Technical Internship Training Program

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 supervisors, scenic artists, costumers, or production electricians. This training program combines six graduate-level courses with closely guided and monitored practical production work. In a non-production year, interns will take up to eight courses. 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.

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 department 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 department’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 and Sound Design departments 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 have 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.

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./Certificate programs of study—Technical Design and Production, Design, or Sound Design—sometimes receiving credit toward the degree for requirements already completed. Those who choose to enter the job market receive assistance from the department chair and faculty supervisors. Our alumni provide many job opportunities for professionally trained theater technicians.

Plan of Study: Technical Internship

Class of 2021 (2 Terms)

Required Sequence

2020–2021
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
Eight electives (four per term)
DRAM 9a/b, TD&P Seminar (optional)
One additional elective as an audit per term (optional)

Class of 2021 (3 Terms)

Required Sequence

Year one (2020–2021)
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
Eight electives (four per term)
DRAM 9a/b, TD&P Seminar (optional)
One additional elective as an audit per term (optional)
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

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 departmental work. All interns must seek prior approval from the department chair for participation in all areas in the Cabaret. No intern with an Incomplete 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 and Sound Design department are also available. Courses in other departments in the School, or in other programs 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 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 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 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 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