The Prompter Archive
The traditional Midsummer celebrations take place in June, but the calendar tells us we’re only now coming up on the season’s halfway mark. We are fully entrenched in the dog days of summer, a phrase which has nothing to do with the effects of heat on our canine friends. Rather, it refers to the 20 days before and 20 days after the alignment of Sirius—Alpha Canis Majoris or the Dog Star—with the sun. Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians believed that Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, added heat to the warmth of the sun during this stretch of time, making these the hottest days of the year. But we know now the heat is a result of the Earth’s tilt.
Victoria Nolan, who has served as Managing Director of Yale Rep for the last 27 years, will conclude her unprecedented run on June 30. Her tenure covers exactly half of Yale Rep’s entire history. Artistic Director James Bundy said this morning, “Having admired Vicki's service to Yale since I was a student, I have to note that while she might have expected a warm, fuzzy, victory lap in her last year, she's been dealing with a pandemic and production shut down—huge personal and institutional stressors for our entire workforce and student body. She has been as present, committed, and inventive as at any time I have known her, and she embodies what it means to finish in style.”
Yesterday, the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre community gathered virtually to celebrate the Class of 2020—74 actors, directors, dramaturgs, designers, playwrights, stage managers, technical design and production managers, theater managers, and technical interns—with hundreds of their friends and family Zooming in from around the world. This issue of The Prompter raises a glass to all who are graduating this spring: here at Yale and across Connecticut.
Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy, is often portrayed wearing cortunus, the boots worn onstage by ancient Greek actors in serious roles. Thalia, Muse of Comedy, wears soccus, the thin-soled shoes favored by clowns and pranksters (socks!). You can also tell these two particular daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne apart by their masks: one is frowning, the other’s laughing. Sure, a good cry can be cathartic, but this issue of The Prompter offers suggestions to tickle the funny bone.
Wednesday is Earth Day, and this issue of The Prompter offers some suggestions to stay grounded as well as recommendations to safely and responsibly enjoy the first late-blooming days of spring. Inspiration is everywhere: from the legacy of August Wilson to the heroic work being undertaken by our friends and colleagues in the scenic and costume departments; from the bluest skies ever seen on our stages to the sun setting over West Rock.
Welcome to The Prompter, a newsletter for members of the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre community! We believe that information and art are two of the best defenses we can share with each other in a time like this. Each issue of The Prompter will include news from the School of Drama and Yale Rep; the latest University updates regarding COVID-19; information about local and national resources; as well as binge-worthy streaming suggestions, book recommendations, recipes, work from home tips, and activities you can do with the kids in your life.