‘One’ Episode 15: Dylan Schifrin illuminates humor and humanity in the face of apocalyptic uncertainty

Kenneth Xu YC'21
Screenshot from 'One' Episode 15

In episode #15 of the Yale Schwarzman Center web series, One, recent graduate Dylan Schifrin YC‘20 talks with interviewer Alex McGrath YC’21 about Schifrin’s senior project in musical theater. His show, titled Y2K: A Survivalist Musical, imagines a colony of doomsday preppers who fled society at the time of the “Year 2000 Problem” (also known as Y2K) and have been living in isolation for 20 years — without ever hearing that the apocalypse did not actually occur. A comedy exploring themes of truth and uncertainty, Y2K: A Survivalist Musical was first conceptualized in Schifrin’s sophomore year and was slated to premiere in April 2020.

This episode of One includes two excerpts from the musical, both performed remotely by its original cast of Yale undergraduates. Schifrin credits the enthusiasm of the cast in overcoming challenges as his favorite part of the production process. While the in-person premiere was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Schifrin has been exploring potential adaptations as an alternative future for the show.

Y2K: A Survivalist Musical was made possible with support from Yale’s Creative and Performing Arts Award, Yale College alumnus David Koslow, and the Women at Yale Arts Grant as part of the “50WomenAtYale150” Celebration.

There is this newfound relevance to the show in that it deals with mass panic — and what to do when the future is uncertain and no one really knows how [a] terrifying event is going to unfold.
Dylan Schifrin YC’20

McGrath, the host of episode #15, is a rising senior in Branford College. At the Schwarzman Center, McGrath worked on stakeholder engagement during the 2019-2020 academic year, helping to ensure effective communication with the diverse constituencies that the Center serves. 

One, a web series produced by the YSC, highlights interdisciplinary approaches to the arts in relation to the Center’s values of collaboration, wellness, and belonging. The inaugural season illuminates the creative and academic merits of student works impacted by social distance and explores perspectives on community-building among dispersed groups. The series title, One, is a nod to the YSC’s aspiration to advance a sense of “One Yale” and create an interconnected community that builds new traditions of student engagement around campus and into the world.

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