The Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre will skip the entire 2020-21 season in response to COVID-19.
In a press release, the school says the decision was made due to the “incompatibility of theatrical production with the best public health practices in response to COVID-19.”
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YSD’s decision will not only put on hold an entire season of plays, but it will also extend its three-year Master of Fine Arts degree program to a fourth year.
The fourth year is mandatory for current first-year MFA students. For students starting their second and third years of training in the fall, the additional year is not mandatory, but encouraged. Tuition and other expenses for the fourth year will be paid for entirely by the school.
The next student recruitment cycle will be for admission in the fall of 2022.
In a written statement, James Bundy, dean of the Yale School of Drama, says the absence of plays will create space for more reflection, specifically on the Black Lives Matter movement.
"The state of our nation and field calls us more urgently than ever to continuous work toward anti-racist pedagogy and practice, in order to prepare our graduates to lead in a more just and joyful profession,” he writes.
Typically, Yale School of Drama produces 10 plays a year. Yale Repertory Theatre, the professional theater-in-residence at YSD, produces around seven plays a year, including many world premieres.