David Geffen School of Drama at Yale Seeks Applicants For Fall 2022 Admission
October 5, 2021
Original article published on PLSN by Michael S. Eddy
Training In Every Theatrical Discipline Is Now Tuition-Free For Every Student
David Geffen School of Drama at Yale seeks applicants for Fall 2022 admission. This is the first admissions cycle since the fall of 2019. David Geffen School of Drama did not admit a class this past year in order to provide an additional fourth year of training for students whose traditional three-year courses of study were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The School used the yearlong pause in production to center anti-racism in our work by recruiting dynamic faculty to lead each program in the development of anti-racist theater practice and reviewing our former production models more closely through this lens. We recognize that the work of fostering an anti-racist culture at the School and Yale Rep will be a lifelong practice.
Founded by Yale University in 1924 as a department within the School of Fine Arts, Yale School of Drama was organized as a separate professional school in 1955 by vote of the Yale Corporation. The School is now David Geffen School of Drama in celebration of a $150 million gift from the David Geffen Foundation in 2021 to support tuition remission for all degree and certificate students in perpetuity.
“The most important investments we can make are in the talent and training of our students,” said James Bundy, the Elizabeth Parker Ware Dean of the Geffen School, on behalf of Associate Deans Florie Seery and Chantal Rodriguez and Assistant Dean Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. “Full tuition support increases access for the broadest possible spectrum of potential applicants, and makes it possible for admitted students to devote their energies first and foremost to their education with their colleagues and our faculty of field-leading practitioners.”
In a further effort to eliminate barriers to graduate school and to widen the pool of qualified candidates, the School has also eliminated the GRE testing requirement for all programs.
Together, the Geffen School and Yale Repertory Theatre train and advance leaders in the practice of every theatrical discipline, making art to inspire joy, empathy, and understanding in the world. The community, comprising more than 300 faculty, staff, students, and technical interns, is guided in its work by four core values:
We enhance knowledge to nurture creativity and imaginative expression embracing the complexity of the human spirit.
We put people first, centering well-being, inclusion, and equity for theater makers and audiences through anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices.
We build our collective work on a foundation of mutual respect, prizing the contributions and accomplishments of the individual and the team.
We wrestle with compelling issues of our time. Energized by curiosity, invention, bravery, and humor, we challenge ourselves to risk and learn from failure and vulnerability.
David Geffen School of Drama returned to in-person instruction at the start of the fall semester. Last week saw the start of rehearsal—the first on-campus since March 2020—for Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters, directed by Adrienne D. Williams. Over the weekend, Yale Cabaret presented Constellations by Nick Payne co-directed by acting students Alexandra Maurice and Maal Imani West as their first in-person performance with a masked company and a masked and vaccinated Yale audience. The company of Lorca’s Bodas de sangre/Blood Wedding will begin rehearsing a bilingual adaptation by Professor Cynthia Santos DeCure and director Tatiana Pandiani this week.
The start of the academic year is marked also by several changes in the leadership of the School’s academic programs.
Mikaal Sulaiman joined our faculty this fall as the new Head of the Sound Design concentration after the retirement of David Budries. Toni-Leslie James has succeeded Michael Yeargan as co-Chair of Design. Riccardo Hernández will be the second co-Chair effective January 1, when Stephen Strawbridge steps down from the position. Both Strawbridge and Yeargan will continue to teach in their positions as Professors in the Practice of Design. In addition, all five disciplines of design—costume, lighting, projection, set, and sound design—are now aligned in one program in order to promote the most robust common core offerings for all Design students, and to build upon the School’s practice of training designers who are flexible and fluent collaborators with their colleagues.
Tamilla Woodard is the Chair of the Acting program, having assumed the role from Walton Wilson who continues to serve as Associate Chair this year.
Anne Erbe has been promoted to Co-Chair of the Playwriting program, serving alongside Tarell Alvin McCraney.
Catherine Sheehy, Liz Diamond, Narda E. Alcorn, Shaminda Amarakoon, and Joan Channick continue their service as Chairs of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, Directing, Stage Management, Technical Design and Production, and Theater Management, respectively.
Applications are being accepted online starting October 4. Deadlines vary according to academic program: applications for Playwriting are due November 24; for Directing, December 1; for Acting and Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, January 1; and for Design, Stage Management, Technical Design and Production, Theater Management, Technical Internships, and Special Students and Special Research Fellows on February 1.
The School will host a Virtual Open House for prospective students from 2:30–4:30PM EST on Oct. 27, 2021. The most current information about all deadlines, financial aid policies, and extensive information about each course of study is available online.