Spotlight on Alumni: Sarah Thorpe
Sarah Thorpe graduated from the Theatre program in 2007, specializing in Collective Creation and Devised Theatre. She currently works as an actor and is the Artistic Director of Soup Can Theatre. More info at sarahthorpe.net.
What was the most valuable thing you learned while studying in Theatre at York?
If you aren’t seeing the kind of work that you’re interested in being produced, then create it and produce it yourself.
Did connections, friendships, relationships you made at York help you afterward?
Absolutely! I’m thrilled that the connections I made at York are still strong today. Michael Greyeyes gave me one of my first acting jobs after I graduated. Peter McKinnon and Mark Wilson have written reference letters for me. I continue to go to my former instructors for coaching and assistance and I’ve had many opportunities to work with my fellow classmates.
In which ways has your education at York, and in Theatre in particular, helped you in work and life?
In the fourth year of Ensemble, with presenting our final productions, we had to do so much multi-tasking; not just with creating the pieces, but we were also the production and administrative crew. We were actors, writers, directors, designers, producers, and more all at once. I now work as an actor, director, and producer. I feel that having that experience of juggling both artistic and administrative responsibilities at York prepared me very well for what I’m doing now in my career.
Can you tell us a story of a moment where your training at York was clearly useful?
This past summer, I was in Single Thread Theatre’s The Loyalists, which was a site specific, collectively created work about the occupation of the Town of York during the War of 1812. Having lots of experience in both collective creation and site specific theatre from Ensemble, I was so pleased to have the chance to flex those muscles that I hadn’t flexed in some time. Even the audition for the show was a delicious challenge: we had to choose a prop, and write and perform a piece about that prop. Writing a solo piece like that was something I hadn’t done since Ensemble. I really credit my training at York for giving me the creative skills that this production was looking for.