26-Year-Old Yale Student Salim Killed During Tartuffe Load-In; Show Delayed

News   26-Year-Old Yale Student Salim Killed During Tartuffe Load-In; Show Delayed Yale Repertory Theatre has postponed the start of the upcoming run of Moliere's Tartuffe due to the Nov. 18 death of a student, Pierre-André Salim, who was fatally wounded during the load-in of the set.
Pierre-Andr
Pierre-Andr Photo by Facebook.com

"Our Yale Repertory Theatre/Yale School of Drama community suffered the tragic loss of a beloved student and colleague," Yale Rep artistic director and Dean of the Yale School of Drama James Bundy saind in a statement. "We are delaying performances in part to give our community time to come together in support of Pierre's family, friends and colleagues, and begin to heal."

Salim, a native of Jakarta, Indonesia, was in his second year working toward a Master's degree in Technical Design and Production. His undergraduate work was completed in 2002 at National University of Singapore, where he earned a Bachelor of Computing degree while also working as a crew member for productions in his residential hall and at the University Cultural Centre.

His love of theatre extended past his graduation, and he served as a production and stage manager for a number of Singapore theatre companies, including Checkpoint Theatre, Wild Rice, Theatre Practice and Toy Factory.

"Pierre was a pivotal figure in the Singapore scene," said Checkpoint Theatre joint artistic director Huzir Sulaiman. "So many of us worked with him, and all of us loved him for his professionalism, his kindness, and his good humor. His death has left the whole community in shock."

According to reports, Salim was participating with other students during the unloading of materials to be used on the production. The 26-year-old was helping to remove a number of sheets of particleboard that were secured against one wall of a truck. The boards fell on Salim, pinning him against the wall. The accident resulted in massive head injuries, ruled the medical examiner. A private memorial service will be held for Salim. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations in his memory be made to UNICEF, c/o UNICEF/USA, 333 East 38th Street, New York, NY 10016.

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Originally scheduled to begin Nov. 26, Tartuffe, or the Imposter will now start Dec. 3. Opening night has been shifted to Dec. 6, but the production will close as scheduled on Dec. 22.

Ticketholders will be contacted by the Yale Rep Box Office for exchanges due to the canceled Nov. 26-Dec. 1 performances. Patrons may also contact directly at (203) 432-1234.

Daniel Fish (David Rabe's The Black Monk) stages the work featuring Zach Grenier (Yale Rep's Uncle Vanya) as Tartuffe with Michael Rudko (as Orgon) and a cast that includes Michelle Beck, Beth Dixon, Christopher Donahue, Andy Paterson, Christina Rouner, Tom Story, Daniel Cameron Talbott, Nick Westrate, and Sally Wingert.

The design team includes John Conklin (scenic), Kaye Voyce (costume), Jane Cox (lighting), Karin Graybash (sound) and Alexandra Eaton (video).

The production, which uses the Richard Wilbur English verse translation, features an onstage videographer — "who makes visible what would otherwise be hidden from view," according to show notes.

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