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decorative graphic. April 2021 helpful cues for our current setting

Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre acknowledges the United States’ long history of racism and scapegoating of Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities, which has escalated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and was amplified by the horrific violence that took place in Atlanta on March 16. 

There is much work to do so that all members of our community feel seen, respected, and valued as we continue our work towards developing an anti-racist culture. Our full statement, as well as our series of commitments to anti-racism, may be read on our website.

For further education and action, we support the websites,,, and free Virtual Bystander Intervention Training at

five our our Asian alumni. graphic logo. title: theater artists against anti-Asian hate-strong together and stronger than ever.

This stirring video from the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists features several of our alumni sharing a heartfelt message, including Emika Abe (’16, SOM ’16), May Adrales (’06, Former Faculty), Pun Bandhu (’01, Board Member), Snehal Desai (’08), and David Henry Hwang (’83).

One Year Later

yale school of drama sign with flowers, in front of the university theater

Photo taken March 23, 2020 by Laurie Ortega-Murphy (’20).

It has been more than a full year since we began working and learning from home. In this article published by American Theatre magazine, dozens of theatermakers shared their personal reflections on the pandemic, including May Adrales (’06, Former Faculty), Ashley Chang (’16), Snehal Desai (’08), Annabel Guevara (’24), Meghan Pressman (’10, SOM ’10), Florie Seery (Associate Dean/Managing Director), Rachel Spencer Hewitt (’10), Amanda Spooner (’09), Emily Trask (’11), and Josh Wilder (’18). 

Taking Charge

combined photos of five diverse alumni, smiling.

Clockwise from top left: May Adrales, Dani Barlow, Laurie Ortega-Murphy, Lisa Rigsby Peterson, and Dianah Wynter.

Congratulations to these alumni for their recent leadership appointments!

May Adrales (’06, Former Faculty), Artistic Director of the Lark; Dani Barlow (’20), Foundation Director of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation; Laurie Ortega-Murphy (’20), Managing Director of Pig Iron Theatre Company; Lisa Rigsby Peterson (’92), Executive Director of Wheeler Opera House; and Dianah Wynter (’84), Director of the Sidney Poitier New American Film School at Arizona State University.

an Asian woman in a floral dress

Ashley Chang.

Ashley Chang (’16, D.F.A. Candidate) recently created Almanac, a literary magazine for Playwrights Horizons. As the editor-in-chief, she curates commissioned works by artists and staff members—herself included—that capture the rapidly changing ideas and mindset of this unique moment of reflection and transformation.

In an interview with American Theatre magazine, Ashley said, “artists and theatre artists and playwrights have a lot of questions, and rightfully so, about institutions, how do we as a theatre institution open that up and create a place where that kind of dialogue can happen?”

a smiling white woman with blond hair
four white actors in coats simulating driving and riding in a car on stage.

Lindsey Ferrentino; Baize Buzan (’17) Jamie Brewer, Steven Lee Johnson (’17), and Elizabeth Stahlmann (’17) in Amy and the Orphans, directed by Leora Morris (’16), Yale School of Drama, 2016. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Playwright Lindsey Ferrentino (’16) is set to write and direct her first feature film for Netflix: an adaptation of her play Amy and the Orphans, which was presented as part of the School of Drama’s 2016 Carlotta Festival of New Plays ahead of its world premiere at Roundabout Theatre Company.

Named Spaces

a white woman leaning against a wall looking into the camera.
five female characters in different scenes: sitting on a couch, lunging toward audience in a metallic robe, in front of tall windows and plastic curtain
photos of mixed-gender people groups wearing commedia masks. one uses a violin.

María Irene Fornés; the company of Yale Rep’s 1992 Winterfest production of Fefu and Her Friends, directed by Lisa Peterson. Photo by Gerry Goodstein, 1992; a commedia rehearsal in the María Irene Fornés Studio, Photos by Christina Fontana (’19).

María Irene Fornés started writing plays almost by accident. In 1961, her then-partner, Susan Sontag, was suffering from writer’s block. Fornés canceled their evening plans, took Sontag home, and sat down with her at their kitchen table. Selecting random words from a cookbook, Fornés began to write short stories to prove how easy writing could be. “I might never have thought of writing if I hadn't pretended I was going to show Susan how easy it was,” she said in a 1986 profile in The Village Voice. Her career as a playwright and director of avant-garde, character-driven, absurdist work took off over the next two decades.

Fornés’s 1977 play, Fefu and Her Friends, depicts women struggling within their male-dominated society. Written for eight female actors, she experimented with deconstructing space as well as time. After a communal first act, the audience advances around the theater in smaller groups until everyone has experienced all the scenes play out. Yale Rep’s 1992 Winterfest 12 production moved the audience from what is now the August Wilson Lounge, upstairs into the theater, the lobby, and in the back of the auditorium.

In 2018, Yale School of Drama honored her remarkable contributions to the theater by naming Room 10 at 305 Crown Street the María Irene Fornés Studio. The same year, a documentary about Fornés’s life and work, The Rest I Make Up, was released. It is available to rent through Vimeo On Demand.

Talking Back

five Latinx, Asian, and Black people at a table, smiling. graphic element: says talking back, dark skinned fist holds a microphone.

Left to right: Gabriel Barrera, Seena Hodges, Carmen Morgan, Mica Cole, and Leslie Ishii.

Hosted by artEquity Founder and Executive Director, Carmen Morgan (Faculty), Talking Back is a six-part web series that brings artEquity's practice of facilitating hard and necessary conversations to a broader audience. 

“In these unprecedented times, there is no greater conversation for us to have as a country, and as a field, than who is allowed to be seen and experienced as fully human,” said Carmen. “Where there is a gap in empathy, or a gap in one's ability to experience shared community and love, theater has the power to fill that gap. In fact, it is a most urgent responsibility."

Created and produced in collaboration with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the collection of conversations captured in 2019 reveals the growing movement for equity, diversity, and inclusion across the national regional theatre and discusses what it takes to transform not just an institution, but an entire field.

Awards season

nine people; gender, racial, and age diversity.

From top left: Francesca DeCicco, Martín Montaner, and Alan Hendrickson; middle: Arturo Luís Soria, Juliana Aidén Martinez, and Abigail C. Onwunali; bottom: Garrett Allen and Brittany Bland; David Mitchell Clauson.

Francesca DeCicco (’22) and Martín Montaner (’20) were each awarded one of USITT's Awards for Young Designers, Managers, & Technicians in the Performing Arts, and Alan Hendrickson (’83, Faculty) was awarded the 2021 Distinguished Achievement Award in Engineering

Arturo Luís Soria (’19), Juliana Aidén Martinez (’20), and Abigail C. Onwunali (’23) have been named members of the inaugural Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab.

Director Garrett Allen (’24) and projection designer Brittany Bland (’19) are two of the twenty artists selected for New York Stage and Film's new NEXUS Initiative.

David Mitchell Clauson (’16) is the recipient of the inaugural Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the America's Innovation Grant, supporting his stewardship of The Alternative Canon, a free online sourcebook to help artists and educators challenge Eurocentric, patriarchal, racist, and other biases in theater history.

Ask Anna!

a diverse group of people with their arms around each other, smiling

Anna Glover (far right), at a 2018 safety event at Yale Cabaret with Latiana (LT) Gourzong (’19), City of New Haven Fire Marshal Jennifer Forsland, Yale fire inspector Ryan Dudley, and Alex McNamara (’20).

book cover illustration, a white woman's photo on a bus.
two people with dark skin, one is consoling the other.
a bowl plated with tofu, avocado, cabbage, rice, broccoli, and hummus.

Over the course of the last year, we have frequently asked Anna Glover, Director of Safety and Occupational Health at Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre, to help us navigate the evolving public health policies and safety measures.

A native of the United Kingdom, Anna served in various health and safety-related leadership positions at London’s Royal National Theatre and Southbank Centre before coming to Yale. Also a lecturer in the Technical Design & Production and Theater Management Departments, Anna lives in New Haven with her wife, Raquel and their cat, Kobi.

“This has been a rough year and I have truly found comfort in the deepening of relationships with colleagues,” Anna said recently. “Be it on text chains, before meeting check-ins or scheduled zoom calls. I work with some really amazing, caring humans and I am privileged to be in this with them.”

Anna’s given us plenty of good advice, so we asked her to share some reading, streaming, and cooking recommendations that have stood out to her this past year.

Between the Stops by Sandi Toksvig. “Sandi is always very entertaining, and she lives near where my wife and I used to live. This helped me combat homesickness, connecting me back to home, as this was a bus I frequently took.” 

“This HBO Max series, It's a Sin, really stayed with me. Set in London between 1981 and 1991, it covers the HIV/AIDS crisis through the eyes of a group of friends. The character of Jill, played by Lydia West, inspired the hashtag #BeMoreJill and showed how powerful a true ally can be. Since being shown in the UK, the number of HIV tests ordered has increased fourfold. That’s the power of drama!”

"My wife and I have been mostly plant-based for a few years now, and I love this recipe for sticky, spicy tofu from The Happy Pear. It's easy and delicious, and we eat it with noodles and stir-fried vegetables."

Bonus Track: “Soft Power”

graphic title text for soft power.

David Henry Hwang (’83) describes Soft Power, the musical-within-a-play he wrote with Jeanine Tesori, as a sort of “reverse King and I about a [Chinese] hero who comes to America and helps a good-hearted American politician in her moment of crisis.” The original cast recording was made available by The Public Theater, who co-commissioned the play with Center Theatre Group. 

Stay safe and take care of each other. We’ll be back in about a month.


Yale Repertory Theatre, P.O. Box 208244, New Haven, CT 06520-8244 

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