On & Off York Street  |  View in browser

A blue banner graphic that reads On & Off York Street; E-Newsletter for the David Geffen School of Drama Community
A banner of four photos including members of the class of 2025 with new DGSD swag socks, a photo of Katherine Burgueño '90 with her husband and daughter posing in front of a mylar ribbon backdrop with a large letter K and a large letter B at Katherine’s farewell celebration, Melanie Field '16 and members of the cast of A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, and LT Gourzong '19 with her dog, DJ.

Welcome Class of 2025!

In August, David Geffen School of Drama welcomed the Class of 2025 to New Haven. It is a momentous occasion, as this is the first class to receive full tuition scholarships for three years of study, thanks to the visionary generosity of the David Geffen Foundation. This extraordinary group of talented artists, managers, and technicians hails from 19 states and 13 countries.

“The David Geffen Foundation has made the School more accessible for everyone, including me,” says Leo Surach ’25, an incoming Technical Design & Production student from Bangkok. “I chose DGSD not only because it is the world’s leading drama school, but also because it is a place where diversity, equity, and inclusion are prioritized and practically applied.”

Mikayla Stanley ’25, a first-year theater manager from New York, was also inspired by the hands-on nature of the program. “I am excited to learn from and work alongside the best in the field,” said Stanley. “I look forward to getting to know and becoming a part of this incredible community.”

A photo of Roman Sanchez ’25, Mikayla Stanley ’25, Sarah Machiko Haber ’25, and Ramona Li ’25 showing off their DGSD swag socks at orientation.

Roman Sanchez ’25, Mikayla Stanley ’25, Sarah Machiko Haber ’25, and Ramona Li ’25 showing off their DGSD swag.

Taking Their Final Bows

Beth McGuire, Professor in the Practice of Acting and Director of Accents, Dialects, and Phonology for Actors, retired at the end of the spring semester after a distinguished career, including more than 20 years at DGSD. “Beth consistently brought more accurate and nuanced discourse to both training and production at the School,” said James Bundy ’95, Elizabeth Parker Ware Dean. “That our actors so often manifest specificity, versatility, and ease in their work is directly attributable to Beth’s pedagogy.” McGuire was instrumental in the creation of the Accent Archive, an online resource of dialects recorded with native speakers. In 2015, she published African Accents: A Workbook for Actors, which has become an important reference in the field. McGuire will continue to work professionally in theater, television, commercials, and video games.

A photo of Ron Carlos (Faculty), Beth McGuire (Former Faculty), Jane Guyer Fujita (Former Faculty), and Grace Zandarski (Faculty) at Beth's retirement party.

Ron Carlos (Faculty), Beth McGuire (Former Faculty), Jane Guyer Fujita (Former Faculty), and Grace Zandarski (Faculty) at Beth's retirement party.

Katherine Burgueño ’90, has left the School to become Operations Manager of Administration at the Yale Animal Resources Center. It’s an exciting new opportunity for Burgueño, who received her MFA in Theater Management in 1990. After working on the West Coast for a number of years, she returned “home” in 1997 to become the Director of Finance for the School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre, and then, additionally, Director of Digital Technology. “Katherine’s length of tenure and breadth of responsibilities—and contributions to our students, faculty, and staff—are of historic consequence,” said Dean Bundy. “No one has committed more time and insight to stewarding the resources that support our mission.” While she is leaving York Street, Katherine will not be far away. We look forward to seeing her and her family at the theater!

A photo of Chava Burgueño, Katherine Burgueño ’90 (Former Faculty), and Celina Burgueño at Katherine’s farewell celebration this summer.

Chava Burgueño, Katherine Burgueño ’90 (Former Faculty), and Celina Burgueño at Katherine’s farewell celebration this summer.

DGSD Designers Create a “Wilder” Ride

In April, Lileana Blain-Cruz ’12 (Faculty) made her Broadway directorial debut with Thorton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Skin of Our Teeth, at Lincoln Center Theater in a production The New York Times called “a gorgeous, maximalist revival.” To breathe life into the 80-year-old absurdist piece, she enlisted a team of DGSD designers to create the pre-historic and post-apocalyptic worlds of the play. The show featured designs from Adam Rigg ’13 (Sets), Montana Levi Blanco ’15 (Costumes), Yi Zhao ’12 (Lights), Palmer Hefferan ’13 (Sound), and Hannah Wasileski ’13 (Projections). Actor William DeMeritt ’12 was a featured member of the cast.

The production garnered 6 Tony Award nominations, including Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, Best Direction, and a Tony win for Best Costume Design. It was also nominated for the Drama League’s Outstanding Revival of a Play, and Lileana Blain-Cruz was honored by the League with the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing. Adam Rigg won the Outer Critics Circle Award for his sets and received a special Drama Desk Award for enhanced storytelling through wildly varying scenic designs this season. 

A production photo from The Skin of Our Teeth at Lincoln Center Theater.

A scene from The Skin of Our Teeth at Lincoln Center Theater.

Melanies Field of Dreams

Melanie Field ’16 plays Jo Deluca, a slugger from Queens, in the new streaming series A League of Their Own, adapted from the 1992 film of the same name. You’ll also spot recent grad Madeline Seidman ’22 in two episodes; Em Weinstein ’19 was a staff writer on the project. Like the film, the TV series follows the true story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League formed during World War II.

A photo of Melanie Field ’16 (arms crossed, standing center) and the cast of A League of Their Own.

Melanie Field ’16 (arms crossed, standing center) and the cast of A League of Their Own.

The original movie had a profound influence on Field. “I remember wishing I could just jump through the screen and join the team,” she said. “With the show, we were able to widen the lens and highlight some of the stories that weren’t included in the movie—the stories of the queer players who had to hide their identities and the Black players who didn’t get the chance they deserved. Our show is really about an entire generation of women who dreamed of playing baseball.”

For Field, working on A League of Their Own was an honor. “Having the opportunity to play a fat, queer athlete is something I never could have dreamed of growing up. I really hope that audiences feel seen and see themselves reflected in our characters. Representation matters.”

Lynn Nottage: Running All Over Town

It’s been an extraordinary year for Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty). The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner saw three shows—one comedy, one historical opera, one biopic musical—produced in New York last season. Clyde’s opened at the Helen Hayes Theater in November 2021, Intimate Apparel, the opera, made its premiere at Lincoln Center in January, and, less than a month later, MJ: The Musical opened at the Neil Simon Theatre. Nottage received Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play for Clyde’s and a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical for MJ. The adaptation of Intimate Apparel is now available for streaming on PBS as part of its Great Performances series.

Many of Nottage’s collaborators on these ventures have DGSD ties, as well. Clyde’s featured the work of Takeshi Kata ’01 (Sets), Jennifer Moeller ’06 (Costumes), Christopher Akerlind ’89 (Lights), Justin Ellington (Faculty) (Sound), Donald Fried ’95 (Production Stage Manager), Flora Stamatiades ’94 (COVID Safety Manager), and actor Edmund Donovan ’17. Michael Yeargan ’73 (Faculty) (Sets), Catherine Zuber ’84 (Costumes), and Jennifer Tipton (Former Faculty) (Lights) collaborated on Intimate Apparel. For MJ, Derek McLane ’84 designed the set and Michael David ’68 is an executive producer.

This fall, Nottage will realize yet another milestone: She will be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.

A photo of Uzo Aduba, Kara Young, Ron Cephas Jones, Edmund Donovan ’17, and Reza Salazar in Clyde’s by Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty).

Uzo Aduba, Kara Young, Ron Cephas Jones, Edmund Donovan ’17, and Reza Salazar in Clyde’s by Lynn Nottage ’89 (Former Faculty).

More Superheroes (and Villains) Revealed!

The 2021-2022 edition of the DGSD Annual Magazine celebrated some of the many alumni who are bringing the stories of comic book heroes and villains to film and television audiences alike. Here are a few more: Brett Dalton ’11 was one of the first Drama School alumni to be cast by Marvel, playing the character of Grant Ward and Hive on the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013-2020). In 2018, Lupita Nyong’o ’12 and Winston Duke ’12, along with Angela Bassett ’83, YC ’80, HON ’18 joined forces in Marvel’s blockbuster film, Black Panther. The anticipated sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also starring Bassett, Duke, and Nyong’o, hits movie theaters this November.

Four photos in a square. Clockwise: Kathryn Hahn ’01 in WandaVision, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ’15 in Aquaman, Angela Bassett ’83, YC ’80, HON ’18 in Black Panther, and Brett Dalton ’11 in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Clockwise: Kathryn Hahn ’01 in WandaVision, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ’15 in Aquaman, Angela Bassett ’83, YC ’80, HON ’18 in Black Panther, and Brett Dalton ’11 in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ’15 is in the DC universe, playing Manta in the film Aquaman (2018) and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (slated for 2023). Abdul-Mateen also played Doctor Manhattan in HBO’s Watchmen, a role for which he won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2020.

More recently, Jonathan Majors ’16 was featured in the 2021 TV series Loki and will play supervillain Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (currently in post-production). Kathryn Hahn ’01 stole the show as the funny-yet-sinister Agatha Harkness in the 2021 Marvel series WandaVision, earning her an Emmy nomination that year. A spinoff, Agatha: Coven of Chaos, is currently in the works.


Playing It Safe Pays Off

Janet Cunningham (Staff) was awarded the William J. Reynolds Award for Excellence in Theater Safety. Established in 2019, this award is given to a member of the DGSD community who demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of health and safety practices in theater through professionalism, dedicated service, and kindness. Janet has served as stage carpenter for Yale Rep since 1996, leading the work behind the scenes with grace and expertise. Previous recipients of the Reynolds Award include Latiana “LT” Gourzong ’19 (Faculty), Mike Van Aartsen ’20, and Kelly O’Loughlin ’22.

A photo of Sharon Reynolds, Bill Reynolds ’77 (Former Faculty), Janet Cunningham (Staff), and Anna Glover (Faculty) celebrating Janet at Mory’s.

Sharon Reynolds, Bill Reynolds ’77 (Former Faculty), Janet Cunningham (Staff), and Anna Glover (Faculty) celebrating Janet at Mory’s.

Calling for Change 

Narda E. Alcorn ’95 (Faculty) and Lisa Porter ’95 (Former Faculty) will be honored by the Stage Managers’ Association with a Special Recognition Award at the 2022 Del Hughes Awards ceremony on October 24, 2022. Their writings and public appearances have sparked important conversations in the field about how to approach stage management through an anti-racist lens. In 2020, they published their book Stage Management Theory as a Guide to Practice: Cultivating a Creative Approach and co-authored "We Commit to Anti-Racist Stage Management Education," an essay for HowlRound Theatre Commons. Their research has been profiled by The New York Times, American Theatre, and Stage Directions

A photo of Narda E. Alcorn ’95 (Faculty) and Lisa Porter ’95 (Former Faculty).

Narda E. Alcorn ’95 (Faculty) and Lisa Porter ’95 (Former Faculty).


Mary Mara

A photo of Mary Mara

Mary Mara ’89, an actor known for her performances in popular TV shows, tragically drowned on June 26, 2022, while swimming in the St. Lawrence River, near the town of Cape Vincent in Upstate New York. She was 61.

Mara’s close friend and Drama School classmate Walker Jones ’89 expressed the shock and sadness so many felt upon hearing of her untimely death. “Mary’s sudden passing has hit all of us very deeply. She was a totally unique and original human being and a blazingly talented artist, passionately devoted to family and friends.”

Mara was born in Syracuse, New York. She attended San Francisco State University and received her MFA from the School of Drama in 1989. That year Mara performed in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Twelfth Night. She also appeared in the made-for-TV movie The Preppie Murder, based on the true story of a young woman murdered in New York’s Central Park. Mara’s other film credits include Mr. Saturday NightLove Potion No.9, Prom Night, True Colors, Doubt, and most recently, Break Even. She was widely recognized for her recurring roles on a number of long-running television dramas including E.R., Nash Bridges, Dexter, and Ray Donovan.

Mara is survived by her sisters Martha Mara and Susan Dailey, and her stepdaughter, Katie Mersola.

A photo of Mary Mara ’89 and her classmates on Crown Street in 1986. Top Row (Left to Right) Cameron Smith ’89, Dennis Hilton-Reid ’89, Erik Onate ’89, Roger Bechtel ’89; Middle Row (Left to Right) Mary Mara, Gail Shapiro ’89, Quentin O’Brien ’89, Jim MacLaren ’89, YC ’85; Bottom Row (Left to Right) Robert Reuven Russell ’89, Walker Jones ’89, Susan Knight Carlin ’89, Babo Harrison ’89, Suzy Fay ’89; Bottom Front Benard Cummings ’89.

Mary Mara ’89 and her classmates on Crown Street in 1986. Top Row (Left to Right) Cameron Smith ’89, Dennis Hilton-Reid ’89, Erik Onate ’89, Roger Bechtel ’89; Middle Row (Left to Right) Mary Mara, Gail Shapiro ’89, Quentin O’Brien ’89, Jim MacLaren ’89, YC ’85; Bottom Row (Left to Right) Robert Reuven Russell ’89, Walker Jones ’89, Susan Knight Carlin ’89, Babo Harrison ’89, Suzy Fay ’89; Bottom Front Benard Cummings ’89.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: LT Gourzong Returns to Yale

As late summer turns to early fall, many of us might reminisce about our returning to New Haven each year. Latiana “LT” Gourzong ’19 is more than reminiscing about it—she is going back to school! Unanimously recommended by a search committee, LT is the newly appointed Assistant Professor Adjunct of Technical Design and Production and Technical Director for DGSD.

“I’m excited to honor the caliber of the TD&P department while also bringing in my style and approach as a technical artist,” LT shares.

LT was the Co-Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret and at Commencement, she received Yale’s Edward C. Cole Award, Bronislaw (Ben) Sammler Award, and the Pierre-André Salim Prize. In addition, she was honored by USITT with the KM Fabrics Technical Production Award. LT’s résumé includes teaching and guest lecturing at colleges across the country, as well as positions at Williamstown Theater Festival, the Guthrie Theater, and Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey. Most recently, she served as the TD at American Repertory Theater.

As to whether LT will trade her signature red Rutgers cap (her undergraduate alma mater) for a blue “Y” one, she replies, “I don’t think it’ll happen. But I guess only time will tell.”

A photo of Latiana “LT” Gourzong ’19 with her dog, DJ.

Latiana “LT” Gourzong ’19 with her dog, DJ.



Did you find your soulmate at the Drama School?

For a story in the Annual Magazine, we want to hear from couples who met during their time in New Haven. Tell us your story in 100 words or less and include a photo with caption, if available. Please send submissions to dgsd.alumni@yale.edu. We may print yours in the next issue!

Questions? Email Casey Grambo at casey.grambo@yale.edu.

Send us your news!

We are now accepting alumni notes for the 2022-23 David Geffen School of Drama Annual Magazine.

Please submit your note online by Friday, October 14, 2022 to:


If you choose to send a photo, please:  

  • Attach a high-resolution photo as a .jpg file.
  • Include a caption (which includes all names) and appropriate photo credit information.
  • Be sure to send only photos you have permission to publish.

Questions about alumni notes should be directed to Casey Grambo at dgsd.alumni@yale.edu or (203) 432-4133. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Join the DGSD Alumni Facebook group!

In addition to the public page, we have a private Facebook group for DGSD alums, where you can share your news and connect with the DGSD community.

Register with YAA

For access to the wider Yale alumni community, register with Yale Alumni Association to be included in the University-wide directory.

Sign up for Cross Campus

YAA is offering a new way to connect to fellow alumni and the entire Yale community: Cross Campus, Yale’s online networking and mentoring program.

Sign up today and join this dedicated forum for members of our School community—the DGSD Cross Campus group, where you can find mentors, exchange ideas, and share resources with alumni and current students.

Photo credits: Class of 2025 photo by Linda-Cristal Young (Staff); Final Bows photos courtesy of Beth McGuire (Former Faculty) and Chantal Rodriguez (Associate Dean); The Skin of Our Teeth photo by Julieta Cervantes; A League of Their Own photo courtesy of Melanie Field '16; Clyde's photo by Joan Marcus; Heroes and Villains photos courtesy of Marvel Studios, Warner Bros., and Kelsey McNeal/ABC; Excellence in Theater Safety photo courtesy of Anna Glover (Faculty); Narda and Lisa photo courtesy of Cheryl Mintz ’87; Acting Class of 1989 photo courtesy of Walker Jones ’89; Photo of LT and DJ courtesy of  Latiana “LT” Gourzong ’19.

David Geffen School of Drama blue and white logo

David Geffen School of Drama at Yale

Office of Development and Alumni Affairs

P.O. Box 208244

222 York Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8325


ON & OFF YORK STREET is a publication of the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, David Geffen School of Drama.

Deborah S. Berman, Editor and Director of Development and Alumni Affairs

Catherine Sheehy ’92, DFA ’99, Senior Associate Editor

Casey Grambo, Managing Editor

Leonard Sorcher, Contributing Editor

Contributors: Delaney Kelly and Chad Kinsman ’18

September 2022 Issue