‘One’ Episode 9: Yale Cab members talk collaborative leadership amid health and racial crises

Laurie Gomez YC '22
Tulsa Race Riot Inflames 1921 (Wikimedia Commons)

In episode #9 of the Yale Schwarzman Center web series, O​ne, Estefani Castro interviews Zachry Bailey, Brandon Burton, Alex Vermillion, and Jaime Totti on their experience leading the Yale Cabaret and its foray into radio, recalling the 1921 Tulsa race massacre as a response to both the current pandemic and systemic racial injustice. Bailey, Burton and Vermillion are 2020 Yale School of Drama graduates. Totti is a 2020 graduate of both Yale School of Drama and Yale School of Management.

Yale Cabaret is wholly run and managed by Yale School of Drama graduate students. Bailey, Burton, Vermillion, and Totti held shared responsibilities for the vision of the Cabaret experience. Bailey explained that the Yale Cabaret, an underground graduate student organization, is an “experimental training ground where students really have a chance to flex muscles they learned in the classroom, before coming here, or completely outside of their discipline.”

In response to the cancellation of their live performances due to the pandemic, and foreshadowing the protests against racial injustice happening worldwide, the Yale Cabaret team decided to produce an online radio version of Ain’t No Dead Thing, a play about the Tulsa race massacre of 1921. The play was written by Yale College 2019 graduate a. k. payne. The show aired April 17-18, 2020. A brief excerpt is featured in this episode of One.

Castro, the host of episode #9, is an MFA student in the Yale School of Drama’s Theater Management program and works as the assistant director for stakeholder engagement at the Schwarzman Center.

One, a web series produced by the Schwarzman Center, 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 Yale Schwarzman Center’s aspiration to advance a sense of “One Yale” and create an interconnected community that builds new traditions of student engagement around the campus and into the world.

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