Peer Mentor Program

What We Do

UP Peer Mentors serve as a resource for student mentorship on all live performance and production topics including developing and producing a project; designing, building, and installing scenery and equipment; and planning and executing load-in and the tech process. We’re here to help during any phase of mounting a show and share knowledge of technical skills. The Peer Mentors are always happy to meet with and advise any student working on (or maybe just still thinking about) a theater project.  Peer Mentors are also available for outside consultations, assistance, and support during load-in.

Remember, there truly are no silly questions! We are all here to help, and are never far from phones or the internet. If we can’t answer your question, we know someone who can! Feel free to contact any of us directly. Our contact info can be found below.

If you are interested in becoming a Peer Mentor, visit our Work Study page for info on applying.

Who We Are

William An 

William An (BR ‘24; he/him/his) is an English and MCDB double major from Florida. Within theatre, he has experience as a producer, director, stage manager, and dramaturg. Outside of theatre, he is involved with Dwight Hall, virus research, and the Yale Lit Mag (don’t get him started on poetry :’). He is always excited to meet and collaborate with new people on projects, so please reach out!, Cell:352-277-6243

Sam Bezilla

Sam Bezilla

Sam (MY ‘24; he/him/his) is an English major from New Jersey. He has dabbled in many areas of theater and opera production and is the 2022 President of the Yale Dramat. He’s excited to help you make art with the myriad of production resources Yale has to offer, especially in the areas of Sound Design, Head Electrician(ing?), Stage Management, and Producing. Outside of theater, Sam is a member of Yale’s premiere food & hospitality club, Y Pop-Up, an employee of both Yale’s art museums, and a big, big fan of mountains. He’s a fiendish texter who has also come around to the good old fashion phone call — get in touch about your show!

sam.bezilla@yale.eduCell: 609-937-1222


Maxwell Brown

Cleopatra Mavhunga

Maxwell Brown (TC ‘25; he/him/his) is a Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies Major from New York. In the Yale theater scene, he has directed, acted, sound-designed, and composed music for several productions. Outside of theater, you may find him singing with Shades of Yale or giving tours around campus. Reach out if you’d like to talk about musicals, troubleshooting sound, any of the roles above, or how to get the resources/people needed to make shows happen!,  Cell: 917-929-7629

Claire Donnellan

Claire Donnellan

Claire (SY ‘24; she/her/hers) is a prospective Humanities and Political Science major from Chicago. Claire is passionate about the power of storytelling to bring people together and create change. In the Yale theater world, she is a director, costume designer, and occasional stage manager. In the little time she spends not doing theater, she is a troop leader for Campus Girl Scouts. Claire would love to answer your questions about any part of the costume or directing process, such as renting costumes from the Drama School, constructing a garment from a pattern, running a rehearsal room! Cell: 312-505-1891

Corinne Evans

Cleopatra Mavhunga

Corinne (GH ‘25; she/her/hers) is an Environmental Studies major from New Haven, CT. In her college theater experience, she primarily works as a lighting designer or electrician, but she has also dabbled in other production roles (such as producing). She is eager to share her knowledge and passion, meet other theater-lovers, and help people out in a pinch, so do not hesitate to text, call, or email her about lighting, producing, safety, or navigating the world of undergraduate theater at Yale. No idea is too silly; no question is too small.

corinne.evans@yale.eduCell: 203-645-8165

Forrest Hutchison

Adam Wassilchalk

Forrest Hutchison (BK ‘25) is a Math and Physics major passionate about lights, drama, and coffee. Forrest has experience in lighting design, lighting tech, producing, and stage management, and he is always interested in learning more. Having never touched theater before coming to Yale, he loves helping first-time theatermakers find their way. Outside the theater, Forrest is a FOOT leader, climbing team member, and coffee snob. He loves hearing crazy ideas, answering questions about light boards, balancing theater and life, and wearing hard hats, so don’t hesitate to reach out!, Cell: 601-383-3940


Aya Ochiai

Adam Wassilchalk

Aya (TD ‘25; she/her/hers) is a mechanical engineering and environmental studies (not the science) double major from Skagit Valley, Washington.  Her primary interest is technical direction and set design, and she would love to answer questions about how to make a cut list, how to use the props warehouses, and anything else sets related or otherwise. When not working in theatre, she dances with Taps and works in the engineering machine shop (in the basement of Mason).  She started in technical theatre as a result of a peer mentor workshop her first year (yay UP Start) and welcomes everyone to Yale theatre!, Cell: 360-488-3064


Malia Munley 

Simon Rabinowitz

Malia (SM ‘24; she/her/hers) is a Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies and History double major from Honolulu, Hawaii. She has experience in producing, directing, performing, and arts administration. On campus, she also does improv with the Purple Crayon, dances with Taps at Yale, works as a Tour Guide, and is the Student Associate for the Shen Musical Theater Curriculum. She would love to talk to anyone interested in theater and answer questions about producing, directing, performing, finding the best coffee shops (did I mention she loves caffeine??), or really anything theater (or non-theater) related, so please don’t hesitate to reach out! 


malia.munley@yale.eduCell: 808-954-1112

Arden Parrish

Adam WassilchalkArden (SM ‘25, he/they) is a Molecular/Cellular/Developmental Biology and Psychology double major from Chicago.  Most people are surprised to learn he’s a premed student because he spends the vast majority of his time stage managing!   He’s passionate about cultivating rehearsal environments that prioritise the well-being of everyone involved in a production, and they’re excited to share their knowledge about how to navigate the many resources Yale Theatre has to offer, especially for first-time theatremakers.  Outside of theatre, Arden conducts research at the medical school, plays piccolo in the Yale Precision Marching Band, and serves as the CT state chapter leader for the #insulin4all movement.  Whether you’re a seasoned theatremaker or this is your first production, he’s happy to answer any questions you may have!, Cell: 847-420-3486

Rylan Polster

Adam Wassilchalk

Rylan (ES ‘25; he/him/his) is a junior studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is currently the Production Officer for the Dramat and has lots of experience in sound engineering, head electrician work, and technical direction. Rylan came to Yale with almost no technical theater experience, so he is especially passionate about helping first-time theater-makers navigate all of the resources Yale offers. Outside of theater, Rylan enjoys late nights in the Stiles buttery and doing NYT crossword puzzles with his roommates. Feel free to reach out with any questions about theater or Yale in general!, Cell: 216-213-5300


Tyler Schroder 

Adam Wassilchalk

Tyler (MY ‘25; he/him/his) is a Computer Science major from Northern Virginia and even though he often finds himself behind the sound console or in the grid, he has to remind himself he is still not a theater major. His primary interest is in sound design & engineering and he is also experienced with project management, technical directing, and teaching theater skills. Outside of theater, Tyler runs the amateur radio station at ESC, can be found marching with the YPMB, or spending time with the Pauli Murray community. Send him any questions related to lighting and sound, or if you’re just not sure who to turn to!, Cell: 703-939-0494

Naomi Schwartzburt

Naomi Schwarzburg

Naomi (MY ‘24; she/her/hers) is planning to double major in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies and Astronomy. She is primarily a stage manager but also has plenty of experience with props and sound. She loves all things spreadsheets and scheduling, helping build sets, and making endless puns. In middle school, Naomi stumbled upon the world of theater somewhat accidentally, so she is especially interested in helping newcomers discover and develop their technical theater skills. She is happy to answer any questions you have about theater, embellishing emails with show-related memes, or anything else, so please feel free to reach out!

naomi.schwartzburt@yale.eduCell: 646-479-9045

Jeffrey Steele 

Robbie Skoronski

Jeffrey (ES ‘24 he/him/his) is from the South Suburbs of Chicago and is in Ezra Stiles. He’s looking to major in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies and Psychology. He is better known for his work lighting designing, but has worked in a variety of positions so he’s more than willing to help plan, troubleshoot, and create solutions for any production (and if he doesn’t know what to do, he probably knows someone that does.) Jeffrey is the Yale Drama Coalition’s Community Events Coordinator, a part of the Stiles Activities Committee, and the Head of Stiles Music Box. He’s energetic and cracks jokes while getting the job done. Ask for his help, advice, or hot takes. He’s happy to share., Cell: 708-986-2580

Beza Tessema

Robbie Skoronski

Beza (JE ‘24; she/her/hers) is a potential Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies and Architecture double major from Connecticut. She enjoys directing, lighting, and just about everything else there is to do in theater. Outside of theater, though still inside of performance, she is on the step team, Steppin’ Out. If you have any questions about lighting, theater in general, dance/performance groups, or things to do around Connecticut, don’t hesitate to reach out!  

beza.tessema@yale.eduCell: 203-260-8310

Casey Tonnies

Casey TonniesCasey (MC ‘24; she/her/hers) is a Chemical Engineering major from Louisiana and is currently in her second term as Production Officer for the Dramat. She has lots of experience in production management, lighting design, and head electrician work, but her favorite thing is actually cut calls for sets crew. She is more than happy to offer advice for production planning, Vectorworks, LX board programming, or even just navigating theater while not being a TDPS major. That being said, her main priority is promoting safety and healthy production practices—so please reach out to learn all of the tips and tricks she wishes she knew sooner!

casey.tonnies@yale.eduCell: 318-820-5437