Sarah Jane Hardy  |  Breakout Session

Sarah joins Cortney McEniry for a session called "The Ann Shaw Fellowship: Building Community through Theater for Young Audiences".

About this session: The Ann Shaw Fellowship offers recipients the opportunity to travel in pursuit of research or discovery in the field of TYA. Recent Ann Shaw Fellowship recipients Sarah Jane Hardy (2017) and Cortney McEniry (2016) explore common practices in community building from two very different theatrical sources and lead a discussion on the power of community based theater to revolutionize the relationship between audiences and on-stage performance. 

In Bali, Sarah Jane worked in residence with Balinese Puppet Master I Made Sadia as he created a large scale production in celebration of Indonesian Independence. Community is central to Balinese theater and best practices are sophisticated and effective. Over 200 performers ages 5 to 75 collaborated with the entire village on a performance piece that was rooted in traditional Balinese storytelling while embracing contemporary theatrical technology.  

Cortney McEniry attended an intensive with one of the national leaders in community based theater, Cornerstone Theater Company. Following this intensive, she worked with an ensemble of high school artists at McCarter Theatre Center, applying her training with Cornerstone to a pedagogical model with youth agency at its core.

Sarah Jane and Cortney explore many of the similarities and differences in how community is central to the work they were exposed to and describe how these fellowship experiences have shaped their own work and impacted the field of TYA. 

Hardy headshot.jpg

About Sarah Jane

Sarah Jane Hardy is a producer, director, choreographer and facilitator of new work development. Originally from Liverpool, England Sarah Jane is currently the Artistic Director of the award winning Northwest Children's Theater in Portland, Oregon.

A tireless advocate for excellence in art for young audiences, she has commissioned and developed over 20 new works collaborating with artists from around the world, including Chitra: The Girl Prince based on Rabindranath Tagore’s Chitra, and Amelia Earhart’s First Flight, a devised puppet show about female aviators, aeronautical engineers and astronauts. Sarah Jane was the 2017 Ann Shaw Fellowship recipient and traveled to Bali to work in residence with Balinese Shadow Puppet Master, I Made Sidia.