Plays The Thing For U.Va. Student
6, 2002-- Sarah Drews
parents noticed she had an uncanny stage presence at her graduation
as she nears graduation from the University of Virginia, 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.
Drew's exploration of a teen-ager's heart and her awakening to desire
are defining, and from now on, indelible, aspects of Juliet."
now is flying around the country auditioning for parts in movies
starring Michael Douglas, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Annette Bening.
am thankful and amazed at the way things have opened up," she
big break came when her talent was recognized in a master class
she attended at a summer program called CAP-21 she attended 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. When 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
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 Juliet.
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 with
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
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 series "Daria."
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.
just wanted to finish out what I started."
said, "For Sarah, its about the work, not about the stardom."
Jane Ford, (434) 924-4298