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

Shaminda Amarakoon, Chair

Due to the current and inevitable future disruptions of COVID-19, neither Yale School of Drama nor Yale Repertory Theatre will produce a season of plays in 2020–2021. In service of our mission, the School of Drama is temporarily extending the M.F.A. and Certificate programs by one fully funded year of study. All sections pertaining to production work in this chapter of the bulletin refer to a typical production schedule and are not necessarily applicable for the 2020–2021 academic year.

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 the need for ever more knowledgeable and collaborative technical managers, the Technical Design and Production (TD&P) department selects highly motivated students who are ready to use the resources of Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre to benefit their professional growth.

The department’s academic and practical programs of study train students for a wide range of career paths in our profession including producing organizations, commercial enterprises, consulting firms, manufacturing companies, and academic departments. The program gives students the production planning tools and technical expertise to work on complex projects and with large teams immediately after graduation. 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 planning, drafting, structural design, rigging, automation, mechanical design, show control, sound and video technology, theater engineering, technical management, and health and safety. 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.

These academic pursuits are partnered with professional work assignments (PWAs) that further students’ skills and professional goals. Some PWAs place students in key technical management roles in mounting School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre productions, including: production manager, associate production manager, associate safety adviser, technical director, assistant technical director, stage carpenter, properties manager, assistant properties manager, production electrician, assistant production electrician, sound engineer, and projection engineer. During non-production times, the department may identify and assign research projects for students to undertake as their PWA. Additional roles or research projects can be requested by students for PWAs. All professional work assignments serve to give students practical management training or research time to complement and reinforce theory from the classroom. Additionally, they expose students to new technical disciplines and give students the opportunity to learn how to work with new teams effectively and safely. The successful completion of six to eight PWAs is necessary for the degree.

The M.F.A./Certificate program culminates in a research thesis, designed, written, and realized by the student in the student’s area of concentration. This is an opportunity to investigate and highlight a topic in technical theater that has or will have an impact on the field.

Plan of Study: Technical Design and Production

Class of 2024

Required Sequence

Year one (2020–2021)
Course Subject
DRAM 3a/b Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 109a/b Structural Design for the Stage I/II
DRAM 149a Production Planning
DRAM 159a Creating a Positive Theater Safety Culture with Supporting Technology
DRAM 169b Stage Rigging Techniques: Part I
DRAM 179a Drafting I
DRAM 179b Technical Design I
DRAM 199b Professional Development for Technical Managers
DRAM 559a/b Imagining a New Anti-Racist Production Process
Two electives (one per term)
One or two professional work assignments
Year two (2021–2022)
Course Subject
DRAM 6a/b Survey of Theater and Drama
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 119b Electricity
DRAM 169a Shop Technology
DRAM 169b Stage Rigging Techniques: Part II
DRAM 209a Physics of Stage Machinery
DRAM 299b Technical Writing
Four electives (two per term)
Three professional work assignments
Year three (2022–2023)
Course Subject
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 249a Technical Management I
DRAM 249b Technical Management II
DRAM 279a Technical Design II
Five electives (three in the fall, two in the spring)
Two professional work assignments
Year four (2023–2024)
Course Subject
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 399b Technical Design and Production Thesis
Two electives
Two professional work assignments

Class of 2023* (with Year Four)

Required Sequence

Year two (2020–2021)
Course Subject
DRAM 3a/b Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice
DRAM 6a/b Survey of Theater and Drama
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 209a Physics of Stage Machinery
DRAM 279a Technical Design II
DRAM 299b Technical Writing
DRAM 559a/b Imagining a New Anti-Racist Production Process
Five electives (two in the fall, three in the spring)
One or two professional work assignments
Year three (2021–2022)
Course Subject
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 249a Technical Management I
DRAM 249b Technical Management II
DRAM 399b Technical Design and Production Thesis†
Five electives (two in the fall, three in the spring)
Two professional work assignments
Year four (2022–2023)
Course Subject
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 399b Technical Design and Production Thesis†
Two electives
Two professional work assignments

*Students who matriculated in the Technical Design and Production department in fall 2019 as members of the original Class of 2022 have the option of completing their studies in four years.

†DRAM 399b is taken once in the third or fourth year depending on the length of the student’s residency.

Class of 2022

Required Sequence

Year two (2020–2021)
Course Subject
DRAM 3a/b Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice
DRAM 6a/b Survey of Theater and Drama
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 209a Physics of Stage Machinery
DRAM 279a Technical Design II
DRAM 299b Technical Writing
DRAM 559a/b Imagining a New Anti-Racist Production Process
Five electives (two in the fall, three in the spring)
One or two professional work assignments
Year three (2021–2022)
Course Subject
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 249a Technical Management I
DRAM 249b Technical Management II
DRAM 399b Technical Design and Production Thesis
Five electives (two in the fall, three in the spring)
Two professional work assignments

Class of 2022* (with Year Four)

Required Sequence

Year three (2020–2021)
Course Subject
DRAM 3a/b Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 399b Technical Design and Production Thesis†
DRAM 559a/b Imagining a New Anti-Racist Production Process
Five electives (two in the fall, three in the spring)
One or two professional work assignments
Year four (2021–2022)
Course Subject
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 399b Technical Design and Production Thesis†
Two electives
One or two professional work assignments

*Students who matriculated in the Technical Design and Production department in fall 2018 as members of the original Class of 2021 have the option of completing their studies in four years.

†DRAM 399b is taken once in the third or fourth year depending on the length of the student’s residency.

Class of 2021

Required Sequence

Year three (2020–2021)
Course Subject
DRAM 3a/b Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice
DRAM 9a/b TD&P Seminar
DRAM 399b Technical Design and Production Thesis
DRAM 559a/b Imagining a New Ant-Racist Production Process
Five electives (two in the fall, three in the spring)
One or two professional work assignments

Elective Sequence

Electives are determined in consultation with a faculty adviser and allow each student flexibility in selecting courses in the student’s 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 all areas in the Cabaret. No student with a grade of Incomplete, and no second- or third-year student on probation, may participate in the Yale Cabaret in any capacity.

Courses of Instruction

DRAM 3a/b, Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice This course meets both within individual departments and across disciplines, with students and faculty members as fellow learners, using readings, viewings, and discussions in pursuit of these goals: to identify the roots and branches of racism and white supremacy in the structures and practices of theater-making in the United States, including at Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre; to interrogate where the practices do harm and hinder; and to invest in the future by inviting students and faculty to imagine and uplift systems and cultures that do not depend upon or promote supremacy, to build a more just and equitable field.

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

DRAM 8a/b, The Artist as Citizen This course offers theater artists and managers a forum for reading, writing, and discussion, which may be guided or self-directed. Each student has an opportunity to consider personal responsibility to collaborators, the audience, and the broader society, with specific reference to each artist’s personal history and identity. What ethical and practical frameworks should shape our art form and its professional sphere? How might they align with personal practice and with value systems of the wider world? With an individual’s culture of origin? Or with the culture(s) in which we choose to work? What are the obligations and privileges of national and/or global citizenship? How can love and joy be centered when the artist embraces the role of citizen? This course is offered in person in both fall and spring terms and may be taken no more than eight times during a student’s enrollment. James Bundy

DRAM 9a/b, TD&P Seminar This course brings together all TD&P students weekly. Sessions include presentations by industry professionals, training in specific aspects of technical theater, career development strategy, and departmental EDI conversations. Toward the end of the term, all students with PWAs are expected to prepare and give a brief presentation, sharing their research and recommendations. Shaminda Amarakoon and faculty

DRAM 59a, Creating a Positive Theater Safety Culture How do you create a positive theater safety culture that balances OSHA requirements with artistic vision? Topics include risk assessment, chemical and fire hazards, weapons, special effects, concussion and physical safety of performers, fire prevention, code requirements, and emergency procedures. Case studies are discussed, along with the safety-related requirements for work on the stage. 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. Offered for first-year stage management students. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. 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. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[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. Not offered in 2020–2021]

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. Robin Hirsch

DRAM 109a/b, Structural Design for the Stage I/II This course concurrently develops the precalculus mathematics and physical sciences requisite for advanced study in modern theater technology. It 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

[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 production electrician. Emphasis is placed on relevant portions of the National Electrical Code. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

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, 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. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Michael Backhaus

DRAM 149a, Production Planning An introduction to the Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre production planning process, including the estimating of materials and labor for all phases of production. This course then explores the tools and techniques useful to each production department: scenery, paints, props, costumes, lighting, sound, projections and stage operations. Includes lecture and discussion sections, mixed with individual and group projects, that demonstrate the budget and planning systems used at YSD/YRT for every show. Open to nondepartmental students. Jonathan Reed

DRAM 159a, Creating a Positive Theater Safety Culture with Supporting Technology Combining safety and health topics with a practical application of technology allows students to see how the two can support each other to create a world-class theater practice. This course covers key safety topics including risk assessment, chemical and fire hazards, weapons, special effects, and emergency procedures, alongside practical training in Microsoft Office software, material handling, and scaffold and lift training. After taking this class, students have the foundational knowledge to leverage software and technical resources as they assess and mitigate risks commonly found in theater practice. 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. Anna Glover, Jonathan Reed

[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. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 169b, Stage Rigging Techniques: Part I 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. (Lectures will be offered in spring 2021; labs will be provided in spring 2022.) Neil Mulligan

DRAM 179a, Drafting I This course explores drafting as the means to communicate ideas and design solutions effectively. Students start the term sketching by hand and quickly transition to using AutoCAD to create drawings and three-dimensional models. Topics are presented through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, and lab work. Students complete individual assignments and participate in class critiques of their work. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Matt Welander

DRAM 179b, Technical Design I This course builds on the skills learned in DRAM 179a. Topics include the technical design process, fundamentals of scenery construction, and the development of clear and detailed shop drawings using industry best practices and graphic standards. Material is presented through a combination of lectures, group discussions, and lab work. Students complete individual and group assignments and participate in class critiques of their work. Open to nondepartmental students. Prerequisite: DRAM 179a or permission of the instructor. Matt Welander

DRAM 189a, Costume Production This course provides the opportunity for an in-depth analysis of and conversation about the processes involved in realizing a set of stage-worthy costumes. Focus is on understanding the design, build, and technical methods, including interpreting the sketch and research; selecting and sourcing fabrics/materials; budgeting; and developing strong, communicative working relationships between the costume designer, production staff, stage managers, actors, directors, and other members of the creative team. Christine Szczepanski

DRAM 189b, Period Styles and Décor The history of interior design informs the lectures and presentations for this exploration of period styles, with a specific focus on how they relate to choices made regarding set design and decoration. Class projects integrate specific plays set in different locations and time periods. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Jennifer McClure

DRAM 199b, Professional Development for Technical Managers This course blends the culture of good work practices with the skills, experiences, and technology necessary to meet the demanding needs of live production. Topics range from mental health and well-being, to digital and design accessibility, to safety culture, to technical writing for career advancement. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructors. Anna Glover, 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 219a, Lighting Technology This course combines lectures and lab demonstrations on the setup and use of lighting equipment, technology, and effects used in live events. Students learn of the available technology and its proper use and handling. Topics include power distribution, DMX, power and circuit plots, LED fixtures, moving lights, board programming, fog and haze units, and practicals. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Donald Titus

DRAM 219b, Lighting Production Process In conjunction with the lighting design department, this course prepares the student in the procedures of translating a light plot to the actual design on stage and fosters a collaborative process between the designer and technician. We explore the various paperwork, software, and workflow needed from the moment of receiving the light plot right up to the focus call, and those same procedures for maintaining the design during the run of the show as well as planning for loading out of the production. We wrap up the course with each student taking on the role of a production electrician—receiving a light plot from a designer and working with the lighting staff to execute the design, which includes inputting the show into the console. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Donald Titus

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, 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. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Eric Lin

[DRAM 249a, Technical Management I This course explores topics integral to the management of technical production processes, including effective communication, building strong teams, and efficient resource management. Lectures, guest presentations, and class discussions touch on a variety of techniques, standard practices, and legal parameters found in many theatrical producing organizations. Assignments provide further exploration of related topics in the form of written material, and weekly group discussions about management observations put theory into practice. Open to nondepartmental students. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 249b, Technical Management II A continuation of DRAM 249a, this course continues the exploration of effective communication, building strong teams, and efficient resource management in service of managing technical production processes. Lectures, guest presentations, and class discussions touch on a variety of techniques, standard practices, and legal parameters found in many theatrical producing organizations. Assignments provide further exploration of related topics in the form of written material, and weekly group discussions about management observations put theory into practice. DRAM 249a is not a prerequisite for this class. Open to nondepartmental students. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 279a, Technical Design II 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. Neil Mulligan

[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. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 299b, Technical Writing The objective of this second-year course is to improve writing skills, assisting students to convey information clearly, logically, and effectively. The course focuses on interpreting and writing different forms of technical documentation produced in the field of technical management including installation, operations and maintenance manuals, technical riders, and bid package documents. The course also includes thesis preparation and topic development, culminating in a thesis proposal submitted to faculty. C. Nikki Mills

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 I 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. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[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. Not offered in 2020–2021]

[DRAM 339b, Advanced Projection Engineering Forthcoming in 2021–2022. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 359b, Safety Risk Management and Health in Theater This course examines the application of risk assessment and risk registers, codes, and standards (including OSHA 29CFR1910 and 29CFR1926, NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, etc.) in theater through the lens of behavior-based safety. Students learn how to implement and maintain a robust safety culture within a theatrical environment and gain an understanding of risk analysis and resilience. 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

[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. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 379a, Drafting II This course studies parametric modeling and Building Information Modeling (BIM) as they are currently used in the entertainment industry. Students develop proficiency with Autodesk Inventor and Revit through demonstrations, lab work, and individual assignments. Open to nondepartmental students. Prerequisite: DRAM 179a or permission of the instructor. Matt Welander

DRAM 389a/b, Properties Design and Construction I/II Through lectures and demonstrations, students study design and fabrication of stage properties. Assignments are a blend of research projects and presentations and some hands-on work with materials, which is supplied to participants to work from home. Open to nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructors. Jennifer McClure, David P. Schrader

DRAM 399b, Technical Design and Production Thesis Prior to the start of the course, each student submits a thesis proposal for departmental review. The thesis topic must be applicable to advancing conversations, concepts, or practices within the technical theater industry by addressing a production- or planning-oriented subject with a new or updated perspective. Following topic approval, throughout the course as well as under a faculty and/or content adviser’s guidance, the student develops the thesis while continuing to build on research and writing skills from DRAM 299b. After revision and adviser’s approval, the work is presented to and evaluated and critiqued by department faculty and three independent readers and/or evaluators. Following revisions and with department approval, two bound copies and one digital copy of the thesis are submitted to complete the course. 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, Systems Integration for Live Entertainment Topics include data communication and networking principles; details of entertainment-specific protocols such as DMX512, MIDI, OSC, sACN, 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. Eric Lin

DRAM 429b, Theater Engineering: Overhead Rigging and Stage Machinery This course introduces the basic concepts necessary to design overhead rigging and stage machinery systems for performing arts buildings. Topics include the role of the theater consultant in the architectural design process; programming, designing, and budgeting stage equipment; relevant code requirements; and collaborating with other design disciplines to successfully integrate stage equipment and supporting infrastructure into the final building design. Open to nondepartmental students with permission of the instructor. Matt Welander

[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, electro-acoustics, sound isolation, noise and vibration control, and measurement and simulation of the built environment. 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. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 449b, Themed Entertainment Production A survey course on the production process in themed entertainment, this course invites alumni and other guests from the field to share aspects from design to performance to load out. Students learn the terminology used, standards and protocols for technical design and fabrication, as well as safety and risk mitigation. In addition, students hear how the skills developed in a theatrical training program translate to production in themed entertainment. Finally, guests relate how the field of themed entertainment is working toward greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in their practices. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Shaminda Amarakoon

DRAM 459a, Risk and Behavior-Based Safety in Theater Theaters face exposure to a wide range of risks. Increasingly, organizations are taking a holistic approach to managing risk using the principles and language of business risk management (BRM). This course looks at how the principles of BRM can help and support decision-making around risks at both strategic and operational levels in an organization. This work takes place alongside an investigation into behavior-based safety, showing how a combination of the two can help theaters make the best use of limited resources to manage the health and safety of every member of the community and understand their own exposure to risk. Open to third-year and nondepartmental students with prior permission of the instructor. Anna Glover

[DRAM 469b, Commercial Scenery Production This course examines the planning and execution of scenery in shops servicing the Broadway theater and live event industries. Topics include commercial industry overview, shop management, the bid process, design and fabrication techniques, theater installation, and planning for tours. Projects include creating a bid estimate and a commercial tech design. Class format includes lectures, guest presentations, and field trips to commercial shops in the NYC region providing both observational and networking opportunities for students. Open to nondepartmental and non-School of Drama students with permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 479a, Technical Design III Students in this course budget, design, draft, and manage the construction and installation of a permanent YSD automation lab. Each student either designs an element for the lab or manages the design of several elements (similar to a typical TD-ATD relationship). Students work with staff carpenters to realize and refine designs within the given time and budget parameters. Prerequisite: DRAM 279a. Neil Mulligan

DRAM 489a/b, Costume Seminar This course provides the opportunity for exploration, in-depth analysis, and conversation about the processes involved in realizing stage-worthy costumes. We focus 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 technicians and production staffs, stage managers, and directors. Ilona Somogyi, Christine Szczepanski

[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 the knowledge acquired in DRAM 329b, 429b, and 439a, although these courses are not prerequisites. Not offered in 2020–2021]

DRAM 549a/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 559a/b, Imagining a New Anti-Racist Production Process This course uses Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun’s “The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture” to investigate the roots of racism within the theatrical production process. Students interrogate the previous YSD production model, as well as each production department, using Jones’s and Okun’s principles. Students then imagine a new process that incorporates the listed antidotes, or additional ones crafted by the class, outlining the resources necessary to achieve them. The class builds toward a list of recommendations for a new production model for theater, one less rooted in white supremacist culture. This year, the course will host DRAM 3a/b, Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice. Shaminda Amarakoon and faculty