Monday, February 18th, 2019

People of USM: Sara Valentine

USM Website

Posted on December 03, 2016 in Community
By USM Free Press

By Jack Hahn, Staff Writer

Starting a new job in a new town can be nerve-racking, but for USM’s new theatre professor, Sara Valentine, this experience has become a normal occurrence in her life.

Born and raised in New England, Valentine got her bachelor’s degree in theatre arts at Ithaca College and her master’s degree in acting from the University of Delaware. Her career has taken her all over the country, performing in states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Colorado and many more. As she puts it, “As a professional actor, you go where the work is.” While most actors base themselves out of either New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago, she based her acting career out of the Philadelphia area.. While she did enjoy traveling around the country and meeting new people, she loved it when she could find work close to home.

Valentine got into acting at a young age. In middle school, her mother encouraged her to join the theatre club after seeing how well she could recite TV commercials. Valentine also gave her childhood experiences and imagination as reasons she got into theatre. She said, “I always liked playing pretend, and my best friend and I, growing up, made up a lot of games and played outdoors a lot, so using my imagination was just part of who I was as a kid.” She also said that she has always enjoyed working with young people and, while it may not have been her plan to become a college professor, she feels that teaching goes hand in hand with acting.

While born and raised in Massachusetts, she has always had ties to Maine in some way before coming to work at USM. She is the youngest of six siblings, and two of them came to Maine to attend college. Her mom and two of her sisters also now live in Maine. After traveling for so long, she is just happy to be back home in New England. She loves USM so far, and especially loves the students. “The USM students have great enthusiasm and interest,” she said, “which makes my job not always feel like a job.” Her most recent job was at Tulane University in New Orleans where she was an assistant professor of theatre.

Recently, from November 1015, the first show Valentine has directed at USM was performed. It was called The Language Archive and was a unique play dealing with the language of love. She is a big fan of Shakespeare and of language, two major influences in her productions. Along with producing plays for school, she also works with a production company called Really Inventive Stuff. She described what kind of shows they work on: “We are producing and designing shows for young audiences, specifically to be produced with symphony orchestras. These productions are typically more visual than verbal, using found-object puppets and alter-ego narrators to help illustrate a musical story.” She is enthusiastic about all things theatre and performance.Valentine said, “Theatre is a place where magic still happens, and finding ways to bring that magic out for audiences of all ages is what keeps me in the game.”

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