Where am I From?

I am a socially-engaged performance practitioner from a Canadian-Venezuelan-American family background. I have developed my multilingual arts practice in the US, Russia, England, Venezuela and Chile. My life experience has been the discovery of performance as an international language, a pathway for coming into contact with different cultures and ways of seeing the world. Currently, I am a PhD student in Performance Studies at the University of California, Davis.

I received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City and studied abroad at the Samuel Beckett Centre in Dublin and the Moscow Art Theatre. As a postgraduate, I studied Russian stage movement at the Vakhtangov Theatre Academy in Moscow and then completed a Masters of Arts in Devised Theatre at Dartington College of Arts, Falmouth University, in England. I have worked with a number of theatre companies and cultural centers, facilitated educational and community theatre programs, devised original performances, and taught courses in schools and universities.

My work explores participatory techniques for exchanging perspectives, to generate social dialogue across barriers of cultural difference. I use participatory performance as a way to encourage freedom of expression, build community, and promote social equality by actively amplifying voices not usually heard in society. In recent years, I have facilitated socially-engaged projects that voiced the stories of refugees in rural England, developed the communication skills of inner-city youth in New York, enhanced the interactive pedagogical tools of English teachers in Caracas, and visibilized the perspectives of inmates in Chilean prisons.

My PhD research in Performance Studies at UC Davis focuses on establishing a socially-engaged methodology for unpacking the representation of hemispheric Latino/a migrant identities in California and Chile, facilitating a multilingual space to explore the mutability of belonging. My approach to practice-as-research is based on community engagement and creating performative frameworks for opening up dialogue around tough questions, like “Where are you from?”.

If you would like to share your thoughts with me, brainstorm ideas for a participatory theater project, organize an educational seminar, or pick my brain about resources in the field of socially-engaged performance, drop me a line!


For more about what I do, take a look at my CV:

Sarah Ashford Hart CV


Recent news about my work:

Relatos Migrantes: Invitan a taller para crear obra de teatro pa