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Lenora St. Blog

✨#WeAreCornish: Sarah Harlett✨

lenora st blog wearecornish sarah harlett

By Winter Mallon, Musical Theater ’22


#WeAreCornish is a photographic series documenting the lives and work of our students, faculty, and friends. Spearheaded in 2019 by Musical Theater student Winter Mallon (Class of 2022), these stories serve to illustrate the College’s commitment to artistry, citizenship, and innovation.

Sarah Harlett teaches both Acting Fundamentals and Intermediate Acting in the second year curriculum. Before teaching at Cornish, Harlett worked in the Intiman Theater (which used to occupy what is now the Cornish Playhouse), acting in “The Living History Tour.” That led Harlett to Freehold’s Engaged Theater touring program and then, “thanks to Robin Lynn Smith,” she started teaching at Freehold and eventually at Cornish. At 4 years old, Harlett acted in her first show, a Christmas school play, and never stopped. Harlett recently played Richard III in upstart crow collective/Seattle Shakespeare Company’s production of “Bring Down the House” and “Richard III,” an acting experience that quickly became one of her favorites.

“There’s a relaxation and a freedom I experience in the room with upstart crow collective that just doesn’t happen in other spaces. I know they trust me. I utterly trust them. ‘Bring Down The House’ was a combination of Shakespeare’s three ‘Henry VI’ plays. It is where we are introduced to a nascent ‘Richard III.’ To have an opportunity to play a character from their beginnings to their bitter end over the course of two productions was extraordinary. It allowed me to truly explore the full humanity of the character. Also, the design elements in ‘BDTH’ and ‘RIII’ were completely integrated in the rehearsal process. Lighting designer Geoff Korf showed me exactly what his design looked like on my face, so that I could manipulate how much I was seen, or what was illuminated. Set designer Shawn Ketchum Johnson created a set that could be literally played. Tight wires that I could pluck. Percussion bases that I could kick. It was a show where every design aspect worked hand in hand with the actors. It was incredible. Aspirational for other projects.”

—Sarah Harlett.

Two images (left) a person on a stage, (right) a two people in costume.
Images courtesy of Sarah Harlett.

Get to know more of the talented members of our community by clicking through the #WeAreCornish gallery.

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