The View From Here

Three new directors take on the world.

It is our pleasure to introduce to you Aneesha Kudtarkar, Jecamiah M. Ybañez, and Em Weinstein, three outstanding young directors who will graduate in May from our three-year Master of Fine Arts program in Directing.

Aneesha Kudtarkar

Aneesha Kudtarkar is a third-year M.F.A. candidate from Dallas, Texas. At Yale School of Drama, she directed Perfectly Timed Photos Taken Before a Disaster by Alex Lubischer and William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. At Yale Cabaret she directed The Quonsets by Alex Lubischer and Majkin Holmquist, and acted in Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. by Alice Birch and Mrs. Galveston by Sarah B. Mantell. She served as Assistant Director to Shawn Sides on Rude Mechs’s Field Guide at Yale Repertory Theatre. Aneesha is an Artistic Associate of Yale Cabaret and serves on its Board of Directors.

Prior to Yale, Aneesha worked as a freelance director in New York City, where her work was seen in festivals including Tiny Rhino, Yes! Noise, INTAR’s American Nightcap, the NYC One Festival, and the On Her Shoulders reading series, dedicated to plays by female authors written before 1950. In 2015, Aneesha won a Drama League Director’s Project Fellowship at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York, where she directed Charlotte’s Web and Maria Irene Fornes’s Mud, and taught classes for the Hangar’s Lab Company. She was an Assistant Director during Westport Country Playhouse’s 2013 season, assisting Artistic Director Mark Lamos on The Dining Room and Room Service, as well as directors Nicholas Martin on The Show Off and Mark Brokaw on Oblivion. Aneesha also served as Assistant Director to Caitlin McLeod on And I and Silence at Signature Theatre, and to Lileana Blain Cruz on both Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. at Soho Rep and War at LCT3. Most recently, she was Assistant Director to Stephen Brown-Fried on Henry VI at National Asian-American Theater Company.

Aneesha graduated magna cum laude with a BFA in theatre studies from Southern Methodist University, where she was honored with the Garland Wright Award for Excellence in Directing. While at SMU she directed Living Out by Lisa Loomer; Animals Out of Paper, Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph; and Ninety by Joanna Murray Smith.

Aneesha is studying at Yale with the generous support of the Cullman Scholarship in Directing.

Her production of Alice Childress’s Trouble in Mind will be presented at Yale School of Drama February 2–8, 2019. Aneesha is represented by Evan Morse at The Gersh Agency.

Jecamiah M. Ybañez

Jecamiah M. Ybañez is a Tejano from Poteet, Texas. He is a third-year M.F.A. candidate at Yale School of Drama, where he directed Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Christopher Gabriel Núñez’s In the Palm of a Giant, and Alex Lubischer’s Blood Play as part of the New Play Lab. At Yale Cabaret, Jecamiah directed Re:Union by Sean Devine. Other credits include Tea and Sympathy, The Yellow Boat (Texas State University); the world premieres of L'Absinthe for Lovers, What Thoughts Did (At-Random Theatre at Texas State); The Case of the Crushed Petunias (Midnight Project at Oregon Shakespeare Festival); and Martín: Love, Sex, & Rhythm (Washington, DC Fringe Festival). He also co-created and directed a devised piece, American Pie, at the Encuentro Festival of Latinx Theatre at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

Jecamiah assisted Evan Yionoulis on her Yale Repertory Theatre production of Kiss and Michael Dove on Agnes Under the Big Top at the Forum Theatre. He was awarded a year-long Artistic Fellowship at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, where he assisted Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz on the world premiere of Stupid Fucking Bird. As the Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage, Jecamiah assisted Artistic Director Molly Smith on the musical Oliver!, and guest directors José Luis Valenzuela, Doug Hughes, and Timothy Douglas. Jecamiah was also awarded a Directing Assistantship through the F.A.I.R. program at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, assisting director Sarah Rasmussen on The Two Gentleman of Verona.

Jecamiah served as a company manager for the Kennedy Center's World Stages Festival, and for the IBERIAN SUITE: A Global Arts Remix Festival under the direction of Alicia B. Adams and Gilda Almeida. As the winner of a Mellon Foundation Young Artistic Leadership Fellowship, Jecamiah worked on the Encuentro Festival, where he served as company manager for Theater Mitu and the Puerto Rican company, Tantai Teatro. He joined the Latinx Theatre Commons in 2014, where he served as a member of the National Steering Committee for two years before moving to his current position on the Advisory Board. Jecamiah is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab and holds a B.F.A. in theatre from Texas State University.

His production of Seven Spots on the Sun by Martín Zimmerman will be presented at Yale School of Drama December 13–18, 2018.


Em Weinstein

Em Weinstein is a third-year M.F.A. candidate from New York City. At Yale School of Drama, Em directed Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris; an all-female, pop-infused Romeo & Juliet set in a Catholic high school; and In the Palm of a Giant by Christopher Gabriel Núñez as part of the New Play Lab. They directed The Guadalupes by Noah Diaz at Yale Cabaret and Near the Krummholz by Margaret Douglas for the Women’s Voices in Theater Festival. At Yale Rep, Em was the Assistant Director to Anne Kauffman on Mary Jane.

Em's short film Candace premiered as part of the American Pavilion Emerging LGBTQ Filmmakers Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won Best Film, and continues to tour to film festivals around the world. As a filmmaker, Em is currently developing a feature and a pilot.

Prior to Yale, Em directed Dreamland, a 1:1 installation that explored audience agency in interactive narrative environments, and the 18-month national tour of Madeline Burrows's Mom Baby God. Em is currently working on several original projects including Come My Beloved, a new play with music about the intersections of Jewish and Black history in Detroit, Michigan, that has had developmental readings in New York, Chicago, and Detroit. Em will direct a developmental reading of Frances Pollock’s new opera Stinney as part of the Prototype Festival in January 2019.

Em graduated summa cum laude from Smith College where they directed Marat/SadePrivate Lives, 'Tis of Thee, and The Distraction Project. Em is an alumnus of the Drama League Directors Project and is a New Georges Associate Artist.

As an educator, Em ran the Guerrilla Filmmaking Program for Teens and directed the teen ensemble’s touring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the 52nd Street Project. Em was a Fall Festival Director for Shakespeare & Company and directed their Shakespeare in the Courts program for adjudicated youth. Em also taught workshops at Yes Theater in Hebron and at the Freedom Theater in Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank.

Em’s immersive production of shakespeare’s as u like it will be presented at Yale School of Drama from October 23–27, 2018.