Prior to committing to making THE HUMAN JOURNEY® a working reality in professional settings around the country, Sara was a theatre director, writer, and professor, and, most recently, a tenured professor in leadership studies in education. Through her teaching and consulting, she has guided hundreds of working professionals in education, healthcare, the clergy, law enforcement, and the arts to access and grow their own and their colleagues’ wisdom and resources.
The idea for THE HUMAN JOURNEY® emerged from a period of personal challenge in 2012, when a three significant losses in short succession brought Sara face to face again with her expertise in narrative and performance.
The problem she set for herself: How can people get through life crises in such a way that their sharing heals not just themselves but also their community — whether that be a circle of family or “like-family” friends?
The result: The facilitated game experience THE HUMAN JOURNEY®, an “applied theatre” tool to help families and groups connected by biology, choice, or mutual support to cultivate belonging, meaning, and communication skills in advance of a loss or in the heart of other big changes.
Sara is trained as a performance anthropologist, with degrees from Yale and NYU. Her books on human performance (ART OF DARKNESS, VITAL MUMMIES, and CONCERT SONG AS SEEN) have been published by Yale University Press, Cuneiform Books, and Pendragon Press. She is the playwright-deviser/director of the plays AMERICAN YOGI, COLOR STORY, IN PEERAGE OUT, and REPREHENSIBLE SHOES. During her years in New York City, Sara was the founder and artistic director of the theatre company Chaparral Productions and taught drama and theatre in the School of Drama at University of Washington as well as at the University of Kentucky and Berea College.
She has published chapters in education, design, anthropology, and medical training books, and her insights have been featured on a variety of NPR programs and television and video productions. She consults on organizational and leadership strategy, program development, and learning and experience design to nonprofit, healthcare, and corporate clients and offers experiential training and workshops on professional skills and bringing spirituality into professional life.
Sara loves bringing it all together to train hospice workers in the United States and Canada, as well as practitioners in addictions work, chaplaincy, marriage and family counseling, social work, coaching, and nursing, to conduct THE HUMAN JOURNEY® for families and groups of support. This is the work for which all the rest was preparation.