Club Profile: YCDS

By: Shneur Levy  |  September 20, 2023

By Shneur Levy, Opinions Editor

Each month, the YU Observer aims to highlight one club available to the YU undergraduate community. For the September 2023 edition, the YU Observer is highlighting the Yeshiva College Dramatic Society.

Disclaimer: The author is a Vice President of the YCDS. Furthermore, the YCDS is technically a student organization and, as Rami said, “Not a club.”

Club Name: Yeshiva College Dramatic Society (YCDS)

Head(s): Rami Levin

Relevant Campus(es): Wilf

What is your club’s mission statement?: The mission of YCDS is to enable Orthodox Jews to tell fundamentally Jewish stories.

Why is this club important?:

Orthodox Jewish theater is always going to be small. For men in particular, there may be a stigma against doing theater. YCDS is special because in an all-male environment, we have a lot more guys willing to explore acting.

What inspired you to get involved in/start the club?:

YCDS might be the longest-running student organization in YU. We started in spring of 1935, making us older than Stern College, and just neck-in-neck with The Commentator.

I started off doing theater from my middle school, Yavneh Academy, and then went on to acting at TABC, my highschool. When I came to YU, YCDS hadn’t been producing shows for two years because of COVID. I saw an opportunity to step up, and I did. 

What are some things your club has done in the past?:

Over the past nearly 90 years, we’ve put on over 120 productions. 

What are some plans you have for this semester/future semesters?:

We have a packed plan for this year. Pre-production for the spring play already started in July, and we have events lined up for the fall semester. We even have a project in development that’s not quite public yet.

What is your advice to someone looking to get involved on campus?:

There’s a lot of opportunities to get involved. It’s not just acting – there’s technical, graphic design, costume design, marketing, set building, and so much more. 

Anything else to say about your club:

Get involved! We’re one of the only student organizations to offer institutional credit. Right now, by participating in the spring play, you can earn 2 elective credits. I’m looking to make that 3, and to possibly fulfill the humanities core requirement.