sarah k. chalmers

Director of Civic Engagement


Sarah is an applied theatre practitioner, teacher, and actor based in Ithaca, NY. She is a founding member of both Civic Ensemble and the Kitchen Theatre Company . Sarah has performed in Ithaca, Chicago, Seattle and New York City. Favorite roles in Ithaca include Gerte in Crumbs from the Table of Joy at the Kitchen, Jesse Mae in The Trip to Bountiful at the Hangar Theatre, and the Barker in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Cornell Schwartz Center. Sarah directed Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph at the Cornell Schwartz Center. Sarah has worked as a facilitator for community groups at community centers, detention centers, schools and theatres. She has taught theatre at Cornell University, Ithaca College, Binghamton University, the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, and Epic Theatre Ensemble in New York City.

Since Civic Ensemble was created in the summer of 2012, Sarah has designed, developed, and implemented multiple projects: Parent Stories, our first annual community-based play, a program for young men incarcerated at the Finger Lakes Residential Center, a free summer theatre program for teens at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC), and an original interactive theatre workshop about hydraulic fracturing for young children which was commissioned by and performed at the Sciencenter of Ithaca. Sarah’s most recent Community-Based Play, Safety: A Play About Community-Police Relations, toured Ithaca in September 2015 to sold-out theaters and community spaces.

Sarah is a 2013-2014 Cornell Public Service Center Civic Leader Fellow. She holds an M.A. in Applied Theatre from the City University of New York School of Professional Studies and a B.F.A. in Acting from Ithaca College.