A sample of Sara's work
VOICES OF NASHVILLE
Commissioned by the TENNESSEE WOMEN'S THEATRE PROJECT (TWTP) and written by Sara Sharpe and Christine Mather, Voices of Nashville explores the experience of immigrants in our region through the eyes of new Americans.
FAIRVIEW: AN AMERICAN CONVERSATION
A three-part documentary/docudrama, The FAIRVIEW project seeks to catalyze a dialogue between liberal America and conservative America about the issues affecting our country's future.
Nashville's most political theatre, co-founded by Sara Sharpe and singer-songwriter Steve Earle.
"It is refreshing to meet an artist/activist such as Sara Sharpe; she is a visionary who believes in the power of theatre to inform public debate about relevant social issues. In viewing events produced by Sara, we are not merely entertained, but enlightened, challenged and motivated to take social or political action. The Nashville community is blessed with her presence and is stronger because of her artistry."
ARTS Action Research
Charlotte, North Carolina
Commissioned by the TENNESSEE WOMEN'S THEATRE PROJECT (TWTP) and written by Sara Sharpe and Christine Mather, Voices of Nashville explores the experience of immigrants in our region through the eyes of these new Americans. Voices features David Chattam, Colette Divine, Keri Pisapia and Becky Wahlstrom, playing characters from around the globe. An official Artober event, Voices of Nashville is sponsored by HCA/TriStar Health and funded in part by Nissan Foundation, Tennessee Arts Commission and Metro Nashville Arts Commission. (From the TWTP website.)
"The first review of "Voices of Nashville" is in, and the critical response is in complete sync with the audience response. At every step in its development, this is PRECISELY the effect we wanted "Voices" to have. How often does a commissioning company get exactly the play it was hoping for?! We are simply over the moon!"
The Tennessee Women's Theatre Project
For several months, Sara and Christine conducted outreach and research interviews with new Americans. From these sessions emerges a narrative of the immigration experience, told in the voices of composite characters. We have gotten to know some wonderful people, and although audiences will not know the names, their stories bring clarity and empathy to a topic most people know only from headlines. At all points of the process – research, creation, outreach and performance – we worked in partnership with such organizations as the Nashville International Center for Empowerment, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Conexión Américas, Scarritt-Bennett Center, American Center for Outreach and the Coalition for Education about Immigration. Our aim is to reach, teach and inspire audiences to see themselves and their new neighbors in new ways. (From the TWTP website)
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT VOICES
"What really strikes me is the way this earnest production balances heavier themes with humor. Amidst horrific tales of violence, brutality and broken families, we find amusing bits of culture shock ranging from the weather to the wonders of peanut butter. And through it all, we hear the voices of these new Americans, ringing out with strength, resilience and courage."
"Authors Mather and Sharpe make a passing acknowledgment of the harsher social challenges that might confront immigrants, but, wisely, their script sticks to its central point: that this part of the world has generally proved to be a welcoming port of call for many, and that the Nashville area — and by extension, the U.S. as a whole — has greatly benefited from its expanding cultural diversity."
The Nashville Scene
"THIS IS A MUST SEE SHOW!! I was ABSOLUTELY blown away … What you did in sharing STORY with us was life-changing! I wish every person in higher education as well as every administrator of elementary, middle and high school would see this play. They would NEVER be the same again!! Thank you for telling these stories and bringing HONOR and TRUTH to the beautiful journey. I am a fan for life!"
FAIRVIEW: An American Conversation
My sense is that what we need is a national 12 step program... A place in every community where we can go to let go of old resentments and judgments. Safe, authentic political conversation spaces like those created by the Fairview project, are where I have found the greatest progress in healing my old political wounds.
Co-founder of Reuniting America and Transpartisan Alliance
"The conversation began in Fairview, Tennessee, but I want it to move across America. Whether you consider yourself liberal or conservative, the FAIRVIEW project is for you if you believe, as I do, that establishing a reasonable discourse across ideological lines is both possible and important." Sara Sharpe
The FAIRVIEW project seeks to catalyze a dialogue between liberal America and conservative America about the issues affecting our country's future. In the spirit of democracy envisioned by our founding fathers, it calls the citizens of this country out of passive apathy and into active engagement with the "other side." FAIRVIEW will offer no answers. Instead, the purpose is to challenge those who live in a world of black and white, good and evil, right and wrong, us and them. In its current state, FAIRVIEW is a three-part documentary/docudrama, and is a perfect jumping off point for educators from high schools to universities, activist groups, religious organizations, and even business training workshops. The episodes address the following issues: The Death Penalty, Immigration, Race Relations. For more information, contact Sara Sharpe. firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT FAIRVIEW
Sharing our stories, speaking from the heart and hearing each other is essential for us to reweave the fabric of our national community. The Fairview Project is a beautiful collection of stories, which sets the project apart and draws people in in a way that's non threatening. Once we start sharing our stories in a deep way in a safe place, anything is possible...
Joan Blades, Co-founder of MoveOn.org,
MomsRising.org and LivingRoom Conversations
This is a powerful and moving way to test and challenge us in our deepest beliefs on some big topics of our time. We can't know ourselves thoroughly, as individuals or as a country, unless we talk through tough issues, and this is a safe, structured, healthy way to do it.
Pulitzer Prize Winner and bestselling author David Shipler
I very much agree with what I take to be the thrust of the project. Be glad to help if I can. If it's of any help, the attitude among the people you are addressing is close to a historical universal...
Noam Chomsky Re: FAIRVIEW (RE: the War piece)
“Never before have I experienced a body of work that better captures the voice of my people and their stories.... Our segment crafted a realistic dialogue about the issues that once divided us with the hope of understanding, so that all mankind can forge a bridge toward a truly united future.”
Bret Wilson FAIRVIEW (narrator, Race piece)
"I am a conservative that prays for a stronger Independent party. I have many friends on both sides of the issues and we often have passionate conversations, agreeing in some areas, disagreeing in others. But like you, I believe most people want to live in harmony as they pursue happiness and seek justice for all peoples. Our world is a beautiful and diverse place which adds to the profound differences in all of us!"
BROADAXE THEATRE 2001 - 2005
BroadAxe Theatre has announced itself with impressive conviction. These are serious and talented people. Attention must be paid.
Kevin Nance, The Tennessean, 2001
Co-founded by Sara Sharpe and singer-songwriter Steve Earle, and brought to life under the direction of Gaye Jeffors and award-winning actor Jeff Atkins, BroadAxe Theatre was, in its hey day, Nashville's most political theatre, and one which sought to unravel social and political ills.
Next up, KARLA. A play by Steve Earle, featuring Sara Sharpe
Sara Sharpe: Tennie award, Best Actress
Karla is a major achievement in Nashville theater, and one exits the play with the feeling that it may likely resurface in other cities, which it most certainly deserves. It’s unmitigatedly strong stuff, but it demands a wide audience.
The Nashville Scene
"Sara Sharpe is at the very core of vital dramatic activism, powerfully forging theatrical experiences on global issues with pure spiritual conscience."
Andy Van Roon