Sabrina Peck: Director and Choreographer
Original Works

Directing

Choreography

Residencies

Young Artists

Cornerstone Theater

About the Artist



Residencies and University Teaching

As an Artist-in-Residence at Harvard, Duke and NYU, Sabrina Peck has guided students through the process of creating and performing original productions. University residencies have also included teaching academic courses and conducting public lecture/demonstrations.

Peck often designs her residencies to bring students together with neighboring communities to collaborate on original works about those places. This experience educates students about the neighborhoods that exist just outside the ivy walls, challenges their assumptions and builds mutual understanding between economically and ethnically diverse populations. In this way, students not only learn how to make good theater, they become better prepared for a future of civic engagement.

"Sabrina is an amazing Choreographer, Teacher and Director. I witnessed in her a rare combination of commitment to carry out a vision, and a capacity to yield gracefully to input and feedback, always trying to balance student/actors/artists/community members' passions and idiosyncrasies. I could not have anticipated or imagined that the garden project would turn out to be one of the most joyful, enriching, and artistically satisfying projects I've been involved with..."
—Rosemarie Roberts, collaborating artist, common green/common ground

 
Photos   Columbia University, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, 2015 Adjunct Faculty

In Spring 2015 I taught Performance as Inquiry, a course I developed on the history, theory and methodology of socially-engaged theater. The course alternated between the seminar room, in which students discussed and debated; and the studio, where students created on their feet. Students came from a broad range of backgrounds and levels of performance experience. Guest Artists included Laurie Woolery, Associate Director of Public Works, and Playwright Mona Mansour. The course culminated in a showing of work that the class created as a community. These pieces reflected individual identity as well as collective concerns.



Photos   BROOKLYN COLLEGE, Department of Theater, 2013 Teaching Fellow

As a Teaching Fellow at Brooklyn College, I taught Community-Based Performance to BA theater concentrators. Through collaborative theater-making, case study presentations and readings, students learned methods for creating original performance in collaboration with communities, reflective of those people and places. They also explored this field’s difficult questions, such as those of authorship, responsibility, audience composition and post-project effects. The course culminated in a performance of student work, drawn from their individual and collective experiences.



  BROOKLYN COLLEGE, Director, various theater, 2012-2014

I directed MFA and BFA theater students at Brooklyn College in a variety of theater projects while getting my MFA in directing. These included:
  • Scenes from by Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, Shakespeare’s Cymbeline and Chekhov’s The Seagull;
  • Staged readings, such as Chiori Miyagawa’s A Winter’s Captive; and
  • Full productions, such as José Rivera’s The Winged Man and my thesis production, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek by Naomi Wallace.



Common Green / Common Ground


Photos
  Common Green / Common Ground

I was invited by the NYU Drama Department to teach an intensive semester-long studio course in community-based performance, aided by three artistic collaborators. I guided students through a broad range of workshop techniques and practical methods for creating performance material with communities. Class discussions and assignments fostered analysis of the implications and responsibilities of this kind of community engagement. Outside of class, students accompanied me to Brooklyn, East Village, Harlem and the South Bronx to collaborate with community gardeners and green space advocates. The result was common green/common ground, a large-scale production about the struggle for green space in NYC, featuring both students and community members, performed outdoors across the city.

More on common green/common ground




Speaking our Streets


Photos Press
  Speaking our Streets

The Institute of the Arts at Duke and the Center for Documentary Studies in Durham, NC co-sponsored my residency. I taught a highly academic semester-long course in community-based performance through which students gained a detailed knowledge of different approaches to community-based performance around the world, past and present. Students also accompanied me into the West End neighborhood to collaborate with teens, seniors, former tobacco field and factory workers, civil rights activists, religious leaders, and other local residents on an original production about the complex and troubled history of the neighborhood. The result was Speaking Our Streets: A Performance By and About Durham's West End Community that combined theater, movement and music and performed for a diverse Duke/Durham audience.

More about Speaking our Streets




The Garden in Winter


Photos Press
  The Garden in Winter

I returned to Harvard, my alma mater, to collaborate with students on a theater production about the experience of coming of age during college years. Students generated material through writing exercises, movement workshops and scenework. Additional texts came from historical letters, old Harvard drinking songs, college textbooks and the like. Several professional artistic collaborators contriubted original poetry, prose and music. The result was The Garden in Winter, a dance-music-theater production that explored the personal journeys of the students through the themes of sleep, falling, separation, and winter--a time of both hardship and unseen growth.

More about The Garden in Winter




Learn about Odakle Ste, created during Peck's residency at a refugee camp
in Croatia

Learn more about Peck's teaching in Young Artists