Next month, Yale University will celebrate its "heritage of drama" as part of the school's extended tercentennial programming already underway. On Nov. 13, a hundred years of Yale dramatic tradition, including the contributions of many Yale alumni, will be heralded with a bi-coastal party and performance called "Stage Blue."
Three locations comprise the Yale event. Simultaneous parties and performances in Los Angeles and New York will be linked by closed circuit television with a third viewing-only audience at Yale's University Theater for Yale students in New Haven, Conn.
Yale alumni Jodie Foster (Los Angeles) together with Meryl Streep and Sam Waterston (New York) will chair the Nov. 13 event, which honors the 75th anniversary of the Yale School of Drama and 100th anniversary of the Yale University Dramatic Association.
Yale's "Stage Blue" will be based on an original, bi-coastal production, I Get a Kick Out of Blue. In these two shows, Yale grads will perform in separate and simultaneous shows in Los Angeles and New York. New material, sketches and certain works by Yale alumni A.R. Gurney, Mitch Leigh, Paul Rudnick, John Guare, Maury Yeston, David Henry Hwang, Christopher Durang and others will comprise the variety show, I Get A Kick Out Of Blue. The show will be directed by Richard Maltby (New York) and Peter Hunt (Los Angeles).
In New York, cocktails and dinner will be served at Chelsea Piers' Pier Sixty, at W. 23 St. The east coast festivities begin with cocktails and dinner at 5 PM, followed by performances of I Get A Kick Out Of Blue at 9 PM. The performance will take place after dinner and just uptown at The New Amsterdam Theater, located at 214 W. 42 St. In Los Angeles, both dinner (5 PM) and performance (6 PM) will be presented at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.
Although the New York and Los Angeles performances will begin simultaneously, celebrants will only see their respective shows. In New Haven, at Yale, the closed-circuit satellite feed will allow viewers to go back and forth between New York and Los Angeles.
The performers now scheduled to participate in the show(s) include Angela Bassett, Dick Cavett, Charles Dutton, David Alan Grier, Jodie Foster, Malcolm Gets, Harry Hamlin, Julie Harris, Jane Kaczmarek, Stacy Keach, Bronson Pinchot, Meryl Streep, John Turturro, Courtney Vance, Joan Van Ark, Sam Waterston, and Henry Winkler, among others. This list has been updated frequently and production sources say they will finalize the list, specifying who will be appearing In New York and who will be appearing in Los Angeles, in the near future.
The public can purchase tickets to either event and proceeds from "Stage Blue" benefit the Yale School of Drama, the Yale Dramatic Association and theater facilities at the university.
Yale University trained writers, designers, directors, actors, musicians and producers populate the high echelons of the entertainment world. Producing theater talent since its establishment in 1900, the Yale University Dramatic Association "has now been at the forefront of the New Haven theater scene for a full century. In the past hundred years, the Dramat has seen the likes of Cole Porter, James Whitmore, Bronson Pinchot and Ed Norton pass through its ranks."
According to production notes, "Yale became one of the first universities in the nation to offer training for the professional theater, with the establishment of a Department of Drama in 1925. In 1955, the Department became a full-fledged graduate program: the Yale School of Drama. Since then, Yale University has turned out such distinguished graduates as Angela Bassett, Frances McDormand, and Paul Newman, and Wendy Wasserstein. Many of Yale's most eminent attendees, including Ed Norton, Oliver Stone, Julie Harris and Claire Danes, are both co-chairing and expected to attend 'Stage Blue.'"
For tickets or more information, call the "Stage Blue" main office at (212) 391-9185 or visit www.yale.edu/drama/stageblue.
-- By Murdoch McBride