BS, Psychology, St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Lauringburg, NC

MA, Theatre, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

PhD, Theatre, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Courses Taught

Contemporary Theories of Performance and Media, Acting, Devising, Theatre History, and Taking Action

Research Interests

Social justice issues related to gender, race, and violence


Barton, Robert and Amy Sarno-Fradkin. “Acting Access.” Theatre Topics 6:1 (1996): 1-14.

Sarno, Amy. “DAH Theatre’s Angels: Doubling the Directions of Community-based Memory,” in Dennis Barnett, ed. Dah Theatre: A Sourcebook. Washington, DC: Rowman and Littlefield.

Sarno, Amy. “A Review of Tactical Performance: The Theory and Practice of Serious Play,” Theatre Survey 58:2 (2017): 36.

Original/Devised Productions

  • Wrote adaptation of Euripides’ Medea, full production opened April 22, 2004. Researched adaptations of the play written in English. Workshop process used to develop script.
  • Beloit Ghost Stories Project Director, New Court Theatre. Year long project to develop a performance piece using local oral legends collected through interviews. Project funded by the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Associated Colleges of the Midwest FaCE program, and the Sanger Fund. Performed August 2005 by New Court Theatre.
  • Do You See What I’m Saying?, Beloit College and Fairbanks Flats Neighborhood Revitalization Group (FFNRG). May 2007-present. Taught a course in 2007 with Darren Kelly (Fulbright Scholar from Ireland) in which we  trained 18 students in community-based theatre practices and cultural theory to work with the FFNRG to create a performance piece to preserve the history/memories of the Great Migration as it impacted the city of Beloit. First reading 2010 Beloit Community Library. 
  • Surviving: A play by, for, with, and about survivors of domestic violence. Worked with the Beloit Domestic Violence Shelter and a group of 12-15 survivors to write a play about their experiences getting out of abusive relationships. Performed October 1, 2011 to kick off “Domestic Violence Month”.
  • Plan B: Love Stories Gone Wrong: A community-based oral history project about domestic violence in the expat community of Florence, Italy. First staged at the British Institute of Florence for a reading by FESTA Theatre, January 15, 2014. Opened at Beloit College on February 27, 2014. Received grant funding from the Mellon Foundation to perform at the Crisis Arts Festival in Arezzo, Italy, August 2014. The research period for this production was funded by Fulbright and the Keefer Family.
  • Mediated Women. A workshop production created in association with Dah Teatar from student writings, research, and interviews. Performed in Belgrade at Dah Teatar, June 2014.
  • Insider/Outsider. A devised performance piece about how white privilege impacts students who are considered an “other”. This piece was developed from student journals with a student cast. The show opened October 1, 2015 at Beloit College, Beloit, WI
  • The Forgiveness Project. A devised show about the Chicago criminal justice system. The production uses verbatim theatre created from interviews with individuals who have had contact with the justice system in Chicago. Performed at Beloit College, October 2017
  • The Holidays Unwrapped. A verbatim theatre piece with music created from interviews with people about family dysfunction during the holidays. Premiered at the Edge Theatre, Chicago, IL December 13-December 20, 2017

Amy L. Sarno

Chair, Associate Professor of Theatre

 Email:  Phone: 608-363-2156  Office: Neese Theatre, 12-A

Sarno is a director/deviser who weaves together oral history, archival research, and interactive community workshops to create her work. Her project, Imprints, collected the ghost stories of Beloit, WI to uncover unsettled local histories. “Do You See What I’m Saying?” reveals the untold memories of Beloit’s African American community in a script devised with community members. Other projects include The Forgiveness Project and The Holidays Unwrapped for Erasing the Distance, Chicago; and Plan B an oral history of family violence.

Sarno teaches performance, history, and theory by colliding resources from many disciplines together. In a “Sarno class”, students say you’ll think in new ways and be pushed to reach your full potential- further than you even think possible. Sarno’s favorite class is Contemporary Theories of Performance and Media because that’s where students engage in rigorous conversation about performance and new creative ideas are born. And by the way, Amy’s dog is smarter than all these cats!

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