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SARAH O'CONNELL is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area where she served as the Associate Artistic Director of Impact Theatre. She holds a Master of Drama degree in Directing from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Her work has been performed internationally, and includes several regional and world premiere productions. She is an alumnus of the West Coast and Chicago Director's Labs, and La Mama ETC in Umbria. In addition to teaching at UNLV and CSN, she has worked at a variety of professional companies including American Conservatory Theatre , TheatreWorks, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Glasgow's Theatre Cryptic. Since 2003 she has served as Artistic DIrector of The Asylum Theatre in Las Vegas, and co-owner of Axislights Inc, a production lighting services company. In 2015 she founded, a website dedicated to the promotion of Las Vegas independent theatre featuring audience ratings and professional reviews. Ms. O'Connell is a Member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) and an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). In 2018, she was nominated for the Stage Directors and Choreogrpahers Foundation Zelda Fichandler Award for impact in Regional Theatre.

Theatre Directing
2010 - present

The Grief Dialogues                                                         Director                                       The Asylum Theatre

By Donna Hoke, Mark Levin,                                                                                               Cockroach Theatre

Daniel Guyton, Paul Atreides,

Barbara Blumenthol, Elizabeth Coplan



Sex with Strangers                                                           Director                                       LV Little Theatre

By Laura Eason

Cyber-O                                                                            Director                                       The Asylum Theatre

By Tom Misuraca                                                                                                                  [Staged Reading]

Subtenant                                                                         Director                                       The Asylum Theatre

By Daniel Hirsch                                                                                                                   [World Premiere]

The Leader                                                                       Director                                       Art Square Theatre

By Eugene Ionesco

She Kills Monsters                                                            Director                                      Onyx Theatre
By Qui Nguyen


The Bourgie Willie B                                                         Director                                      The Asylum Theatre

By S.J. Hodges                                                                                                                    [World Premiere]


Veils                                                                                  Director                                       The Asylum Theatre

by Tom Coash                                                                                                                      [Regional Premiere]


The Food Chain                                                                Director                                      Off-Strip Productions

By Nicky Silver


Reckoning                                                                         Director                                      The Asylum Theatre

by Jenny Seidelman                                                                                                            [Staged Reading] 


Object of Affection                                                            Director                                       Art Square Theatre    

by Thomas J. Misuraca


The eBook of Love                                                           Director                                      The Asylum Theatre 

by Thomas J. Misuraca                                                                                                       [Staged Reading]


The Seagull                                                                      Director                                      CSN 

by Anton Chekhov, Translated by Itallie


Cherry, Cherry, Lemon                                                     Director                                      The Asylum Theatre 

by Keri Healey


The Sungazers                                                                 Director                                      The Asylum Theatre

by Erica Griffin                                                                                                                     [Staged Reading]


Chatting With the Tea Party                                              Director                                      The Asylum Theatre

by Rich Orloff                                                                                                                       [Staged Reading]


Camp Lake Sunny Lake                                                   Director                                       Art Square Theatre    

by Wayne Rawley


Mercy                                                                                Director                                      The Asylum Theatre

by Adam Szymkowicz                                                                                                          [Staged Reading]


Moon Over Buffalo                                                            Director                                      LV LittleTheatre

by Ken Ludwig


The Man Who Turned Into a Dog                                      Director                                      The Asylum Theatre 

by Osvaldo Dragun


Good Dog                                                                          Director                                      The Asylum Theatre 

by Bret Fetzer


Dog Lady                                                                           Director                                      The Asylum Theatre 

by Milcha Sanchez-Scott


Gum                                                                                  Director                                      CSN

by Karen Hartman


The Mother of Modern Censorship                                   Director                                      CSN 

by Karen Hartman


The Emperor Jones                                                          Director                                       The Asylum Theatre/

by Eugene O’Neill                                                                                                                 CSN Co-production

adapted by Sarah O’Connell


The Devil, the Damsel, and Demon Rum                         Director                                       The Asylum Theatre

by Raymond Hull & Mike Corda                                                                                            [World Premiere]


Wait!                                                                                 Director                                       The Asylum Theatre 

by Julie Jensen


9 Second Window                                                            Director                                       The Asylum Theatre 

by Wil Matthews                                                                                                                   [Staged Reading]


Planet Janet                                                                     Director                                       The Asylum Theatre 

by Bret Fetzer


Seascapes                                                                       Director                                       The Asylum Theatre

by Liz Amberly                                                                                                                     [World Premiere]


Terrible Infant                                                                   Director                                       The Asylum Theatre 

by Chris VanStrander                                                                                                           [Staged Reading]


Fire Water                                                                        Director                                       The Asylum Theatre 

by Donald Lewis                                                                                                                   [Staged Reading]


Finding A Contemporary God                                          Director                                       The Asylum Theatre 

by Chris Mann                                                                                                                      [World Premiere]


The Difficulty of Crossing a Field                                     Assistant Director                       American Conservatory

by Mac Wellman and David Lang                                                                                       Theatre, Kronos

(Carey Perloff, Director)                                                                                                      Quartet

                                                                                                                                            [World Premiere]


Impact Briefs 5: The East Bay Hit                                    Director                                       Impact  Theatre 

by Bret Fetzer, Juliet Waller, Melissa Hillman,

Elizabeth Bernstein, Michael Maiello,

Andrew Shemin, Jessica Hird, & Euripides


Lost Cause                                                                       Director                                       Impact  Theatre 

by Jefferson Arca                                                                                                                 [World Premiere]


Planet Janet                                                                     Director                                       Impact  Theatre
by Bret Fetzer


Blood Wedding                                                                Director                                       University of San          

by Federico Garcia Lorca                                                                                                    Francisco



TV Sucks My Ass                                                            Director                                       Impact  Theatre

by Erin Carr                                                                                                                         [World Premiere]


The Chalky White Substance                                          Director                                       Chandler Theatre

by Tennessee Williams                                                                                                       [Scottish Premiere]


Purgatory                                                                        Director                                       Chandler Theatre

by W.B. Yeats


Electra                                                                            Assistant Director                        Theatre Cryptic,            

by Claire Venables                                                                                                              Edinburgh Festival

(Cathie Boyd, Director)                                                                                                        British Council

                                                                                                                                            Showcase and

                                                                                                                                            International Tour
                                                                                                                                            [World Premiere]



Measure for Measure                                                    Assistant Director                         Sir Alexander Gibson

by William Shakespeare                                                                                                     Opera Studio & Eastern (Joyce Deans, Director)                                                                                                      European Tour w/

                                                                                                                                            James McAvoy


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum     Director                                        Highland Summer Rep   by Stephen Sondheim                                                                                                    


Maria Q                                                                         Director                                        Cal State University,    

by Cecilie Løveid                                                                                                              Hayward [US Premiere]

(Edgardo de la Cruz, Co-director)      


All in the Timing                                                             Director                                        Cal State University,      

by David Ives                                                                                                                     Hayward  

2010 - present

Adjunct Professor- College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas – 8/2006 - Present

Adjunct professor of Theatre in the Performing Arts department. Coursework focused on theatre appreciation, acting, directing, script analysis, speech for the sage, classical theatre and contemporary acting styles. Texts used include Audition, Respect for Acting, Style for Actors, Backwards and Forwards, and Acting One (as well as others).


Adjunct Professor- University of Nevada,LasVegas- 4/2004–Present

Part-time instructor of “Introduction to Theatre” course for non-majors at UNLV. Focused on an overview of theatre history, theatrical tradition and elements of production as they relate to cultural and artistic movements throughout time. UsingCohen’stext,Theatre:BriefVersion,as a guide,coursework included attendance of local productions, instruction on writing of critical reviews, explanation and demonstration of various approaches to acting and the role of the playwright and director in modern theatre.


Guest Lecturer -- California State University,Hayward - 3/2001–4/2002

Substitute instructor for Theatre and Dance department courses, including “Shakespeare in Film.”


Acting Coach -- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland,Glasgow - 1/1999–11/1999

Tutoring for academy students in analysis and technique with respect to performing Shakespeare and other heightened texts. Course work Included monologue preparation, elements of story telling,
research techniques, and stage movement.

Teaching Assistant to Professor Edgardo de la Cruz -- California State University,Hayward - 9/1996–8/1998

Assisted the instruction of continuing education students for an introductory theatre course. Curriculum included speech for stage, movement, improvisation, relaxation techniques, storytelling, and oral interpretation. Assisted in research and development of de la Cruz's book Directing for Theater.

Assistant to Professor Regina Cate -- California State University,Hayward- 2/1995–4/1998

Assistant to the director of the university’s Youth Theatre Program. Wrote and designed course study guides for teachers. Participated in arts outreach programs in local schools, aided in the organization of the annual department Shakespeare Festival.

Guest Instructor -- Various San Francisco Bay Area Schools- 9/1994–4/2002

Invited speaker to various elementary and secondary schools in the San Francisco Area. Sessions covering everything from the basic elements of production, to lessons on theatre history, and approaches to the acting process. 

Leadership & Memberships Managing Editor

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society(SDC) Associate Member

Member Nevada Arts Advocates (NAA), Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), Theatre Communications Group (TCG), Literary Managers and Dramaturgs Association (LAMDA), Mnneapolis Playwrights Center 
Golden Key National Honors Society LifetimeMember

Associate Artistic Director Impact Theatre, Dr. Melissa Hillman, Artistic Director

Assistant Stage Manager San Francisco Mime Troupe, "Eating It" tour

Marketing & Outreach TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Randy Adams, Managing Director

Training & Workshops

Master of Drama, Directing Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)

BachelorofArts,Directing California State University, Hayward. Cum laude
Alumnus Director’s Lab West – 2003, Director’s Lab Chicago – 2006, LaMama ETC Umbria – 2010

MasterClass:Directing WilliamGaskill, London's National Theatre

MasterClass:Directing Heightened Language Giles Havergal, Glasgow's Citizen’sTheatre

MasterClass:Directing Shakespeare LibbeyAppel, Oregon Shakespeare Festival & Joanne Akalaitis, NY Public Theatre

MasterClass:Directing and Stage Design Ming Cho Lee,Yale School of Drama

Workshop: Writing New Noh, Theatre Nogaku

Workshop: Musical Theatre Techniques John Raitt
Extended Workshop: Biomechanics, Dr. Kelli Melson

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