Since the beginning of the semester, Yale Drama Coalition has been actively preparing both new and experienced members of the undergraduate theater community in a variety of roles in campus productions.
The YDC hosted two workshops yesterday — one on Vectorworks, a lighting design program, and Sketchup, a set design program. YDC President Nikki Teran ’15 said that the YDC workshop series allows crew members of current shows to become more acquainted with technical skills such as sound engineering, adding that such workshops also help introduce students to software that they will work with in future productions.
“It is a good way to lay down a foundation so these skills can be strengthened,” Teran said. “That all definitely benefits shows in the future.”
The idea for the series grew out of conversations held between YDC board members during the organization’s retreat this past spring, Teran explained. She said she believes that the basic theater skills workshops would inspire students to feel more comfortable participating in undergraduate theater productions and quicken the learning curve when working on such productions. Teran noted that roughly a quarter of the workshops in the series this fall are taught by YDC board members, while the rest of the workshop leaders were chosen based on their experience in the undergraduate theater community and their history of using software known to have a steep learning curve.
Gabrielle Roberts ’18, who attended the workshop on Vectorworks, said she thinks that the workshop made the software much more accessible, and that she now feels prepared to work with the software in the future.
She added that she thinks the YDC workshop series benefits the theater community in exposing students to programs they will need to use when working on a production team, but noted that she does not believe it is possible to master any of the software programs simply by attending a workshop.
“None of the workshops will necessarily teach you how to be good designers — you can’t do that in two hours,” Roberts said. “But, they give you the basics you need so you can go into a show and not feel lost.”
Shoshana Bieler ’16 led a workshop Tuesday afternoon on SketchUp. She said that the YDC workshops provide an important chance for students to begin using software such as SketchUp, which may seem daunting at first. She added that she hopes the workshops will inspire less experienced users of these programs to be more comfortable with employing them in undergraduate productions.
Harry Shamansky ’16, who taught the Vectorworks workshop, said he believes that the workshops can potentially target a wide range of participants in the theater community, including experienced designers.
The next event in the series is a costumes workshop on Oct 28.