Much of Drenala's early life is unknown. At some point in the 24th century, she married Ildis Kitan, a university professor in medicine. She bore two daughters: her elder Solana at an unknown date, and Alara in 2396.
In late 2396 or early 2397, Drenala fell asleep in the living room of their home while cradling Alara, then eight-months-old. A power surge from the generator sparked a fire in the kitchen. With the flames encircling the two, Alara's crying woke Drenala, "almost as if [she was] screaming" that they were in danger. Drenala escaped through the window with Alara. Drenala rarely spoke of the incident because the memory upset her.
Drenala, like her husband, appears disappointed with his daughter's decision to join the Planetary Union's military as opposed to getting an education on Xelaya. When Alara appears traumatized from a devastating fire in the Orville, she chides her daughter, saying she knew the risks when she joined. Nonetheless, she still loves and supports whatever Alara decides to do with her life, even if it is considered less reputable by the standards of Xelayan culture.
- Sometime before 2420, Drenala remodeled their family bathroom in aqua and deep blue.
- Drenala states that her and Ildis' favorite activity is to brag of their daughter Solana's PhD.
- Molly Hagan, who plays Drenala, had a role as Eris in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Jem'Hadar."