In 1974, Kathleen graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
During the period from 1971 till 1972, Kathleen acted as a Vista community organizer in New Hampshire. Between 1973 and 1978, she worked as an actress, appearing in dinner theater, regional theater, Off-Off Broadway, Off-Broadway and in the Broadway. Since 1978, Yale has been working as a freelance writer-researcher.
Beginning her artistic career as a stage actress, then turning to playwrighting, Kathleen Yale, who frequently uses the professional name of Kathleen Betsko, has evolved to become the co-editor of an influential book on women playwrights. This natural progression was animated by Yale’s determined belief in the necessity of women’s empowerment.
Yale won three fellowships to the prestigious Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference during the late 1970's and early 1980's. The resulting plays were "Beggar’s Choice", "Johnny Bull" and "Stitchers and Starlight Talkers".
"Beggar’s Choice" focuses on a working-class English girl, who dreams of going to America. "Stitchers and Starlight Talkers", with a plot reminiscent of the successful, contemporaneous British play and movie "Educating Rita", concerned a cynical male professor, who teaches a working-class woman — and what they both learn in the process. "Johnny Bull", perhaps the most successful of Yale’s plays, deals with the experiences of a nineteen-year-old British woman, who goes to America’s Appalachia as the wife of a coal miner.
Yale also penned the book, entitled "Interviews with Contemporary Women Playwrights". The book’s prominent interviewees include Beth Henley, Marsha Norman, Rosalyn Drexler, Megan Terry, Tina Howe, Adrienne Kennedy and Caryl Churchill.
Yale adapted her play "Johnny Bull" to an ABC-TV Movie of the Week, "Johnny Bull" (1986), starring Kathy Bates, Colleen Dewhurst, Jason Robards and Peter McNicol.
In addition, Betsko Yale was founding mother and steering committee member of the First International Women Playwrights Conference, held first in Buffalo, New York, in 1988, and now an ongoing event, taking place every three years in different world cities.
"Although Feminism is currently out of fashion, I remain proud to be called a Woman Playwright. I see the label not as an admission of mediocrity nor as evidence of self-banishment to some literary "ghetto". I see it as a symbol of my alliance with the underdog. As long as women are treated unequally in the theater and elsewhere, as long as rape and wife-battering continue to escalate, as long as women’s writing is censored for its content under the guise of "aesthetic criticism", I will wear the label "Woman" as a Union insignia. That a few women have gained entrance to Management does not change the struggle of the rank and file."
"I don't believe in art for art’s sake. Nor do I believe that all Art is genderless. Though the issue is vigorously debated and women themselves are divided on the question, I stand firm in my conviction, that there is, indeed, a female aesthetic in the drama."
"I look forward to the time, when women playwrights no longer have to work twice as hard and be twice as good for half the praise and only ten percent of the grant monies accorded male writers. I look forward, with hope, to the time when women are free to speak the unvarnished truth on stage, not just of their own experiences as mothers, workers, daughters, wives, lovers and artists, but also of the experiences of dispossessed men, women and children everywhere, whose suffering is ignored and whose voices are silent."
"When women stop modifying their words in order to spare men’s feelings (or for fear of public humiliation at the pens of the reviewers), the theater will be rocked to its foundations by the reverberations. Far from destroying the theater, this upheaval will revitalize it, will allow meaning and feeling to surge back to the stage. The way can then be paved for a more honest camaraderie with men, will create deeper possibilities for compassion and love between the sexes, between nations, rather than — as is now the case — endless overt and covert battles, caused by fear of intimacy and the struggle for absolute power."
Kathleen Yale is a member of the Actors' Equity Association, Dramatists Guild of America, Authors League of America, League of Professional Theatre Women, Writer’s Bloc and Actors Studio Playwright/Directors Unit.
In 1959, Kathleen married Stephen Betsko, whom she divorced in 1967. Their marriage produced two children — Candy May and Stephen Glenn. Later, in 1969, she married Robert Saunders. However, their marriage also didn't last long — the couple divorced in 1973.