Artistic Directing Fellow at the Cleveland Play House

I'm honored to share the press release below, about my fellowship at the Cleveland Play House. 

CLEVELAND, OH (April 6, 2018) After a competitive national search, Cleveland Play House (CPH) selected Sarah Wansley to join the company for the 2018-19 season as the Artistic Directing Fellow. This Fellowship, designed to address inequities in the field, is for experienced female theatre directors with regional theatre leadership aspirations. Wansley will work alongside CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley and Associate Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming learning theatre management, producing methods, and administration skills. She will also direct the fall CWRU/CPH MFA production, to be announced at a later date, and the New Ground Theatre Festival production of The Wolves, in the spring of 2019.

Cleveland Play House is proud to create a pathway to leadership for women in the industry through this fellowship. Wansley will serve as a member of the artistic team, expanding her understanding of the craft by directing two fully produced shows while receiving ongoing feedback, mentorship and guidance. She will also direct other area productions while in Cleveland.

Sarah Wansley is a New York based director, producer and educator, and the Artistic Associate at Chautauqua Theatre Company. She develops new plays and musicals, as well as highly theatrical adaptations of classic works. Recent directing projects include Cry Eden at Access Theater (co-created with playwright Patrick Barrett and Drama-Desk nominated composer Tommy Crawford), Out at Sea by Slawomir Mrozek at the Drama League's Directorfest, PlayGround an evening of new plays at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Godspell at Fordham University and Outer Banks by Stephen Foglia at Signature Theatre (Columbia Stages). She has directed new work at The Flea Theater, EST / Youngblood, the La Jolla Playhouse's Without Walls Festival, the McCarter Theatre's Youth Ink Festival, Luna Stage, and Pipeline Theatre Company. She has worked as an assistant director for Jackson Gay, Laura Kepley, Kate Whoriskey, Andrei Belgrader, Roger Rees, Rebecca Taichman, Tina Landau and Emily Mann. She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a 2015 Drama League Directing Fellow and a member of the 2011 Lincoln Center Director's Lab. This year Sarah is a resident artist at Access Theater, where she is developing new plays by Kristin Idaszak, Patrick Barrett, Jess Kahkoska and Tommy Crawford. Sarah received her MFA in Directing from UCSD under acclaimed Romanian director Gabor Tompa and a BA in English Literature from Columbia University (summa cum laude). She is an Adjunct Faculty member at Fordham University and a Teaching Artist with BAM and the Center for Arts Education.

“Sarah Wansley is a fiercely intelligent, exceptionally talented, and wildly creative director,” says CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley. “Sarah was an invaluable contributor to our critically acclaimed production of The Crucible in 2015. During that process, I was deeply impressed with Sarah’s professionalism under pressure, her dramaturgical insights, and her joyful collaborative spirit. Since then, Sarah has continued to direct both classics and new plays in New York and around the country while taking on artistic administrative positions. We are thrilled that Sarah is joining us for the season and are confident that this Fellowship will prepare her to make a significant impact on American Theatre in the coming years.”


CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE, founded in 1915 and recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is America's first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, CPH has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate, and entertain diverse audiences across Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. CPH has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,600 productions. Today, Cleveland Play House celebrates the beginning of its second century of service while performing in three state-of-the art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland. clevelandplayhouse.com

Cleveland Play House is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Cleveland Play House is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.


Residency at The Drama League

I'm thrilled to be back at the Drama League this spring as a 2018 Resident Artist. I will be developing a new adaptation of Iphigenia with my Chautauqua partner-in-crime, Jessica Kahkoska, and our favorite folk-composer, Tommy Crawford. We're re-imagining the story in a contemporary, southern gothic world and investigating fundamentalism and female radicalization in a mythic American context. This myth has stuck with me for many years (perhaps as the daughter of a military family myself) and I can't wait to dig in. 


Ibsanity by Nina Morrison

I'm thrilled to be directing Nina Morrison's contemporary riff on Ibsen, Ibsanity, on the Fordham University mainstage this winter. Nina's play is a hilarious and theatrical adaptation of Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea. More details to come!