Artist Statement

The hospital room was small and bright. My dad was lying in bed, eyes closed, chest moving up and down as a machine breathed for him. Mom and I were standing on either side, holding his warm hands. The DNR had already been signed. All that was left to do was flick a switch. I watched as the green line started to fall... 120...90...80...60... It hovered around 40 for what felt like hours. That’s when my mom leaned close to his ear and whispered, “It’s ok, honey. Sarah and I are here. You can let go.” It didn’t take long after that for the line to go flat. I felt the moment it happened: the moment my dad was gone. I’m grateful I was there to say, “Goodbye.”

 

I was 21 when he died, a senior in college, still deciding what I wanted to do with my life. The static of possibilities quieted after that morning in the hospital. There were no more questions after that. There was simply a need to write.

 

The stories I tell dive below the surface. They are about regular people confronted by extraordinary events that anyone can and will probably be faced with at some point in her or his life; primal stories about love, fear, sexuality, death, told honestly without embellishment. I believe that watching theater and film shouldn’t be a passive act, but rather one that summons us to inhabit another person’s life so that we might consider our own lives through the eyes of others. It’s through this process of active storytelling that I hope to encourage honest and emotional dialogue that fosters compassion, self-reflection, personal healing, and connection.

Bio

I'm currently in post-production for a feature I directed, co-produced and co-wrote called “Life After You,” staring Gary Perez (“Homeland,” “The Sopranos”), Florencia Lozano ("Narcos," “One Life To Live”), and Kathryn Erbe ("Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Stir of Echoes"). The story is centered around a suburban family's struggle with the death of their 19 year-old son following an overdose of heroin that was laced with fentanyl.

In 2018, I wrote, directed and produced the short film, “‘A’ My Name Is." The film went on to tour the festival circuit internationally, and was awarded “Best Lead Actress In A Short Film” at the Nice International Film Festival, "Best WNY Short" at the Buffalo International Film Festival, and nominated for “Best Director Of A Short Film” at the Madrid International Film Festival.

My short film "Family Matters" recently won the Ridgefield Independent Film Festival's "Script-2-Screen" competition in CT, which comes with a $25,000 production services grant through Sacred Heart University. We are currently in pre-production and plan on shooting in October 2020 in accordance with COVID safety protocols and regulations.

I am a member of the Playwrights/Directors Unit at the Actors Studio in New York City. My play, "A Stage Of Twilight" was part of the 2019 Pipeline Series at the Dorset Theatre Festival in VT, staring Karen Allen ("Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Animal House"). The play has also had readings at the Berkshire Theatre Group in Massachusetts in 2018, and the Cherry Lane Theatre in 2017, both staring Jeff DeMunn ("Billions," "The Walking Dead"), and directed by Larry Moss. I have since turned the play into a feature-length film that I will direct in the summer of 2021 in accordance with COVID safety protocols and regulations.

Sarah T.
Schwab