Yale Extends MFA 1 year/Cancels Season

Footer

Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
Pretty interesting article about how to deal with Covid in Academic Theatre. Yale see's producing shows so tightly tied to their degree that they are extending all their programs by a year. Students will still take classes but will not be producing realized work.

 

josh88

Remarkably Tired.
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Location
Ypsilanti, Michigan
They worked real closely with the students on this, and more than a few said if the students had been opposed this wouldn't have gone forward. They also mentioned they aren't actually taking this year off and that the department is going to a lot of self evaluation of their own racist practices and how to better support students of color

Another current YSD student here. There were many discussions with the whole student body at YSD, student representatives on all of the panels discussing plans for the next year (when appropriate; students were not involved in discussions regarding faculty/staff employment or compensation), and open communication regarding this plan. I can assure you that if there was not support for this action from the student body, it would not have gone ahead. I don’t want to speak for anyone but myself, but from my observations, my fellow students and I (the people who this decision directly impacts) have been, and continue to be, “patient and understanding” with the cancellation of the season because it means we will have the opportunity to do the work that we came to Yale to do.
It could easily be assumed that cancelling the full season means no work will happen. This is not the case. The school is taking this opportunity to take a deep breath, do some soul searching, and examine ways in which we can improve our school, and hopefully our industry, making it more equitable, inclusive and anti-racist, starting with the ingrained racism that we’ve inherited at YSD and that we face in the industry at large. Although we will not be producing works for a live audience, growth will continue for the student body through coursework and other opportunities.
Personally, I’m in favor of this plan. I lost my greatest learning opportunity this school year due to COVID, and trying to produce work on the scale and quality that I expect from a YSD education is impossible given the uncertainty of our current situation. My understanding, formed through the various meetings, emails, and other communications, is that we are undertaking this plan to:
1) preserve the quality of education for any student that chooses the fourth year option;
2) protect students and staff, particularly those who are high risk for COVID (I am one of them); and
3) give us the option to graduate into an industry that has started to recover, rather than an industry that is not ready to hire recent graduates.
I have every confidence that the decisions made by our leadership have been in service of preserving the education that I signed up for when I accepted my spot at YSD. In this, I see a great similarity with every other company (theatrical or otherwise) that has done everything it possibly can during this pandemic to preserve the livelihoods and well-being of the people underneath its umbrella of influence. This is an action that should be applauded, not derided."
 

SteveB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Pretty interesting article about how to deal with Covid in Academic Theatre. Yale see's producing shows so tightly tied to their degree that they are extending all their programs by a year. Students will still take classes but will not be producing realized work.

Bottom line is a student paying tuition next year (and thereafter till completion), instead of this year, is better then having the students dropout completely and not getting their MFA at Yale. Makes sense.
 

josh88

Remarkably Tired.
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Location
Ypsilanti, Michigan
Bottom line is a student paying tuition next year (and thereafter till completion), instead of this year, is better then having the students dropout completely and not getting their MFA at Yale. Makes sense.
And they won't have to worry about that tuition, the addition of this added year for students is being underwritten by the department so they won't incur added tuition costs due to the decision.