Sara studies the art of activism. She looks at the ways political actors use performance in programs for social justice and the ways stage actors use the theater as a laboratory for reimagining notions of community, citizenship, power, and responsibility. As an associate professor in the Department of Performing & Media Arts, Sara’s research takes many forms, from collaborating with incarcerated women to researching Suffragette pageants. She co-produces a series of “patriot acts,” political performances on national holidays, with the Bad (Hombres) and Nasty (Women) collective.
Sara’s award winning book, Acts of Gaiety: LGBT Performance and the Politics of Pleasure, examines the role of humor and play in experiments to create a more perfect union. She also publishes cultural criticism in a variety of news outlets, including Time Magazine, HowlRound, and Huffington Post, where she has her own column. In 2016, Sara was named a Stephen H. Weiss Junior Fellow, Cornell’s highest teaching honor for a recently tenured faculty member. Her current project (2017-2018) is a collaboration with climate scientists to dramatize the human impact of global warming in the Finger Lakes.