"The appointment of Mr. Nelson reflects our commitment to attracting not only the most talented students, but also the world’s leading practitioners to serve as their teachers," Yale University Provost Andrew Hamilton said in a release.
Nelson's appointment is a timely event as his adaptation of August Strindberg's Miss Julie will premiere next at Yale Repertory Theatre (March 18-April 9). His translation of Jean-Claude Carriere's The Controversy of Valladolid is currently playing Off-Broadway at The Public Theater.
The scribe's plays include Rodney's Wife, Franny's Way, Madame Melville, Goodnight Children Everywhere, The General From America, New England, Columbus and the Discovery of Japan, Two Shakespearean Actors, Some Americans Abroad, Principia Scriptoriae, Between East and West, Life Sentences, The Return of Pinocchio, Rip Van Winkle or The Works and Jungle Coup. He also provided the book for the musicals My Life with Albertine, James Joyce's The Dead and Chess.
Nelson's duties begin this winter and spring with interviews of applicants to the School of Drama's Playwriting program. He assumes full-time duties beginning July 1.
"Playwriting in America is at a crossroads," says Nelson. "As Chairman of Yale School of Drama's distinguished Department of Playwriting and as a working playwright, I not only hope to identify and encourage talented young writers, but also generate a serious discussion about the place of the playwright in the theatre today."