Sarah is Associate Artistic Director at Melbourne Theatre Company. She is an award-winning theatre director recognised for bringing over 15 new Australian works to the mainstage.
She has worked with many of Australia’s leading actors including Helen Morse, Pamela Rabe, Sarah Pierse, Jacqueline MacKenzie, Marta Dusseldorp, Mark Leonard Winter, John Gaden, William Zappa and Catherine McClemments; and Australia’s major theatre companies. She was Resident Director at Sydney Theatre Company from 2013 to 2016.
In 2018, Sarah won the Helpmann Award for Best Direction of a Play for her work on Lucy Kirkwood’s THE CHILDREN which opened at Melbourne Theatre Company and transferred to Sydney Theatre Company. THE CHILDREN won 3 Helpmann Awards – Best Direction of a Play, Best Play and Pamela Rabe won Best Female Actor. Sarah Pierse received a Helpmann Award nomination for Best Female Actor for her performance in THE CHILDREN.
Sarah directed the award-winning production of the world premiere of Joanna Murray Smith’s SWITZERLAND for Sydney Theatre Company which toured to Melbourne Theatre Company the following year. She received Best Director nominations for both the Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Awards for her work on SWITZERLAND, a production which was nominated for 3 Helpmann Awards and 6 Sydney Theatre Awards. Her production of THE HANGING was nominated for Best Mainstage Production at the Sydney Theatre Awards.
Other productions Sarah has directed for Melbourne Theatre Company include the Helpmann Award nominated production of JOHN by Annie Baker; the Australian premiere of Lucas Hnath's A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 starring Marta Dusseldorp; the world premieres of Anchuli Felicia King’s GOLDEN SHIELD, Stephen Sewell’s ARBUS AND WEST, Albert Beltz' ASTROMAN, and Joanna Murray Smith’s THREE LITTLE WORDS; as well as Louis Nowra’s COSI in a co-production with Sydney Theatre Company.
Sarah’s productions for Sydney Theatre Company include: the Australian premiere of THE CHILDREN by Lucy Kirkwood (with Melbourne Theatre Company); the world premiere of THE HANGING by Angela Betzien; the Australian premiere of DISGRACED by Ayad Aktar; ORLANDO by Sarah Ruhl starring Jacqueline MacKenzie; BATTLE OF WATERLOO by Kylie Coolwell; the Australian premiere of THE EFFECT by Lucy Prebble (with Queensland Theatre); the world premiere of SWITZERLAND by Joanna Murray Smith; VERE by John Doyle (with South Australian Theatre Company); the world premiere of THE SPLINTER by Hilary Bell; and EDWARD GANT’S AMAZING FEATS OF LONELINESS by Anthony Neilson (with La Boite).
Other directing for theatre includes: for Belvoir, the world premiere of THE SUGAR HOUSE by Alana Valentine; THE SWEETEST THING by Verity Laughton, THE SMALL THINGS by Enda Walsh, BLACK MILK by Vassily Sigarev, ELLING by Axel Hellsteius and THE ITALIAN AMERICAN RECONCILIATION by John Patrick Shanley; for the Old Fitzroy Theatre, THE SCHELLING POINT by Ron Elisha, VERTIGO AND THE VIRGINIA by Sven Svenson, HILT by Jane Bodie, WHAT HAPPENED WAS… by Tom Noonan; for Darlinghurst Theatre, THE UNSCRUPULOUS MURDERER HASSE KARLSON REVEALS THE GRUESOME TRUTH ABOUT THE WOMAN WHO FROZE TO DEATH ON THE BRIDGE by Henning Mankell; for NIDA, SCORCHED; and for Sydney Opera House, THE COLOUR OF PANIC by Nicholas Hope.
Sarah is a graduate of both the University of New South Wales with majors in Literature and Theatre (final year at San Diego at UCSD where she performed with San Diego Rep) and the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne) in Directing. Sarah has taught and directed at the Australian Theatre for Young People and the National Institute of Dramatic Art