Stan Wojewodski, Jr. Comes to Yale
Stan Wojewodski, Jr. arrived at the deanship and artistic directorship in 1991 as a stage director and teacher known for his dedication to creating a space for artists. Through the artists he championed, such as Ralph Lemon and Eric Overmyer, he incorporated dance and performance art into Yale Rep productions.
St. Joan of the Stockyards brought Bertolt Brecht back to the Yale Rep stage, directed by Liz Diamond. Brecht updated the Joan of Arc story to a meatpacking plant in early-twentieth-century Chicago.
Wojewodski brought Theatre de la Jeune Lune to Yale Rep as a company-in-residence (as Brustein had done with the Open Theatre and Living Theatre) to present Children of Paradise: Shooting a Dream, an inventive theatrical retelling of the making of the 1945 film Les Enfants du Paradis in occupied France.
Suzan-Lori Parks at Yale Rep
A major part of Stan Wojewodski’s impact as artistic director of Yale Rep was his encouragement of artists like Suzan-Lori Parks, who riffs on historical moments and plays with racial and cultural motifs. Parks went on to win a MacArthur Foundation Grant, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Gish Prize, among many other honors. Three of her early plays premiered at Yale Rep.
The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, a dreamlike fantasia of African-American stereotypes, first appeared at Yale Rep as part of Winterfest in the 1991-92 season. Venus, with its themes of colonialism and objectification inspired by the 19th-century African woman displayed in Europe as the “Hottentot Venus,” won two OBIE Awards. Revivals of Parks’ plays are centerpieces of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons at Signature Theatre in New York.