Commencement 2013: URI actor Andrew Burnap off to Yale School of Drama to pursue his dream

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KINGSTON, R.I. — April 1, 2013 — Andrew Burnap was sitting in a human sexuality class at the University of Rhode Island when his cell phone rang. It was an Ivy university, with some good news.


“I’m calling to invite you to the Yale School of Drama,” said Ron Van Lieu, chair of the acting program.


Burnap, a South Kingstown resident who will graduate from URI this spring with a bachelor’s in fine arts in acting, was so stunned he was incredulous: “Are you serious?” he replied. Not only was Yale serious, it was generous and promised to pay most of his bill for tuition and room-and-board.


He’s still amazed that he was one of 16 students selected from a pool of about 1,300 for Yale’s intensive three-year master’s in fine arts program, which some consider the most prestigious in the country. He’s also the first actor at URI to attend the Yale program.