Plan of Study

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020–2021 academic year will be an opportunity for both personal reflection and collective innovation, as well as a time to renew and deepen one’s artistry and practice. The curriculum offers more cross-disciplinary courses, electives, tutorials, and classes covering a wider range of topics and material than in a typical plan of study. Greater priority will be given to rest, self-care, and independent study. At the same time, the state of our nation and our field calls us more urgently than ever to continuous work on anti-racist pedagogy and practice in order to create a more just and joyful profession.

The first year is a highly disciplined period of training, concentrating on the basic principles and craft that lead to extraordinary acting, and identifying practical tools for mining the printed text for given circumstances, character, objective, and action. The second year begins with the collective creation of actor-generated stories and expands the focus into verse drama, with emphasis on understanding and performing the works of Shakespeare. The third year starts with developing self-scripted solo projects; and in the second term, actors will reexamine heightened and extended language through work on diverse texts from world literature. Students also have multiple courses in learning to work on camera, transferring their techniques to the medium of film. A fourth year has been added to the curriculum for the Classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024, to give those students further opportunities to apply their training in rehearsal and performance when production work resumes at the School and at Yale Repertory Theatre.

During the 2020–2021 academic year, any student who wants to act in a project outside the School of Drama must submit a written request in advance to the chair of Acting. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Yale Cabaret provides an additional, although strictly extracurricular, outlet for the exploration of a wide range of material, including self-scripted material, company-devised original work, adaptations, and musicals. The department’s chair works directly with the Yale Cabaret artistic directors regarding approval of Cabaret participation by actors.

With the exception of those courses marked as “electives” in their schedules, students are required to attend all classes in their curriculum.

Electives Offered

Please view the Bulletin of Yale University for the full list of electives and course descriptions.