Yale School of Drama consists of theater professionals and students working together in a conservatory setting. Training at the School of Drama includes classes and a range of production experiences, from readings to performances at the School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre.
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. Similarly, the School is temporarily extending the Technical Internship program by one fully funded term. All sections pertaining to production work in this chapter of the School of Drama bulletin refer to a typical production schedule and are not necessarily applicable for 2020–2021.
Students follow the curriculum of the particular discipline in which they were admitted. Each department in Yale School of Drama has a sequential series of courses unique to its discipline and designed to develop an advanced understanding of the student’s program of study and the art of the theater.
Production activity is central to the training in all departments, featuring more than forty productions at Yale School of Drama, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Yale Cabaret each season. The School of Drama’s production calendar is the most extensive of any theater training program in the United States. These productions afford ample opportunities to present student work to the faculty so that they can evaluate each student’s progress from the classroom to the stage.
Yale School of Drama
Yale School of Drama presents six plays in productions for which tickets are sold to the general public. Three of these are selected in consultation with the Directing department; three are new plays from the Playwriting department, produced in repertory at the end of the spring term. Additional productions within the School of Drama include the Shakespeare Repertory Projects, new plays from the Playwriting department, and projects selected by the chair of the Acting department.
Yale Repertory Theatre
Yale Repertory Theatre serves as a teaching theater—both an exemplar and laboratory of professional practice—for Yale School of Drama. Each department has established a unique relationship with Yale Rep and challenges students to work at the level of this distinguished professional company. Yale Rep is a member of the League of Resident Theatres and draws talent from around the world. In addition to offering main stage productions and special presentations, Yale Rep connects to the community through youth programs including Will Power! and the Dwight/Edgewood Project, which recruits School of Drama students each summer to serve as mentors for local middle school students.
Yale Cabaret provides students an extracurricular outlet for exploration of a wide range of material. With its own student artistic and management leadership, reporting to a board of directors comprising students and faculty, the Cabaret presents work that is entirely student-produced. It is the only area of production at Yale School of Drama where students regularly move out of their primary discipline of study: actors direct, managers act, and playwrights sing.
During the summer, Yale Summer Cabaret is the exploratory theatrical home for Yale School of Drama students. Like Yale Cabaret, it is student-run and interdisciplinary. Each season, a new artistic and management team has the opportunity to shape the theater’s vision, while collaborating with an advisory board, local donors, and the greater New Haven community.
Professional theater training in the twenty-first century requires exposures to a variety of subjects and modes of learning that are incompatible with the two-term calendar. The School therefore sets aside one week each year to introduce interdisciplinary material, including workshops focused on professional development and skill building, and, for first-year students, intensive explorations of critical discourse in collaboration and of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the theater field. These modular courses strengthen students’ practice throughout their training and prepare them for the ongoing endeavor of learning that is the hallmark of long and productive careers in the arts and related disciplines.
Seminar Week is tentatively scheduled for January 4–9, 2021. Classes are held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Traditionally, first-year students and technical interns take two multiday workshops as a group (Beyond Diversity: Practicing Equity and Inclusion, taught by Carmen Morgan; and Critical Response Process, taught by Liz Lerman), which occupy the majority of the week. Each department determines the requirements and available electives for its second- and third-year students. Official confirmation of Seminar Week, and its schedule, will be announced by December.
Yale School of Drama has four work periods scheduled during the academic year. (See academic calendar.) All students are expected to be in attendance during work periods and to be engaged in production activity or other professional work at the School of Drama or Yale Repertory Theatre. Classes or other required academic sessions may not be scheduled during the April 30 through May 15 work period.
Resolution of Scheduling Conflicts
The administration attempts to avoid conflicts between the requirements of the various departments and activities. From time to time, such conflicts do occur. Should such a conflict arise, students are responsible for discussing the conflict with their department chair. For the purpose of resolving such conflicts, the priority of scheduling is as follows: (1) Yale Repertory Theatre rehearsal and performance calls (including required work-study); (2) Yale School of Drama classes, Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.; (3) publicly performed productions of Yale School of Drama to which tickets are sold; (4) other assigned production projects (acting projects, new plays, Shakespeare Repertory Projects, etc.); (5) required work-study other than Yale Rep rehearsal and performance calls covered in (1) above; (6) Yale Cabaret productions; (7) affinity group events or productions; and elective work-study. A comprehensive production calendar is issued at the beginning of the academic year. Exceptions to the priorities do not set precedent.
Attendance at scheduled classes, production assignments, rehearsals, required work-study assignments, required Seminar Week workshops, and Yale School of Drama meetings is required in order to remain in good standing. Unexcused absences are not permitted. Persistent unexcused lateness is not tolerated.
For sudden, unplanned absences from class, students and technical interns should alert the faculty member teaching the course, their department chair, and their department’s senior administrative assistant via e-mail. Requests for absences that will require a student or technical intern to miss multiple classes and/or required work-study must be made in advance, using an electronic absence request form available on YSDinfo (https://ysdinfo.yale.edu), listing all classes, professional assignment(s), and required work-study assignment(s) the student or technical intern would miss during the requested absence. The completed absence request is automatically transmitted to student labor supervisor C. Nikki Mills, who will respond by e-mail to the student’s department chair, with a copy to the student and any affected supervisors, indicating work-study clearance or explaining why work-study clearance must be denied. If work-study clearance is granted, then the department chair will determine whether or not to approve the absence. If the chair approves the absence, the chair will communicate approval of the absence to the student, to all relevant faculty members and supervisors, and to the stage manager for any production in which the student is involved. Requests for absences that would interfere with existing academic work or work-study obligations will not be approved, except in extraordinary circumstances.
Rehearsal and performance calls are posted each day. Unavoidable lateness for these calls must be reported to the individual in charge as soon as possible, but no later than thirty minutes before the call. Students must report illnesses or doctor’s appointments to their department’s senior administrative assistant. Persistent lateness and/or unexcused absences are considered unprofessional behavior and may result in disciplinary action or dismissal from the School of Drama.
The School of Drama’s academic calendar includes four recess periods when classes are not in session, but some production and administrative work may need to continue during recess periods. Whenever a student is required to forgo all or part of a Yale School of Drama recess, including summer recess, because of a department or required work-study assignment for either a School of Drama or Yale Repertory Theatre production, the student is eligible to be paid up to eight hours for each recess day in which the student is required to be present. Compensation for such is set at the prevailing hourly work-study rate. Should the assignment not require eight hours of work per day or for the entire recess period, as determined by the department chair for department assignments and by the work-study supervisor for work-study assignments, the student may be assigned additional work by the student labor supervisor.
If the additional assigned work-study exceeds forty hours per week, the student is paid at time-and-one-half. Examples of assignments that often do not require eight hours per day or forty hours per week are: department assignments such as lighting and sound designers and dramaturgs during the design phase; production electricians and sound engineers during a build period; understudies during performance weeks; and work-study assignments such as ushers and electrics crew during performances and load-ins, respectively. In these circumstances, students are notified of any additional assignments by the student labor supervisor or director of production prior to the start of the original assignment. Student actors and stage managers paid on Actors’ Equity contracts for the full production period are not eligible for recess pay. Due to the cancellation of all Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre theatrical productions for the 2020–2021 season, we do not anticipate any recess pay in this academic year.
Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre, like most professional theaters, must operate on a number of religious holidays, including some holidays on which the rest of the University is closed.
Students whose religious beliefs impose restrictions on their availability for work, either on religious holidays or at other times, must notify associate dean Chantal Rodriguez, their department chair, and student labor supervisor C. Nikki Mills no later than August 1, so that their religious needs can be considered in making production assignments, professional work assignments, and required work-study assignments.
Requests for absences from class for religious reasons should be submitted using the online absence request form available at https://ysdinfo.yale.edu.
Each department assigns its students responsibilities in productions at Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre. Departments may change or eliminate assignments for individual students depending upon the needs of the program. Unless otherwise announced, all members of the company and production team on School of Drama productions are obligated to strike the show.
All casting is assigned by the chair of Acting and approved by the dean, based on the developmental needs of each student and on the needs of the project. The student director on a project or production prepares a cast breakdown, which is reviewed by the appropriate directing adviser before submission to the Acting chair. Student directors—or, in the case of the Carlotta Festival or Langston Hughes Festival studio productions, the playwright, director, and dramaturg—then meet with the Acting chair to discuss their production ideas, not to request specific actors. A cast list is posted only after it is approved by the dean. The casting pool for Yale School of Drama productions and projects consists of those acting students who have demonstrated in class the necessary discipline and collaborative attitudes. Any deficiency in these qualities results in removal from all casting until such deficiency is corrected to the satisfaction of the faculty. Once cast in a role, the student is required to fulfill that obligation.
Understudy assignments at Yale Repertory Theatre are treated seriously. Understudies are expected to be available for any performance at a moment’s notice. Unless at home or at another posted rehearsal, understudies must inform the stage manager of their location prior to the performance. Student understudies must have permission from the chair of the Acting department before leaving New Haven. Failure to be available to perform as an understudy is treated as unprofessional behavior and may be grounds for dismissal.
Yale Repertory Theatre and Yale School of Drama maintain an open rehearsal policy. Rehearsals at Yale Rep, however, may be closed by the director at any time. School of Drama rehearsals may be closed by the director with the permission of the chair of Stage Management, and with notice posted on the callboard.
Rehearsals are normally scheduled from 2:30 to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Sunday is normally the day off. With advance notice and approval of the dean, directors of major productions at Yale School of Drama may change the day off from Sunday to Saturday.
The number of rehearsal hours for any given project is set by the Acting and Directing departments. Actors are ordinarily called no more than five hours in one day for rehearsal of a Yale School of Drama production. Actors who are double cast cannot participate in Yale Cabaret productions. A director may ordinarily rehearse a major School of Drama production no more than seven hours in one day. Directors should cooperate with each other to ensure that actors have reasonable breaks. The final week before the opening of a production is an exception to these rules.
All photographic and recording needs for YSD productions will follow the rules set forth by the Actors’ Equity Association agreement. Production photographs will be taken by a professional photographer during a designated dress rehearsal. YSD photo shoots are arranged and archived by the Marketing and Communications Department and coordinated with stage management. Companies will be given at least twenty-four hours’ notice of rehearsal photography. Photo libraries are maintained by the Marketing and Communications Department and are available to students for portfolio purposes throughout the year. For detailed information about the production photography and video-recording policy, please refer to the Production Handbook.
Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre together maintain an ambitious production calendar. The combination of artistic aspiration and significant scope in production creates vital opportunities for training, both in a student’s own discipline and across disciplines. Such opportunities are made possible, in part, by students’ sharing responsibility for the varieties of work that support the production experience for all.
Work-study reinforces Yale School of Drama’s commitment to collaboration and community by giving all students responsibility for participation in artistic, production, and administrative work in accordance with the mission of the School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre.
Therefore, every student and technical intern in Yale School of Drama (except for special students and special research fellows) is required to fulfill a minimum number of work-study hours. For the 2020–2021 year, we expect all students and interns will work a minimum of thirty hours, which will be achieved through a combination of assigned and/or elective work-study. The deans, in consultation with the work-study committee, set the number of hours devoted to required work-study jobs according to the needs of the School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre. The student labor supervisor makes all required work-study assignments. Students are required to be professionally dressed for the work-study tasks at hand.
For financial aid implications of the work-study requirement for those receiving financial aid, please refer to the chapter Financial Aid Policy.
In addition to required work-study, there are a number of elective work-study opportunities at Yale School of Drama, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Yale Cabaret. Elective work-study hours are exclusively supplemental: they cannot be substituted for assigned work-study hours. Financial aid awards are based on an expectation that students will perform elective work-study in addition to any required work-study assignments. Students are required to be professionally dressed for the work-study tasks at hand.
Participation in Yale Cabaret
Students in all departments are encouraged to involve themselves in the Yale Cabaret, but must seek advance written or e-mail approval from their department chair before committing to participate in a Cabaret production. If a student has an overlapping work-study assignment, approval from the student labor supervisor is also required before committing to the production. Each department has specific policies regarding Cabaret participation, set forth in this bulletin and/or the departmental handbook, and such approval is only withheld when the department has significant concerns about the conflicting demands of a student’s academic and/or professional responsibilities. No student on probation in any department may participate in the Cabaret.
Yale School of Drama is a professional environment and, as such, encourages professional work. Nonetheless, the School of Drama does not encourage students to pursue outside work at the expense of their obligations to the School. The School of Drama requires that students prepare for classes and rehearsals, attend them, and participate fully in the life of the School. Students requesting to work outside of the School of Drama must receive written approval from their department chair and the dean before committing to any outside work. If approved, written confirmation of approval and the details of the commitment will be shared with the student labor supervisor. Elective participation in work outside of the School, including work for the University, may impact a student’s access to assigned or elective work-study hours. Under no circumstances should actors commit to projects outside the School. It should be understood that permission to participate in outside projects (whether paid or not) is rarely given.
Students must register prior to the beginning of classes in the fall. Students who cannot attend the scheduled fall-term registration must receive written permission from their department chair and notify the registrar in advance. All international students are required to complete a nonacademic registration with the Office of International Students and Scholars prior to the beginning of classes, in addition to Yale School of Drama registration.
All students must submit their course schedules to the registrar within one week of the first day of classes of each term and are responsible for notifying the registrar of any subsequent changes in their schedules.
Drama 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama
Solid grounding in theater history is a foundation for lasting creativity. Therefore, DRAM 6a/b, Survey of Theater and Drama, is a required course for all Certificate in Drama and Master of Fine Arts candidates in Yale School of Drama. Students may be exempted from DRAM 6a and/or DRAM 6b by passing the relevant examinations administered by the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism faculty at the start of the fall and spring terms. Students seeking exemption from DRAM 6a and/or DRAM 6b must pass the relevant exams before the course is required in their program of study, which is in the first year for all students except those in Design, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, and Technical Design and Production, for whom the course is required in the second year. A student who fails to pass either DRAM 6a or DRAM 6b may be permitted to attempt the relevant exemption exam or retake the course with the approval of the instructor and the chair of the student’s department. Failure to pass DRAM 6a/b will prevent students from meeting the requirements for graduation. Students in need of course or exemption exam accommodations must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 203.432.2324 to make an appointment. Reasonable accommodations are established in advance through an interactive process between the student, the course instructor, and SAS.
Course Standards and Requirements
Each department develops its own course of study in consultation with the dean. The advantage of a small institution lies in its ability to give personal attention; students are encouraged to expand and broaden their program of study, which may encompass assigned off-campus field trips and fieldwork, with the aid of the chair of their department. A department may choose to vary specific requirements on an individual basis with the approval of the dean.
Yale School of Drama students may take courses for credit, audit, or the Pass/Fail option at any of the other schools at the University with the approval of the student’s adviser, department chair, and the course instructor. Students enrolling in courses at other schools are subject to all policies and deadlines of both that school and the School of Drama. Outside courses are graded according to School of Drama policy.
Auditors must receive permission from the instructor before enrolling as an auditor, as not all faculty permit auditors in their classes. The minimum general requirement for auditing is attendance in two-thirds of the class sessions; instructors may set additional requirements for auditing their classes.
School of Drama courses are open only to students in the department offering the courses, unless otherwise specified in this bulletin.
Except where noted, courses at Yale School of Drama are offered on a Pass/Fail basis. Grades are posted at the end of each term to the student’s private SIS account. Students are responsible for reviewing their grades at the end of each term. At the discretion of the instructor, courses in Stage Management and Technical Design and Production may be offered as Honors (92–100), High Pass (82–91), Pass (75–81), Fail (below 75), Withdrew Pass (WP), Withdrew Fail (WF); and with few exceptions, first-year courses in Theater Management are offered on this basis. At the discretion of the instructor, courses in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism may be offered as: Honors+ (98 and above), Honors (95–97), Honors- (92–94), High Pass+ (88–91), High Pass (85–87), High Pass- (82–84), Pass+ (78–81), Pass (75–77), Fail (below 75), Withdrew Pass (WP), Withdrew Fail (WF).
Should a student fail to complete all required course work by the end of a term, an instructor may give a grade of Incomplete. However, the student is required to complete the remaining course work within one month of the end of the term. If, for good reason, the student is unable to complete the course requirements during the allotted time, the student may petition the instructor for an extension. If, after the allotted time or the period of extension, the course requirements are not met, the grade of Incomplete will be converted to a grade of Permanent Incomplete.
A student may withdraw from a required course only with permission of the department chair.
Students are evaluated on the basis of their application to training, development of craft, academic and production performance, and professionalism, which in all disciplines is characterized by commitment, integrity, reliability, communication, and collaboration.
The first year of residence is probationary for all students at Yale School of Drama. The faculty shall evaluate each student’s progress during the first year, and a student who fails to meet all the requirements of the program and to progress appropriately in the criteria noted above may be dismissed at any time despite having achieved passing grades in all course work.
At the end of each student’s first year, the faculty may determine that a student has failed to advance appropriately in the criteria noted above, and may extend the student’s probation into the second year. See section on Notice of Probation and Grounds for Dismissal below.
Students in the second year and third year continue to be evaluated on the criteria noted above. A student’s failure to advance appropriately in the evaluation of the faculty may result in the student being placed on probation or, in serious cases, dismissed, during the second or third year. See section on Notice of Probation and Grounds for Dismissal below.
Serious breaches of Yale School of Drama or Yale University policy, including failure to meet class requirements or departmental or required work-study assignments (such as persistent lateness to and/or absence from classes without excuse, repeated failure to meet and make up class assignments, unprofessional behavior in production, and the like), may lead to immediate dismissal of a student who is not currently on probation.
For further information on requirements specific to each program, carefully refer to department descriptions later detailed in this bulletin.
Students who have satisfactorily completed their course of study and have successfully fulfilled all non-classroom requirements of their program are recommended by a majority vote of the faculty to receive the Certificate in Drama, M.F.A., or D.F.A., conferred by the President and Fellows of Yale University.
Notice of Probation and Grounds for Dismissal
Notice to extend a first-year student’s probation into the second year, or to place a second- or third-year student on probation, shall be given in a formal probation meeting with the dean, associate dean, or assistant dean, and the student’s department chair. The student is encouraged to bring to the probation meeting a faculty member or another adviser selected from the administration of Yale School of Drama. Following the meeting, the student receives written confirmation of the student’s probationary status, the reasons for the probation, and the improvement required within a defined time frame to have this probationary status removed. No second- or third-year student on probation may participate in the Yale Cabaret. Failure to have the probationary status removed within the time frame usually leads to dismissal.
Probation beyond a student’s first year may be imposed when the faculty expresses serious reservation about the ability or willingness of the student to meet the requirements of the student’s program when evaluated by the criteria noted above. Students who, in the judgment of the department chair or the dean, are not achieving appropriate standards of professional practice in their art, craft, or discipline, or meeting the requirements of their program when evaluated by the criteria noted above under Evaluation, may be dismissed, whether or not they are on probation.
Students may also be dismissed at any time for serious breaches of Yale School of Drama or Yale University policy. Once dismissed, a student is not eligible for readmission.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
All Yale School of Drama students who are receiving Title IV funds must meet the stipulated policies and guidelines detailed above for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Federal aid recipients are required to be in good standing and to maintain SAP toward their degree requirements each term in which they are enrolled. SAP is evaluated at the end of the fall and spring terms. Failure to maintain satisfactory progress may result in the loss of financial aid eligibility.
Leaves of Absence
Students are expected to follow a continuous course of study at Yale School of Drama. A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily may request a leave of absence. There are three types of leave—personal, medical, and parental—all of which are described below. The general policies that apply to all types of leave are:
- Leave of absence application forms are available from the registrar’s office at Yale School of Drama.
- All leaves of absence must be approved by the appropriate department chair and the dean. Medical leaves also require the recommendation of a physician on the staff of Yale Health. See Medical Leave of Absence below.
- A student may be granted a leave of absence for one, two, or three terms. A student is not normally granted a leave of absence to take on a professional commitment.
- International students who apply for a leave of absence must consult with OISS regarding their visa status.
- A student on leave of absence may complete outstanding work in courses for which extensions have been granted. The student may not, however, fulfill any other degree requirements during the time on leave.
- A student on a leave of absence is not eligible for financial aid, including loans; and in most cases, student loans are not deferred during periods of non-enrollment.
- A student on a leave of absence is not eligible for the use of any University facilities normally available to registered students.
- A student on a leave of absence is not eligible for coverage by Yale Health Basic or Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Coverage. Coverage terminates the day the leave is granted. In order to secure continuous coverage through Yale Health, a student must request enrollment in Yale Health Affiliate Coverage and pay the premium prior to the beginning of the term for which the leave is taken. If a leave of absence is granted during the term, the student must request Yale Health Affiliate Coverage enrollment within thirty days of the date the registrar is notified of the leave. Applications are available from the Yale Health Member Services Department, 55 Lock Street (203.432.0246), or can be downloaded from the Yale Health website (http://yalehealth.yale.edu).
- A student on leave of absence does not have to file a formal application for readmission. However, the student must notify the registrar in writing of the intention to return at least eight weeks prior to the end of the approved leave. In addition, if the returning student wishes to be considered for financial aid, the student must submit appropriate financial aid applications to Yale School of Drama’s financial aid office to determine eligibility. For returns from medical leaves of absence, see Medical Leave of Absence below.
- A student on leave of absence who does not return at the end of an approved leave, and does not request and receive an extension by the student’s chair and the dean, is automatically dismissed from Yale School of Drama.
Personal Leave of Absence
A student who is current with degree requirements and wishes to interrupt study temporarily because of personal exigencies may request a personal leave of absence. The general policies governing leaves of absence are described above. A student is eligible for a personal leave after satisfactory completion of at least one term of study. Personal leaves cannot be granted retroactively, and normally are not approved after the tenth day of a term.
To request a personal leave of absence, a student must complete the form available in the registrar’s office before the beginning of the term for which the leave is requested, explaining the reasons for the proposed leave, and stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave, and the address at which the student can be reached during the period of the leave.
If the chair of the department finds the student to be eligible, and the dean approves, the leave is granted. In any case, the student is informed in writing of the action taken. A student who does not apply for a personal leave of absence, or who applies for a leave but is not granted one, and who does not register for any term, is considered to have withdrawn from Yale School of Drama.
Medical Leave of Absence
A student who must interrupt study temporarily because of illness or injury may be granted a medical leave of absence with the approval of the appropriate department chair and the dean, on the written recommendation of a physician on the staff of Yale Health. The final decision concerning a request for a medical leave of absence is communicated in writing from the department chair and the dean.
The general policies governing leaves of absence are described above. A student who is making satisfactory progress toward degree requirements is eligible for a medical leave any time after matriculation.
Yale School of Drama reserves the right to place a student on a mandatory medical leave of absence when, on recommendation of the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Mental Health and Counseling department, the dean of the School determines that, because of a medical condition, the student is a danger to self or others, the student has seriously disrupted others in the student’s residential or academic communities, or the student has refused to cooperate with efforts deemed necessary by Yale Health and the dean to make such determinations. Each case will be assessed individually based on all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the level of risk presented and the availability of reasonable modifications. Reasonable modifications do not include fundamental alterations to the student’s academic, residential, or other relevant communities or programs; in addition, reasonable modifications do not include those that unduly burden University resources.
An appeal of such a leave must be made in writing to the dean of the School of Drama no later than seven days from the effective date of the leave.
An incident that gives rise to voluntary or mandatory leave of absence may also result in subsequent disciplinary action.
A student who is placed on medical leave during any term has tuition adjusted according to the same schedule used for withdrawals. (See Tuition Rebate and Refund Policy in the chapter Tuition.) Before re-registering, a student on medical leave must secure written permission to return from a physician at Yale Health.
Leave of Absence for Parental Responsibilities
A student who is making satisfactory progress toward degree requirements and wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily for reasons of pregnancy, maternity care, or paternity care, may be granted a leave of absence for parental responsibilities. Any student planning to have or care for a child is encouraged to meet with the student’s department chair and the dean to discuss leaves and other short-term arrangements. For many students, short-term arrangements, rather than a leave of absence, are possible. The general policies governing all leaves are described above. A student who is making satisfactory progress toward degree requirements is eligible for parental leave of absence any time after matriculation.
Students living in University housing units are encouraged to review their housing contract and the related polices of the Graduate Housing Office before applying to Yale School of Drama for a parental leave of absence. Students granted a parental leave may continue to reside in University housing to the end of the academic term for which the leave was first granted, but no longer.
Students and technical interns who wish to end their program of study should submit the appropriate withdrawal form to the registrar. Normally, a student or intern who has chosen to withdraw is eligible to apply for readmission. A student or intern who is asked to withdraw by the faculty is not eligible to apply for readmission. Refer to Eligibility Changes, under Health Services, in the chapter Yale University Resources and Services, regarding Yale Health premium refunds, and coverage, if applicable.
U.S. Military Leave Readmissions Policy
Students who wish or need to interrupt their studies to perform U.S. military service are subject to a separate U.S. military leave readmissions policy. In the event a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from Yale School of Drama to serve in the U.S. military, the student will be entitled to guaranteed readmission under the following conditions:
- The student must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for a period of more than thirty consecutive days.
- The student must give advance written or oral notice of such service to the appropriate dean. In providing the advance notice the student does not need to indicate an intent to return. This advance notice need not come directly from the student, but rather, can be made by an appropriate officer of the U.S. Armed Forces or official of the U.S. Department of Defense. Notice is not required if precluded by military necessity. In all cases, this notice requirement can be fulfilled at the time the student seeks readmission, by submitting an attestation that the student performed the service.
- The student must not be away from Yale School of Drama to perform U.S. military service for a period exceeding five years (this includes all previous absences to perform U.S. military service but does not include any initial period of obligated service). If a student’s time away from Yale School of Drama to perform U.S. military service exceeds five years because the student is unable to obtain release orders through no fault of the student or the student was ordered to or retained on active duty, the student should contact the appropriate dean to determine if the student remains eligible for guaranteed readmission.
- The student must notify Yale School of Drama within three years of the end of the U.S. military service of the intention to return. However, a student who is hospitalized or recovering from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the U.S. military service has up until two years after recovering from the illness or injury to notify Yale School of Drama of the intent to return.
- The student cannot have received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or have been sentenced in a court-martial.
A student who meets all of these conditions will be readmitted for the next term, unless the student requests a later date of readmission. Any student who fails to meet one of these requirements may still be readmitted under the general readmission policy but is not guaranteed readmission.
Upon returning to Yale School of Drama, the student will resume education without repeating completed course work for courses interrupted by U.S. military service. The student will have the same enrolled status last held and with the same academic standing. For the first academic year in which the student returns, the student will be charged the tuition and fees that would have been assessed for the academic year in which the student left the institution. Yale may charge up to the amount of tuition and fees other students are assessed, however, if veteran’s education benefits will cover the difference between the amounts currently charged other students and the amount charged for the academic year in which the student left.
In the case of a student who is not prepared to resume studies with the same academic status at the same point at which the student left or who will not be able to complete the program of study, Yale School of Drama will undertake reasonable efforts to help the student become prepared. If after reasonable efforts, Yale School of Drama determines that the student remains unprepared or will be unable to complete the program, or after Yale School of Drama determines that there are no reasonable efforts it can take, Yale School of Drama may deny the student readmission.
All candidates on whom degrees or certificates are to be conferred must be present at the Commencement exercises unless excused for urgent reasons by their department chair with the approval of the dean. Requests to be excused from Commencement must be submitted by May 1, 2021.
The registrar of Yale School of Drama maintains academic transcripts of current and former students. Transcripts are issued by the registrar only by written request from the student or former student, and only if the student has no outstanding debts to the School of Drama or the University. A charge of $5 per transcript is imposed. Students may review their grades posted on their Student Information System account.
The registrar of Yale School of Drama maintains academic records on each enrolled student. The following types of academic records are maintained: the application for admission and supporting documents such as standardized test scores, transcripts of undergraduate or other prior study, and letters of recommendation; registration forms, grade reports, course schedules, petitions filed by the student, and any other documents or correspondence pertaining to the student’s academic work or status within the School of Drama. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, governs access to the academic records. The current FERPA policy statement is posted on the School of Drama’s website (http://drama.yale.edu). The statement has two chief purposes: the first is to describe the nature of a student’s right to review the student’s educational record; the second is to describe the University’s policy of confidentiality in the maintenance of student records.
Freedom of Expression
The Yale School of Drama is committed to the protection of free inquiry and expression in the classroom and throughout the school community. In this, the School reflects the University’s commitment to and policy on freedom of expression as eloquently stated in the Woodward Report (Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression at Yale, 1974). See https://studentlife.yale.edu/guidance-regarding-free-expression-and-peaceable-assembly-students-yale.
Audio, Video, and Photographic Recording Policy
The purpose of this policy is to set forth expectations regarding the audio, video, and photographic recording of classes, meetings, or other conversations at the School, at School-sponsored events, or between members of our community. For policies regarding theatrical production photos and performance recordings, please refer to the Yale School of Drama Production Handbook, which is available at https://ysdinfo.yale.edu/handbooks-guides.
It is expected that faculty, staff, students, interns, and invited guests will respect the privacy of other individuals in the workplace and in educational settings. Therefore, Yale School of Drama prohibits the surreptitious use of audio, video, and photographic recording devices in its buildings and at any School-sponsored meetings, gatherings, and/or events. Recording devices may only be used in an open, conspicuous manner so that it is apparent to all parties that a recording is being made. This prohibition on surreptitious recordings is intended to protect the privacy of community members and to avoid inhibiting the free exchange of ideas.
Planned recording of class sessions by faculty members must be communicated to students in writing through the course syllabus. All students and other participants in a class or educational activity that will be recorded must be informed of the recording in advance. Recordings shall only be shared with students enrolled in the course and will be deleted at the end of the course. Recordings shall not be publicly shared, such as on the Internet or in public viewings, without the written consent of the instructor and others being recorded. Students must obtain their instructors’ written permission before recording course content, such as lectures, discussions, presentations, critiques, or performances. Students seeking to record course content as a reasonable accommodation for a disability must work with Student Accessibility Services to obtain permission to record, and also agree not to disseminate the content.
YSD/YRT Respect in Our Workplace Protocol
Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre (YSD/YRT) depend upon respect and transparency as the basis for all collaborations and working relationships. YSD/YRT support and aim to foster a civil, respectful, and open-minded culture so that all of us can live and work in an environment free of harassment, bias-motivated behaviors, and unfair treatment. While the nature of our training and production work is to examine topics that are controversial, complex, and provocative, by committing to bringing our best selves to the work, we are raising the standard of professional practice and pursuing excellence in art.
YSD/YRT expect all community members including employees, students, staff, faculty, interns, guest artists, independent contractors, and visitors to refrain from actions or behaviors that intimidate, humiliate, or demean persons or groups or that undermine their security based on traits related to race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, or other category protected by state or federal law.
We adhere to Yale University’s philosophy that all community members should enjoy an environment free of any form of harassment, sexual misconduct, discrimination, or intimate partner violence. While working and studying at, or visiting, YSD/YRT, all community members may make use of the University’s resources available to prevent, report, and respond to sexual misconduct. An overview of policies, definitions, and resources is published in this bulletin and posted in each of our buildings.
We are committed to providing a working environment where community members are listened to and taken seriously. If you see or experience any form of discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct, we encourage you to report it immediately by following the process below.
Resolution may take many forms including, if you feel comfortable doing so, to first directly address the individual(s) involved. This initial communication tactic helps to foster an honest and open community.
How to Report Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct to YSD/YRT
To make a formal report of an incident of discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct to YSD/YRT, you may contact your immediate supervisor, the head of your department, or any of the staff members listed here: Katherine Burgueño, Director of Finance and Human Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org, 203.927.3811); Kelvin Dinkins, Jr., Assistant Dean/General Manager (email@example.com, 404.550.6953); Chantal Rodriguez, Associate Dean/Title IX Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org, 203.980.7313); Florie Seery, Associate Dean/Managing Director (email@example.com, 917.744.0400); James Bundy, Dean/Artistic Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 203.668.7335).
Please note that employees of YSD/YRT are required to notify a University Title IX coordinator about the facts of any sexual harassment or sexual misconduct incident reported. You may choose to request confidentiality from the University. We encourage you to report any discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct as soon as possible, either in writing or in person. See Resources on Sexual Misconduct in the chapter Yale University Resources and Services for more information.
You will not be penalized for reporting We are committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for any member of our community who reports discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct, either during or after their time with YSD/YRT. No one, including your peers, supervisor, or another manager, will be permitted to retaliate against you, in future hiring choices or otherwise.
What you should do if the behavior is recurring after it has already been reported If discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct reoccurs after you have made a report, it is particularly important that you report it again immediately. Do not wait until you cannot tolerate the behavior any longer. YSD/YRT are determined to stop any discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct immediately, and we cannot know that it is continuing without your report.
In following these guidelines, we believe our community can best uphold the mission and values of YSD and YRT, and be an inspiration for all those committed to this art form.
Behavior Subject to Disciplinary Action
Students at Yale School of Drama freely associate themselves with the University, and in doing so affirm their commitment to the University’s principles of honesty and academic integrity. They are expected to abide by all University regulations, as well as local, state, and federal laws. The forms of behavior subject to disciplinary action include, but are not limited to:
- Cheating and plagiarism: Cheating and plagiarism are understood to include all forms of misrepresentation in academic and professional work. Yale University policies on cheating and plagiarism may be found at https://provost.yale.edu/policies/academic-integrity/dealing-allegations-academic-misconduct.
- Illegal activity: Any activity illegal by state or federal statutes is not permitted on or off campus, and will be subject to prosecution.
- Illegal behaviors directed against the University or the University community.
- Possession or use of explosives or weapons on University property. Note: the use of stage weapons and stage violence and combat in YSD/YRT classes and theater productions is governed by the YSD/YRT Stage Weapons Use Policy and the YSD/YRT Fight/Violence Policy.
- Drug and alcohol use: Drinking alcohol or using drugs during class, rehearsal, or performance hours, and/or attending class or rehearsal or performing production work under the influence of alcohol or drugs, are unprofessional behaviors creating an unacceptable risk to safety and the artistic process. Students who engage in such behavior are subject to disciplinary action or dismissal from the School of Drama.
- Persistent unprofessional behavior including but not limited to recurring lateness and/or unexcused absences from required YSD/YRT classes, rehearsals, performances, and work calls; and violation of the Respect in Our Workplace Protocol and/or other YSD/YRT and Yale University policies.
In general, students with a complaint or grievance should see their department chair. If the complaint or grievance pertains to their department chair, students should bring their concern directly to the dean.
Yale School of Drama’s Procedure for Student Complaints
Yale School of Drama’s procedure for student complaints governs cases in which a student has a complaint, including but not limited to a complaint of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, age, disability, protected veteran status, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression, against a member of the faculty or administration of the School of Drama, as well as complaints that involve misapplication of School of Drama policy.
Such complaints are reviewed by the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Student Grievances, which is appointed ad hoc and is composed of five members including at least two members of the faculty and one student. Complaints should be brought to the dean’s attention as soon as possible after the action giving rise to a complaint, but in no case later than forty-five days after that action. (If a complaint is in some manner associated with the conduct of a course, the complaint must be submitted within forty-five days of the action upon which it is based, but the student may request that no action be taken on the complaint until after the conclusion of the term in which the course has been offered.)
Yale School of Drama Student Government
Yale School of Drama Student Government (SDSG) strives to enhance the educational experience of each student by being a forum for students’ ideas and concerns; acting as a liaison between students and the faculty and administration; and promoting educational and social activities that help foster a strong sense of community within the School of Drama.
Yale School of Drama Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group
Yale School of Drama’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group (EDIWG) supports and promotes the development of a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive YSD/YRT community. The EDIWG has an open membership model and consists of the deans and a mix of students, staff, and faculty members. The group holds a two-hour meeting each month, in addition to ongoing work online. Central to the group’s process is the formation of smaller action groups, which meet outside of the monthly meeting to work on specific projects. EDIWG meetings are open to all YSD/YRT community members. In recognition of the work involved, and as a measure of equitability, student members are paid work-study hours for their work in action groups and EDIWG meetings. Meetings are facilitated by Associate Dean Chantal Rodriguez and a team of co-facilitators from within the group. As a way of encouraging participation and lowering barriers to attendance, the School has set aside two hours each month during which YSD and YRT rehearsals and work calls begin after the EDIWG meeting.
Yale School of Drama Affinity Groups
Yale School of Drama Affinity Groups empower coalition building and networking among students who share common interests, goals, and/or a self-identified background.
ActOUT strives to create, foster, and strengthen bonds between LGBTQIA students and faculty within Yale School of Drama and to support theater that speaks to queer identity and issues. Through engagement with historical and contemporary queer theater practice and practitioners, ActOUT advocates for the visibility of queer students, faculty, art, and artists.
A.M.P.: Analyzing and Mobilizing Privilege, founded in 2015, is a learning group that aims to unpack privilege and leverage it to ignite necessary change. A.M.P. strives to support affinity groups and all members of the Yale School of Drama community, and to provide a safe place where people can ask questions, challenge one another, and set changes in motion.
Asian Potluck, formally established in 2015, is the Asian and Asian American theater coalition of Yale School of Drama students and alumni. Its mission is to foster a community of socially and politically engaged theater artists and activists around historically misrepresented and misperceived Asian and Asian American experiences and cultures.
Beyond Borders, founded in 2019, aims to raise awareness of, to support, and to empower the international community regardless of citizenship status at Yale School of Drama. It cultivates global perspectives at YSD by celebrating international experiences and bringing in diverse understandings of culture, identity, and aesthetics. Beyond Borders is a welcoming space for international community members as well as anyone experiencing culture shock in their life at YSD, to share experiences, frustrations, joys, and hopes.
DEFY: Disability Empowerment for YSD, is a disability affinity group founded in 2018. DEFY uses the term disability purposefully and politically. Disability is a condition imposed by cultures that actively disable variant bodies and minds. DEFY exists to create accessible spaces of community and support by and for the disabled community of YSD. It advocates for stories of disability on the stage and for disabled voices in the room. In all of its work DEFY acknowledges that disability identities are intertwined with race, gender, sexuality, citizenship, age, religion, and class, and it strives to hold space for discussion and action that piece through these intersections and honor their complexities.
El Colectivo, founded in 2015, is a collectively organized ensemble for Latinx, Latin American, and allied Yale School of Drama members to unite expressions of Latinidad under one roof to uplift themselves, their art, and their communities in conocimiento.
FOLKS, founded in 1981, exists to cultivate solidarity, legacy, and high-risk artistry among the black artists at Yale School of Drama; it honors their rich history and informs the culture of the School for the next generation of black artists through performances, activism, and discussion.
Womxn’s Voices in Theatre (WVIT), founded in 2015, aims to provide a platform for the spectrum of womxn’s voices in theater at Yale School of Drama by celebrating and illuminating narratives in the art form. WVIT is committed to hosting productive conversations about gender in theater and at YSD, and advocating for womxn’s rights as individuals, artists, and equal members of society through the medium of theater and by raising awareness of the issues, challenges, and victories of theater-womxn of yesterday, today, and the future. WVIT seeks to support the marginalized voices in theater and YSD through the lens of gender.
Student affinity group leadership may change each term or academic year. Any changes to mission statements or group names that occur during the academic year will be updated on the School of Drama website.