Technical Internship Training Program

Within the TD&P program, the David Geffen School of Drama offers a one-year technical internship training certificate for those seeking to become professional scenic carpenters, sound engineers, projection engineers, properties supervisors, scenic artists, costumers, or production electricians. This certificate combines six graduate-level courses with closely guided and monitored practical production work. Interns receive individual attention, training, and supervision from their program advisers and work side-by-side with the School’s and Yale Repertory Theatre’s professional staff.

Interns are required to successfully complete two terms of the practicum course in their chosen area of concentration, as well as two terms of anti-racism training offered by the program or School. An assigned faculty or staff adviser guides each intern in selecting three additional courses each term (four each term in a non-production year). Interns may also audit one additional course as well as participate in the TD&P Seminar course both terms. Most courses offered as part of the program’s three-year M.F.A./Certificate program of study are open to technical interns. The courses cover a wide range of topics, including: shop technology, electricity, drafting, properties construction, projection engineering, sound technology, scene painting, costume construction, patternmaking, rigging, and theater safety. Interns are encouraged to consider courses from the Design program as well. In addition to practicum and course work, interns may be assigned one or two professional work assignments (PWAs) in their area, giving them some technical design, production planning, and management experience.

Due to the non-production year in 2020–2021, interns also had the option to add a third term of training in the fall of 2021. The additional term may focus more on practical production work and PWA opportunities, rather than many additional courses.

Those who successfully complete the program of study receive an Internship Certificate during the School’s May commencement ceremonies. Some interns decide to apply and then, if accepted, subsequently enroll in one of the three-year M.F.A./Certificate programs of study—usually Technical Design and Production or Design—sometimes receiving credit toward the degree for requirements already completed. Other interns choose to apply for a second one-year internship in the same or different discipline. Those who choose to enter the job market receive assistance from the program chair and faculty supervisors. Our alumni provide many job opportunities for professionally trained theater technicians.

Plan of Study: Technical Internship

Class of 2021 (3 Terms)

Required Sequence

Third term (fall 2021)
Course Subject
DRAM 99a/b Internship Practicum
One elective
DRAM 9a/b, TD&P Seminar (optional)
One additional elective as an audit per term (optional)
One professional work assignment

Class of 2022 (2 Terms)

Required Sequence

Course Subject
DRAM 3a/b Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice
DRAM 99a/b Internship Practicum
DRAM 559a/b Imagining a New Anti-Racist Production Process
Six electives (three per term)
DRAM 9a/b, TD&P Seminar (optional)
One additional elective as an audit per term (optional)

Interns admitted to a second year who also elected to extend the 2020–2021 year into a third term need only complete half these requirements (mostly in spring 2022).

Elective Sequence

Electives are determined in consultation with a faculty adviser and allow each student reasonable flexibility in selecting courses in the student’s chosen area of concentration.

Yale Cabaret

Technical interns 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 program work. No intern with an Incomplete and no intern on academic warning may participate in the Yale Cabaret in any capacity.

Courses of Instruction

See course listings and descriptions under Technical Design and Production (M.F.A. and Certificate). Additional courses in the Design program are also available. Courses in other programs in the School, or in other departments and schools at the University, may be considered, subject to scheduling and adviser approval.

DRAM 3a/b, Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice This course meets both within individual programs 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 David Geffen 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 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 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 99a/b, Internship Practicum This course provides practical work in the intern’s area of concentration through projects developed with the intern’s adviser. Interns train on tools, software, and processes necessary for production within their discipline. Additional training beyond these projects is also possible in consultation with faculty or staff advisers. Open only to those in the Technical Internship Program. Shaminda Amarakoon and faculty

DRAM 559a/b, Imagining a New Anti-Racist Production Process This course uses Kenneth Jones’s 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 School production model, as well as each production program, 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 hosts DRAM 3a/b, Toward Anti-Racist Theater Practice. Shaminda Amarakoon