2023-2024 Curricular Production Season

Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies 2023-2024 Curricular Production Season 

Through the Senior Thesis, students engage with theater, dance, and performance studies as fields that are interdisciplinary in scope, and global in perspective. These semester-long projects make use of multiple approaches to research (historical, textual, archival, embodied, ethnographic, and more) to investigate questions that are of compelling interest to students and their collaborators, and which also address contemporary issues and concerns in the public sphere.  


Productions are presented in the Black Box Theater (53 Wall St., New Haven) unless otherwise noted. 


FALL 2023 


by Dael Orlandersmith 

directed by Jeffrey Steele 

a senior project in directing for Jeffrey Steele 

advised by Dexter Singleton and Shilarna Stokes 


Based on Dael Orlandersmith’s conversations with men in a shelter, Black n’ Blue Boys/Broken Men places us with six men across New York disclosing the traumatic events that led them to becoming who they are. The narratives they share are complicated, nuanced, and raw. By dealing with a range of abuse, including physical, sexual, and neglect, the play reveals the drastic impact these events have on the lives of boys creating cycles of violence in adulthood. It is through addressing this abuse, they search for healing and a way forward in pursuit of joy in spite of pain. 



Thursday, November 9th at 8:00pm 

Friday, November 10th at 8:00pm 

Saturday, November 11th at 2:00pm & 8:00pm 


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by Dave Malloy 

directed by Annette Jolles 

a senior project in acting for Malia Munley and stage management for Naomi Schwartzburt 

advised by Annette Jolles, part of THST 344: a Curricular Production Seminar 


Adapted from a 70-page slice of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812 transforms a Russian classic into a captivating, modern electropop opera. When the young, impulsive Natasha Rostova falls for the beguiling Anatole, it is up to Pierre to reckon with his demons and help her recover the pieces of her shattered reputation. As the war rages around them, vodka flows and emotions ignite in this groundbreaking musical of romance and redemption. 



Thursday, December 7th at 8:00pm 

Friday, December 8th at 8:00pm 

Saturday, December 9th at 2:00pm & 8:00pm 


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Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals 



SPRING 2023 


by Martyna Majok 

directed by David DeRuiter 

a senior project in directing for David DeRuiter and acting for Lauren Marut 

advised by Deborah Margolin and Kelsey Rainwater 


Newark, NJ. Post 9/11. Two undocumented high school seniors, G and B. Brought to America as children. Fast friends since 3rd grade. Best friends. Whatever it takes to stay and survive they’ll do, for themselves and for each other. So when G is suddenly naturalized, it isn’t a question of if but when B can be too. Together they hatch a plan to ensure his safety, but when time and distance reveal secrets that jeopardize the future they planned, they must weigh whether the reward is worth risking everything they have – including each other.  



Thursday, February 8th at 8:00pm 

Friday, February 9th at 8:00pm 

Saturday, February 10th at 2:00pm & 8:00pm  *8 pm performance is ASL Interpreted


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by Tony Kushner 

directed by Claire Donnellan 

a senior project in acting for Jordi Bertrán Ramírez and directing for Claire Donnellan 

advised by David Chambers and Mike Rossmy 


New York City. 1985. 


Prior Walter is dying of AIDS. His boyfriend Louis has abandoned him, and his friend Belize doubts Prior’s prophetic visions. Joe Pitt, a Mormon law clerk, struggles to repress his homosexuality while his wife, Harper, self-medicates with fistfuls of Valium. Reaganite conservatism prospers, championed by the vicious prosecutor Roy Cohn, as the new millennium draws closer. And somewhere, Joe’s mother Hannah is disappointed. 

Recipient of the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Millennium Approaches is the first half of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, a queer epic of America in crisis. 



Wednesday, February 28th at 7:30pm 

Thursday, February 29th at 7:30pm 

Friday, March 1st at 7:30pm 

Saturday, March 2nd at 7:30pm  *ASL Interpreted


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Two original works, presented in a joint performance 

a senior project in devised solo performance for David Donnan and choreography for Isabel Menon 

advised by Dexter Singleton, Shilarna Stokes, and Emily Coates 


FaceworkandBody As Memoirare two pieces exploring different modes of presenting the self on stage.Body As Memoirinvestigates how our muscles archive lived experience, and how we can access our self-knowledge through movement. Through choreography, the show endeavors to carve a memoir into space rather than put it to paper.Faceworkcombines the re-production of pop culture fragments and narrative to tell a story that, in content and form, reflects coming of age in the twenty-first century. 



Thursday, April 4th at 8:00pm 

Friday, April 5th at 8:00pm 

Saturday, April 6th at 2:00pm & 8:00pm  *8 pm performance is ASL Interpreted


For tickets and additional information: 

Coming soon 



by Hank Graham 
directed by Hank Graham and Beza Tessema 
a senior project in directing for Hank Graham and Beza Tessema  
advised by David Chambers, Dexter Singleton, and Shilarna Stokes 
Lowell Matthews, former child star and host of TV’s hottest morning talk show, returns to the air for the first time in two weeks after the death of his former co-host and twin sister, Laurel. He’s doing fine–fabulous, really–just so long as nobody brings her up. Honestly, if he could just have a couple more weeks to process what happened, he’d feel almost back to normal. But reruns are boring and ratings are slipping, so Lowell finds himself back at work acting like nothing is wrong, even as the show unravels around him live on air. A play about work-life balance.
Wednesday, April 24th at 8:00pm 
Thursday, April 25th at 8:00pm 
Friday, April 26th at 8:00pm  *ASL Interpreted
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Yale Baroque Opera Project: Dido and Aeneas 

by Henry Purcell 

musical direction by Grant Herreid 

stage direction by Toni Dorfman 


Henry Purcell’s operaDido and Aeneas(first performed in 1683) is a love story with sublime music. Its libretto is by Nahum Tate, who in 1681 adapted Shakespeare’sKing Learand gave it a happy ending. Tate retained Virgil’s unhappy ending for Dido and Aeneas and added witches and a sorceress to the plot. YBOP’s brief prologue, with nods to Cavalli, Dryden, Marlowe, and Ovid, provides context. 



Friday, April 26, at 7 pm
Sunday, April 28, at 2 pm
University Theater


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