The following minutes were unanimously approved as submitted on September 8, 2017.


The regular meeting of the DTSA was called to order at 3:20 pm on May 16 in Thesis Room by Jennifer Thompson.


Jennifer Thompson (President), Phoebe Rumsey (1st Vice President), Hansol Oh (Secretary-Treasurer), Sarah Lucie (Admissions & Awards), Joseph Paul Hill (Curriculum & Exams Representative), Jared Pike (Graduate Council & Alumni Engagement Rep), Ashley Marinaccio, Cory Tamler, Christine Snyder


Elyse Singer (2nd Vice President), Margit Edwards (Professionalization Representative), Kalle Westerling (Digital Initiatives Officer), Janet Werther (DSC Program Rep)

Approval of Agenda

SL motioned to approve agenda. JPH seconded. Agenda was unanimously approved as submitted.

Approval of Minutes

PR motioned to approve the minutes. SL seconded. Minutes unanimously approved as submitted.


President, Jennifer Thompson

Congratulations all on an incredible year. We’ll talk about this more later, but I especially want to thank Elyse and the Booth Award committee for putting together an incredible event; and Phoebe, Margit, Janet and all of those who helped with the conference, such as Joseph and Sarah. Both events were really fantastic and made excellent public impressions for the program.

I also want to welcome and thank the new board members here. We are so excited for everything you will do next year.

Peter has asked at the final executive meeting that I give a report of the year’s activities; so as you move through your reports, if you don’t mind summarizing what you accomplished this year I would appreciate it; I want to make sure everyone is acknowledged for their wonderful work.

But a quick sketch of what we accomplished (to be added to, I’m sure!):THANK YOU Phoebe who arranged 2 theatre outings, and several social events (German Beer Hall, Karaoke night); to everyone who participated in the success 3 program receptions; 2 fundraisers (book sale and trivia night); Margit created a fantastic and thoughtful professionalization program; and along with Kalle teach in’s on Black Lives Matter and Trump (thanks to Kalle and the Futures Initiative); thanks to Kalle and Jared a continuously improving website; thanks to Joseph, Phoebe, and Sarah, for the advocacy for student needs to various committees; all of you, and in particular Eylul, Jennie, and Fabian for help with the addition of a new position to the board and the passage of the constitutional amendment; all of you, and especially the first year contributions to the articulation of best practices for first year research assistants; Sarah for the recruitment and admission of an incredible new cohort; Elyse for a tremendous Booth Award honoring Taylor Mac; and Phoebe, Margit and Janet for a day long conference attended by over 50 national and international scholars;

We can discuss this in new business, but we are in the midst of working out all of the reimbursements, etc. So if you have receipts please get them to Hansol or I; and if something went through Lynette and the program she has requested that you please coordinate with her ASAP.

It has been an honor and great joy to serve on the board with all of you.

First Vice President, Phoebe Rumsey

Nothing to report.

Second Vice President, Elyse Singer

The 2017 Edwin Booth Awards honoring Taylor Mac were held on Friday, April 28th in the Proshansky Auditorium as part of the 2016-17 Public Programs series and in collaboration with the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. The venue was filled nearly to capacity (we had more than 800 reservations, but as a free event, there were some no-shows) and the event was followed by an after-party at the Cutting Room on 32nd Street that continued until at least 1AM. The MC was Salty Brine, and performers included Taylor Mac, Machine Dazzle, Matt Ray, Tigger!, Crystal Lucas-Perry, Heather Christian, Paul Zimet and Ellen Maddow. Professor Sean F. Edgecomb spoke, as did current GC students Janet Werther, Ryan Donovan, and Andy Goldberg. Sissi Liu performed an original song, “Here Comes Judy” (which culminated in an audience sing-along), and Ash Marinaccio was boylesque star Tigger!’s Stage Kitten. Frank Hentschker interviewed Taylor Mac and the event ended with a surprise twist—Taylor reading Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” off Bess Rowen’s iPhone.

Members of the Booth Committee participated as stage managers (Kyeuen Kim and Mayu Sen) and backstage/FOH (Cory Tamler, Christine Snyder, Phoebe Rumsey, and Jennie Youssef.) Kalle Westerling live-tweeted the event using #Booth17. The after-party was DJ’d by Amber Martin, MC’d by Darlinda Just Darlinda, and featured seven more fantastic burlesque performers, many of whom were Dandy Minions in the 24-Decade Project, plus Tony Torn doing a Mac monologue as Donald Trump. Both the event and the party as a whole embodied the goal of the Booth Awards, which is to “unite the professional and academic theatre communities.” At the party, Taylor danced with students, faculty, performers, and audience members.

In an email to me after the event, Taylor expressed thanks for being honored with the Booth Award: “What a rare gift! I feel rejuvenated. It was, in many ways: award ceremony as recommitment ceremony. Vows and all. Please pass on my gratitude to all the CUNY folks who helped make it happen.”

In past years, the Booth has been produced in the Segal Center, which has a seating capacity of 70. To produce it in the 389-seat Proshansky, and to hold the party outside of the GC and avoid the requirement of using Restaurant Associates and ending before 10pm, it was necessary to do additional fundraising. The final cost for the 2017 Booth Awards was $4500 and we were on budget. Expenses were as follows: Artist fees ($1650); Food & beverage ($2000); Venue sound/admin ($750); Award/marketing ($100). This was covered by donations from the DSC, Chairs Marvin Carlson and David Savran, the Segal Center, Public Programs, and the DTSA. In addition, to cover the alcohol costs for the party, I raised $1050 in advertising revenue by selling program ads to companies including Pomegranate Arts, U. Michigan Press, the Public Theater, and Playwrights Horizons. I worked closely with Rebecca Sheahan in the Segal Center to edit and produce the color tribute program, with additional help from Cory Tamler.

Booth Award photographs were taken by Mia Min Yen and HowlRound livestreamed the event. The recorded livestream is available on YouTube.

I am proud to have served as producer for the 2017 Booth Awards, and to have also served on the 2016 Booth Committee. Currently, I am working with Rebecca on completing the financial wrap-out, as the Segal Center served as the fiscal agent for paying the venue and artist fees, and will coordinate with Jennifer regarding DTSA reimbursements.

Secretary-Treasurer, Hansol Oh

Nothing to report.

Admission and Awards Representative, Sarah Lucie

We have 6 new students joining us in the fall! I have sent out a request to the DTSA for mentors, so please encourage your friends to volunteer, or do so yourself! I will be sending out the mentor/mentee pairings before June.

Curriculum and Exams Representative, Joseph Paul Hill

I have plans to meet with Erika, the current Chair of the Curriculum Committee, before the end of my term in order to reiterate a few of the students’ wants that came out of this semester’s DTSA Curriculum and Exams Survey. Also, the survey results will be circulated to members of the DTSA following the Board meeting and prior to the open Executive Committee meeting.

Our informal, student-led First Exam information session will be Saturday, May 27 at 5:00 p.m.

Professionalization Representative, Margit Edwards

Nothing to report.

Digital Initiatives Officer, Kalle Westerling

Students keep adding new content to the Theatre and Performance Exchange. Among new plays are An Octoroon, The Lily’s Revenge, She Kills Monsters, Polaroid Stories, and Offending the Audience. Keep adding more content—and refer new and old students to the database! Nothing else to report.

DSC Program Representative, Janet Werther

Nothing to report.

Graduate Council Rep and Alumni Engagement, Jared R. Pike

The Graduate Council met for their final session of the academic year on May 10. The meeting consisted of the usual business of granting degrees and voting on changes to program governance. Additionally, the Council voted on nominations for the standing committees for next year. One item of direct concern to our department was President Robinson’s announcement about the state of the budget. The approved budget increases CUNY’s overall funding by 3% and covers the retroactive pay demanded by the new faculty contracts and the new Excelsior scholarship program designed to make undergraduate education affordable for low income families in New York. However the budget does not allow for other necessary costs such as mandatory salary step increases. This leaves the Graduate Center, specifically, with a 1.5% budget deficit. However, President Robinson currently believes this deficit can be met by continued savings from previous cuts and small additional cuts to administrative costs. At this time, the president does not believe it will be necessary to make additional cuts to program budgets.

New Business


Discussion about the digital initiatives meetings

End of Semester Gathering
Report to Exec Meeting
Change of Handbook Re. dissertation proposals

Rationale, suggestion

Reimbursements (Conference, Booth, Professionalization)
Reflections on Year


JT motion to adjourn. PR seconded.

All in favor.