Choosing The Best Performing Arts Programs: Yale School of Drama

While you’ve probably heard of Yale University, how about the Yale School of Drama? In fact, it’s become one of the top Drama Schools in the entire world. The more you know about the program, the more likely you’ll be to become a part of it.

It all began in 1924. That’s when Yale University founded its Department of Drama within its School of Fine Arts. It was the result of a donation from Edward S. Harkness, who had earned a B.A. from Yale in 1897. The Department of Drama’s first class began taking classes in 1925. Later, Yale began offering a Masters of Fine Arts, in 1931. And in 1955, the Yale School f Drama became an individual professional school of Yale University. By this time, the school was offering both a Masters and Doctorate in Fine Arts.

Here are some of the biggest features of the Yale School of Drama

1. Repertory Theatre

This is certainly one of the drama school’s most prominent features. For decades, the theatre has featured the productions of both classic and original plays. Interestingly, it was one of the first resident theaters whose works were later transferred to the world of commercial theatre-including Broadway. This practice has made the Repertory Theatre one of the most innovative ones in the USA.

2. Faculty

Another forte of the Yale School of Drama is its outstanding faculty. Its most notable faculty members have trained their students in areas such as Design, Playwriting, Directing, and Acting. The School of Drama’s faculty members are the essence of the school, as they’re responsible for shaping future professionals in the industry.

3. Alumni

Several renowned professionals in the theater, TV, and movie industries have graduated from Yale University’s School of Drama. Some of the most notable alumni include:

Angela Bassett: Boyz n the Hood (1991), Malcolm X (1992)

Paul Newman: Hud (1963), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Sting (1973), Slap Shot (1977), The Color of Money(1986), Road to Perdition (2002)

Ed Norton: Primal Fear (1996), American History X (1998), Fight Club (1999)

Sigourney Weaver: Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Wall-E (2008), Avatar (2009)

Meryl Streep: Too many to list!!!!!

4. Tradition

Not only is the Yale School of Drama one of the top drama schools in the USA, but it also has the nation’s second-oldest theater association in colleges. In fact, the Yale Dramatic Association was founded over a century ago, in 1900. Afterwards, the association put on several productions, including both classic and original plays.

5. Structure

This is yet another of the main features of the Yale School of Drama. Students of the school spend their mornings taking classes. Then in the afternoons, the students prepare for productions of the School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre. The students also spend time watching productions of their colleagues. While the schedule is hectic, it helps to produce outstanding professionals in the industry.

Not only is Yale one of the oldest university’s in the USA, but it also boasts of one of the oldest and best Drama Schools as well.

Performing Arts and Its Branches

Dance, drama and music that are performed in front of many people or audiences are known to belong in performing arts. This type of art is different from plastic arts which only involve several artworks made from different type of materials like clay, paint, wood and metal. These artworks are often created by many artists and are displayed during exhibits but unlike performing arts, the presence of the artists is not required or is not necessary at all. When it comes to performing arts, the artists themselves together with their performances are the ones that the audiences are interested in. These people are then commonly known as performers.

This type of art is not new to the society because this has been around for so many years now. It actually started centuries ago. This type or art is even more common in schools all over the world and it often involves a number of people who all have the passion to please the crowd by showcasing their talents. By wearing a huge variety of costumes, wigs, masks, foot wears and other accessories, an artist becomes/transforms to a totally different person in front of the crowd and then performs.

As mentioned earlier, there are three branches of performing arts – the dance, drama and music. The first type of performing arts is dance which basically refers the movements of the human body using a particular rhythm. Performing a dance is not only intended to please the crowd but it is also a way to express the performer’s sentiments. It is also a way of showing the people different types of cultures or telling them about the history of a certain place. A dance can be in several forms like folk dance, ballet and many more.

Another branch of performing arts is the drama which is mainly about acting in front of the people. In a drama, the performers act out a particular story in order to entertain their audience. Aside from acting, music, dance, sound, speeches and other elements of performing arts are used for the best performance.

And the last branch of performing arts is music. Music does not only refer to the musical instruments or the sounds that they make, it also involves the people who play the instruments and the voices of the people singing. Music basically started several years ago and from then it became one of the most popular ways to entertain people. Usually, there are four things which make music complete – the pitch, rhythm, dynamic and the timbre.

Each of the branches of performing arts plays a very important role in the entertainment world. All these things make performing arts complete and very interesting. Not only because it is a very good way to entertain people but because this is also a way for other people to see the skills and talents of the performers. It is also a very good way to let the whole world know on what are the things that the performers can do and offer.

Three Pivotal Figures in 20th Century Performing Arts

What makes the performing arts so special? While loosely, one might apply the term to any sort of presentation before an audience, critics have historically used the label to separate dance, music, and theater performance from the “static” visual arts. A painter, writer, or photographer can effectively transmit their work and their messages through time and even across significant cultural or linguistic barriers-preserving a moment, a vision, or an idea in a permanent medium. We get perhaps as close as we can to time traveling by looking at a Stieglitz photograph, some lines of Dante, or a cave-painting on an ancient wall, able to see (at least almost) the same thing that the creator did at the moment of inception or execution.

The performing arts, on the other hand, are time-limited. We can’t ever really know what a Shakespeare play was like for the audience, aside from a few well-preserved accounts, and are instead left confronting his plays more as a part of literary history than theater. Nor can we ever know what it might have been like to have witnessed the first performance of Swan Lake at the Bolshoi Theater in 1895. Part of the magic is how they serve as a sort of event or spectacle, a one-of-a-kind occurrence that, even in the age of HD digital recording, can still only exist in full in the memory of those who were there to see it happen.

Especially over the course of the twentieth century, the performing arts have been host to a few particularly significant developments. At the peak of artistic exploration in the post-war period, dancers, playwrights, and musicians used their mediums to respond to a growing need for new forms-the idea that the changing conditions of the world demanded a different sort of art than what had come before. While this drive could be identified in the visual arts as well, it was on stage that the artist could directly confront their audiences with a new way of thinking about things. Here are three key innovators any theater-goer should know about.

Antonin Artuad: A writer, critic, and playwright inspired by the existential writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and Jacques Derrida, Artuad believed that theater for the 21st century must incorporate a sense of life’s harshness in a way that Romantic and Modern forms had been unable to. Emphasizing an embrace of chaos in the face of nihilism and a cross-cultural engagement with a diverse variety of traditional forms, Artuad’s insistence on breaking free of the limits of language and into the unexplored spaces of gesture and sound had a lasting impact on generations of dramatists and performers to come.

Merce Cunningham: While Artuad turned to philosophy and Eastern cultures for inspiration, this dancer and choreographer incorporated elements of chance as a way of embracing the organic chaos of the creative process, incorporating random choices into the compositional process. While some of the outcomes might not be artistically serviceable, incorporating this aleatory element opened the artist up to new & surprising possibilities. Later in life, Cunningham continued to push the limits of the performing arts medium by experimenting with film and motion capture technologies, finding new ways to document and archive these former one-of-a-kind experiences.

John Cage: Cunningham’s lifelong partner, Cage applied the variable aspects of chance to his musical performances, inspired by the ancient Chinese text I Ching, a divination manual known in the West as the Book of Changes. By consulting the patterns and sequences of the manuscript, Cage sought not so much to bring an order to what he saw as the chaos of life, but rather a redirection of attention; an awareness of the natural state of existence. While Cage may be best known for his composition 4’33”-four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence from a performer sitting at a piano, the performing arts have enjoyed a lasting contribution from his work with unusual instrumentation and innovative use of new recording technology.