On York Street

On York Street

 

Welcome Kelvin Dinkins, Jr., Assistant Dean and General Manager


On July 17, Victoria Nolan (Deputy Director) announced the appointment of Kelvin Dinkins, Jr. to the newly created position of assistant dean and general manager. Vicki and Kelvin had worked together well before his hire. “I’ve known Kelvin for years,” she said, “and have long admired his leadership in the League of Resident Theatres (LORT). We have closely collaborated on the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives at LORT, including the creation of a leadership training program at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.”

Kelvin earned his BA in English from Princeton University and his MFA in theater management and producing from Columbia University. He most recently served as general manager at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey. As assistant dean, Kelvin is working with department chairs to expand student recruitment and oversee the appointment and promotion of faculty. Kelvin is YRT’s first general manager since the mid-1990s and in that capacity is acting as a consistent partner with Vicki in all production activities.

In the future, Kelvin plans to teach courses in the theater management department. He explained how his experiences as general manager would inform his pedagogy: "I hope to teach students how to deal effectively with difficult situations they may face at their own theaters with their staffs, boards, or patrons, wherever they end up after graduation, be it small, struggling theaters or larger performing arts organizations. Change management, more specifically crisis management, can be daunting for anyone, trained or untrained. We want YSD theater managers to walk out of school ready to engage in real-world issues with confidence and perspective.”

Kelvin continues to sit on the board of LORT, where he chairs the EDI Initiative. “I am one of very few working managing professionals in the LORT system who identifies as a person of color,” Kelvin said. “It is gratifying that the School of Drama is tackling EDI and committing a great deal of resources, holding public forums, and undertaking initiatives to address these issues, which are crucial in the American theater today.” 


 

Anna Glover Appointed Director of Theater Safety and Occupational Health


Anna Glover (Faculty) is YSD/YRT’s new director of theater safety and occupational health. She comes to Yale having worked at London’s Royal National Theatre and Southbank Centre, two of the UK’s most prestigious theater and arts institutions. After moving to the United States in 2016, she founded her own consultancy, Safety Risk Management in Entertainment, based in New York and Baltimore.

Anna succeeds Bill Reynolds ’77 (Faculty), who had served as director of theater safety since 2008. This past summer, Anna received training from Bill, whom she had known and respected prior to her appointment. She recalls, “I felt like I had discovered the golden ticket to Charlie’s Chocolate Factory and wondered how on earth I would follow Bill’s work. Bill is beloved and has created a fantastic safety culture here at Yale School of Drama. I reap the benefits every day because people here understand the importance of engaging with safety early on.”

Anna, who hit the ground running in August, described her experience at YSD so far, “If you were to create a movie montage, you would see a lot of lively conversations, many cups of coffee, late nights spent poring over notes and a well-trodden path between the UT, the Rep, the Cabaret, and 149 York Street, with occasional trips to 205 Park. The soundtrack would be words of encouragement and offers of help.”

Moving forward, Anna plans to explore new ways of using internet technology to make information about YSD/YRT’s safety protocols accessible to the broader theater community. She also hopes to use her relationships in the UK to extend the YSD community across the Atlantic. 


  
 
 Princess Grace Award goes to James udom
 

Hats off to James Udom ’18, third-year MFA candidate in Acting, the recepient of a Princess Grace Award. James Bundy ’95 (Dean) says, “James is deeply deserving of this award, and it was a great pleasure to nominate him on behalf of the School. He is an inventive and generous actor—the kind who inspires those around him to do their best work.”

Named for actress Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, and established by her husband Prince Rainier III after her death, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA is a non-profit charity that supports emerging talents in theater, dance, and film by awarding scholarships, fellowships, and apprenticeships. James’s scholarship will cover his tuition for the 2017-18 academic year. “Honestly, I was so grateful even to have been nominated. I didn’t think I would be selected to win,” said James. He continued, “When I heard the good news, I immediately fell on my knees! All I could say was, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you!’”

James joins other recent alumni who have received Princess Grace scholarships, including Shaunette Renée Wilson ’16, Dustin Wills ’14, and Miriam A. Hyman ’12.


 

 Yale Cabaret Turns 50

 

The Cab 50 leadership team: Josh Wilder ’18Rachel Shuey ’18Francesca Fernandez McKenzie ’18Rory Pelsue ’18. Photo: Courtney Jamison 18.

This year, Yale Cabaret turns 50. Over the decades, the Cabaret has made its little black box into a storied institution. It is a space where students can present work they feel passionately about, often venturing beyond the bounds of their disciplines. As associate artistic director Rory Pelsue ’18 put it, “The basic artistic principle of the Cab is for students to make their own work, which they’re really excited about, and produce it in a way that couldn’t happen in the School or at the Rep.” 

And yet, this year’s leadership has made a fundamental change to the way the Cabaret programs and cultivates student work. That change stems from the Carmen Morgan (Faculty) equity, diversity, and inclusion workshops, first offered in January 2016, which teach participants that equitable leaders facilitate the work of artists rather than impose their own aesthetic. Belonging to the first class of YSD students to take part in those workshops, the Cab 50 leaders view themselves as facilitators determined to help artists realize their projects in every way imaginable. Co-artistic director Josh Wilder ’18 explained, “We produce a variety of shows, each of them presenting specific needs.” And, managing director Rachel Shuey ’18 added, “It’s not just about the piece, but also about the proposer as artist, and the stories these artists want to tell.” 

The Cabaret has a community of loyal patrons, many of whom have come to the theater here for years. Co-artistic director Francesca Fernandez McKenzie ’18 said, “They are adventurous, open to see people make things happen and experience the rawness of the Cab. I know of people who have met their partners, proposed to them, and gotten married here. And, there are even some dedicated audience members who come every week as a ritual.”