by T. Charles Erickson
Drew received rave reviews from the New York Times and Variety
for her performance as Juliet in a production of Romeo
and Juliet at the celebrated McCarter Theatre in Princeton
The plays her thing
By Jane Ford
Drews parents noticed she had an uncanny stage presence
at her graduation from kindergarten. Now,
as she nears graduation from U.Va., the film and theater worlds
are taking notice, too.
received rave reviews from the New York Times and Variety for
her performance as Juliet in a production of Romeo and Juliet
at the celebrated McCarter Theatre in Princeton last September.
played by Sarah Drew, [was] petulant, giddy, incorrigibly girlish,
willful and completely enchanting in a never-to-be-forgotten balcony
scene, wrote Alvin Klein, the New York Times reviewer. Ms.
Drews exploration of a teen-agers heart and her awakening
to desire are defining, and from now on, indelible, aspects of
now is flying around the country auditioning for parts in movies
starring Michael Douglas, Philip Seymore Hoffman and Annette Benning.
am thankful and amazed at the way things have opened up,
big break came when her talent was recognized in a master class
she attended at a summer program called CAP-21 in New York City.
She was recommended for the Juliet role, but was reluctant to
audition because the plays schedule conflicted with the
first five weeks of her last year as a U.Va. drama student.
to audition by her U.Va. teachers and others, she won the opportunity
to take her place alongside veteran Broadway actors directed by
the McCarters artistic director, Emily Mann, one of Americas
leading playwrights and directors.
University drama department gave her plenty of encouragement but
required that she keep a journal chronicling her experience.
was a real look at life as a professional, said Drew.
rehearsing from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days a week and performing
eight and nine shows a week, there was little time to keep up
with her regular class work.
she returned to U.Va. Drew had to make up the five-weeks of work
she missed in addition to keeping up with the current weekly assignments.
She also jumped into a demanding rehearsal schedule for the departments
production of The Miser.
Chapel, chair of the drama department, said, This is completely
unusual. It hardly ever happens that someone takes off part of
a semester to act.
even when we were recruiting, we knew she was going to be someone
special. In our productions, she has continued to amaze us.
Warner, the drama departments head of acting, described
Drew as shimmering on stage in her performance as
when you think you know her character, she does something surprising,
he said. He compared her talent and command of the character to
the work of actors such as Jack Nicholson, Edward Norton and Kevin
her perform, said Warner, Im refreshed. Its
like jumping into a pool of Colorado spring water. Warner
and other U.Va. faculty members traveled to Princeton to see Drew
perform. He was speechless when Drew introduced Warner to Mann
and the director said, Arent we lucky to have worked
job has been to cherish her gift, said Betsy Tucker, who
teaches acting and directing at U.Va. She is fearless as
an actress, willing to try anything. Tucker said she has
tried to find ways to challenge Drew while giving her a safe haven
to explore her talents.
as talented as she is, she is totally a team player, Chapel
who grew up in the New York area, has known all her life that
she wanted to be an actor and has worked hard to hone her craft.
In sixth grade, she starred in Annie at a community
theater a dream come true, she said. She went on to perform
in The Secret Garden in summer stock on Long Island
and for five years was the voice of Stacey on MTVs cartoon
her performance as Juliet, her phone did not stop ringing with
calls from agents wanting to represent her and directors pursuing
her to audition. She could have turned professional, but instead
she decided to return to U.Va. because of her network of friends
and the one-on-one attention and encouragement she received.
I just wanted to finish out what I started.
said, For Sarah, its about the work, not about the