Associate Professor, Department of Theatre & Dance
About Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown, an MFA graduate of the Yale School of Drama, is an actor, published playwright,
director/ devisor, solo performer and Fulbright scholar. Having grown up in a theatre
family, Sarah has been a long-time member of Actors' Equity and Screen Actors Guild
and has appeared in New York and regional theater, as well as film and television
since she was seven years old. She has authored two plays with music that have been
published by Samuel French, Inc. (now called Concord Theatricals), which have enjoyed
productions throughout the regional United States and Canada. Her plays, published
and unpublished, have been performed or work-shopped in New York at the NY Theatre
Workshop, The Public Theater, the American Place Theatre, the American Jewish Theatre
and the Miranda Theatre Company, among others. One of her plays, a satire about artistic
censorship during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the 1st, was produced in London at
Theatre 503 by the Practicum Theatre Company.
As a creator of solo shows, Sarah has performed her work internationally in cities such as Tel Aviv, Haifa, Glasgow, Edinburgh and most recently at Teatro Gazeta, a 700-seat theatre in São Paulo, Brazil in celebration of the United Nations International Women's Day, with a percentage of the proceeds going to victims of abuse. She has also performed her solo work at regional venues such as the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX, the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles and the New Ohio Theatre in New York City.
Sarah received a Fulbright Scholarship to Israel to teach Solo Performance and Commedia
dell 'Arte during which time she expanded her creative borders from traditional theatre-making
to devising and directing groundbreaking site-specific shows for international theatre
festivals in Jerusalem, Bat Yam, and Izmir, Turkey.
In Turkey she was engaged for seven weeks devising and directing a site-specific show with 26 performers called Angels of the Chimney, which performed outdoors in the giant expanse of a 150-year-old coal gas factory in the city of Izmir. The show was celebrated as the first-ever site-specific show in Turkey's history, as well as the first show that used giant puppets engaged with actors to perform a story all around an itinerant audience, which averaged 3000 people a night.
Sarah Brown teaches workshops on solo performance and mask performance at universities, theatre companies and performing arts festivals all over the world. Her solo show laboratories engage student-artists on a visceral and dynamic level, freeing them to discover the stories they want to tell. Her mask intensives draw from the Lecoq progression but emphasize body energy, character creation and the riches of collaborative play over rigid technique. Whether her workshops are 14 days or 90 minutes long the artists draw from their layered process and present their resulting creations.
Through her long-time relationship with New York theatre professionals, Sarah has enabled the internships of many University of Memphis undergraduates in a special program for burgeoning actors in New York City called SpringboardNYC: a program sponsored by the American Theatre Wing to help prepare young talent for an artistic life in the big city. Students in this program engage with Broadway actors, directors and casting agents who get to know them and critique their work. The students attend the Tony Awards and also participate in workshops on how to live their best life in New York as an actor, covering topics such as taxes, renting an apartment, part time jobs and healthy living.
Sarah's late mother, Patricia Brown, was a theater director and actress who was the founding director of Theatre Communications Group, the executive artistic director of the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, and a winner of the Burns Mantle Award for her production of Alan Ayckbourn's Seasons Greetings in the late 80s on Broadway at the Joyce Theatre in New York.
BA Theatre, 1987 Brown University
MFA Acting, 1994 Yale School of Drama, Yale University
NEW YORK THEATRE PLAY/ROLE
- Cherry Lane Theatre – A Is for Aardvark / Elsie by Jess Lacher/ Maureen Towey, Dir.
- The Miranda Theatre Company – The Testimony of Selma Goldberg/ Selma Writer/ Director (Composed music, lyrics) The NY Theatre Workshop – The Testimony of Selma Goldberg / Selma Writer/ Dir., presented by invitation
- The Public Theatre – The Testimony of Selma Goldberg / Selma Writer/ Dir., presented by invitation
- The American Place Theatre – Hitler & The Nazishop Quartet / Gita Writer/ Dir., presented by invitation
- The American Place Theatre – The Abby Waxman Show (Solo) / Abby Writer/ Director (Workshop Presentation)
- The Double Image Theatre – The Winning Number / Country Singer Writer/ Director
- The Double Image Theatre – The Broken Heart / Lisa Deluth Writer/ Pat Brown, Dir.
- The Double Image Theatre – King of the Pekinese Yellowtail Writer/ Pat Brown, Dir.
- The Connelly Theatre – The Beginning of No / Anna by Cusi Cram/ Cusi Cram, Dir.
- Lincoln Center Lab – Humulus The Mute/ Duchess by Jean Anouillh/ Kamyar Atabai, Dir.
- The Connelly Theatre – The Beginning of No / Anna by Cusi Cram/ Cusi Cram, Dir.
- The Pulse Ensemble Theatre – The Hostage / Miss. Gilchrist by Brendan Behan/ Alexa Kelly, Dir.
- The Pulse Ensemble Theatre – Deep In The Heart Of... / Dottie Wrote play & music/ Pat Brown, Dir.
- The Clarke Theatre at Juilliard – Anna & The Conquest / Lyla by Cusi Cram/ Cusi Cram, Dir.
- Todo Con Nada/ NY Fringe Fest. – Hazel & The Bug Man / Hazel by David Lee/ David Lee, Dir.
- The American Place Theatre – Deep In The Heart Of.../ Jeanie Phelps Writer/ P. Brown, Dir., (Workshop Pres)
- 78th Street Theatre – The Abby Waxman Show/ Abby (Solo) Writer/ Director
- American Jewish Theatre – All Kidding Aside (Solo Show) Writer/ Performer/ Pat Brown, Dir.
- New Dramatists – Rock & Roy/ Louella Parson by B. Kaplan, J. Randich, Dir. (Showcase)
- Yale Repertory Theatre – As You Like It / Audrey Stan Wojewodski, Jr., Dir.
- Alley Theatre – Shooting Stars / Wilma by M. Newman/ Pat Brown, Dir. .
- Alley Theatre – Kind Lady / Aggie by E. Chodorov / Cliff Baker, Dir.
- Alley Theatre – Comedia Pinocchio / Colombina Beth Sanford, Dir.
- Alley Theatre – All Kidding Aside (Solo Show) Writer/ Performer, Pat Brown, Dir.
- Schwartz Center for Perf. Arts – Rez Sisters/ Pelajia Patchnose by T. Highway/ R. Reinholz, Dir. (Cornell)
- Yale Repertory Theatre – Edward II/ Queen's Lady Stan Wojewodski, Jr., Dir.
L.A. & ABROAD
- Theatre HaSimta, TEL AVIV International Solo Show Festival Writer/ Performer
- The Matrix Theatre (L.A.) – The Abby Waxman Show, Solo Show Writer/ Performer
- The Latchmere, London – The Serf of Tidworth Writer
- Edinburgh Women's Mayfest – Open Marriage, Solo Show Writer/ Director
- Theatre HaSimta, Tel-Aviv International Solo Show Festival Writer/ Performer
- Glasgow's Kelvingrove – The Scottish Queen, Solo Show Writer/ Performer
- Oxford Playhouse Company – Hamlet, Ellsinore Castle, Denmark Company Apprenticeship/ ASM
- TV: New York Undercover Marilyn Carter Fox: "Sympathy For The Devil"
- Film: Super Seal Lead Role: Mary Ann United Home Video, Bellweather Prod.
- Film: Subterfuge Anne/Minor Role Bellrock Entertainment (Action Film: Reversal of Fortune Reporter Rauch/ Pressman Producers
- TV: True Blue Ellen/ Crime Witness NBC: Grosso Jacobson Productions
- Award Winning Commercial 2nd Place Cannes Film Pepsi (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
- Taught Acting at Cornell University
- Taught Solo Performance, Commedia dell 'Arte and Improvisation at the University of Haifa, Israel
- Taught Master Classes in Solo Performance & Commedia dell 'Arte at Hebrew and Tel Aviv Universities
- Taught Commedia dell 'Arte workshops at Dekalb School for the Arts in Dekalb, GA; Arlington High School in Memphis, TN and Germantown High School in Germantown, TN
Honors and Awards
- Dean's Creative Achievement Award – 2015
- FULBRIGHT SCHOLARSHIP - awarded by the U.S. State Department to teach Solo Performance and Commedia for Actors & Clowns at the University of Haifa, Israel
- AWARDED a FACULTY RESEARCH GRANT for the development of a new play
Research and Scholarly Activities
Teaching interests: Solo Performance Development, Commedia dell 'Arte, Comedy, Improvisation
- King of the Pekinese Yellowtail, a play published by Samuel French, Inc.
- The Winning Number, a play published by Samuel French, Inc.
- The Bingo Prayer: a song published by Samuel French, Inc.
- Flyin' Away: a song published by Samuel French, Inc.
- Horizon: a song; words by Stephen Crane, music by Sarah Brown; published by Samuel French,
- Performed her one-woman show, Bloodshed, Miracles, Deliverance, Good Food, in the International Teatronetto Solo Show Festival in Tel Aviv, Israel at Theatre HaSimta
- Performed her one-woman show, Shooting Stars In Jordan, in the International New York Fringe Festival at Ohio Theatre, directed by Karen Carpenter: award winning director of Nora & Delia Ephron's Off-Broadway hit Love, Loss & What I Wore.
- Directed & Co-Created Angels of the Chimney, the first site-specific giant puppet show in the history of Turkey, in Izmir's Eighth Annual Kukla Gunleri Puppet Theatre Festival. The show presented on two consecutive nights and was attended by over 3000 people each performance
- Directed & Co-Created Citadel of Golems, a groundbreaking site-specific avant garde show with actors and giant puppets in Jerusalem, Israel's industrial zone
- Performed and Directed her published play The Winning Number in Burlington, Vermont's Off Center for the Dramatic Arts "Switch On Grand Opening Theatre Festival"
- Performed the role of Sonia in Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, TN
- Performed the role of Mathilde von Zahnd, in Friedrich Dürrenmatt's The Physicists in the University of Memphis's Department of Theatre & Dance 2014-15 season
- Performed the role of Judith Bliss Noel Coward's Hay Fever in the University of Memphis's Department of Theatre & Dance's 2009-10 season
- Performed the role of Hannah in the musical The Spitfire Grill by James Valcq and Fred Alley in the University of Memphis's Department of Theatre & Dance's 2008-09 season
- Directed and Performed the role of Inez in Jean Paul Sartre's No Exit at The Brooks Museum, Memphis, TN as part of the 25th Anniversary of the North American Sartre Society, hosted by the University of Memphis's Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities
- Directed her published play, King of the Pekinese Yellowtail, at the University of Memphis's Department of Theatre & Dance in a two-evening Dinner Box presentation