design: Background and Practice See description under Design.

DRAM 122a, Stagecraft for Designers See description under Design.

DRAM 124a/b, Introduction to Lighting Design See description under Design.

DRAM 132a/b, Advanced Problems in Scenic Design See description under Design.

DRAM 134a/b, Advanced Problems in Stage Lighting See description under Design.

DRAM 142a/b, Master Class in Design for the Stage See description under Design.

DRAM 158a, Introduction to Sound Design See description under Sound Design.

DRAM 162a/b, Life Drawing Studio See description under Design.

DRAM 172a/b, Digital Imaging for Designers See description under Design.

DRAM 184b, Interactive Storytelling Strategies in Moving Image (or, The Art of Immersion) A hands-on course that explores methods of interactivity and immersion in the creation of narrative moving-image works. This course offers a series of modules that explore interactive storytelling techniques in virtual reality, augmented reality, and game design, all geared to the interests of enrolled students. Students devise ways the modules can be applied in their own fields of research and propose final projects that explore aspects of immersive narrative, utilizing the processes covered in class. Students will understand the virtual world as a theatrical stage, and the characters as actors or puppets, which must be designed and directed. Examples from artists’ works, class workshops, demonstrations, and visiting artist lectures give students an understanding of the principle techniques, providing platforms for inquiry and exploration. Visits to artist studios and exhibitions supplement class discussions, providing further insight into artistic processes and installation methods. Federico Solmi

DRAM 212a/b, Independent Study See description under Design.

DRAM 224a/b, Introduction to Projection Design In this yearlong course, students develop an understanding of how projection can be integrated into the theatrical space. Students consider media as a storytelling tool and create storyboards and video projects. Emphasis is on exploration, collaboration, and thinking in pictures. Students are expected to participate in a number of digital skills seminars that are offered concurrently with this class. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Wendall K. Harrington

DRAM 234a/b, Visual Storytelling This is a lecture, film, and discussion course that explores the various ways in which idea and emotion have been expressed for the eye and mind. Lecturers and filmed documentaries cover topics in art history from cave painting to the graphic novel, color theory, cinema history, graphic design, typography, photography, and an exploration of the visual in avant-garde theater. Vision is our language; we see before we speak. The goal of this course is to create expressive polyglots. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Limited enrollment. Priority given to School of Drama and School of Art students and to students in their last year of study. Special registration procedures apply to non-School of Drama students; students must e-mail wendall.harrington@yale.edu prior to the first week of classes to request permission. No shoppers. Class on September 7 must be attended. Course is graded Pass/Fail. Wendall K. Harrington, with Ann McCoy and guests

DRAM 239a, Introduction to Projection Engineering See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 244a/b, Motion Graphics and Film Production Digital video and motion graphics have become a central asset in the theater, and this course covers a diverse set of topics relating to video capture and delivery formats, compression fundamentals, utilization of graphics elements in motion graphics animation, nonlinear video editing techniques, special effects, and the digital video production pipeline. Students primarily utilize Adobe After Effects and Apple Motion to create motion graphics and animation content and Adobe Premiere to edit and produce finished assets, with an emphasis on the technical and creative challenges of projection in a theatrical environment. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. David Biedny

DRAM 248b, Designers and Directors Workshop II See description under Sound Design.

DRAM 334a/b, Advanced Problems in Projection Design A course to prepare students for the collaborative task of creating projection for the stage. Emphasis is given to script analysis, research, media preparation, and elementary programming. Projects include creating media for Yale Opera, a collaboration with School of Drama playwrights, as well as exploration of various media servers. Open to nondepartmental students who have taken DRAM 224a/b. Wendall K. Harrington, Shawn Boyle

DRAM 339a, Advanced Topics in Projection Engineering See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 344a/b, Advanced Professional Projection Design This class provides professional preparation for work on School of Drama productions and other venues, as well as supervision on projects undertaken in Master Class in Projection Design. The third-year Dance Collaboration Project is created by students in this class. Prerequisite: DRAM 334a/b and prior permission of the instructor. Wendall K. Harrington, Shawn Boyle, Marjorie Folkman, and guests

DRAM 354b, Advanced Media Production This combined classroom/online class focuses on the production of a collaborative music video utilizing advanced imaging and motion graphics techniques—including visual synthesis, motion tracking and stabilization, compositing, audio synchronization, and motion design—combining four on-site class sessions with custom-scheduled online production meetings, virtual tutorials and instruction, progress reviews, and a real-world, virtual digital production pipeline. David Biedny

DRAM 364a, Animation Studio This course examines the methods and tools available to contemporary animators in moving-image production. Through exploration of the fundamental principles of animation, the class employs historical and theoretical developments in the practice of animation as frameworks for its current production. Class discussions, screenings, and group critiques establish the dialogues surrounding reading and lecture topics. Studio investigation explores techniques of classical animation as they relate to computer-generated modeling, rendering, and compositing workflows. Software covered includes Autodesk Maya, Adobe After Effects, and Dragonframe. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Johannes DeYoung

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Sound Design (M.F.A. and Certificate)

David Budries, Chair

The Sound Design program is focused on developing the artistic, compositional, and technical engineering skills of sound designers and composers through substantial academic offerings and a set of practical design opportunities that together provide a solid professional training experience. This rigorous preparation readies students for a variety of design and engineering jobs related to music and sound in performance. It is also directly applicable to teaching the art and craft of sound design.

The Sound Design experience at Yale School of Drama is unique in that the five areas of design—set, costume, lighting, projection, and sound—are integrated. All designers are encouraged to take introductory course work in each of the design areas. This course work provides students with a core of basic knowledge and the ability to exercise good communication skills through the design process, while helping to build camaraderie and respect among designers. This ensemble approach provides a foundation for networking as design professionals after graduation. Collaboration is an essential part of the experience at the School of Drama.

The program is rigorous. Students must be dedicated and willing to work hard. The course work covers design aesthetics, script interpretation, dramaturgy, music composition, critical listening, professional collaboration, sound and music technology, acoustics, aural imaging in large spaces, investigations into psychoacoustics, digital audio production, advanced sound delivery systems, advanced problem solving, advanced digital applications, production organization, and professional development, combined with a wide variety of practical assignments.

The Designers and Directors Workshop is a unique class in which directors and sound designers focus on communication and exploration of each other’s production process. During the course, playwrights and projection designers are invited into the process, allowing all these artists to devise and to explore new works together.

All students attend Sound Design Master Classes and Sound Seminars. In these meetings, current production work, concepts for design, production problems, and current technological developments are discussed. Visiting artists, designers, engineers, and technicians are also invited to present and discuss their work.

The Sound Design program sponsors critiques of current productions as part of Master Class. Attendees discuss all aspects of the work including the storytelling, dramaturgy, acting, directing, all design, and music.

To complement the academic work, the core training revolves around practical production assignments that include working on medium- to large-scale student productions as well as professional design work at Yale Repertory Theatre. These hands-on assignments provide invaluable practical learning experiences. Additionally, Yale Cabaret provides students with up to eighteen extracurricular design opportunities annually. These hands-on assignments provide practical learning experiences on a smaller scale.

To support this work, students have access to four production studio spaces: a multi­discipline design laboratory, a teaching studio, and two musical instrument libraries. In this program, students are required to develop their own digital audio workstations while they are in school so that upon graduation, students have their personal studios in place, ready to continue their professional work.

Another unique class, Auditory Culture, was developed to encourage in-depth conversations about the impact of sound and music on our culture—past, present, and future. The participants drive the course content. No related topic is off-limits, and the class is open to professional students from any discipline. This is our most popular cross-disciplinary offering.

The Sound Design program nurtures individual creativity and exploration. Its goal is to train professionals who will become leaders in the field of professional theatrical sound design.

Academic Expectation and Professional Practice

Yale School of Drama programs of study strive to balance academics with practical production work. For this reason, it is necessary for students to learn how to manage their time in both activities. This is an essential skill set for design students to acquire. Students are always expected to show up on time and be prepared for classes, meetings, and production assignments. Students are expected to be active participants in the production process, attending all required meetings, actor rehearsals, technical rehearsals, and previews. All sound design students are required to attend focus and system balance sessions. Any variation from these expectations requires direct communication with and approval from the instructor, supervisor, stage manager, or other person in charge.

Designing for Yale Cabaret

First-year students are not allowed to design at the Yale Cabaret in their first term, and thereafter all students must obtain approval from the department chair to be involved with any part of Cabaret production work. Any student with a course incomplete may not design for the Yale Cabaret regardless of an advance commitment. All sound designers must request permission to design at the Yale Cabaret at least four weeks prior to the performance.

Plan of Study: Sound Design

Required Sequence

  • Year
  • Course
  • Subject
  • I
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama
  • DRAM 112a
  • Scene Design: Background and Practice*
  • DRAM 118a/b
  • Master Class in Sound Design
  • DRAM 124a
  • Introduction to Lighting Design*
  • DRAM 128a/b
  • Sound Seminar
  • DRAM 138a
  • Production Sound Design Boot Camp
  • DRAM 138b
  • Production Sound Design and Technology
  • DRAM 158a
  • Introduction to Sound Design
  • DRAM 158b
  • Recording Arts
  • DRAM 188b
  • Individual Music Lessons
  • DRAM 198a
  • Sound Design Production Organization
  • One term of music elective, recommended in the second term
  • Up to three production assignments (if prepared)
  • II
  • DRAM 128a/b
  • Sound Seminar
  • DRAM 218a/b
  • Master Class in Sound Design
  • DRAM 224a/b
  • Introduction to Projection Design
  • DRAM 248a
  • Designers and Directors Workshop I
  • DRAM 248b
  • Designers and Directors Workshop II
  • DRAM 258a/b
  • Composition for Sound Design
  • DRAM 278b
  • Advanced Problems in Sound Design
  • DRAM 288a/b
  • Individual Music/Composition Lessons
  • One term of music elective
  • One term of general elective
  • Up to three production assignments (if prepared)
  • III
  • DRAM 128a/b
  • Sound Seminar
  • DRAM 318a/b
  • Master Class in Sound Design
  • DRAM 358a/b
  • Professional Development
  • DRAM 388a/b
  • Individual Music/Composition Lessons
  • Thesis (full production, research paper, or an original creation)
  • One term of music elective (optional)
  • One term of general elective
  • Up to three production assignments (if prepared)

*DRAM 112a and 124a are required courses for Sound Design, while DRAM 112b and 124b are optional as general electives.
Elective Sequence

The elective sequence is determined in consultation with a departmental adviser. Students must complete two terms of music electives and two terms of general electives. Non-music electives may include DRAM 141b, Law and the Arts; DRAM 169a, Shop Technology; DRAM 169b, Stage Rigging Techniques; DRAM 229a, Theater Planning and Construction; DRAM 319a, Automation Control; DRAM 419b, Control Systems for Live Entertainment; and many more. The design adviser must approve the elective sequence.

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama See description under Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

[DRAM 66a/THST 414a, Lyric Writing for Musical Theater See description under Playwriting. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 112a/b, Scene Design: Background and Practice See description under Design.

DRAM 118a/b, 218a/b, 318a/b, Master Class in Sound Design This class provides opportunities for in-depth presentation and discussion of current production work during the design, budgeting, and technical rehearsal phases. All participants must read each play and discuss its dramaturgy. Designers must formally present their design work as if to a director and design team. Presenting a scale model of the scenic design, as well as costume renderings, is essential. Any questions regarding practical production problems may be presented in this forum. A calendar of presentation dates is distributed. Other design or production partners are welcome to attend these classes. Two hours a week. David Budries, Matthew Suttor

DRAM 124a/b, Introduction to Lighting Design See description under Design.

DRAM 128a/b, Sound Seminar These regular meetings are required of all sound designers. The seminar sessions feature guest artists (designers, composers, directors, engineers, and consultants), visits to various productions or places of business, and practical modules on a variety of topics. Class typically meets two hours a week. David Budries, Matthew Suttor

DRAM 138a, Production Sound Design Boot Camp This intensive, first-term engineering course covers the fundamentals of sound and music technology used in professional sound delivery systems and studio production, focusing on the fundamentals of professional practice with the goal of preparing engineers for their production assignments. The course consists of lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on laboratories. Software requirements are updated annually by the instructor and include Vectorworks, Microsoft Office, and other control software for digital signal processors and mixing consoles. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of both the instructor and Sound Design Chair David Budries. Enrollment limited to six. Four hours a week. Michael Backhaus

DRAM 138b, Production Sound Design and Technology This course is the continuation of DRAM 138a and consists of lectures, demonstrations, and practical assignments designed to expand fundamental engineering skills. Students learn about audio control systems, digital signal processing, loudspeaker theory and application, digital audio workstations, equalization techniques, time-delay theory and practice, the basics of stereophony, surround sound techniques, and aural imaging. Required of all sound designers. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of both the instructor and Sound Design Chair David Budries. Enrollment limited to six. Four hours a week, plus practicals and additional modules of study. Charles Coes, Alex Neumann

DRAM 141b, Law and the Arts See description under Theater Management.

DRAM 158a, Introduction to Sound Design In this class students develop an understanding about how sound and music can be used effectively as a tool to enhance meaning in a play. Students analyze scripts, develop critical listening skills, and learn the fundamentals of sound delivery systems as well as terms used to describe the perception and presentation of sound and music in a theatrical setting. This course is required of first-year lighting, projection, and sound designers; and of second-year costume and set designers and stage managers. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Limited enrollment. Two hours a week. David Budries

DRAM 158b, Recording Arts In this course students learn basic recording practice for remote and studio sessions. Topics include digital recording systems, auralization and imaging, elements of psychoacoustics, microphone theory and application, music recording, sound effects recording, cueing systems, studio monitoring, mixing practice, final mastering, a review of audio control systems, and setting expectations for professional practice in a studio environment. There are five recording projects. Required of all sound designers. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of both the instructor and Sound Design Chair David Budries. Enrollment limited to six. Two hours a week. Nick Lloyd

DRAM 169a, Shop Technology See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 169b, Stage Rigging Techniques See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 188b, Individual Music Lessons This is an introductory project-oriented lesson in music that allows first-year students to develop a path toward their musical development. The student-driven projects are aimed at addressing the musical concerns and needs of the individual, including notation, performance skills, and the expansion of musical vocabulary. This course is only available to students of Design, with preference to sound and projection designers. Limited enrollment. One hour a week, meeting time arranged with faculty. Matthew Suttor

DRAM 198a, Sound Design Production Organization This course prepares students to execute all the necessary production paperwork including cue sheets, schematic block diagrams (line drawings or flow charts), system overlays on plan and section drawings, magic sheets budgets, hook-up schedules, rack drawings, shop orders, budgets, RF assignments, RF schedules, and production archives. Other topics include production responsibilities and preparation for technical rehearsals. Required software includes FileMaker Pro, Excel, and Vectorworks. Required of all first-year sound designers. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Limited enrollment. Two hours a week. David Budries

DRAM 224a/b, Introduction to Projection Design See description under Projection Design.

DRAM 229a, Theater Planning and Construction See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 238a, Advanced Engineering for Sound Design This course is designed to provide a practical examination of large-scale sound delivery systems using examples from professional production practice as well as current production assignments. The objective is to explore all aspects of sound reinforcement and conceptual design theory, practice, and contemporary tools including networks, large-format consoles and loudspeaker arrays, and the use of assessment tools such as SMAART and SIM. Students have the opportunity to shape the course content through the critique of their current design projects. This course is limited to second- and third-year sound designers. Two hours a week. Charles Coes, Alex Neumann

DRAM 248a, Designers and Directors Workshop I The aim of this class is to develop a strong and dynamic relationship among the director, sound designer, and/or composer. Playwrights join the class for four weeks as they develop plays for the Langston Hughes Festival. Through a series of projects based on scripts and devised works, participants explore the vast potential of designed sound and collaboration. Topics include the elements of sound design and composition, building an expressive aural vocabulary, developing critical listening skills, understanding each other’s respective production processes, producing in traditional and nontraditional venues, as well as sound design practice for film and television. Required of all second-year sound designers and directors. Two hours a week. David Budries

DRAM 248b, Designers and Directors Workshop II This course continues the exploration of the creative and practical collaboration among directors, sound designers, and composers through an investigation of the function of sound and original music in devised works. Through critical listening, students attempt to extrapolate ideas from musical sources. The class then turns to a discussion of aesthetics, content, style, and vocabulary with the larger aim of exploring the developmental process from preliminary sketches to fully realized designs. At times students may work individually as well as in assigned teams. One of the final class projects adds projection designers to complete three creative teams (director, sound designer, and projection designer). Each team devises a project in the Yale Art Gallery culminating in a public work titled Gallery + Drama. Ninety minutes a week. Matthew Suttor, David Budries

DRAM 258a, Composition for Sound Design This course explores composition as a fundamental component of sound design, focusing on developing an aural imagination through advanced digital tools. Students are assigned projects based on a variety of specialized techniques within a theatrical framework. Students present their projects on assigned dates followed by discussion and critique. During the fall term, students realize six compositional études that explore topics of investigation. The nature of the études is negotiated with each individual to accommodate production schedules. Due dates are agreed upon by week two (allowing for some flexibility in terms of content). Students must complete at least four études by the end of the fall term in order to progress to DRAM 258b. Required of all second-year sound designers. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Limited enrollment. Two hours a week. Matthew Suttor

DRAM 258b, Composition for Sound Design With reference to specific plays, this course builds on the techniques acquired in the fall term as students continue to augment their compositional palette through original and progressive studies in selected areas such as idiomatic acoustic instrumental writing, computer-generated realization, and song. Required of all second-year sound designers. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students who have completed DRAM 258a. Two hours a week. Matthew Suttor

DRAM 278b, Advanced Problems in Sound Design This course focuses on specific practical problems that face many sound designers. Participants execute approximately ten challenges with a variety of potential outcomes. Critical listening, musicality, system design, digital signal processing, radio-play-style scripting, and real-time digital signal processing are part of these challenges. All class work is intended to promote creativity, innovation, and adaptation. Required of all second-year sound designers. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students who have completed DRAM 158a and 158b. Limited enrollment. Two hours a week with substantial homework. David Budries

DRAM 288a/b, Individual Music/Composition Lessons Individual project-oriented studies in music composition, either acoustic or technological, aimed at addressing the musical concerns and needs of the particular student, including notation and performance skills. Limited enrollment. This class is open only to students of Design, with preference to sound and projection designers. One hour a week; meeting time arranged with faculty. Matthew Suttor

DRAM 319a, Automation Control See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 358a/b, Professional Development This class is limited to design students and is focused on the development and execution of the third-year thesis project and a professional design portfolio that can include Internet-based materials for professional promotion. One hour per student each week, individually assigned. Limited enrollment. David Budries

DRAM 388a/b, Individual Music/Composition Lessons See description for DRAM 288a/b.

DRAM 419b, Control Systems for Live Entertainment See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 428b, Auditory Culture: Reading, Critical Listening, and Discussion This course provides a vehicle for participants to examine the impact sound has made on our culture, now and in the past. Each class member is expected to contribute to the discussion by providing prompts as assigned via digital media, books, articles, or recordings. No relevant sound or music topic is off the table. The instructors must approve and distribute each prompt. There is a lot of room for individual exploration and expression. A new prompt is defined each week, and the discussion occurs at the next class meeting. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor; preference given to theater, music, and art majors. Enrollment limited to twelve. One hour a week. David Budries, Matthew Suttor

DRAM 468a/b, Independent Study in Sound Design The student who desires to pursue a specialized course of study in the area of Sound Design may elect an independent study. A proposal might focus on a guided research project, artistic exploration, or advanced audio technology. Proposals must be submitted in writing, and department approval must be obtained prior to enrollment for credit. Subsequent to enrollment, the student must meet with the project adviser to plan an appropriate course of action and discuss assessment. Credit is awarded based on the project adviser’s recommendation in consultation with any other assigned advisers/tutors. Regular meetings are scheduled to track progress. David Budries

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Directing (M.F.A. and Certificate)

Liz Diamond, Chair

The Directing department at Yale School of Drama admits a few talented individuals each year who have demonstrated the potential to become professional directors. They bring to the School of Drama a wide range of sensibilities, but they share some crucial qualities. They are generators of ideas and projects. They are not afraid to take risks, and they take responsibility for the philosophical and political implications of their work. They have a deep respect for the artists with whom they work. Above all, they have lively imaginations, an appetite for hard questions, and a robust curiosity about the world beyond their own cultural borders.

The Directing department’s entire aim is the education of the director as creative artist and leader. To that end, in course and production work, emphasis is placed on developing the director’s unique artistic imagination and mastery of collaborative leadership. We want our directors to leave Yale School of Drama able to make theater that reveals our world to us in surprising ways, that speaks to us now, whether the project is a new play, classical text, or devised work.

Our core courses are (a) the Directing Practicum, which engages the student over three years in a practical exploration of theatrical composition—the relationship of form to content—through studio exercises and projects; (b) the Directing seminars, which teach practical skills in text analysis, directorial interpretation, and production preparation, using a broad range of dramatic writing, theory, and production histories as course texts; and (c) the Labs, where directors, playwrights, and actors develop their ability to collaborate creatively through exercises, scene work, and critical feedback. In addition, throughout the academic year, the Directing department hosts master classes and workshops with visiting theater artists from around the world.

Because mastery in directing also requires a deep understanding of all the expressive modes that together embody theater, the Directing department’s curriculum integrates core courses of key collaborative disciplines into its programming. Directors are required to participate in the core acting courses in their first and second years. They take core courses in costume, set, lighting, and sound design, and in dramaturgy and theater management. A variety of courses in these and other disciplines may also be taken as electives.

Hands-on production work involving intensive collaboration with fellow students in all departments of Yale School of Drama is central to our training. Throughout their three years at the School of Drama, directors practice their craft in diverse forums, ranging from scene work to full productions in various performance spaces. Through these varied production opportunities, directors develop their ability to respond to a great range of artistic and logistical challenges. First-year directors participate as directors in collaboratively created projects in DRAM 50a, The Collaborative Process, and direct workshop stagings of new plays by first-year playwrights in the New Play Lab. In the second year, directors direct one Shakespeare Repertory Project and one new play by a second-year playwright. Third-year directors direct a full production of their own thesis project and direct a new play by a third-year playwright in the Carlotta Festival. Directors, in the first or second year, serve as assistant directors on Yale Repertory Theatre or School of Drama productions. All directing and assistant directing assignments are made by the chair of the Directing department (pending approval by the dean). Directors are encouraged to direct productions for Yale Cabaret and to participate in the work of the Cabaret in other capacities. Participation in a Cabaret production by a director is subject to the prior approval of the department chair. Additional projects may be assigned to directors in all three years, including new works, assistantships, and, on occasion, casting in School of Drama and Yale Rep productions.

Plan of Study: Directing

Required Sequence

  • Year
  • Course
  • Subject
  • I
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama
  • DRAM 50a
  • The Collaborative Process
  • DRAM 51b
  • New Play Lab
  • DRAM 103a
  • Acting I
  • DRAM 110a/b
  • First-Year Directing
  • DRAM 113a
  • Voice I
  • DRAM 147a
  • Writing for the Ensemble
  • DRAM 153a
  • New Games
  • DRAM 191b
  • Managing the Production Process
  • DRAM 320b
  • Actor-Director Lab
  • DRAM 330a/b
  • Directing Practicum
  • DRAM 370b
  • Theatrical Adaptation
  • DRAM 380b
  • Introduction to Shakespeare for the Director
  • DRAM 405a
  • Stage Combat II
  • Required electives
  • Assignments as director for School of Drama productions
  • Possible assignment as assistant director at Yale Repertory Theatre or Yale School of Drama
  • II
  • DRAM 102a/b
  • Scene Design
  • DRAM 120a/b
  • Second-Year Directing
  • DRAM 134a
  • Advanced Problems in Stage Lighting
  • DRAM 203a
  • Acting II: Tools not Rules
  • DRAM 215a
  • Costume Design: Impulse and Approach
  • DRAM 248a
  • Designers and Directors Workshop I
  • DRAM 248b
  • Designers and Directors Workshop II
  • DRAM 330a/b
  • Directing Practicum
  • DRAM 340b
  • Directing Lab on Greek Tragedy
  • DRAM 350b
  • The Choreographic Imagination
  • Required electives
  • Assignments as director for School of Drama productions
  • Possible assignment as assistant director at Yale Repertory Theatre or Yale School of Drama
  • III
  • DRAM 130a/b
  • Third-Year Directing
  • DRAM 140a/b
  • The Director’s Thesis
  • DRAM 330a/b
  • Directing Practicum
  • DRAM 360a/b
  • Bridge to the Profession
  • Required electives
  • Assignments as director for School of Drama productions

Elective Sequence

Directors are required to take two term-length elective courses over three years and are encouraged to take more as their schedules permit. Courses may be selected from Acting, Design, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, Playwriting, Theater Management, and other departments within Yale School of Drama, subject to approval by the chair of Directing. Where course scheduling permits, students may propose to fulfill an elective requirement by enrolling in a course elsewhere within the University.

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama See description under Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

DRAM 50a, The Collaborative Process A laboratory introduction to theatrical collaboration and creation designed for first-term actors, directors, dramaturgs, and playwrights. How can theater artists bring the skills of their separate disciplines and the ideas of their individual imagination effectively to bear in a creative rehearsal process? What are effective strategies for proposing and responding, for testing and critiquing, for researching and selecting? Using sources from literature, painting, music, and other media as dramatic texts, students explore these and other questions as they make short compositions together in weekly lab sessions. The collaborative creation of a longer piece based on material chosen by the faculty is the culminating project of the course. Liz Diamond, Catherine Sheehy

DRAM 51b, New Play Lab See description under Playwriting.

DRAM 102a/b, Scene Design See description under Design.

DRAM 103a, Acting I See description under Acting.

DRAM 110a/b, First-Year Directing A practical course designed to build directorial skills and techniques, focusing on rigorous close reading of the text, associative imagining, and detailed production scoring. Through a progressive series of analytical and creative encounters with a specific play text, role-playing exercises, and scene work, the director develops methodologies for reading for action, thematic focus, production and performance style, and personalized theatricalism. In the spring, the focus expands to include topics of directorial freedom in bold contemporary interpretation and imagining of the theatrical canon. The spring term also focuses on the role of a director in relation to the acting ensemble as a fundamental element of directing and includes examination and discussion of first-year directors’ work in the New Play Lab and Actor-Director Lab. Yuri Kordonsky

DRAM 113a, Voice I See description under Acting.

DRAM 120a/b, Second-Year Directing A seminar for the examination of the artistic and technical demands of verse drama. Emphasis is placed on the role of verse in determining action and shaping character. In the fall term, plays chosen by students as Shakespeare Repertory Projects, as well as other plays by Shakespeare, are used to investigate the relation of script requirements to production style and acting processes. In the spring term, directorial approaches to Greek tragedy are examined in a practical laboratory. Karin Coonrod, Robert Woodruff

DRAM 130a/b, Third-Year Directing A practical course on directorial approaches to modern and contemporary nonnaturalistic drama. Emphasis is placed on the further development of interpretive skill through close reading and research, and stylistic orchestration of one’s reading of a play in production. Plays and landmark productions from the twentieth-century and contemporary avant-garde are the course texts. Students’ production strategies for these works, and for their current School of Drama productions, are presented and discussed in weekly sessions. Liz Diamond

DRAM 134a, Advanced Problems in Stage Lighting See description under Design.

DRAM 140a/b, The Director’s Thesis The primary project of the third year in directing is the thesis, a full production of a major work of classical or contemporary dramatic literature, or a new or original work, proposed by the student director and approved by the dean in consultation with the department chair. The written component of the thesis is a production casebook documenting the student’s preparation, rehearsal, and postproduction evaluation of the thesis production. The class meets weekly as a group and in individual consultations with the instructor to be arranged throughout the year. Ethan Heard

DRAM 147a, Writing for the Ensemble See description under Playwriting.

DRAM 153a, New Games See description under Acting.

DRAM 191b, Managing the Production Process See description under Theater Management.

DRAM 203a, Acting II: Tools not Rules See description under Acting.

DRAM 215a, Costume Design: Impulse and Approach See description under Design.

DRAM 248a, Designers and Directors Workshop I See description under Sound Design.

DRAM 248b, Designers and Directors Workshop II See description under Sound Design.

DRAM 320b, Actor-Director Lab This course focuses on the work of actors and directors in rehearsal. In this lab, first-year actors and directors develop the ability to work in partnership to activate the central struggle of a play and translate the spirit of the text into the physical world. Scenes are rehearsed outside of class and then brought in for further on-site work, viewing, and response. The course examines in a practical way the communication tools and rehearsal strategies that most effectively engage the creative energies of all collaborators as they work to articulate, through bold and specific choices, a directorial vision in four dimensions. The goals of the course are to develop working processes between actors and directors that generate a physically and imaginatively activated exploration of the text. The scenes are drawn from the major plays of Anton Chekhov—each director is responsible for a single play—and cast by the Acting department. Yuri Kordonsky, Evan Yionoulis

DRAM 330a/b, Directing Practicum As the core course of the Directing department, the Directing Practicum is designed to develop the student director’s artistic and practical ability to assume the complex of responsibilities required of the professional director. Over three years, the Directing Practicum explores issues in staging dramatic action and conflict, manipulating the elements of composition, and leading artistic collaborations on plays, operas, and other forms of live performance. Work in the Directing Practicum includes scene study, exercises in composition, open rehearsals, practical study of major directors, and the creation of devised work. Practical work is supplemented by critiques of student and Yale Rep productions, and by workshops and master classes with visiting artists. Embedded within the Directing Practicum is the Opera Practicum, a seven-session unit focusing on the director-singer collaboration in the staging of opera. Liz Diamond, Yuri Kordonsky, Patrick Diamond, and guests

DRAM 340b, Directing Lab on Greek Tragedy This is a practical course for directors and actors to explore how the contemporary theater artist approaches Greek tragedy. Issues of directorial interpretation, translation, design, and performance style of selected plays are addressed in a series of practical projects and scene work. Required of second-year directors and first-year actors. Open to students in Design, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, and Playwriting with permission of the instructor. Robert Woodruff

DRAM 350b, The Choreographic Imagination This course exposes students to choreographic practices in order to expand the possibilities for what can be imagined and thus composed in theater. We explore means of generating movement, activating space, manipulating timing and dynamic, effectively composing individual and group activity, and juxtaposing movement and language. Practical investigations in class develop physical instincts and movement literacy. No prior experience with dance required—merely openness to learning in motion. Emily Coates

DRAM 360a/b, Bridge to the Profession This course prepares third-year directors for entry into the professional arena. It is designed to help students identify and develop short- and long-term professional goals in relation to personal and artistic values and aspirations. Workshops offer students training in résumé and portfolio management, project development and fundraising, interviewing and networking. Visits with artistic directors, agents, and union and foundation leaders introduce students to professional resources. Master classes with established directors expose students to diverse models of career paths. The building of a project to take into the field comprises the major portion of the course work, with readings and short exercises assigned throughout the course. The course meets at designated intervals throughout the academic year. Lileana Blain-Cruz

DRAM 370b, Theatrical Adaptation Directors and their collaborators are making exciting contemporary theater from works not originally created for the stage. Novels, memoirs, letters, and other kinds of nontheatrical texts are rich sources for theater artists to adapt. This course, required of first-year directors and playwrights, teaches the art of theatrical adaptation through hands-on adaptation assignments. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Robert Woodruff

DRAM 380b, Introduction to Shakespeare for the Director This course begins the directing student’s yearlong exploration of Shakespeare’s work by introducing the key tools of Shakespearean text analysis (scansion, rhetoric, sonics, linguistic and lyrical “height,” imagery, wit, and wordplay) and by guiding students as they prepare two proposals for their Shakespeare Repertory Project (SRP) to be directed in the second year. Assigned reading, analysis exercises, seminar discussion, and simulated rehearsals introduce students to the ideological and lyrical scope of Shakespeare’s plays, and to techniques for guiding actors toward fully embodied, textually specific, and innovative performances. Stephen Brown-Fried

DRAM 405a, Stage Combat II See description under Acting.

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Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism (M.F.A. and D.F.A.)

Catherine Sheehy, Chair

Students in the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department receive intensive training to prepare for careers in three areas: to work in theaters as dramaturgs, artistic producers, literary managers, and in related positions; to work in theater publishing as critics and editors as well as in other capacities; to teach theater as practitioners, critics, and scholars.

At the core of the training are seminars in literature, theory, criticism, and history offered by the department’s faculty. These may be supplemented by courses taught elsewhere in the University if approved by students’ advisers. The aim is to impart a comprehensive knowledge of theater and dramatic literature—a knowledge necessary to the dramaturg, the writer and editor, and the teacher. Regarding the latter, every effort is made to give qualified students teaching experience within the University.

Of particular importance in the program of study are the criticism workshops, which are taught by various members of the faculty and which students must take in each of their six terms. These courses are designed to improve skills in thinking and writing, and are an essential component in the faculty’s evaluation of students’ progress from term to term.

Historically, Yale School of Drama has been a pioneer in this country in introducing and establishing the dramaturg as an essential presence in the creation of theater and as a key member of a theater’s staff. Under the supervision of the resident dramaturg of Yale Repertory Theatre, students are assigned to work on many varied productions, including those of new scripts by School of Drama playwrights, workshops and full productions by School of Drama directors, and professional presentations of classical and contemporary works at Yale Repertory Theatre. Among the areas in which students participate are text preparation and oversight; translation and adaptation; preproduction and rehearsal work on issues of design, direction, and performance; contextual research; program notes and study guide preparation; the conducting of audience discussions; participation in programs in educational outreach; and related work in conjunction with the marketing and media departments. Students also assist in Yale Repertory Theatre’s literary office with script evaluation and communication with writers and agents. Thus students are trained in topics in institutional dramaturgy, including the formulation of artistic policy and its communication and implementation, and as production dramaturgs, operating within the rehearsal process.

In recognition of the fact that in recent years dramaturgs have not only assumed the leadership of theaters under such titles as artistic director and producer but have also founded theaters themselves, the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department has entered into a collaboration with the Theater Management department to create an optional course of study drawing from the strengths of both disciplines. By fostering this interchange, Yale School of Drama seeks to remain at the forefront in helping new organizational models to be discovered and explored so that the art of theater will continue to flourish. More information on this partnership is available from the department.

In addition to their training in production dramaturgy and literary management, students have opportunities to develop as writers, editors, and translators through their work on the professional staff of Theater magazine, published three times annually by Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre and Duke University Press.

Theater has been publishing new writing by and about contemporary theater artists since 1968. The magazine’s perspectives are different from those of any other American publication: at once practical, creative, and scholarly. Issues include new plays, translations, and adaptations; lively critical debates about policy, politics, and productions; interviews with writers, directors, and other artists; reports from around the world; and book and performance reviews. Theater appeals to practitioners, academics, scholars, and everyone interested in contemporary theater practice and thought.

Requirements for the M.F.A. and D.F.A. degrees are discussed more fully in the following pages.

Quality Standards

The minimum quality requirement for the M.F.A. degree in Dramaturgy is a grade average of High Pass in all required courses and electives counting toward the degree. Students who receive an Incomplete in any course are automatically placed on academic warning until the work is completed. Any student who receives more than one incomplete will be placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation may not participate in any capacity in the Yale Cabaret.

Plan of Study: Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism

Required Sequence

  • Year
  • Course
  • Subject
  • I
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama*
  • DRAM 50a
  • The Collaborative Process
  • DRAM 51b
  • New Play Lab
  • DRAM 96a/b
  • Models of Dramaturgy
  • DRAM 106a
  • Editing and Publishing Workshop
  • DRAM 147a
  • Writing for the Ensemble
  • DRAM 166a/b
  • Criticism Workshop
  • DRAM 246b
  • Translation†
  • DRAM 306a/b
  • Theory: Drama and Performance‡
  • DRAM 346a/b
  • Literary Office Practicum
  • DRAM 396a/b
  • Dramaturgy Practicum
  • DRAM 476a/b
  • Hot Topics
  • At least four elective courses after consultation with adviser‡
  • At least one production dramaturgy assignment
  • II
  • DRAM 166a/b
  • Criticism Workshop
  • DRAM 246a
  • Adaptation
  • DRAM 246b
  • Translation†
  • DRAM 306a/b
  • Theory: Drama and Performance‡
  • DRAM 346a/b
  • Literary Office Practicum
  • DRAM 396a/b
  • Dramaturgy Practicum
  • DRAM 466b
  • Research Methodologies†
  • DRAM 476a/b
  • Hot Topics
  • At least four elective courses after consultation with adviser‡
  • At least one production dramaturgy assignment
  • III
  • DRAM 166a/b
  • Criticism Workshop
  • DRAM 306a/b
  • Theory: Drama and Performance‡
  • DRAM 336a/b
  • Comprehensive Examinations
  • DRAM 346a/b
  • Literary Office Practicum
  • DRAM 396a/b
  • Dramaturgy Practicum
  • DRAM 466b
  • Research Methodologies†
  • DRAM 476a/b
  • Hot Topics
  • At least four elective courses after consultation with adviser‡
  • At least one production dramaturgy assignment

*Students who do not pass the Survey of Theater and Drama (DRAM 6a/b) exemption exam must take this course in their second year. †Translation (DRAM 246b) and Research Methodologies (DRAM 466b) are often offered every other year. When this is the case, all dramaturgs who have not taken these courses previously are enrolled in the course. ‡Theory: Drama and Performance (DRAM 306a/b) is offered once every three years and is required of all Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students. In the academic years it is offered, students reduce the number of required electives by two.

Additional Requirements for the Degree

Reading List and Basic Knowledge of the Field

Upon acceptance to the department, students receive access to the departmental reading list of dramatic literature, criticism, theory, and history, which is intended to be used throughout their course of study as a basis for preparation for their comprehensive examinations.

Dramaturgical Assignments

Each student serves as a dramaturg on one or more productions per year either at Yale Repertory Theatre or in Yale School of Drama and assists the resident dramaturg and Yale Rep’s literary manager in script evaluation and related tasks. During the fall term of their first year, students are assigned to a project in The Collaborative Process (DRAM 50a). In the second term, students may be assigned to a play by a School of Drama playwriting student and may also work on other plays under the supervision of the resident dramaturg. In the second and third years, students may undertake a project at Yale Repertory Theatre, a third-year director’s thesis production (see Directing department, The Director’s Thesis, DRAM 140a/b), a Shakespeare Repertory Project (see Directing department, Second-Year Directing, DRAM 120a/b), or a play by a School of Drama playwriting student.

Students work on Yale School of Drama productions and Yale Repertory Theatre productions subject to availability and suitability of projects and departmental requirements.

Yale Cabaret

Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students are encouraged to work in all capacities at the Yale Cabaret, but this participation is understood to be in addition to, and in no way a substitution for, required departmental work. No student with an “Incomplete” grade in any course, and no second- or third-year student on probation, may participate in the Yale Cabaret in any capacity.

Yale Repertory Theatre Literary Office

Students are trained to read scripts for Yale Repertory Theatre, and each academic year, they are required to submit written evaluations of these scripts to the Literary Office. This work is done under the supervision of Yale Rep’s literary manager and the literary associate, who is a D.F.A. candidate in the department.

Theater Magazine Requirement

During their first year, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students may work as editorial assistants on Theater, the international journal of criticism and plays co-published by Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre and Duke University Press. Students in their first year must also take the Editing and Publishing Workshop (DRAM 106a), taught by the editor, which introduces them to major aspects of publishing such a journal. In the second and third years, qualified students may have additional opportunities to work on the magazine’s staff in a variety of editing, publishing, and marketing positions. Selected D.F.A. candidates may be appointed to senior staff positions as part of their doctoral fellowships. Along with essays, reviews, and translations by leading authors and professional critics, Theater has published outstanding work by Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students, who are encouraged to propose and submit writing and editorial projects for possible publication.

Language Requirement

The language requirement is satisfied during the first or second year by the translation of a play in the Translation seminar (DRAM 246b). Students who wish to pursue a special emphasis in translation may take this course once more with the approval of their advisers and the course instructor.

Library Orientation

Upon entering the department, students are required to take orientation seminars introducing them to the Yale University Library system and its various facilities and resources.

Comprehensive Examination Requirement

The comprehensives are a set of final written and oral qualifying examinations in which third-year students demonstrate their ability to bring critical depth and dramaturgical perspective to broad areas of the field. Through this process students take responsibility for mastery of subjects of their own choosing. Often these subjects have not been covered in course work.

Each student must write two independently researched exams. For each of these, the student writes essay-length answers to two questions in the chosen area of study. Topics for written examinations must be chosen in consultation with the student’s adviser and reflect breadth of study across time periods, genres, movements, etc. Areas of study should not overlap and may include major historical periods such as Greek, Jacobean, French seventeenth century, modern, contemporary; important dramatists or other figures such as Aristotle, Artaud, Euripides, Shakespeare; basic dramatic genres such as tragedy, comedy, melodrama; significant theoretically or critically defined movements such as romanticism or symbolism. Other broad areas also may be devised in consultation with faculty advisers.

Each student must also submit case studies in theater history in the spring terms of the first and second years. Based upon a selection of plays chosen by the faculty in Classical and Medieval Drama in the first year and Pre-Modern Drama in the second year, these case studies demonstrate the student’s mastery of theater history. Guidelines for these case studies are available from the department.

Each student must create one dramaturgical casebook each year based on a production assignment completed during the student’s first five terms at Yale School of Drama and approved by the faculty. Casebooks must include the full and cut scripts, an essay of textual analysis, a comprehensive production history, a critical bibliography, preproduction and rehearsal journals, and other pertinent materials generated by work on the production (program pages, poster design, etc.). Guidelines for casebooks are available from the department.

These written components—exams, case studies, and casebooks—are followed by an oral comprehensive exam. Oral examinations are designed not only as defenses of the written exams but may also be a further exploration of areas students have worked up but not answered in their other comprehensives. The casebooks will provide the basis for discussion during the oral exam of the student’s development as a dramaturg. These exams will be completed in early May.

Final grades for the comprehensive examinations are determined upon completion of the process. Following each written examination, students will be given a Pass/Fail evaluation by their faculty advisers. If the faculty concludes that the exam is not passing work, the student will be informed of the areas of deficiency. In such a case the oral examination becomes an opportunity for the student to redress the deficiencies. A student who fails one or more comprehensives and/or the oral is allowed to reenroll in the comprehensive process once more during the following year. A student failing the second time is not awarded a degree.

Second-year students must adhere to the following schedule
  • February 5, 2018: Deadline for submission of comprehensive examination topics. At this time, exam topics must be submitted in memorandum form via e-mail to all non-visiting members of the departmental faculty for approval.
  • March 11, 2018: Deadline for submission of a full comprehensive proposal, including a carefully researched and selected bibliography, for faculty approval. This bibliography should reflect an understanding of the most essential reading in the proposed subject, and reflect prior consultation with appropriate members of the department’s faculty.
  • April 8, 2018: Deadline for submission of final revised comprehensive proposal and bibliography.
Third-year students must adhere to the following schedule
  • September 8, 2017: Deadline for third-year students to meet with their advisers to review and update comprehensive study procedures and propose a fall examination schedule. Students must take at least one examination during the fall term, according to the schedule below.
  • October 15, 2017: First fall deadline for taking a comprehensive examination.
  • November 19, 2017: Final fall deadline for taking a comprehensive examination.
  • February 18, 2018: First spring deadline for taking a comprehensive examination.
  • April 1, 2018: Final deadline for having completed independently researched exams.
  • May 11, 2018: Final deadline for having completed the oral examination.

Requirements for the Doctor of Fine Arts in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism

Upon completion of the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department requirements for an M.F.A. degree and graduation from Yale School of Drama, a student is eligible to register to remain in residence for the proposal year to apply to the Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.) program. Acceptance into the D.F.A. program is not to be considered an entitlement and is based not only on the merits of the proposal, but also on the faculty’s assessment of the student’s performance and progress in the M.F.A. program. Candidates must submit their proposals by January 11, 2018, for review by the D.F.A. Committee. The proposal must conform to departmental guidelines and designate first and second readers. If either reader comes from outside the department, the proposal must include a letter from the reader acknowledging a willingness to advise the dissertation. It is understood that, except in extraordinary circumstances, if the student’s proposed dissertation can be read by a member of the full-time faculty, that faculty member will be considered the first reader. Upon review, the committee may approve, reject, or recommend changes to the proposal. If changes are recommended, the student has until April 1, 2018, to resubmit the proposal in order to obtain the committee’s approval. If the proposal has not been sufficiently revised at that time, it will be finally rejected.

A student holding an M.F.A. degree from Yale School of Drama has two years after graduation to apply to and be accepted into the D.F.A. program. Upon acceptance of the proposal by the D.F.A. Committee, the student is expected to complete the dissertation within three years, working in close consultation with the first reader. If necessary, and so long as the student is able to demonstrate progress, an extension may be granted upon a written request. After the D.F.A. Committee’s final approval of the dissertation, two bound copies must be delivered to the chair of the Department of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism six weeks prior to the date on which the student expects to graduate. The dissertation proposal guidelines contain complete details and stipulations for obtaining the degree and are available through the department.

The D.F.A. candidate may elect to register as a full-time student in residence to pursue work on the dissertation. The tuition fee for this status is $1,000 per year in residence and entitles candidates to use libraries and related facilities, to audit courses related to their research, to Yale Health Basic Coverage, and to eligibility for tickets to Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre productions. In the first five years of residency, D.F.A. candidates receive a fellowship to cover tuition and Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Coverage. Students enrolled in the D.F.A. program are eligible to apply for one of three departmental writing fellowships, a Yale Rep artistic associate fellowship, a Knowledge Database fellowship, a Theater magazine fellowship, or teaching assistantships.

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama An introduction to the varied histories of world drama and theater as an art form, as a profession, as a social event, and as an agent of cultural definition through the ages. DRAM 6a examines select theatrical cultures and performance practices to 1700. DRAM 6b examines select theatrical cultures and performance practices since 1700. Open to non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Paul Walsh

DRAM 50a, The Collaborative Process See description under Directing.

DRAM 51b, New Play Lab This course is taken by Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism students who are assigned to work with the first-year playwrights. See description under Playwriting.

DRAM 96a/b, Models of Dramaturgy Through lecture, discussion, and practicum this course examines current practice in dramaturgy and literary management. Guests include longstanding collaborators—dramaturgs, directors, playwrights, producers—who discuss the evolution of their processes. Literary managers of regional theaters address the issues of new play production. This course is also a forum for discussion of students’ production work at Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre. Rebecca Rugg, Catherine Sheehy

DRAM 106a, Editing and Publishing Workshop This course combines an overview of critical and scholarly publishing with a workshop focused on editing Theater magazine, involving the planning of future issues and the completion of editorial assignments. Required of all first-year Dramaturgy students. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Thomas Sellar

DRAM 126a, Tragicomedy Tragicomedy has been characterized as the quintessential form of modern drama, but its origins extend back to the beginnings of art. As a genre, it provides a necessary perspective from which to discuss many different kinds of work, including some of the most contemporary and innovative. Its study requires the investigation of other fundamental dramatic forms such as the romance, pastoral, satire, grotesque—and, of course, tragedy and comedy. Playwrights to be considered in this course come from many periods and include Euripides, Plautus, Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, Tirso, Calderón, Molière, Kleist, Musset, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Lorca, Lady Gregory, O’Casey, and Shaw. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Open to non-School of Drama students with prior permission of both the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism Chair Catherine Sheehy. James Leverett

[DRAM 136a, Beckett A detailed study of Beckett’s plays and prose, including Beckett the critic on poets, painters, music, Proust, and performance. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Open to non-School of Drama students with prior permission of both the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism Chair Catherine Sheehy. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 146a, Taking the Temporal Turn into Theater and Performance This course looks at some of the existing models for thinking about temporality in theater studies. It also introduces new approaches and sources with which to imagine time in performance and theater differently. The course borrows its title from the idea of “the temporal turn”; afoot in other disciplines for some time, joined now by emerging work in our field, it signals the contemporary and urgent desire to rethink time. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 147a, Writing for the Ensemble See description under Playwriting.

[DRAM 156b, Shakespeare’s Tragic Modes An intensive study of seven tragedies, their performance history and criticism, along with major critical theories. The plays are Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Troilus and Cressida, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 166a/b, Criticism Workshop A workshop in critical writing in which the student’s work is analyzed and discussed by the class and the instructor. The class is divided into sections. In their first year, students take a workshop in reading and writing about dramatic texts. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Katherine Profeta, Marc Robinson, Gordon Rogoff [Sp], Thomas Sellar, Catherine Sheehy

[DRAM 176a, Satire: From Aristophanes to Archer and Beyond This course examines the genre so efficiently defined by George S. Kaufman. “Satire,” he said, “is what closes on Saturday night.” Satirists are part artist, part social critic, unable and unwilling to stem the tide of their outrage. Beginning with Aristophanes, the course wades hip-deep through the works of playwrights, animators, pamphleteers, filmmakers, and comics. We assess satire’s advantages and limitations as a tool for political speech. We laugh and ask why. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 186a, German Drama This course covers what has been called the “German Moment” in world theater, that is, the period approximately encompassed by the life of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832). It includes work by Lessing, Lenz, Goethe, Schiller, Tieck, Kleist, Grillparzer, Hebbel, and Büchner, and explores such concepts as classicism (including Weimar classicism), romanticism, and the Sturm und Drang. Theater production practice, acting, historical and philosophical context, and the other arts are also part of the discussion. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 206a/b, Tutorial Study Second- or third-year dramaturgs may elect to undertake tutorial independent study by submitting, in consultation with their proposed tutor, a request stipulating course title, course description, reading list or syllabus, schedule of meetings with the tutor, and method of grading the tutorial. Approval must be granted by the student’s adviser and by the department. Forms for application are available from the registrar of the School of Drama. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Faculty

[DRAM 216a, Hamlet: An Intensive Seminar The play with a thousand faces, “the strangest play ever written” (Jan Kott), the play that “is actually about change…about shifting values…shifting times…shifting sexuality” (Peter Hall). This course proposes to account for those shifts by reading the play line-by-line (time permitting), tracking actions that suit words and words that suit actions, trying to uncover those faces, coming to terms with what happens in Hamlet, and doing so with help from a wide range of critical materials, old and new. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 216b, Curating Performance In recent years the role of the performance curator has expanded along with context-reliant forms such as participatory, site-based, and urbanist theater. This course probes the curator’s functions when it comes to live performance, examining critical discourses around curation from the visual arts and how they might apply to dramaturgs and creative programmers of theater, dance, and performance. Special emphasis is placed on case studies, including sessions with visiting curators discussing their practices. Students devise critical and creative portfolios proposing an original curatorial platform. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the both the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism Chair Catherine Sheehy. Thomas Sellar

[DRAM 226a, Contemporary Global Performance How might contemporary theater and performance makers be evolving their work in relation to the twenty-first century’s tectonic shifts in politics, aesthetics, and technology? This course examines the work of selected pioneering artists active around the world today, as well as examples of major transnational tendencies in documentary performance, live art, contemporary dance, participatory dramaturgies, and social practice. The seminar requires extensive viewing of videos in addition to the reading list. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 246a, Adaptation How do myths/legends, novels, short stories, paintings, true stories, graphic novels, etc., work? And why do some prove more stage-worthy than others? To musicalize or not to musicalize? This seminar explores the process of adapting source material into a theatrical text/experience, augmented by practical assignments and culminating in an adaptation based on material of each student’s choosing. Required of second-year dramaturgs. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism Chair Catherine Sheehy. Jill Rachel Morris

[DRAM 246b, Translation This seminar explores the process of translation through practical assignments and culminates in the translation of a full-length play into English. Required of first- and second-year dramaturgs, and may be repeated as an elective in the third year with the permission of the student’s adviser and the course instructor. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism Chair Catherine Sheehy. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 256a, What’s So Funny: Comic Theory and Practice The formal and moral dimensions of comedy have been the subject of constant contemplation and comment from its written beginnings in the West to the present day. A key to the successful production of a comedy or the authoritative criticism of such a production is understanding the rules of the form. This course examines the workings of various comic forms through readings in theory and dramatic literature and screenings of films. The syllabus includes works by Aristophanes, Aristotle, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Bergson, Chaplin, Dryden, Feydeau, Frye, Goldsmith, Juvenal, Lope de Vega, Meredith, Molière, and Shakespeare. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 256b, The Political Shakespeare: The Chronicle Plays An intensive study of Shakespeare’s English history plays, centering on medieval political arrangements that can still be seen through the prism of our own political systems. The stories range from King John’s to Henry VIII’s by way of the Wars of the Roses, the eras of catastrophic empire building. Northrop Frye claims that Shakespeare examines “the question of identity…connected with social function and behavior; in other words, with the dramatic self, not with some hidden inner essence.” Great themes of war, power, the law, sexuality, lies, and betrayal are tracked by Shakespeare with all his characteristic disregard for factual verities, yet with his equally characteristic gift for the right words in the most familiar circumstances. Among the secondary sources we read together are books and essays by Frye, Tillyard, Auden, Kermode, Eagleton, Greenblatt, Garber, Bates, and Kott. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Gordon Rogoff

DRAM 276b, Greek Drama This course focuses primarily on Greek tragedy, considering the most important plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as two comedies by Aristophanes. In addition to studying the plays, we read some modern critical essays. The emphasis is on locating the dramas in terms of their cultural context including mythic and epic background, Athenian history, and dramatic conventions. The course work consists of participation in discussion, several short (two-page) papers, and one slightly longer paper (five to ten pages) and a class presentation at the end of the term. Faculty

[DRAM 286a, The Second Avant-Garde, 1918–1939 This course is a sequel to DRAM 286b but one is not required to take the other. Writers whose works are explored include Brecht, Toller, Bulgakov, Horvath, Pirandello, Artaud, Ghelderode, and Witkiewicz. As with the previous course, contemporary direction, design, and theory are examined along with the larger background of the period. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 286b, The First Avant-Garde, 1880–1918 European theatrical modernism in such movements as naturalism, symbolism, expressionism, cubism, futurism, and dada. Among the writers whose texts are read are Hauptmann, Ibsen (the symbolist), Chekhov (the symbolist), Strindberg (the naturalist, symbolist, and expressionist), Wilde, Yeats, Maeterlinck, Jarry, Wedekind, Kaiser, Toller, Blok, Mayakovsky, and Kraus. Innovations in direction, design, and theory are also investigated, as well as the general social, political, and philosophical background of the period. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 296b, The Third Avant-Garde, 1940–1969 This course is the third in the avant-garde sequence, but DRAM 286a and 286b are not prerequisites. In this course, there are three geographic areas of focus: Mediterranean (Sartre, Camus, Ionesco, Genet, Arrabal, et al.); Germanic (Dürrenmatt, Frisch, Handke, Weiss, Müller, et al.); Eastern European (Mrozek, Gombrowicz, Rozewicz, Havel, et al.). Attention is paid to the political, social, and philosophical background of the period, developments in the other arts, and the work of significant theater directors. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 306a/b, Theory: Drama and Performance In the fall term: A global, comparative survey of dramatic theory from the Greeks through romanticism, with a focus on the development and application of different models of dramatic structure. We cover both Western and non-Western dramatic traditions, including the Greeks, Roman theater and drama, medieval theater, Elizabethan drama, Italian commedia dell’arte, the Spanish Golden Age, French neoclassicism, the Restoration, and romanticism; as well as Sanskrit theater; Chinese drama (including the Peking Opera); and the classical theater of Japan, including Kabuki, Noh, and Bunraku. In the spring term: A global, comparative survey of twentieth-century dramatic theory, including realism, avant-garde movements, epic theater, the theater of the absurd, and the postdramatic theater. The course focuses on the tension between form and content, in the context of modernist and postmodernist aesthetics, and the turn toward performance-based practices and theory (e.g., Kantor, Grotowski, Wilson), with particular attention to the relationship between performance theory (e.g., Schechner, Schneider, Fuchs, Lehman) and critical theory (e.g., Foucault, Derrida, Butler). Prerequisite (for dramaturgs only) for DRAM 306b: DRAM 306a. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 326a, British Postwar Drama An intensive seminar that explores the work of British playwrights, directors, and actors from the end of World War II to the present: from Osborne, Pinter, and Arden to Hare, Sarah Kane, and Ravenhill; from Olivier, Gielgud, and Ashcroft to Dench, Branagh, and Rylance; from Brook, Hall, and Littlewood to Nunn, Hytner, and Warner. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 336a/b, Comprehensive Examinations Students submit comprehensive proposals to their advisers and other designated faculty members who help them to focus their areas of concentration and prepare bibliographies. In this way, the faculty oversees the course of study for the comprehensives. This tutorial is an essential part of the procedure leading to an M.F.A. degree. Catherine Sheehy and faculty

DRAM 346a/b, Literary Office Practicum Among the most important responsibilities of an institutional dramaturg is the evaluation of new writing. The dramaturg’s ability to analyze and assess the potential of unproduced work is crucial to a theater’s vitality. In the Literary Office Practicum students in all three years read work submitted for Yale Repertory Theatre and write reader’s reports articulating the scripts’ strengths and weaknesses. These reader’s reports provide the basis for the Literary Office’s communication with playwrights. This course, led by the resident dramaturg, is Pass/Fail. Catherine Sheehy

[DRAM 356a, Melodrama “Melodrama is not a special and marginal kind of drama, let alone an eccentric or decadent one; it is drama in its elemental form; it is the quintessence of drama.” This statement by Eric Bentley provides the cornerstone for this course. The approach is threefold: melodrama as a ubiquitous dramatic impulse from the earliest times (Euripides, medieval theater, Shakespeare and his contemporaries); melodrama as an expression of society (the invention of the genre “melodrama” in the eighteenth century, its flowering in the nineteenth, and its role in the birth of cinema in the twentieth); melodrama as a form explored and exploited by modern theater innovators. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Open to non-School of Drama students with prior permission of both the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism Chair Catherine Sheehy. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 366b, Modern American Drama A seminar on American drama from World War I to 1960. Among the playwrights to be considered are O’Neill, Stein, Cummings, Odets, Wilder, Hurston, Williams, Bowles, and Miller. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 376b, Ibsen, Strindberg, and the Invention of Modern Drama A close reading of selected plays by Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg within the context of theatrical and cultural practices in the West in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Paul Walsh

[DRAM 386b/AMST 681b/ENGL 931b, American Drama to 1914 Topics include the European inheritance, theater and nation building, melodrama and the rise of realism, popular and nonliterary forms. Readings in Tyler, Dunlap, Aiken, Boucicault, Daly, Herne, Belasco, and others. Open to non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 396a/b, Dramaturgy Practicum This course consists of discussion among the departmental faculty and students about just-completed and current projects. The purpose is an exchange of practical and philosophical thoughts and information about issues, problems, and procedures encountered in the field. It meets monthly at a time and place designated before each session. The course is offered Pass/Fail and is required of all Dramaturgy students. Catherine Sheehy

[DRAM 406a/FILM 804a/MUSI 837a, Opera, Media, Technology To what extent does Wagner prefigure, as Friedrich Kittler has argued, modern “media technologies”? And what are the implications of opera’s increasing mediatization? In search of answers, this seminar explores opera from the perspectives of media archaeology and other recent approaches in opera, media, and science and technology studies. Topics include the roles of architecture and stage technologies from Renaissance spectacle to twenty-first-century “mobile opera”; Wagner’s theory of Gesamtkunstwerk; immersion, illusion, and the cinematic; the orchestra as sound technology; and nineteenth-century attempts at “recording” productions. From there we turn to recent hybridizations in the form of onstage video and HD broadcasts, as well as alternative conceptions of opera. Does technology offer a saving grace for opera in the digital age? Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 436b, Classicism An examination of “Classicism” and “the Classical” as dramaturgical model and ideological construct in Western theater and drama from the Renaissance through the eighteenth century. Readings include plays and theoretical texts from Italy, France, England, and Germany, as well as modern scholarly assessments of Classicism and classical dramaturgy. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 446a, Medieval and Tudor Performance A study of liturgical, religious, and secular drama and performance in Europe and Britain from the tenth to the sixteenth century, paying particular attention to dramaturgical and performance conventions as well as social functions. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 456a/MUSI 847a/GMAN 680a, Wagner in and on Production An exploration of Wagner’s ideas of the Gesamtkunstwerk and their role in the theory and history of opera since the mid-nineteenth century. The seminar contextualizes Wagner’s theories of staging and his attempts at creating a lasting, “correct” production within contemporary theatrical practices and discusses consequences for both historical and modern stagings, with a special focus on Tannhäuser, the Ring cycle, and (possibly) Parsifal. We broach such methodological issues as theories and analyses of performance, multimedia, and the operatic work; approaches to and reconstructions of historical stagings; and the increasing mediatization of opera. Ultimately, the seminar seeks to understand opera more broadly in its liminal state between fixity and ephemerality. Open to nondepartmental students. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 466b, Research Methodologies This course surveys historical and critical methods of scholarly research. Students learn to utilize relevant library resources, physical archives, and online databases while developing analytical skills for composing annotated bibliographies, research papers, conference proposals, and presentations. The course draws from the students’ own scholarly interests and ongoing projects as the basis for the research. Required of all second- and third-year students. Katherine Profeta

DRAM 476a/b, Hot Topics A lecture series inaugurated by the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department to make students aware of current discussions in theater and performance studies that necessarily lie outside the department’s core curriculum. Attendance at the series is required of all M.F.A. dramaturgs. The series is open to D.F.A. and nondepartmental students, and to non-School of Drama students. Each lecture is accompanied by a short bibliography chosen by the lecturer and circulated in advance of the meeting through Canvas. Catherine Sheehy, Katherine Profeta

[DRAM 486b/ENGL 963b, Contemporary American and British Theater Drama and Performance since 2000 American playwrights include Annie Baker, Will Eno, David Greenspan, Young Jean Lee, Richard Maxwell, Tarell McCraney, Wallace Shawn, and Naomi Wallace. British playwrights include Caryl Churchill, Martin Crimp, David Greig, David Harrower, Zinnie Harris, Nick Payne, Simon Stephens, and Roy Williams. Some consideration of experimental theater companies as well. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 496b/AMST 681b/ENGL 953b, The American Avant-Garde Topics include the Living Theater, Happenings, Cunningham/Cage, Open Theater, Judson Dance Theater, Grand Union, Bread and Puppet Theater, Performance Group, Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Meredith Monk, Robert Wilson, Mabou Mines, and the Wooster Group. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Open to non-School of Drama students with prior permission of both the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism Chair Catherine Sheehy. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 506a, Mass Performance This course looks at exemplary instances of mass performance—moments in which a society orchestrates thousands of people to do the same thing at the same time. Performances examined range in time and place, including the festivals of the French Revolution, mass gymnastics, religious revivals, Russian Revolution performances, people’s theaters, and the contemporary phenomenon of flash mobs. The course is framed by conceptual categories including psychological and religious impulses, ideals of community formation, political revolutions, and the invention of tradition. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 516b, Re-designing Women The seminar examines ancient and classical dramatic representations of female characters and their afterlives in modern and contemporary performance. Figures and texts to be studied may include Medea and Clytemnestra; the medieval abbess Hroswitha of Gandersheim; ancient iconic female figures including Penelope, the Sirens, and Eve; the women of the Italian Renaissance commedia dell’arte and their afterlives in Molière; Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew; and contemporary plays by Sarah Kane, Caryl Churchill, and Sarah Ruhl. The seminar uses female dramatic figures as a rubric for thinking about dramaturgy, directing, translation, and adaptation. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 526b/AMST 772b/THST 438b, Performance and/in the Archive This seminar considers how performance addresses history, and how history shapes performance. Topics include the archive and the repertoire; collective memory and trauma; documentary; fictive historiography; and queer and feminist approaches to time and temporality. Consideration is also given to the role of digital technologies in transforming how we access, interpret, and remix the past. Attention is paid to the genres of history writing and to the ethics and aesthetics of reconstructing, reinterpreting, and reenacting the past. Enrollment limited; permission of both the instructor and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism Chair Catherine Sheehy required. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 536a, Transmedia Dramaturgy The digital, new-media revolution is changing our culture and the theater-making process, accelerating the transformation toward a nonlinear, nonnarrative, immersive theatrical experience that is increasingly reflective of a fragmented global cultural landscape and its audiences. This workshop-style course focuses on the transmedia experience as symptomatic of the postmodern “disintegration of meaning” of words and concepts. Students explore new ways of analyzing and conceptualizing dramatic structures that move across different media and genres. They also conceptualize their own dramatic models based on found media, classic texts, and their own writings. Not offered in 2017–2018]

[DRAM 546b, Technology, Disability, and Humanism: Toward Posthuman Theater Hans-Thies Lehmann notes that “the very distinction between human beings and animals or machines, an essential precondition of humanist ethics and aesthetics, is radically questioned by the logic of technical progress itself.” Voluntary cyborglike enhancements of the human body redefine previous categories of what is and isn’t a “human” body. We investigate how theater has both challenged and asserted the very need for such a category (within both secular and sacred discourses), starting with Greek and Roman mythology’s visual taxonomy of human and unhuman shapes, and moving to the modern narratives of the monomyth, with the hero defining himself vis-à-vis the “others” (animals, objects, gods, and monsters), as well as more recent transhuman and posthuman aesthetics. The course also investigates the changing idea of dignity as a dramatic and narrative concept (as in Arthur Miller’s definition of tragedy, for example) in the context of posthuman theater. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 556a, Latinx Theater A seminar on Latinx theater and drama in the United States from the 1960s to the present. Foundational companies and playwrights to be considered include Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino, Miguel Piñero, Dolores Prida, María Irene Fornés, Migdalia Cruz, Eduardo Machado, Cherríe Moraga, Josefina López, Culture Clash, Nilo Cruz, José Rivera, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and others. Includes close readings of plays, pertinent theory and criticism, and video viewings of productions and/or films. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Chantal Rodriguez

DRAM 566a, Dance and Movement Performance, 1900–Present An exploration of the history and theory of dance and movement performances since 1900, with an emphasis on American concert-dance contexts. This seminar combines extensive video viewing, whenever possible, with primary source readings from choreographers and critics, and recent dance studies scholarship. Artists/topics covered include Isadora Duncan, Mary Wigman, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Katherine Dunham, Pearl Primus, José Limón, tap dance, George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey, Tatsumi Hijikata/Butoh, Cage/Cunningham, Judson Dance Theater, Contact Improvisation, Pina Bausch/Tanztheater Wuppertal, William Forsythe, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Bill T. Jones, Ralph Lemon, Urban Bush Women, Xavier Le Roy, Jérôme Bel, Sarah Michelson. A briefer discussion of American social dance forms and alternative contexts for dance is included. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Katherine Profeta

DRAM 576b/ENGL 933b, Realism A study of European and American dramatic realism, from its beginnings in the 1870s through its radical revision in the twenty-first century. Works by Ibsen, Zola, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Hauptmann, Belasco, and Shaw, as well as by María Irene Fornés, Franz Xaver Kroetz, Annie Baker, Richard Maxwell, David Levine, and other contemporary figures. Readings in pertinent theory and criticism; discussion of nineteenth- and twentieth-century staging practices; and, when possible, video viewings of important recent productions. Marc Robinson

DRAM 586b: How French Is It? Pierre Pathelin to Cyrano de Bergerac A gallop through the pre-twentieth-century French canon, covering the classical troika Corneille, Racine, and Molière, as well as forays into Marivaux, melodrama, théâtre de la foire, the Romantics, la pièce bien faite, and Naturalism. Three plays a week and a critical document. James Magruder

DRAM 596b, History and Theory of Performer Training A look at the manifold ways performers have been trained and rehearsed over the past two centuries, primarily within the Euro-American tradition. Behind every hour of live public performance are hidden hours and hours spent in schools and rehearsal rooms, establishing well-worn patterns of use for body/mind, and determining highly variable standards for what will be considered good, bad, and exceptional in performance. In this seminar we historicize different modes of performer training, seeking to understand where they come from and what assumptions they are built on. We read contemporary theorizations of performer training (or, where they don’t exist, devise them ourselves). The immediate practical result is a better understanding of the working methods of the many performers we collaborate with; the larger results include a philosophical appreciation of what exactly it means to perform. Topics include Delsarte, nineteenth-century ballet, Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Duncan, the Group Theater, Adler, Strasberg, Graham, Spolin, the Open Theater, Grotowski, Contact Improvisation, the Second City, Lecoq, Hay, Berry, Joint Stock, Forced Entertainment. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Katherine Profeta

Additional Courses

The following courses have been offered in the past and are representative of courses that may be offered in subsequent years in response to student interest. Course descriptions are available from the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism department.

  • DRAM 116a, British Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Comedy
  • DRAM 126a, Shakespeare and His Comic Brethren
  • DRAM 136b, Shakespeare’s Dramaturgy
  • DRAM 146b, Theaters of the Black Atlantic
  • DRAM 156a, American Classic Comedy between the Wars
  • DRAM 176b, Performance Criticism
  • DRAM 186b, Theater about Theater: The Theatricalist Play from Shakespeare to Postmodernism
  • DRAM 196a, American Musical Theater and National Culture
  • DRAM 196b, Bertolt Brecht and Augusto Boal
  • DRAM 226a, Shakespearean Drama
  • DRAM 236a, Opera as Drama
  • DRAM 236b, Corneille, Racine, and Molière: Glory, Honor, and Duty
  • DRAM 316a, Contemporary African-American Playwrights
  • DRAM 366a, Contemporary American Drama
  • DRAM 426a, Late Works, Late Styles

Students may elect to take appropriate graduate courses in other schools and departments at Yale, subject to permission of the instructor, scheduling limitations, and the approval of the faculty adviser.

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Playwriting (M.F.A. and Certificate)

Tarell Alvin McCraney, Chair

Anne Erbe, Associate Chair

Yale School of Drama’s Playwriting department is one of the oldest in the country. Its deep history and legacy can only be strengthened by continuing to stay at the forefront in readying early career playwrights for leadership in our field. The program seeks to engage artists who possess singular voices and who can, with their command of language, set forth imaginative circumstances that entice audiences and challenge current forms. We are interested in students who are eager to learn and grow within a community of fellow artists, with many of whom they will form lifelong bonds.

While the program seeks to engage in many methodologies and traditions of creation, it challenges playwrights to engage in three questions: Why are you writing? With whom are you making art? And to whom are you writing?

Why are you writing? Taking up the mantle of scribe, playwrights must accept the heavy, often lonely task of bringing their intimate voice to the page. Now called to practice, students will be asked to dig deeper into their imaginative responses and forge specific theatrical visions that urge staging. The aim of the program, at this level, is to engage with the student and offer methods and means to keep exploration deep, personal, and sustainable. The program must provide tools for playwrights to maintain the well-being of their intimate artistic voice while challenging them to move away from outside stimulus as their only motivation and pushing them to adopt self-sustaining techniques to craft imaginative forms around intimate content.

With whom are you making work? New work is at the center of the School of Drama, where the play becomes the road map with which great collaboration and examination of the human spirit can begin. Students in the playwriting program are asked to keep a sharp and generous eye on what collaborators are bringing to bear. During this process playwrights learn the time-honored practice of collaboration and begin to find new ways of collective creation that evolve forms and strategies of theater making.

To whom are you writing? In the third year, the program culminates in the Carlotta Festival. On this platform the playwright has an opportunity to develop work as close to professional practice as possible. At this stage the playwright is asked important questions about connection to audience and community. What portion of humanity are you illuminating or examining, and whom are you inviting to witness, examine, with you? The Yale School of Drama and by default the playwriting program seek to embrace the widest and most intoxicating forms of live storytelling; how then do we embrace the widest and most invigorating audience? Asking playwrights to explore what is standard practice in the industry, we then challenge them to construct strategies for expanding and subverting those expectations, in hopes of creating a path toward a unique and ambitious career.

Yale Cabaret

The Playwriting department believes that the Yale Cabaret is an essential part of life and practice at Yale School of Drama and encourages all its students to participate in the Cabaret—not only as writers, but also as theater artists wearing a variety of hats. Playwrights must also balance that participation with the demands of their writing schedules and assigned rehearsals.

Plan of Study: Playwriting

Throughout the year, all playwrights are required to take part in the Hansberry Welcome (DRAM 7a), Spring Workshop: Readings with Actors (DRAM 47b), and The Playwrights’ Studio (DRAM 177a/b). The required sequence of courses is detailed below. Each term, a student is required to take four courses for credit, at least one of which must be a writing course and/or master class. More than one writing workshop/course may be taken. In addition, throughout the year, the playwriting department hosts master classes and workshops with visiting artists.

Students are encouraged to take electives as audits beyond their required credit courses. Electives may be selected from other departments of Yale School of Drama or from Yale College with the approval of the chair. The department recommends playwriting students enroll in at least one course in Design and an additional course in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism during their three years at YSD. Among the electives for consideration are DRAM 102a/b, Scene Design; DRAM 141b; Law and the Arts; and DRAM 191b, Managing the Production Process. All plans of study must be approved by the chair.

Production

First-year playwrights participate in The Collaborative Process (DRAM 50a) and also write a one-act play for the New Play Lab (DRAM 51b) in the spring. In the spring and summer of the first year, playwrights write a full-length play that is then redrafted, rehearsed, and staged in the first term of their second year (Langston Hughes Festival). By the third year, playwrights will have written a roster of full-length plays, and one of those plays is selected to be fully designed and produced in repertory in their final term (Carlotta Festival). All plays are subject to the approval of the chair prior to rehearsal.

Required Sequence

  • Year
  • Course
  • Subject
  • I
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama
  • DRAM 7a
  • Hansberry Welcome
  • DRAM 17a
  • First-Year Master Class
  • DRAM 47b
  • Spring Workshop: Readings with Actors
  • DRAM 50a
  • The Collaborative Process
  • DRAM 51b
  • New Play Lab
  • DRAM 97a
  • Industry Practice I
  • DRAM 117a
  • Fall Tutorial I
  • DRAM 147a
  • Writing for the Ensemble
  • DRAM 177a/b
  • The Playwrights’ Studio
  • DRAM 350b
  • The Choreographic Imagination
  • DRAM 370b
  • Theatrical Adaptation
  • II
  • DRAM 7a
  • Hansberry Welcome
  • DRAM 27a/b
  • Second-Year Master Class
  • DRAM 37a
  • The Production Process for Playwrights
  • DRAM 47b
  • Spring Workshop: Readings with Actors
  • DRAM 67b
  • Libretto Writing for Musical Theater
  • DRAM 77a
  • Songwriting for Musical Theater
  • DRAM 87b
  • Television and Screenwriting
  • DRAM 177a/b
  • The Playwrights’ Studio
  • DRAM 207a
  • Draft to Draft
  • DRAM 217a
  • Fall Tutorial II
  • III
  • DRAM 7a
  • Hansberry Welcome
  • DRAM 37a/b
  • The Production Process for Playwrights
  • DRAM 47b
  • Spring Workshop: Readings with Actors
  • DRAM 87b
  • Television and Screenwriting
  • DRAM 97b
  • Industry Practice II
  • DRAM 177a/b
  • The Playwrights’ Studio
  • DRAM 207a/b
  • Draft to Draft
  • DRAM 317a
  • Fall Tutorial III
  • DRAM 327b
  • Spring Tutorial

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama Required of first-year students. See description under Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

DRAM 7a, Hansberry Welcome A celebratory welcome of the Playwriting department back to campus and the YSD hearth. Hansberry’s seminal work, A Raisin in the Sun, was based on the spirit of place and home; this three-day intensive, which includes seminar lunches and readings, is required of all playwrights. Some activities are open to students in other departments and affinity groups; please check with the associate chair for details. Anne Erbe

DRAM 17a, First-Year Master Class A fall-term seminar required of first-year playwrights. Students read a variety of plays and participate in discussion, complete regular writing prompts, and share works in progress. Jackie Sibblies-Drury

DRAM 27a, Second-Year Master Class A fall-term seminar required of second-year playwrights; taught in New Haven working on drafts written for the Langston Hughes Festival. Young Jean Lee

DRAM 27b, Second-Year Master Class A spring-term seminar required of second-year playwrights; taught in New York City. The class includes visits to productions, rehearsals, and meetings with theater professionals, as well as discussion of assigned weekly writing. Amy Herzog

DRAM 37a/b, The Production Process for Playwrights A practical and conceptual examination of new plays in production, this course looks at how an understanding of the production process can inform the playwright’s work and investigates how plays in production shape publics and public culture. Includes seminars on building relationships with collaborators, rehearsal room dynamics, production timelines, and editing throughout the process. Anne Erbe

DRAM 47b, Spring Workshop: Readings with Actors A required seminar for all playwrights. Readings, discussion, and development of works in progress. Working with a casting director, writers select actors for their plays. Each writer leads the room in an exploration of an early draft of a full-length play. Sarah Ruhl, Tarell Alvin McCraney

DRAM 50a, The Collaborative Process Required of first-year students. See description under Directing.

DRAM 51b, New Play Lab First-year actors, directors, dramaturgs, and playwrights form three small companies and workshop a new play by a first-year playwright. Each one-act play is given three weeks of rehearsal. Through this process, playwrights, dramaturgs, directors, and actors develop the art of delving into the heart of a new play so that it can be truthfully realized in performance. Tarell Alvin McCraney, Yuri Kordonsky

[DRAM 66a/THST 414a, Lyric Writing for Musical Theater A seminar in lyric writing for the stage. Required of second-year playwrights. Open to nondepartmental students and undergraduates. Limited enrollment. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 67b/THST 412b, Libretto Writing for Musical Theater This course combines practical instruction in book writing for musical theater with a close reading of historical and contemporary examples from the genre. Required of second-year playwrights. Open to nondepartmental students and undergraduates with prior permission of the instructor. Limited enrollment. Marsha Norman

DRAM 77a/MUSI 214a, Songwriting for Musical Theater A seminar in lyric writing for the stage. Introduction to elements of music and lyric writing for theater songs. Focus on the development of compositional proficiency in the musical theater idiom and on the refinement of each student’s compositional voice as composer and/or lyricist. Required of second-year playwrights. Open to nondepartmental students and undergraduates with prior permission of the instructor. Limited enrollment. Joshua Rosenblum

DRAM 87b, Television and Screenwriting An intensive practicum of screenwriting for second- and third-year playwrights. Faculty

DRAM 97a, Industry Practice I A module course for first-year students. Topics include protocols for submissions to professional theaters, prizes, and grants; survey of new play dramaturgy models and American new play development programs; and ongoing career strategies. Jennifer Kiger

DRAM 97b, Industry Practice II A module course for third-year students about to make their way into the industry. This seminar covers refresher topics, including protocols for submitting scripts to professional theaters and agents, writing funding proposals, and ongoing career strategies. Jennifer Kiger

DRAM 117a, Fall Tutorial I A weekly 1.5-hour session to discuss or explore a specific topic in writing. Sessions are usually with one cohort (three students) or one-on-one. Tarell Alvin McCraney

DRAM 147a, Writing for the Ensemble A seminar for first-year playwrights, directors, and dramaturgs. It explores the history and practice of writing plays for ensemble-based theater companies. Kirk Lynn

DRAM 177a/b, The Playwrights’ Studio Required of all Playwriting students. A weekly salon with the Playwriting Chair Tarell Alvin McCraney.

DRAM 207a/b, Draft to Draft Discussion of all aspects of writing a play about to be put before an audience—structure, form, character, narrative, relevance to that audience, value to that community—through to punctuation, layout, and style of production. Required meetings are arranged with individual writers at the start of the term, time and place to be assigned. Tarell Alvin McCraney, Anne Erbe

DRAM 217a, Fall Tutorial II A weekly 1.5-hour session to discuss or explore a specific topic in writing. Sessions are usually with one cohort (three students) or one-on-one. Tarell Alvin McCraney

DRAM 317a, Fall Tutorial III A weekly 1–3-hour session scheduled with the instructor in New York to discuss and explore Carlotta Festival plays. Sarah Ruhl

DRAM 327b, Spring Tutorial A weekly 1–3-hour session scheduled with the instructor in New Haven to discuss and explore Carlotta Festival plays. Amy Herzog

DRAM 350b, The Choreographic Imagination This course exposes students to choreographic practices in order to expand the possibilities for what can be imagined and thus composed in theater. We explore means of generating movement, activating space, manipulating timing and dynamic, effectively composing individual and group activity, and juxtaposing movement and language. Practical investigations in class develop physical instincts and movement literacy. No prior experience with dance required—merely openness to learning in motion. Emily Coates

DRAM 370b, Theatrical Adaptation See description under Directing.

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Stage Management (M.F.A. and Certificate)

Mary Hunter, Chair

The Stage Management department is designed to prepare the qualified student for professional stage management employment, with the intended goal of assisting the student to recognize and fulfill his or her role as a passionate artistic collaborator and as an effective organizational manager throughout the entire production process. The role of the production stage manager requires a deep commitment to the artistic process and a fundamental desire to support the work through the creation of an environment in which artistic risks can be taken.

This rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum consists of a balanced combination of required courses that provide a wide range of knowledge and training essential for today’s professional. In addition to the classroom requirements, students are assigned to stage management positions for Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre productions that reflect progressively increased responsibilities throughout the plan of study. While the program of study is structured to prepare the student for work in the commercial and regional theater, it also provides a strong basis for learning a variety of artistic skills and managerial tools essential for employment opportunities in many different entertainment areas such as touring, dance, opera, event management, and industrials. Workshops, seminars, and lectures by noted professionals provide an essential component in the course of study.

Yale Repertory Theatre serves as an advanced training center for the department. During the first year, the student may have the opportunity to work at Yale Rep in a production capacity. As part of the second year of study, the student is assigned as an assistant stage manager on one production. And in the final year, providing the standards and qualifications set forth by the department are met, the student is assigned as the stage manager for a Yale Rep production. This assignment fulfills one of three requirements related to the student’s thesis and provides an opportunity to attain membership in the Actors’ Equity Association. Throughout this process, the student is under the professional supervision of the production stage manager for Yale Repertory Theatre.

Extracurricular participation in the Yale Cabaret is also encouraged, subject to prior approval of the department chair. Students assigned as the stage manager or assistant stage manager for Yale Repertory Theatre, Yale School of Drama series, or second-year acting project productions may not participate in the Cabaret throughout the assigned show’s preparation, rehearsal, and performance period.

Plan of Study: Stage Management

Required Sequence

  • Year
  • Course
  • Subject
  • I
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama
  • DRAM 21a
  • Founding Visions
  • DRAM 40a/b
  • Principles of Stage Management
  • DRAM 80a
  • Stage Combat for Stage Managers
  • DRAM 100a/b
  • Stage Management Issues Seminar
  • DRAM 102a
  • Scene Design
  • DRAM 141b
  • Law and the Arts
  • DRAM 149a
  • Production Planning
  • DRAM 159a
  • Theater Safety
  • DRAM 191b
  • Managing the Production Process
  • DRAM 700a/b
  • Stage Management Forum: The Artistic Process
  • Electives not suggested first year
  • II
  • DRAM 60a
  • Rehearsal Rules and Process for the Equity Stage Manager
  • DRAM 60b
  • Professional Stage Management in Performance
  • DRAM 80a
  • Stage Combat for Stage Managers
  • DRAM 114b
  • Lighting Design for Stage Managers
  • DRAM 158a
  • Introduction to Sound Design
  • DRAM 189a
  • Costume Production
  • DRAM 200a/b
  • Stage Management Issues Seminar
  • DRAM 700a/b
  • Stage Management Forum: The Artistic Process
  • One required elective with chair approval
  • Additional electives with chair approval
  • III
  • DRAM 80a
  • Stage Combat for Stage Managers
  • DRAM 300a/b
  • Stage Management Issues Seminar
  • DRAM 400a
  • Stage Management for the Commercial Theater
  • DRAM 400b
  • Current Stage Management Practice
  • DRAM 500a/b
  • The Stage Manager’s Thesis
  • DRAM 700a/b
  • Stage Management Forum: The Artistic Process
  • Three required electives with chair approval

Required Elective Sequence

One elective is required during the second year, and three electives are required during the third year from the suggested list of elective courses, other Yale professional schools, or Yale College. All required electives must be approved by the chair.

Suggested elective sequence: DRAM 11a, Theater Organizations; DRAM 111a, Functions of Leadership: Organizational Direction; DRAM 115a, Costume Design: Background and Practice; DRAM 119b, Electricity; DRAM 121a, Managing People; DRAM 158b, Recording Arts; DRAM 169a, Shop Technology; DRAM 169b, Stage Rigging Techniques; DRAM 198a, Sound Design Production Organization; DRAM 199b, Digital Technology; DRAM 209a, Physics of Stage Machinery; DRAM 209b, Hydraulics and Pneumatics; DRAM 221b, Labor and Employee Relations; DRAM 224a, Introduction to Projection Design; DRAM 249a, Technical Management; and DRAM 249b, Production Management; DRAM 253a, Commedia.

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama See description under Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

DRAM 11a, Theater Organizations See description under Theater Management.

DRAM 21a, Founding Visions See description under Theater Management.

DRAM 40a/b, Principles of Stage Management This fundamental course is designed to explore the artistic and organizational techniques and practices of stage management. Topics covered include production preparation and management; collaborative relationships with artistic, production, and administrative staff; development of individual stage management style; issues of employment; and stress management. Through a series of workshops with Yale School of Drama faculty and guest lecturers, a portion of this class provides instruction on basic professional considerations and practice. Required of first-year stage managers. Mary Hunter

DRAM 60a, Rehearsal Rules and Process for the Equity Stage Manager An introduction to the Actors’ Equity Association LORT contract: practices and concerns. The emphasis of the class is on practical use and application of the contract with particular focus on rehearsal work rules and provisions. Specific stage management methods and techniques within the collaborative process of rehearsal and tech are closely considered. In addition, this course includes a comparative analysis of the LORT rules and similar guidelines in various other Equity contracts such as Production, Off-Broadway, TYA, Guest Artist, URTA, and SPT. James Mountcastle

DRAM 60b, Professional Stage Management in Performance This course continues a study of the professional stage manager working within various Equity agreements. Looking at specific methods and practices, the focus shifts to processes in place after the show has opened. Among the topics discussed in this course: backstage set-up, cue calling, show maintenance, performance assessment and reports, understudies, replacements, and a stage manager’s close working relationship with actors in performance. Serious consideration of these topics is intended to lead to a candid ongoing discussion of practical realities and principles crucial to the notion of professional stage management as a career. James Mountcastle

DRAM 80a, Stage Combat for Stage Managers This course is designed to prepare the stage manager in the techniques of stage combat with emphasis on unarmed combat, swordplay, flying technique, weapon use and maintenance, and safety issues. The student explores methods of collaboration and management skills utilized during the combat rehearsal process, fight calls, and staged combat maintenance. Rick Sordelet

DRAM 100a/b, 200a/b, 300a/b, Stage Management Issues Seminar This dynamic investigation of process is designed to bring the entire department together with core stage management faculty to examine specific issues and topics identified for each session and to thoroughly review production work, focusing on the artistic experience and the challenges encountered throughout the process. Students are required to prepare group presentations and conduct three classes per term focused on issues that confront them on a regular basis. Laura Brown-MacKinnon, Diane DiVita, Mary Hunter, James Mountcastle

DRAM 102a, Scene Design See description under Design.

DRAM 111a, Functions of Leadership: Organizational Direction See description under Theater Management.

DRAM 114b, Lighting Design for Stage Managers See description under Design.

DRAM 115a, Costume Design: Background and Practice See description under Design.

DRAM 119b, Electricity See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 121a, Managing People See description under Theater Management.

DRAM 141b, Law and the Arts See description under Theater Management.

DRAM 149a, Production Planning See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 158a, Introduction to Sound Design See description under Sound Design.

DRAM 158b, Recording Arts See description under Sound Design.

DRAM 159a, Theater Safety See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 169a, Shop Technology See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 169b, Stage Rigging Techniques See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 189a, Costume Production See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 191b, Managing the Production Process See description under Theater Management.

DRAM 198a, Sound Design Production Organization See description under Sound Design.

DRAM 199b, Digital Technology See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 209a, Physics of Stage Machinery See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 209b, Hydraulics and Pneumatics See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 221b, Labor and Employee Relations See description under Theater Management.

DRAM 224a, Introduction to Projection Design See description under Projection Design.

DRAM 249a, Technical Management See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 249b, Production Management See description under Technical Design and Production.

DRAM 253a, Commedia See description under Acting.

DRAM 400a, Stage Management for the Commercial Theater The focus of this course centers on stage management for the commercial theater with emphasis on process and current conditions in the industry. As a primer for the stage manager to work in the commercial theater, this course is an in-depth study of the production process according to the theatrical unions who perform backstage on Broadway, including but not limited to AEA, I.A.T.S.E., Local 764/Wardrobe, Local 798/Hair and Make-up, and Local 802/ Musicians. Laura Brown-MacKinnon

DRAM 400b, Current Stage Management Practice An insightful study of the “Next Step” into professional stage management. As a resource class, topics include leadership, ethics, Equity benefits that pertain to the Equity member, hiring practices, qualities and personal development of the stage manager, networking, developing relationships within the professional theater, and pursuing employment. Current topics and practices in the industry are discussed by the instructor and invited guest speakers who work in the professional theater. Diane DiVita

DRAM 500a/b, The Stage Manager’s Thesis Each student must submit an appropriate written or production thesis during the third year. Third-year students pursuing a production thesis are responsible for three aspects in fulfilling the requirement: stage manage a major production at Yale School of Drama or Yale Repertory Theatre; prepare and submit the production book; and write an approved Acting Edition of the production.

Students pursuing a written thesis are required to research and critically analyze an appropriate topic approved by the department chair. The document should show the student’s mastery of critical thinking and writing as they pertain to some aspect of production stage management. The proposed topic must be approved by the chair no later than the end of the second year. In addition to the written thesis—and providing the qualifications and standards set forth by the department are met—the student stage manages a major production at Yale School of Drama or Yale Repertory Theatre, and submits the production book.

The written or production thesis is then developed under the guidance of the department chair and assigned core faculty. After revision and the chair’s approval, the work must be evaluated and critiqued by three approved independent readers. The final, bound edition of the written thesis is considered by the faculty along with production work in determining whether a degree should be granted. Mary Hunter

DRAM 700a/b, Stage Management Forum: The Artistic Process This two-term course focuses on stage managerial techniques outside of traditional theater practice. Through a series of workshops led by professionals in a variety of entertainment fields, students explore artistic process and development of managerial skill sets. Topics rotate on a three-year basis and include, but are not limited to, music theory and practice, dance, opera, event management, industrials, musical theater, touring, film, television, theater for children, theme parks, theatrical technology, computer applications, vocal training, and physical awareness. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the chair. Mary Hunter, Chair; Matthew Suttor, and other professional department lecturers

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Technical Design and Production (M.F.A. and Certificate)

Shaminda Amarakoon, Chair

Contemporary theater design and production practice are profoundly influenced by modern technology. As this technology has become more complex, practitioners in the performing arts must be trained to understand and apply these technologies to the achievement of artistic goals. To meet this need for ever more knowledgeable professional technicians, the department selects well-educated and highly motivated students who can best benefit from the resources of Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre.

The department’s academic and practical programs of study train students for the wide range of career paths in our profession: producing organizations, commercial enterprises, consulting firms, manufacturing companies, and academic departments. The testimony to our success is the exceptional range of accomplishments of our graduates.

Students complete a required sequence of courses in addition to selecting electives that allow concentrations in such fields as Production Management, Technical Direction, Stage Machinery and Automation, or Theater Planning and Consulting. The department’s faculty and staff offer courses that cover a wide range of topics including production management, mechanical design, rigging, automation, structural design, acoustics, theater engineering, digital technology, show control, AutoCAD, lighting, sound and video technology, and technical writing. These academic pursuits are partnered with production assignments tailored to each student’s skills and professional goals.

Seminars introduce students to noted professionals, and we encourage students to augment their education with courses from other departments and schools at Yale, including Architecture, Management, and Engineering & Applied Science. Finally, our degree candidates write a research thesis in their area of concentration.

Plan of Study: Technical Design and Production

Required Sequence

  • Year
  • Course
  • Subject
  • I
  • DRAM 109a/b
  • Structural Design for the Stage
  • DRAM 119b
  • Electricity
  • DRAM 149a
  • Production Planning
  • DRAM 159a
  • Theater Safety
  • DRAM 169a
  • Shop Technology
  • DRAM 169b
  • Stage Rigging Techniques
  • DRAM 179a/b
  • Technical Design and Drafting
  • DRAM 199b
  • Digital Technology
  • Two electives
  • Three production assignments
  • II
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama
  • DRAM 209a
  • Physics of Stage Machinery
  • DRAM 249a
  • Technical Management
  • DRAM 249b
  • Production Management
  • DRAM 279b
  • Technical Design
  • Six electives
  • Three production assignments*
  • III
  • DRAM 399a
  • Technical Writing
  • DRAM 399b
  • Technical Design and Production Thesis
  • Six terms of elective sequence courses
  • Two production assignments*

*Second- or third-year students may request the substitution of a substantial project for one production assignment.
Elective Sequence

The elective sequence is determined in consultation with a faculty adviser and allows each student reasonable flexibility in selecting courses in his or her chosen area of concentration.

Yale Cabaret

Technical Design and Production students are encouraged to work in all capacities at the Yale Cabaret; however, this participation is understood to be in addition to and in no way a substitution for required departmental work. All students must seek prior approval from the department chair for participation in the Cabaret, and no second- or third-year student on probation may participate in the Yale Cabaret in any capacity.

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama See description under Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

DRAM 59a/b, Theater Safety and Health Practicum A term-long course that provides mentoring, training, and hands-on experience with the staff of Yale’s Environmental Health and Safety department, the staff of Yale’s Fire Code Compliance (FCC) office, and other Yale campus safety professionals. At the start of each term, the instructor of record and the student confer with Yale safety professionals to identify specific safety or health topic areas to be explored during class meetings. The student meets weekly for a minimum of two hours with a safety professional who has expertise in the topic area. The student assists with specific duties such as safety inspections, researching exposure concerns, and data analysis. Class assignments are tailored to the topic area and the specific interests of the student, and could include: writing reports based on research into related topics; developing forms, checklists, and/or inspection documents. The student maintains a log during the term that documents specific and general information related to the topics covered and experience gained from each class meeting. An evaluation of the student’s engagement with the topic area and grading of assignments is provided to the instructor of record by the Yale safety professional at the end of the practicum. Minimum of two hours each week. Anna Glover

DRAM 69a, Welding Technology A course in the fundamentals and applications of electric arc welding techniques (TIG, MIG, STICK) as well as brazing and soldering. Emphasis is on welding of metals including: steel, aluminum, brass, copper, etc.; joining dissimilar metals; fixturing; and evaluating the appropriate process for an application. The majority of class time is spent welding, brazing, or soldering. Enrollment limited to six. David Johnson

DRAM 69b, Mechanical Instrumentation A course for both the arts and sciences that goes beyond an introductory shop course, offering an in-depth study utilizing hands-on instructional techniques. Surface finishes and tolerances versus cost and time, blueprint reading, machineability of materials, feeds and speeds, and grinding of tools are discussed and demonstrated. David Johnson

DRAM 89b, Costume Construction A course in costume construction with hands-on practice in both machine and hand sewing as well as various forms of patterning, including draping and flat drafting. The class is project-driven. Students each pick their own project, to advance their skill set. Advanced students may elect to undertake projects using Yale School of Drama’s antique costume collection. Robin Hirsch

DRAM 99a/b, Internship Practicum Interns are required to successfully complete two terms of practicum in their chosen area of concentration. Area supervisor

DRAM 109a/b, Structural Design for the Stage This course concurrently develops the precalculus mathematics and physical sciences requisite for advanced study in modern theater technology, and concentrates on the application of statics to the design of safe scenic structures. Assignments relate structural design principles to production applications. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Bronislaw Joseph Sammler [F] and faculty

DRAM 119b, Electricity This course presents the basics of theoretical and practical optics, electricity, and electronics of lighting instruments, dimmers, and special effects needed to function as a master electrician. Emphasis is placed on relevant portions of the National Electrical Code. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Alan Hendrickson

DRAM 129b, History of Theater Architecture A survey of European and American theater architecture as it relates to cultural and technological changes through time. This course uses the writings of current and past authorities on such subjects as acoustics, space layout, and decoration to illustrate and evaluate these buildings’ many variations. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Alan Hendrickson

DRAM 139b, Introduction to Sound Engineering and Design This course provides students with the basic skills and vocabulary necessary to perform as sound engineers. Students are introduced to standard sound system design practice, associated paperwork, production design tools, acoustic assessment tools, and sound delivery systems addressing both conceptual and sound reinforcement design. Course objectives are accomplished through a balance of detailed lectures and hands-on lab sessions. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Michael Backhaus

DRAM 149a, Production Planning An introduction to production planning. Topics include cost and time estimating, and scheduling, for all phases of production. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Jonathan Reed

DRAM 159a, Theater Safety An introduction to theater safety and occupational health. Topics include chemical and fire hazards, accident and fire prevention, code requirements, emergency procedures, and training and certification in first aid and CPR. Safety and health policies at YSD/YRT are discussed, along with the safety-related requirements for work in the production shops and on the stages. Class topics fulfill the requirements for the OSHA-10 Outreach Course in General Industry, and students who successfully complete the course receive an Outreach Card from OSHA. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Anna Glover, William J. Reynolds

DRAM 169a, Shop Technology This course serves as an introduction to the scene shops and technology available at Yale School of Drama. Materials, construction tools and techniques, and shop organization and management are examined in the context of scenic production. Students are assigned weekly projects to demonstrate proficiency with the tools and techniques covered in the lectures, as well as a culminating project at the end of the term. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructors. Neil Mulligan, Matt Welander

DRAM 169b, Stage Rigging Techniques This course examines traditional and nontraditional rigging techniques. Equipment discussed includes counterweight and mechanical rigging systems and their components. Class format is both lecture and lab with written and practical projects assigned to further the student’s understanding. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Faculty

DRAM 179a/b, Technical Design and Drafting This course develops the skills necessary for effective and efficient graphic communication between the technical designer and shop staff. Emphasis is placed on graphic standards, notation, plan and section drawings, and the translation of designer plates to shop drawings. Students develop these techniques through sketching, applying the fundamental aspects of AutoCAD, and technical design projects. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Matt Welander

DRAM 189a, Costume Production This course examines the processes involved in the realization of a set of costume designs, from the sketch to the stage. Focus is on understanding the design, build, and technical processes, including budgeting and sourcing; interpreting the rendering; selecting materials; and developing working relationships with the costume and production staffs, stage managers, and directors. Tom McAlister

DRAM 189b, Fabric and Fabric Manipulation This course explores the aesthetics and performance characteristics of fabrics commonly used for the stage, and how to choose apparel fabrics. It examines the basic properties of natural and synthetic fibers: weaves and texture, pattern and scale, drape, memory, hand, finish, and cost. Open to non­departmental students with prior permission of the instructors. Tom McAlister

DRAM 199b, Digital Technology This course provides a foundation for the digital skills necessary in today’s technologically rich workplaces. Topics include computer networking and data distribution for theatrical systems; online resources to foster new methods of collaboration; industry-standard productivity software critical to the clear presentation of information; three-dimensional scanning, file manipulation, and printing. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructors. Erich Bolton, Jonathan Reed

DRAM 209a, Physics of Stage Machinery This course introduces Newtonian mechanics as an aid in predicting the behavior of moving scenery. Theoretical performance calculations are developed to approximate the actual performance of stage machinery. Topics include electric motors, gearing, friction, and ergonomics. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Alan Hendrickson

DRAM 209b, Hydraulics and Pneumatics Discussions of concepts and components begun in DRAM 209a are continued for fluid power systems. Topics include hydraulic power unit design, the selection and operation of electro-hydraulic proportional valves, load lifting circuits using counterbalance valves, and pneumatic system design. Emphasis is placed on the practical aspects of component selection, especially for hydraulic cylinders, hose, and fittings. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Alan Hendrickson

DRAM 229a, Theater Planning and Construction This course is an introduction to planning, design, documentation, and construction of theaters, concert halls, and similar spaces. Emphasis is placed on the role of the theater consultant in functional planning and architectural design. The goal is to introduce the student to the field and provide a basic understanding of the processes and vocabulary of theater planning. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Eugene Leitermann

DRAM 239a, Introduction to Projection Engineering This course provides students with the skills and vocabulary necessary to perform as projection engineers. Students are introduced to the paperwork to design, the equipment to implement, and the software to operate a successful video projection system while interfacing with a projection designer. Class format includes lectures and lab sessions that focus on equipment and software. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Erich Bolton

DRAM 249a, Technical Management This course discusses application of management techniques and organizational principles to technical production. Emphasis is placed on leadership and interpersonal skills as well as on organization, planning, and facilities utilization. Assignments provide further exploration of related topics in the form of written and/or presented material. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Shaminda Amarakoon, Jonathan Reed

DRAM 249b, Production Management This course explores the organizational structures found in not-for-profit and limited-partnership commercial ventures. Students explore patterns of responsibility and authority, various charts of accounts and fiscal controls, estimating techniques, budgeting, and scheduling. Guest lecturers lead discussions introducing a variety of theatrical organizations, their artistic policies and processes, and the products that result. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Shaminda Amarakoon, Jonathan Reed

DRAM 279b, Technical Design This course examines the technical design process in the development of solutions to scenery construction projects. Solutions, utilizing traditional and modern materials and fabrication techniques, are studied from the perspectives of budget, labor, safety, and structural integrity. Faculty

DRAM 289a, Patternmaking This course explores costume history through the three-dimensional form. Each week students drape and/or draft a garment from a specific period from primitive “T” shapes to mid-twentieth-century patterns. Robin Hirsch

DRAM 309a, Mechanical Design for Theater Applications This course focuses on the process of mechanical design for temporary and permanent stage machinery. Design considerations and component selections are examined through lectures, discussions, assignments, and project reviews. Other topics include motion control, fluid power circuit design, and industrial standards. Alan Hendrickson

DRAM 319a, Automation Control Designing and constructing control systems for mechanized scenery involves theoretical and practical work in electrical power distribution, switching logic, electronics, and software programming. The material covered in lectures and labs progresses from simple on-off electrical control, to relay logic, motor speed control, and finally full positioning control. Topics include motor starters, open collector outputs, power supplies, PLC ladder programming, and AC motor drives. Alan Hendrickson

DRAM 329b, Theater Engineering: Lighting, Sound, Video, and Communication Systems This course introduces the basic concepts of the design of lighting, sound, video, and communication systems and infrastructure within the context of the overall design of performing arts facilities. Topics include programming and budgeting equipment systems, code requirements, and integration with other building systems. The student develops and details basic equipment systems within a building envelope provided by the instructor. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructors. Alexander Bagnall and faculty

DRAM 339a, Advanced Topics in Projection Engineering This course builds on the concepts introduced in DRAM 239a. Students apply their knowledge in a series of practical projects designed to maximize their exposure to current technologies and techniques. Class format includes lectures and lab sessions that focus on equipment and software, including media servers, video codecs, computer hardware, signal distribution, and projection surfaces. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Erich Bolton

DRAM 359b, Advanced Topics in Theater Safety The implementation of an effective theater safety program requires knowledge and understanding of applicable codes and standards, and their application in a theater production environment. This course reviews codes and standards, including OSHA 29CFR1910 and 29CFR1926, NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, other related NFPA codes and standards, International Building Code, ETCP certifications, and Equity requirements. The identification, control, and/or mitigation of hazards are addressed through risk assessment and the application of the Hazard Communication standard in the workplace. Students who successfully complete the course fulfill the requirements for the OSHA-30 Outreach Course in General Industry and receive an Outreach Card from OSHA. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Anna Glover, William J. Reynolds

DRAM 369a, Advanced Rigging Techniques This course builds on the concepts introduced in DRAM 169b. Topics include rigging solutions for Broadway and national tours, flying performers, and fall protection and rescue techniques. Projects include both written and hands-on work. Prerequisites: a grade of High Pass or better in DRAM 169b and the ability to work at heights. Neil Mulligan

DRAM 379b, Autodesk Inventor An in-depth study of 3D drafting and parametric modeling techniques using Autodesk Inventor. Topics include creating parts, assemblies, and animations; detailing and annotating shop drawings; and performing basic stress analysis on models. Prerequisite: DRAM 179a/b or permission of the instructor. Matt Welander

DRAM 389a/b, Properties Design and Construction Through lectures and demonstrations, students study design and fabrication of stage properties. Assignments encourage students to develop craft skills and to explore the application of traditional and new techniques to production practice. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructors. Jennifer McClure, David P. Schrader

DRAM 399a, Technical Writing The objective of this course is to improve writing skills throughout the term, enabling students to convey information clearly, logically, and effectively through work in three areas. The first focuses on interpreting and writing the many forms of technical documentation produced in the field of live events management. Examples of technical documentation include operations and maintenance manuals, technical riders, and bid package documents. The second focuses on thesis development, requiring students to produce a detailed outline and introductory chapter of their thesis. The third focuses on producing a cover letter, résumé, and digital portfolio in preparation for a jobs skills workshop during the January Seminar Week. Tony Forman, C. Nikki Mills

DRAM 399b, Technical Design and Production Thesis Each student develops a thesis dealing with a production- or planning-oriented subject. By the end of the second year, a thesis proposal is submitted for departmental review. Following topic approval, the thesis is developed under the guidance of an approved adviser, and a complete draft is submitted five weeks prior to graduation. After revision and adviser’s approval, the work is evaluated and critiqued by three independent readers. Following revisions and departmental approval, two bound copies and one digital copy are submitted. Tony Forman, C. Nikki Mills

DRAM 409a, Advanced Structural Design for the Stage This course builds on the concepts introduced in DRAM 109a/b. Topics include aluminum beam and column design, plywood design, and trusses and cables. Prerequisite: DRAM 109a/b or permission of the instructor. Bronislaw Joseph Sammler

DRAM 419b, Control Systems for Live Entertainment Show control is the convergence of entertainment, computing, networking, and data communication technologies. Topics include data communication and networking principles; details of entertainment-specific protocols such as DMX512, MIDI, MIDI Show Control, MIDI Machine Control, and SMPTE Time Code; and practical applications and principles of system design. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Erich Bolton

[DRAM 429b, Theater Engineering: Overhead Rigging and Stage Machinery This course introduces the basic concepts of the design of overhead rigging and stage machinery systems and infrastructure within the context of the overall design of performing arts facilities. Topics include programming and budgeting equipment systems, code requirements, and integration with other building systems. The student develops and details basic equipment systems within a building envelope provided by the instructor. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2017–2018]

DRAM 439a, Architectural Acoustics This course is both an introduction to the basic principles and terminology of acoustics and a survey of the acoustics of performance venues, with an emphasis on theaters. Topics include physical acoustics, room acoustics, psychoacoustics, electroacoustics, sound isolation, and noise and vibration control. The goals are to furnish the student with a background in acoustical theory and its practical application to performance spaces, and to instill the basics of recognizing and modifying aspects of the built environment that determine acoustic conditions. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Damian Doria

DRAM 449a/b, Independent Study Students who want to pursue special research or the study of topics not covered by formal courses may propose an independent study. Following department approval of the topic, the student meets regularly with an adviser to seek tutorial advice. Credit for independent study is awarded by the department, based on the adviser’s recommendation. Tutorial meetings to be arranged. Faculty

DRAM 469b, Scenery Construction for the Commercial Theater This course examines construction techniques and working conditions in commercial scene shops servicing the Broadway theater industry. Field trips to shops in the New York City area and backstage tours of the shows being discussed in class are included. An important aspect of all assignments is an in-depth discussion of the transition from designer’s drawings to shop drawings, construction in the scene shop, and eventual set-up in the theater. Chuck Adomanis, Carrie Winkler

DRAM 489a/b, Costume Seminar This course provides the opportunity for an in-depth analysis and conversation about the processes involved in realizing a set of stageworthy costumes. Using both current production assignments and class projects, focus is on understanding the design, build, and technical processes, including budgeting, sourcing, and shopping; interpreting the rendering and research; selecting materials; fitting; and developing strong working relationships with the costume and production staffs, stage managers, and directors. Prerequisite: DRAM 189a. Tom McAlister, Ilona Somogyi

DRAM 529b, Theater Planning Seminar This course is a continuation of DRAM 229a, focusing on the renovation and rehabilitation of existing buildings for performing arts use through a term-long design project. Teams of students develop conceptual designs for the reuse of a specific building, after touring the building and conducting programming interviews with potential users. The students’ design work is informed by guest lectures by architects, acousticians, historic preservationists, and other design and construction professionals. The design project provides students the opportunity to apply knowledge acquired in DRAM 329b, 429b, and 439b, although these courses are not prerequisites. Eugene Leitermann

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Theater Management (M.F.A.)

Joan Channick, Chair

The Theater Management department prepares aspiring leaders to create organizational environments increasingly favorable to the creation of theater art and its presentation to appreciative audiences. The department provides students with the knowledge, skills, experience, and values to enter the field at high levels of responsibility, to move quickly to leadership positions, and ultimately to advance the state of management practice and the art form itself.

Although the focus is on theater, many graduates have adapted their education successfully to careers in dance, opera, media, and other fields.

In the context of an integrated general management perspective, students are grounded in the history and aesthetics of theater art, production organization, hiring and unions, the collaborative process, decision making and governance, organizational direction and planning, motivation, organizational design, human resources, financial management, development, marketing, and technology. While focused primarily on theater organizations, discussions incorporate other performing arts organizations, other nonprofits, and for-profit organizations to help identify the factors that make organizations succeed. It is training in the practice, informed by up-to-date theoretical knowledge.

The training program combines a sequence of professional work assignments, departmental courses, approved electives in other departments and schools, topical workshops, and a case study writing requirement. In a distinctive feature of the Theater Management curriculum, students have the opportunity to engage in the management of Yale Repertory Theatre from the beginning of their training, and to collaborate with students and faculty from other departments in productions of Yale School of Drama and Yale Cabaret. Students are evaluated on their performance in both course work and professional work assignments.

Extracurricular participation in the Yale Cabaret is encouraged, subject to prior approval of the department chair.

Joint-Degree Program with Yale School of Management

The Theater Management department offers a joint-degree program with Yale School of Management, in which a student may earn both the Master of Fine Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees in four years (rather than the five years that normally would be required). A joint-degree student must meet the respective admission requirements of each school. The typical plan of study consists of two years at Yale School of Drama, followed by one year at the School of Management, culminating with one combined year at both schools. Candidates interested in the joint-degree option are advised to apply to both Schools before coming to Yale. Theater Management students who develop an interest in the joint-degree option while at Yale should apply to the School of Management in the fall of their first year. Regardless of the outcome of their application, they must inform the department in January whether they will be in residence in the School of Drama in the succeeding year.

Plan of Study: Theater Management

In the first year the student enrolls in seven required courses per term; begins a case study on a theater organization, to be completed during the second year; attends a variety of topical workshops; and is given several professional work assignments.

In the second and third years the student enrolls in four departmental and elective courses per term; attends a variety of topical workshops; and is given one or two professional work assignments of substantial responsibility. In another distinctive feature of the program, the second-year student has the option of replacing one term in residence with a fellowship in a professional setting away from the campus, selected by the faculty. (For students choosing the second-year fellowship, the course requirements are reduced by four.) If a student opts out of the second-year fellowship upon entering the program, the course load may be modified to a constant five courses per term throughout the three-year program.

Required Sequence

Year

Course

Subject

  • I
  • DRAM 6a/b
  • Survey of Theater and Drama
  • DRAM 11a
  • Theater Organizations
  • DRAM 21a
  • Founding Visions
  • DRAM 111a
  • Functions of Leadership: Organizational Direction
  • DRAM 111b
  • Functions of Leadership: Motivation and Organizational Design
  • DRAM 121a
  • Managing People
  • DRAM 121b
  • Strategic Planning in Practice
  • DRAM 131a
  • Principles of Marketing and Communications
  • DRAM 141b
  • Law and the Arts
  • DRAM 161b
  • Principles of Development
  • DRAM 181a
  • Financial Accounting
  • DRAM 181b
  • Financial Management
  • DRAM 191b
  • Managing the Production Process

II & III

DRAM 151a or b

Case Study

DRAM 201a/b

Management Seminar*

DRAM 211a

Governance

DRAM 221b

Labor and Employee Relations

DRAM 231b

Advanced Topics in Marketing

DRAM 241a

Contracts

DRAM 251a or b

Management Fellowship

DRAM 261a

Advanced Topics in Development

  • DRAM 271a
  • Producing for the Commercial Theater

DRAM 281a

Advanced Financial Management

DRAM 301a/b

Management Seminar*

*Second- and third-year students must attend the Management Seminar during each term in residence.
Elective Sequence

Electives may be selected from other departments of Yale School of Drama, from Yale School of Management or other professional schools, or from Yale College with the approval of the chair.

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama See description under Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism.

DRAM 11a, Theater Organizations Societies need organizations to bring artists and audiences together to experience theater art. Historically—in contrast to the art itself, which is immutable—the various organizational forms have proved to be fragile: some have lasted for hundreds of years, but each of them eventually has failed and been replaced. Seventy-five years ago the commercial form began to decline in output; fifty years ago the nonprofit organization form was adapted to serve civic needs in a rapidly decentralizing America and developmental needs of the art and artists. The course explores the variety of organizational models in use today with an eye to identifying the patterns of purposes, values, structures, and policies they adopt to guide their operations. Each student collects in-depth information about a particular organization and presents it to the class. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Offered in conjunction with DRAM 21a, but may be taken separately. Joshua Borenstein

DRAM 21a, Founding Visions This course is a study of idealism in the American art theater. History is explored through the inspired and inspiring writings of visionaries and pioneers, from Jane Addams (Hull House, 1880s) to Bill Rauch (Cornerstone, 1980s). Students encounter the letters, memoirs, and manifestos of such early figures as Jig Cook and Susan Glaspell (Provincetown), John Houseman/Orson Welles (Mercury Theatre), and Hallie Flanagan (Federal Theatre Project), and more recent leaders like Margo Jones, Zelda Fichandler, Joe Papp, Judith Malina and Julian Beck, Douglas Turner Ward, Joseph Chaikin, Luis Valdez, Herbert Blau, Robert Brustein, Tyrone Guthrie, Charles Ludlam, and others. The course also considers the challenges of sustaining and reinvigorating a theater’s fundamental ideals, which often dissipate with time and successive leadership. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Joan Channick

DRAM 111a, Functions of Leadership: Organizational Direction Management and leadership are two different things, and managers must be capable of practicing both in order to meet the increasingly complex challenges of modern theater organizations; the required knowledge and skills operate side by side. The fall term covers the first of three essential functions of leadership: establishing organizational direction through mission and strategy. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Enrollment is limited to fifteen students. See Canvas for the syllabus and preparation instructions for the first course meeting. Joan Channick

DRAM 111b, Functions of Leadership: Motivation and Organizational Design Management and leadership are two different things, and managers must be capable of practicing both in order to meet the increasingly complex challenges of modern theater organizations; the required knowledge and skills operate side by side. The spring term covers the second and third functions of leadership: securing the essential efforts through effective motivation and productive management of change; and establishing appropriate means of communication through organizational design, including decision making and management of culture. Emotional intelligence is a key concept. Prerequisite: DRAM 111a. See Canvas for the syllabus and preparation instructions for the first course meeting. Joan Channick

DRAM 121a, Managing People Successful human resource strategy is about managing people, not about managing problems. This course examines the tools needed to be an effective manager: listening well, communicating needs, building core competencies, setting expectations, coaching, negotiating, empowering, evaluating, and terminating with respect. Specific focus is placed on human resources as it is currently practiced and communicated in the American regional theater. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Victoria Nolan

DRAM 121b, Strategic Planning in Practice This course focuses on the planning process and the myriad forms it takes within arts organizations. Various concepts important to planning, including mission, strategy development, and alignment, are reviewed. However, most of the work takes the form of answering the question, “How do we do this aspect of planning?” Seven three-hour sessions are held consisting of case studies, constant interactive discussion, and reading of arts organizations’ actual plans. Prerequisite: DRAM 111a. Greg Kandel

DRAM 131a, Principles of Marketing and Communications This survey course explores the fundamentals of nonprofit theater marketing and communications. Topics include understanding the market and audience; segmentation and positioning; branding; pricing; revenue and expense budgeting; and measurements. Campaign tactics are explored, such as direct marketing, digital marketing, social media, and publicity. Students learn to develop a single-ticket marketing plan. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Naomi Grabel

DRAM 141b, Law and the Arts An examination of the legal rights and responsibilities of artists and artistic institutions. Topics include the law of intellectual property (copyright and trademark), moral rights, personality rights (defamation, publicity, and privacy), and freedom of expression. The course is also an introduction to the structure and language of contractual agreements, and includes discussion of several types of contracts employed in the theater. Other legal issues relating to nonprofit arts organizations may also be discussed. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Joan Channick

DRAM 151a or b, Case Study An applied writing project in collaboration with a faculty supervisor. The student focuses on a particular theater organization approved by the department chair, by gathering information, conducting interviews, analyzing a difficult issue the organization faces, writing a case study with video supplement, and writing a teaching note. The work begins during the student’s first year, and the written case study must be completed by the end of the student’s second year. Faculty

DRAM 161b, Principles of Development This introductory course explores the elements and best practices for managing a successful not-for-profit development department. Discussions will delve into the responsibilities and practical applications of development—identifying, stewarding, cultivating, and soliciting gifts from annual to capital campaigns. Thorough, practical exploration of board development, institutional identity, funding proposal development, and solicitation techniques are included. Students are introduced to all aspects of the developments: individual giving, corporate sponsorship/philanthropy, government/legislative, foundations, and special event fundraising. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Andrew Hamingson

DRAM 181a, Financial Accounting An introduction to corporate financial accounting concepts and procedures, with an emphasis on nonprofit application. Financial statements are stressed throughout the course, while attention is paid to developing procedural skills, including accounting controls. The basic financial statements are introduced: balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows. Accounting for assets, liabilities, and net assets. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Jeffrey Bledsoe

DRAM 181b, Financial Management A study of the broad role of financial management in the realization of organization goals. Topics include defining capital structure and financial health; developing, monitoring, and reporting on operating and capital budgets; financial analysis and planning; cash flow; and risk management. Students apply their learning using the current financial documents of a selected theater for many of the assignments. Prerequisite: DRAM 181a or, with prior permission of the instructor, equivalent nonprofit accounting knowledge. Andrea Nellis

DRAM 191b, Managing the Production Process An investigation of the relationship between the artistic director and the managing director. This course explores the role of a managing director in the production process of regional theater, including season planning, artistic budgeting, contract negotiations, artist relationships, and production partnering. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Victoria Nolan

DRAM 201a/b, Management Seminar An upper-level seminar sequence (with DRAM 301a/b) designed to integrate knowledge and skills gathered from all courses and professional work through analysis and discussion of case studies. Second-year theater management students must enroll during the term(s) they are in residence. Prerequisite: DRAM 111a/b. Joan Channick

DRAM 211a, Governance This course examines governance within arts organization with a strong emphasis on its practice, as well as how that practice can be managed and adjusted. The first part of each class consists of interactive presentations using real examples from multiple organizations in the field, or case work focused on one particular company. The second part is a laboratory in which students use the concepts learned to prepare and present their findings to the rest of the class. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Greg Kandel

DRAM 221b, Labor and Employee Relations A seminar on how to read collective bargaining agreements and think about the collective bargaining process in the not-for-profit theater through the study of the agreement, along with negotiation of the agreement and practice under it, between the League of Resident Theatres and Actors’ Equity Association. Comparisons are made to LORT’s agreements with other artist and technical unions. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Harry H. Weintraub

DRAM 231b, Advanced Topics in Marketing This course focuses on brand development and institutional communications, with an emphasis on data tools and analysis, industry trends, pricing, and messaging. Various strategies and tactics are explored using case studies, articles, reference books, and visits from industry specialists. Students complete a brand evaluation and recommendation at the end of the course. Open to nondepartmental students who have completed DRAM 131a. Naomi Grabel

DRAM 241a, Contracts A seminar on how to read, write, and administer individual employment contracts. Each student creates employment and separation agreements for the managing director of a not-for-profit theater. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Harry H. Weintraub

DRAM 251a or b, Management Fellowship Each second-year student in good standing may choose to replace one term in residence with a fellowship in a professional setting away from the campus, selected by the faculty. The fellowship replaces one required departmental course, four electives, and a term-long professional work assignment. The purpose of the fellowship is to pair the student with a successful manager in the field who acts as a mentor. Ideally, the fellowship consists of frequent meetings with the host mentor, the opportunity to shadow the mentor in meetings with board and staff, access to board and staff meetings, and assigned tasks to perform within the organization. The host organization is chosen primarily for the appropriateness of the mentor/mentee pairing rather than to advance the student’s interest in a particular kind of work. The fellowship and case study requirement (DRAM 151a or b) may not be combined. Faculty

DRAM 261a, Advanced Topics in Development Students choose from a rostrum of topics that delve deeply into corporate sponsorship, board recruitment techniques, major gifts, crowdfunding, real estate project development, development department management, and solicitation techniques. Students focus on an actual performing arts organization to model their assignments. The emphasis in the course is on the importance of creativity and innovation in the field of development. Prerequisite: DRAM 161b. Andrew Hamingson

DRAM 271a, Producing for the Commercial Theater This course focuses on the role of the independent commercial producer. It explores the entrepreneurial skills and qualities that are necessary to be successful without the support of an organizational infrastructure. Among the topics to be covered: why produce commercially; who produces; Broadway and Off-Broadway; the challenges of creating interesting work in a commercial setting; and the unique challenges of plays and musicals. Practical matters covered include optioning and developing work, raising money, creating budgets, hiring a free-lance team, and utilizing marketing/press/advertising to attract an audience. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with prior permission of the instructor. Joey Parnes

DRAM 281a, Advanced Financial Management This course on more advanced financial management topics focuses on building students’ interpretive financial skills. Topics include capital structure and financial analysis, financing and debt structures, investments and cash management, facilities projects, planning to achieve financial goals, and managing through financial difficulties. The course includes case discussions and both individual and team assignments. Prerequisite: DRAM 181b. Andrea Nellis

DRAM 301a/b, Management Seminar An upper-level seminar sequence (with DRAM 201a/b) designed to integrate knowledge and skills gathered from all courses and professional work through analysis and discussion of case studies. Third-year theater management students must enroll during both terms in residence. Prerequisite: DRAM 111a/b. Joan Channick

Theater Management Department Topical Workshops and Modules
  • DRAM 411(02), Analyzing Field Needs and Designing Policy (three sessions)Ben Cameron
  • DRAM 411(04), Board/Executive Relationships Susan Medak
  • DRAM 411(05), Business Writing I (eight sessions in fall; four sessions in spring) Rosalie Stemer
  • DRAM 411(06), Business Writing II (four sessions)Rosalie Stemer
  • DRAM 411(07), Case Studies Jaan Elias
  • DRAM 411(08), Decision Support: Gathering and Using Information Not offered in 2017–2018
  • DRAM 411(11), Entrepreneurship Greg Kandel
  • DRAM 411(13), Health and Safety Not offered in 2017–2018
  • DRAM 411(15), History of Theater Management Marion Koltun Dienstag
  • DRAM 411(17), Leadership (three sessions) Laura Freebairn-Smith
  • DRAM 411(18), The Manager’s Relationship with Art and Artists Robert Orchard
  • DRAM 411(19), Presenting (three sessions) Faculty
  • DRAM 411(21), Nonprofit on Broadway Barry Grove
  • DRAM 411(25), Professionalism Joan Channick
  • DRAM 411(27), Real Estate Marion Koltun Dienstag
  • DRAM 411(28), Self-Marketing Greg Kandel
  • DRAM 411(29), Making the Ask (two sessions)Deborah Berman
  • DRAM 411(30), Tessitura I Janna Ellis
  • DRAM 411(31), Tessitura II Janna Ellis
  • DRAM 411(34), Data Visualization (two sessions) Michael Diamond
  • DRAM 411(35), Freelance Employment Joan MacIntosh
  • DRAM 411(37), Cultural Policy (three sessions) Diane Ragsdale
  • DRAM 411(38), Community Engagement (three sessions) Jocelyn Prince
  • DRAM 411(39), Artistic Producing (four sessions) Jacob G. Padrón
  • DRAM 411 (40), Culturally Specific Theaters (three sessions) Faculty
  • DRAM 411 (41), The Artistic Director’s Role (two sessions) Sheldon Epps

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Technical Internship Training Program (Internship Certificate)

The Technical Design and Production department offers a one-year technical internship training program for those seeking to become professional scenic carpenters, sound engineers, projection engineers, properties masters, scenic artists, costumers, or master electricians. This training program combines six graduate-level courses with closely guided and monitored practical production work.

An assigned faculty or staff adviser guides each student in selecting three courses each term in the student’s chosen area of concentration. Most courses offered as part of the department’s three-year M.F.A. program of study are open to technical interns. The courses cover a wide range of topics, including properties construction, shop technology, theater safety, electricity, projection engineering, sound technology, scene painting, costume construction, patternmaking, machining, rigging, and AutoCAD. Interns receive individual attention, training, and supervision from their department advisers and work side-by-side with Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre’s professional staff.

Nondegree candidates, such as technical interns, are not eligible for Yale Health Basic Coverage student insurance, but Yale School of Drama requires technical intern students to have health insurance. Information about alternative health insurance options can be obtained by contacting the School of Drama’s registrar’s office.

Those who successfully complete the program of study receive an Internship Certificate during Yale School of Drama’s May commencement ceremonies. Some of those who complete the program subsequently apply to and are accepted into one of the three-year M.F.A. programs of study—Technical Design and Production, Design, or Sound Design—receiving credit toward the degree for requirements already completed. Those who choose to enter the job market receive assistance from the department chair. Our alumni provide many job opportunities for professionally trained theater technicians.

Courses of Instruction

See course listings and descriptions under Technical Design and Production (M.F.A. and Certificate).

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Special Research Fellow Status

Each year, a limited number of scholars are admitted to Yale School of Drama as one-year special research fellows. These fellows are usually professionals in the field of theater from abroad who wish to pursue research and audit one or two courses a term within the School of Drama. Tuition for these fellows is one-half that charged a full-time student. The research and auditing of courses is arranged in consultation with the appropriate department chair and the registrar. Fellows are not eligible for Yale Health Basic Coverage. Information about alternative health insurance options can be obtained by contacting the School of Drama’s registrar’s office. Special research fellows are not eligible to receive any financial assistance.

There is no fellow status affiliated with the Acting department.

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Special Student Status

Each year, some students are admitted to Yale School of Drama as one-year special students in the departments of Design; Sound Design; Directing; Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism; Technical Design and Production; or Theater Management. These students must be in residence on a full-time basis and are not eligible for a degree or certificate. The curriculum for special students is arranged in consultation with the appropriate chair. Tuition is the same as for degree candidates. Special students, who are not eligible for financial assistance according to the federal guidelines, may be eligible to apply for assistance under various supplemental loan programs through their individual banks. Special students are not eligible for Yale Health Basic Coverage. Information about alternative health insurance options can be obtained by contacting the School of Drama’s registrar’s office.

Special students may apply for admission to the department’s degree program of study in January or February of their one-year residency in accordance with the department’s application deadline. They must comply with Yale School of Drama’s admission requirements and, if admitted, may matriculate as second-year students if they have fulfilled all of their program’s first-year requirements. Special students admitted to the Directing M.F.A. program must matriculate as first-year students.

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