What is the Dramat?

The Yale Dramatic Association is the second oldest college theatre association in the country and the largest undergraduate theatre organization at Yale. Its membership includes over one hundred current students and thousands of alumni. The student membership annually elects a ten-member Executive Board that is responsible for choosing the Dramat’s theatrical season, hiring professional directors and designers, and supervising the Dramat’s daily administration. The Dramat’s constitution can be found here.

The Dramat produces seven shows a year: three productions, called Experimental Shows, staffed entirely by students (two in the fall, one in the spring); the First-Year Show, a show staffed, crewed, and performed entirely by first-year students; the Fall Mainstage and the Spring Mainstage, performed in the University Theater, directed and designed by a team of both professionals and (in the spring) some qualified students, both providing unparalleled opportunities for those involved; and the annual Commencement Musical, entirely student staffed, produced in the ten day period between the end of exams and Commencement Weekend.

From the day of its first meeting on February 2, 1900, the Yale Dramatic Association has been dedicated to producing high quality drama at Yale. The first Dramat show, a student adaptation of Chaucer’s A Pardoner’s Tale, presented with The Second Shepherd’s Play, opened at the Hyperion Theatre, which is now a parking lot. The present University Theatre at 222 York Street, the home of the Yale School of Drama, was built with the aid of the Dramat in 1925. The Dramat is the only undergraduate theatre organization at Yale with the privilege of using Yale School of Drama performance spaces and equipment.

The Dramat offers a unique opportunity for Yale students to work with professional directors, designers, and choreographers in the best-equipped theatre facilities on campus.

Get Involved

Blue Card
If you’d like to get involved in one of the many production, association, or acting opportunities that the Dramat has to offer, fill out a Blue Card to let us know what you’re interested in! Someone will reach out to you soon to find out more about your interest.

Associate Board

Being on the Dramat’s Associate Board is a great way to get involved with the Dramat through an experience unlike working on any single show. Associate Board members learn the ins and outs of the daily operations of a nonprofit theater organization, gaining valuable administrative skills and meeting Yale theater-makers of all years along the way.

In addition to full Dramat membership, Associate Board members also receive unique opportunities to provide feedback on show proposals, as well as the professional directors and designers the Dramat hires for Mainstages. Associate Board members are invited to great events such as board parties, the Senior Dinner, the semesterly Full Board Retreat, the Holiday Party, and the Dramat Birthday party!

If you’d like to apply to join Associate Board, fill out an application!



How to Become a Dramat Member
To become a member, one must work on three Dramat shows. If you haven’t worked in Yale theatre before, but would like to know about what’s going on and to let us know about you, please fill out a Blue Card.

After meeting the aforementioned requirements, one becomes an official Dramat member by being inducted. Induction ceremonies follow strike for all Dramat shows. Following your third show, you will be called up to sign your name in the Dramat’s Centennial Book and drink from the Cole Porter chalice. This chalice was a gift to Mr. Porter from his father after the opening of the play he wrote for the Dramat. It was then stolen by one of his friends and presented to the Dramat, where it has been passed down ever since. 

How to Continue Being a Dramat Member
To remain a member of the Dramat one must either attend or have another member proxy for our biannual elections. There are no membership dues.

Membership Benefits
Upon being conferred their membership, Dramat members enjoy the following benefits:
 A complimentary ticket to one performance of Dramat regular season productions. You can also receive complimentary tickets to any Yale Repertory Theater production and selected Yale School of Drama productions as long as seats are available; go on any night other than Saturday at 7:30pm and you must present your Dramat Membership Card. All box offices at Yale have current membership lists.

The opportunity to run for Executive Board positions, and also the right to vote in general (i.e., Executive Board) elections.

Invitations to attend various membership events throughout the year. One such event is the Membership Dinner, to which we invite a famous person in the theater world. Past guests have included Ann Bogart, Al Pacino, and John Guare.

Invitations to the cast parties of all Dramat shows, as well as to the Dramat Birthday Party in the spring.

The Dramat periodically co-hosts College Teas (in conjunction with the residential colleges). Some recent tea guests have included: Moises Kaufman, playwright of The Laramie Project and founder of the Tectonic Theater Project; Keythe Farley, writer and director of Bat Boy, and vocal director of “Rugrats” Stephen Adly Guirgis, playwright of Jesus Hopped the A Train and Our Lady of 121st Street; Bobby Lopez, Tony-award winning writer of Avenue Q, and Barry Humphries, better known as his character of Dame Edna. Many of these guests were subsequently inducted as honorary members.

Dramat members are also eligible for various outside opportunities that arise throughout the year. A few recent opportunities have included: being production assistants and extras in location filming for Columbia Pictures’ Mona Lisa Smile, starring Julia Roberts; performing in an original play written by a Dramat alumnus; and working at the production company that runs the Tony Awards® and produces Broadway shows.


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