LabWorks Artist Spotlight: Sarah Dahnke

Learn more about the artist behind To Grow a Pomegranate

Sarah Dahnke
Sarah Dahnke

Now that the 2019-20 season of LabWorks is well underway, we’re thrilled to introduce you to the talented people who make up this impressive roster of talent. Stay tuned all season long to get to know the New Victory LabWorks Artists a little bit better. First up is Sarah Dahnke!

Tell us about the project you’re working on.

To Grow a Pomegranate is a movement-based narrative about borders, roots, adoption and walking across large masses of land for safety.

How did you first fall in love with theater?

I grew up as a dancer, so my main inspiration came from MTV and a lot of Janet Jackson music videos. My earliest memories of theater, specifically, are watching movie musicals with my grandma, who I called Mamaw. Her favorites were Oklahoma, Hello Dolly, The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music, but somewhere in there, I managed to sneak in frequent viewings of Little Shop of Horrors.

What do you most hope to gain from your LabWorks experience?

Even though I’ve worked with young people as an educator for many years, I’ve never created a show with a young audience in mind. I’m really looking forward to the perspective this development process will bring, and to be able to get feedback from this new audience while my work’s still in progress.

What is your favorite part of the creative process and why?

There’s this sweet spot somewhere in the middle. It’s when I know enough about the work that it starts to come into focus, but there are still a lot of blurry edges. I love that part. I love being able to get into a rhythm of sharpening, refining and stepping back to see what it all looks like.

What excites you about creating work for family audiences?

I wish I had more experiences as a kid to be in audiences with my family, watching shows that acknowledged my existence and tackled topics that may be difficult to talk about. I hope that I can contribute something to this world of theater for young audiences that might help a family grow closer after experiencing a show together.

What three things would you bring with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

A camera, a jumpsuit and my cat Phoebe

Tell us one fun fact about yourself!

In a past life, I toured the world as a tap dancer and wrote for a pet magazine at the same time.