Following Protest, Resignations, Yale Summer Cabaret Canceled

The cast of "Lear" which was presented last year by the Yale Simmer Cabaret.

The cast of "Lear" which was presented last year by the Yale Simmer Cabaret.

A challenge by some Yale School of Drama students following the selection of the new Yale Summer Cabaret team has resulted in the resignations of a third of the total number of board members and the cancelation of the 2018 season.

In December there were three graduate student teams who vied with their proposals to run, program and produce the summer cabaret season, which attracts about 3,000 theatergoers in the basement theater on the Yale campus.

But there were objections by one of the two teams that was not selected to the choice made by the advisory board.

The concern centered, according to one board member,  "on significant issues with respect to equity diversity and inclusion." Following the students' objections, board president Arthur Nacht announced he would resign due to the stress, time limits and harshness of the criticism.

In January, James Bundy, dean of the Yale School of Drama, announced --  following a review of the process -- that the advisory board’s December decision would not be overturned.

But last month it was learned that the summer series for this year — its 44th season — would be canceled. 

In a letter to patrons issued mid-March by Joan Channick who succeeded Nacht as board president, said, “the hiatus will allow for facilities upgrades, including the installation of a new air-conditioning system for the cabaret, and the completion of other delayed maintenance projects that are not possible during the academic year, when 217 Park Street –– which also houses a variety of administrative and faculty office,." 

Four other board members have also resigned from the 14-member advisory board since Nacht's departure.. The board is made of members who are white, save for one member of Hispanic descent. Half of the board is made up of women.

When asked about the student challenge and resignations, Bundy declined to comment.

The Yale Summer Cabaret is separate from the Yale Cabaret which runs during the academic year and is concluding  its 50th season.