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Mikaal Sulaiman Appointed Head of Sound Design Concentration at Yale School of Drama

Stage Directions • Industry News • April 7, 2021

Sulaiman will also be the Sound Design Advisor at Yale Repertory Theatre

Mikaal Sulaiman

Mikaal Sulaiman has been appointed Assistant Professor and Head of the Sound Design Concentration at Yale School of Drama and Sound Design Advisor at Yale Repertory Theatre. He has begun working part-time in order to familiarize himself with the current program and plan effectively for its future and will transition to full-time on July 1. As Head of Sound Design, Sulaiman will succeed David Budries, who developed and has led the program for nearly 40 years. Budries will retire as Chair on June 30.

“Mikaal Sulaiman is a visionary artist and vibrant teacher, and we are fortunate that he is so committed to training coming generations of sound design artists who will benefit from his skill, experience, and warm collegiality,” said Dean/Artistic Director James Bundy. “On behalf of Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre, I am thrilled to welcome such a distinguished new colleague to our community.”

This announcement reflects a reconfiguration of Design within the School beginning with the 2021-22 academic year. As of July 1, all five disciplines—Costume, Lighting, Projection, Set, and Sound Design—will be aligned in one department instead of two, to promote the most robust common core offerings for all Design students, and to build upon the School of Drama’s historic practice of training designers who are flexible and fluent collaborators with their colleagues. You can read more about the reorganization and new Co-Chairs of Design at the Yale School of Drama.

“I’m excited to bring my unique perspective to the Sound Design Concentration, especially now as it joins the Design Department at Yale School of Drama. I want to continue the School’s great history of developing sound designers who are innovative, artful, and rigorous,” said Sulaiman. “I believe my multifaceted experience in devised theater, film, TV, and other recorded media can be valuable in preparing graduate sound design students to be leaders in the complex future of sound. I can’t wait to get started.”

Originally from Rochester, NY, Mikaal Sulaiman is a sound designer, writer, and director working in theater, film, and television. He attended the University of the Arts, receiving a BFA in Acting, and later studied the Jacques Lecoq approach to devised theater at the London International School of Performing Arts. He is currently writing for an episodic A24/Amazon show, and recently collaborated with his older brother, Amir Sulaiman, on a short film called Laying Flowers.:.Setting Fires, for which he was the Creative Director and Editor.

Mikaal Sulaiman’s sound designs include work for Ars Nova, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Detroit Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Theatre Workshop, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Signature Theatre, Soho Rep, Trinity Rep, and many others, including such world premieres as Rags Parkland, Fairview, and Underground Railroad Game. For this work, he has been recognized with nominations for the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, AUDELCO, Lucille Lortel, and Drama Desk awards; he has also been honored with the 2021 CTG Sherwood Award and the 2019 Henry Hewes Design Award for excellence in Sound Design and Composition.

As a theatre deviser, Mikaal Sulaiman has received artist residencies at Space on Ryder Farm in Upstate New York, UCross Foundation in Wyoming, and VoxFest at Dartmouth College. He also hosts a podcast, Black Enso, which can be found on most podcast platforms. He has taught at Montclair State University, Pig Iron Theatre, and the University of California, San Diego.

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