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Sarah White:

Scenic Design

In May 2011, I graduated with a BA in both English and Theatre Studies from Anderson University, with a dual concentration in Acting and Set Design. During my time at Anderson, I discovered that my love for books and theatre was more connected than I previously thought: the art of story is what makes them both so alluring.


My story has spanned from Iowa to North Carolina, Indiana and Missouri.  I my MFA in Scenic Design at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in May of 2015, studying under John Ezell and Gene Emerson Friedman. UMKC taught me things about design I never dreamed about, but as they say: "Everything's up to date in Kansas City."

The fall of 2016 opened another chapter for me as I transitioned from young professional to young professor:  I accepted a position as a Visiting Guest Professor at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA, teaching Scenic Design and Scenic Painting as part of the Hollins Theatre Institute.  I was in residence in Roanoke from August through December, and cannot express how excited I was share what I have learned with a new generation of young theatre-makers.


I now serve as Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Design and Technology for the theatre department of Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, which is situated between Indianapolis and Dayton, Ohio.  Richmond feels more like a home I never knew I had than I expected, and the students in the department are bright and engaging, and ready to do the hard work of creating art and changing the world.  I've also been learning more about storytelling while here, most specifically in the art of RPG.  I am part of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign now with my friends (what a wild bunch), and have expanded that experience into DMing a campaign I wrote as part of the first year seminar I teach at Earlham called Imagination & Inclusion, which explores how storytelling teaches us the art of empathy.

As a Scenic Designer, Painter and Properties Artisan, my previous employers include Anderson University (Anderson, IN)The Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project (Indianapolis, IN), The Shawnee Summer Theatre of Greene County (Bloomfeild, IN) , the Minnetrista Cultrual Center (Muncie, IN), Crane River Theater Company (Kearney, NE), the University of Missouri-Kansas City (Kansas City, MO), the Texas Shakespeare Festival (Kilgore, TX), The Coterie Theatre (Kansas City, MO),  The Berkshire Theatre Group (Stockbridge, MA), The Unicorn Theatre (Kansas City, MO),  The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival (Kansas City, MO), The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre (Kansas City, MO), and the Lied Center for Performing Arts (Lincoln, NE).

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All life is theatre,” he said. “We are all actors, you and I, in a play which nobody wrote and which nobody will see. We have no audience but ourselves....” He laughed gently. “Some players would say that is the best kind of theatre there can be.”  

  -Susan Cooper's Silver on the Tree

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