Sara Farrington is a New York based playwright, living in Maplewood, NJ. She is a theater evangelist and relentless DIY-er. Sara is passionate about writing big plays about big characters, twistingnarrative and using contemporary storytelling techniques.
Sara's work has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards. Her work has been funded by The Venturous Fund, The New York State Council for the Arts, The Axe-Houghton Foundation, MediaTHE and The Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation.
She received her MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College with Mac Wellman.
Sara was a HARP Artist at HERE Arts Center to create CasablancaBox, an exploration of the making of America's favorite movie. CasablancaBox was directed by Reid Farrington and premiered at HERE April 5-29th, 2017.
ara is currently writing a piece inspired by Sinclair Lewis' novel, Main Street as well as her next collaboration with Reid, Brando.
Other recent plays include:
Leisure, Labor, Lust, about 3 days in New York in 1907. The play has been presented at The Mount, Edith Wharton's estate in Lenox, MA, in 2015, again in 2017 and will be return in 2018. The play was has been workshopped in NYC at JACK and HERE. Directed by Marina McClure.
Cosmicomics, inspired by characters and ideas from Italo Calvino's collection of short stories by the same name. This episodic piece was commissioned by The Flea Theater and will be presented as part of their new children's theater program, Cereals, in 2017. Directed by Marina McClure.
The Return, directed by new media artist Reid Farrington, celebrates the historic and scientifically groundbreaking restoration of Tullio Lombardo's Adam (ca. 1490–95), one of the greatest sculptures of the High Renaissance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The piece ran July/Aug 2015.
Near Vicksburg, about love and war in a cave in Vicksburg premiered at Incubator Arts Project, with subsequent showings at Walkerspace, Foxy Films and The Wild Project.
Requiem For Black Marie, about the Brecht Machine premiered at Incubator Arts Project, Foxy Films and Stella Adler Studios, directed by Paul Takacs.
Mickey & Sage, about 2 kids, played by adults, making sense of the universe premiered at Incubator Arts Project with workshops and showings at Foxy Films, Great Plains Theater Conference, National Theater Institute @ O'Neill Center. The play had its regional premiere at the ShelterBelt Theater in Omaha, NE. Mickey & Sage is published by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.
Other work includes: The Vultures (Weasel Festival), That Stays There (Great Plains Theater Conference, Bushwick Starr Reading Series, Little Theater @ Dixon Place), The Death of Evie Avery (FringeNYC), The Rise & Fall of Miles & Milo (FringeNYC, winner: Outstanding Playwriting).
She produces workshop versions of her own work at Foxy Films, her work space in Downtown Brooklyn. She lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with husband Reid Farrington and little sons Jack Reiss and Frederick Levi. Sara is a runner, an avid reader, a lover of history and music.
LEISURE, LABOR, LUST
LEISURE, LABOR, LUST t is an intoxicating, theatrical and psychological ride through class, race, poverty, affluence, mental illness, homosexuality and the ravages of tenement life over the course of the same three days in 1907 New York City. Time is not linear in LEISURE, LABOR, LUST, rather is presented in a knot, untangled by the performers who jump in and out of time, place and character. It is a 3-part play cycle, inspired by Edith Wharton’s own life, love affair and style as well as by Jacob Riis' "How The Other Half Lives."
Workshop performances at HERE Arts, JACK Brooklyn, and The Mount, Wharton’s home in Lenox, MA.
CASABLANCABOX is a hybrid video/theater piece about the accidental nature of great art explored through the lens of the making of the1942 movie Casablanca. The piece playfully blends the real and the imagined, the researched and the completely made-up. Characters from film history interact with characters from the playwright’s own imagination, and the real and the unreal are intentionally difficult to determine. The play begins when very old woman uncovers a cardboard box in her house marked simply “Casablanca Box.” She then muses upon her own minor involvement in the making of that movie. Casablanca serves as the spine, from which stories of risk, sacrifice, brilliance and accidents branch off, all told by performers who jump in and out of time, character, gender, style and Casablanca. Far from a bio-pic, CASABLANCABOX is an immersion into 1940s Hollywood glamour, war, censorship, rampant sexism, racism, addiction and violence. And cigarettes.
Developed through HERE Art Center’s HARP Program. Premiered at HERE Arts in 2017.
THE RETURN celebrates the historic and scientifically groundbreaking restoration of Tullio Lombardo's Renaissance sculpture, Adam (ca. 1490–95), one of the greatest sculptures of the High Renaissance. This performance installation, created by Reid Farrington, invites museum guests to interactively investigate the twelve year long restoration of Tullio's Adam in his full grace and beauty after his tragic fall to the Met floor in 2002 when his modern pedestal buckled, smashing Adam into more than 200 fragments. The story, written by playwright Sara Farrington, spans time and space, jumping from high tech new media to centuries old Renaissance masterworks relating it to countless other works of art in between. The story explores every angle of Tullio Lombardo’s Adam’s, including his place in history, the poetic and dramatic parallel between the physical fall and the Biblical Adam's fall from grace and, most importantly, the scientific conservation triumph that brought about the return of this Renaissance masterpiece.
Premiered at The Metropolitan Museum, NYC.
“The dialogue — written by Sara Farrington, Mr. Farrington’s wife — tends toward the dramatic and conveys information about such subjects as the corrupt Venetian doge for whose tomb the work was commissioned, the accident that befell the masterpiece at the Met and, yes, fig leaves. And the overall effect, based on technology assembled by Todd Bryant, the project’s creative technologist, is remarkable.” - The New York Times
“Part art-history lesson, part comedy routine, the installation uses animation and video-game technology to guide viewers through the stories behind the creation, fall and painstaking 12-year restoration of a Renaissance masterwork carved more than five centuries earlier.” - The Wall Street Journal
NEAR VICKSBURG is about three people hiding in a cave for 47 days: Jane, a Southern woman, her husband's slave, George, and Jane's teenaged daughter. NEAR VICKSBURG is inspired by a little known narrative of the Civil War. In May of 1863, Vicksburg women, children and soon-to-be former slaves took cover from the Union attacks in a series of 500 caves they themselves dug into the hills and bluffs of the city. As the war rages inches away, Jane and George create their own version of society in the claustrophobic cave, with its own set of rules, boundaries, language, sexuality and physicality. An impossible love story, a prophetic story of a bleak American future, a play about race and sex told through character and behavior.
Premiered at Incubator Arts, NYC.
“It is a beautiful, eloquent, powerful and uncomfortable play. Riveting and challenging. There is no over-explanation in NEAR VICKSBURG. Ms. Farrington acts as both writer and director this time, and she eloquently succeeds as both. It is the quietest, most unsettling play I have had to grapple with in a long time.” - nytheaternow.com
MICKEY & SAGE
Mickey’s dad and Sage’s mom are really, really good friends. So every day after school, Mickey’s dad drops Mickey off at Sage’s house and the two kids (played by adults) are forced to play together in Sage’s tightly fenced-in backyard while the parents are "hanging out.” The kids spend the endless hours rationalizing adult behavior, making sense of the cosmos, spying on their disturbing neighbors and surviving each other. Both funny and tragic, MICKEY & SAGE examines the clarity, beauty and brevity of childhood by constantly asking, “what happens to people?”
Premiered at Incubator Arts Project @ St. Marks Church-in-the-Bowery, NYC (2012).
“What a breath of fresh air this play is! Farrington’s shrewd touch and her performers' acumen (Farrington wrote the play expressly for Frederick and Mallon, veterans of her work) provide children-played-by adults that read as real. This understated tack saves the play from melodrama, happily squandering the many opportunities to spin the play in the style of a Lifetime drama when broaching some darker subjects. This play does not trade in sentiment; this play traffics in humor. And when it does it, it does it very well. For those in the market for a gleeful night in the theatre MICKEY & SAGE is a must.” - NYTheatre.com
"This four-scene, 60-minute piece lays bare the way that the minor differences that kids note about their playmates’ home lives take on greater weight and power as childhood ends." - Village Voice
"Listening to two kids talking smack during forced backyard play dates can be pretty funny. They mangle adult language they’re trying to ape, and what it all means. But there’s a disturbing undercurrent to MICKEY & SAGE. Comedy leavens the underlying painful circumstances, as filtered through the minds of youngsters trying to make sense of it all—or just to survive emotionally and physically." - Omaha World-Herald
REQIUEM FOR BLACK MARIE
An imagining of the sexual and creative ins and outs of the Brecht Machine during the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) period in Berlin and playwright Bertolt Brecht’s collaboration with his many lovers, specifically, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Margarete Steffin. The play rejects the commonly taken position that Brecht villainously stole from his female collaborators, but rather that the women were complicit in giving their work over to him, which led to miserable, lonely and, worst of all, anonymous lives for both women. Inspired by accounts and stories from the real people involved as well as photos and paintings of the era.
Premiered at Incubator Arts Project @ St. Marks Church-in-the-Bowery, NYC (2013). Received a workshop performances at Foxy Films Performance Space in Downtown Brooklyn (July/Aug 2012).
“Sara Farrington shows us a different side of (Brecht): a sociable storyteller who delights in everyone he meets. Somehow, she does this without letting him off the hook. REQUIEM FOR BLACK MARIE is an atmospheric, fluid collage. If you’re interested in Brecht, period drama, romance, or despair, check it out.” – New York Theatre Review
“What’s so intriguing about Requiem for Black Marie is that playwright Sara Farrington, in imagining the way Bertolt Brecht might have manipulated and plagiarized from his lovers/collaborators, does whatever she damn well pleases. The play straddles history, relationships, expressionistic flourish, and a decent amount of lit-fan reference, all with a fluid theatrical control of the story…there’s little doubt that such freedom inspired the show’s wonderfully broad and varied structure.” – NYtheatre.com
That Stays There
THAT STAYS THERE explores the relentlessness of daily life through the eyes of two women, one trapped in her body, the other trapped in her mind. Gripped by formless fears and irrational phobias, 59-year-old Ann struggles to care for her elderly mother Sophie. Fighting off depression and the endlessness of her days, Ann decides that today is the day the two of them will finally venture out of the house and visit her family, who Ann has been afraid to face. The two never make it.