Drama alum who’s pushed artistic boundaries named to Schwarzman Center post

Jennifer Newman ’11 M.F.A. (Photo credit: Dennis J Photography)

Yale School of Drama alumna Jennifer Newman has been appointed the associate artistic director of the Schwarzman Center. She began her new role in November.

Newman is an artistic director, producer, educator, choreographer, and performance artist with over 25 years in the visual and performing arts. Working collaboratively across disciplines with emerging and established artists alike, she has pushed the boundaries of music, dance, opera, and theater in the process of producing performances. She received her B.A. from the University of California-Los Angeles and her M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama in 2011.

In addition to her impressive track record as an artist, producer and administrator, Jennifer understands the student experience here at Yale.” said Garth Ross, executive director of the Schwarzman Center. “Her unique perspective will be instrumental in shaping the center’s emerging role in arts and student life at Yale.”

Throughout her long career Newman has worked with established artists such as Michael Jackson, Julie Taymor, Franco Dragone, Donald Byrd, David Rousseve, Ronald K. Brown, and Karin Coonrod as well as rising talents Kaneza Schaal, Shariffa Ali, Patricia McGregor, Charlotte Brathwaite, Michael Joseph McQuilken, and Justin Hicks. She has performed on Broadway in “Saturday Night Fever” and Disney’s “The Lion King”, and was a Radio City Rockette.  She has been an artist in residence at Princeton, Yale, and Central Connecticut State universities, as well as The Field, Mabou Mines, Baryshnikov Arts Center, 651 Arts, and Sisters Academy Inkost. She has led workshops across the United States, Sweden, South Africa, China, and Mexico.

Her recent site-specific and theatrical works include “topologies” (Gibney Dance NYC); “Angel’s Bone” (Beijing Music Festival); “Triptych (Eyes of One on Another)” (BAM/Next Wave Festival); “We Were Everywhere” (Princeton University); “The Infinite Hotel” (Prototype Festival); “Place” (BAM/Next Wave Festival); “The Merchant of Venice” (Venice, Italy); “If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Motherfucker” and “The Children” (Yale School of Drama); an installation/walking tour of Seneca Village in Central Park (Bard Graduate Center for Material Culture’s Focus Festival on “Ritual and Capital”); “la ronde” (International Festival of Arts & Ideas); and “The Geneva Project” (Yale University, Central Arts Festival in Seoul, Korea, JACK NYC, and Bronx Academy of Art and Dance).

While a student at Yale I made it my personal mission to connect School of Drama activities with both the wider campus and the New Haven community,” said Newman. “I am thrilled to join the Schwarzman Center staff as it launches a new era of collaboration and inspiration between the arts, humanities, and social practice for the university, the community, and beyond.”

Opening in September 2020, the Schwarzman Center will become the university’s first center for the arts and student life. Currently under renovation, the center is envisioned as a flexible, technology-enabled platform with spaces for dining, socializing, and creative, cross-disciplinary engagement. Designed as a crossroads for students, faculty, alumni, and the public, the center will produce arts and cultural programming with a broad range of student, faculty, and artist partners.

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Bess Connolly : elizabeth.connolly@yale.edu,