Coalition stages ‘dramatic’ book fair



The Yale Drama Coalition held its first book fair Friday afternoon to generate awareness and funds for its workshops, Master’s Teas, and theater productions.

On sale for $2 and under were about 200 used books — from the Bible to the latest John Grisham novel to textbooks for Theater Studies classes — and about 30 different movies, all of which were donated by students and faculty members. Six Yale professors also donated autographed copies of their own books about theater, literature and cinema to a one-dollar raffle.

The YDC made over $250 in two and a half hours from the sale, which took place in the Theater Studies building on York Street. The group plans to use the money to support speakers, traveling expenses, and workshops, YDC productions coordinator Lisa Sicliano ’05 said.

Many of the plays and textbooks students need for classes will still be available at discounted prices at future events or on the organization’s web site, she said.

YDC treasurer Justine Isola ’06 said although the organization has existed since 1998, it has become especially cohesive in recent years and needs more funds to organize activities.

“I’ve very proud of all the energy we’ve put into our projects,” Isola said. “One of our goals today is to spread the word about other events we’re having and generate both enthusiasm and support.”

The YDC devotes much of its time to staging its own theater productions every semester. This year it has produced well-known plays such as Anton Chekov’s “Uncle Vanya” and Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot.” In February, the YDC designed and performed its own interactive murder-mystery, “Blood on the Floor.”

Siciliano said the book fair will help the YDC with its goal to strengthen ties with both students in the School of Drama and professors by hosting more speakers and planning collaborative theater workshops and productions.

“There has never been a real defined relationship between the Drama School and undergrads,” Siciliano said. “We can learn from them, and they can learn from us.”

Isola said the YDC can fulfill the important role of bringing together various members of the Yale community interested in theater who may not otherwise be familiar with each other’s work.

“I think everything we do has the overarching goal of bringing people together,” Isola said. “Sometimes it can be difficult to get people to come together and share their valuable resources with one another.”

Students and teachers who attended the book fair came from various academic disciplines including theater, English, history and the sciences. Jesus Torres ’06, an economics major, said he is not involved with theater activities on campus, but enjoys attending various campus productions.

“I’m a fan of the theater like any good Yalie,” Torres said. “This book fair has some pretty good prices and it’s for a great cause.”

In the next two weeks, the YDC will sponsor two workshops open to all undergraduates — Integration of Song and Text with School of Drama Professor Vicki Shaghoian and Theater and the Body with School of Drama Professor Brendan McCall. YDC leaders also hope to organize a reception with YDC members and School of Drama alumni at their reunion on May 7 and 8.

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