Creative and Performing Arts

As unions of intellect and emotion, the creative and performing arts are highly valued at Sarah Lawrence. Equally integrated, our instruction combines theory and practice to offer students a full range of paths into each discipline. Writing and visual arts courses bring students together in workshop seminars and allow for in-depth analysis of craft and artistic direction in individual conferences. Music, dance, and theatre courses consist of three or more components (some required and some optional) to provide a balance of theory, performance, history, and specialized work.

Dance

The Sarah Lawrence College dance program presents undergraduate students with an inclusive curriculum that exposes them to vital aspects of dance through physical, creative, and analytical practices. Students are encouraged to study broadly, widen their definitions of dance and performance, and engage in explorations of form and function.

Basic principles of functional anatomy are at the heart of the program, which offers classes in modern and postmodern contemporary styles, classical ballet, yoga, Feldenkrais: Awareness Through Movement®, and African dance. Composition, improvisation, contact improvisation, Labanotation, dance history, music for dancers, dance and camera, teaching conference, lighting design/stagecraft, and performance projects with visiting artists round out the program

Each student creates an individual program and meets with advisers to discuss overall objectives and progress. A yearlong series of coordinated component courses, including a daily physical practice, constitute a Dance Third. In addition, all students taking a Dance Third participate at least once each semester in movement training sessions to address their individual needs with regard to strength, flexibility, alignment, and coordination, as well as to set short- and long-term training goals.

A variety of performing opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students are available in both informal and formal settings. Although projects with guest choreographers are frequent, it is the students’ own creative work that is the center of their dance experience at the College. In order to support the performance aspect of the program, all students are expected to participate in the technical aspects of producing concerts.

We encourage the interplay between theatre, music, visual arts, and dance. Music Thirds and Theatre Thirds may take dance components with the permission of the appropriate faculty.

In the interest of protecting the well-being of our students, the dance program reserves the right, at our discretion, to require any student to be evaluated by Health Services.

Prospective and admitted students are welcome to observe classes. 

Music

The music program is structured to integrate theory and practice. Students select a combination of component courses that together constitute one full course, called a Music Third. A minimal Music Third includes four components:

  • Individual instruction (instrumental performance, composition, or voice), the central area of study around which the rest of the program is planned;
  • Theory and/or history (see requirements below);
  • A performance ensemble (see area requirements below);
  • Concert attendance/Music Tuesdays (see requirement below).
  • The student, in consultation with the faculty, plans the music program best-suited to his or her needs and interests. Advanced students may, with faculty consent, elect to take two-thirds of their course study in music.

     

    Theatre

    The Sarah Lawrence College theatre program embraces the collaborative nature of theatre. Our objective is to create theatre artists who are skilled in many disciplines: actors who write; directors who act; theatre makers who create their own projects; and sound, set, and lighting designers who are well-versed in new media and puppetry. Students have the advantage of choosing from a multidisciplinary curriculum, taught by working theatre professionals, that draws on the resources of the College’s theatre, music, and dance programs. At the heart of this curriculum are focused programs in acting, directing, playwriting, and design, with supplementary offerings in production and technical work.

    Theatre students are encouraged to cross disciplines as they investigate all areas of theatre. The faculty is committed to active theatre training—students learn by doing—and have put together a vocabulary that stresses relationships among classical, modern, and original texts. The program uses a variety of approaches to build technique while nurturing individual artistic directions.

    The theatre program examines not just contemporary American performance but also diverse cultural influences and the major historical periods that precede our own. Courses include Alexander Technique, acting, comedic and dramatic improvisation, creation of original work, design, directing, movement, musical theatre, playwriting, puppetry, speech, solo performance, voice, and the art of bringing theatre into the local community.

    Curriculum

    Students create an individualized Theatre Third with the guidance of their don and the theatre faculty. Components are chosen to extend skills and interests and to develop performing and practical experience. There are open auditions for faculty, student, and guest-directed productions; there is a proposal system for student-directed, written, and devised work within the season production schedule.

    Practicum

    The theatre faculty is committed to the philosophy that students learn by doing. Classes provide a rigorous intellectual and practical framework, and students are continually engaged in the process of making theatre. The program helps students build a solid technique based on established methodologies while also being encouraged to discover and develop their individual artistic selves. Wide-ranging opportunities are available for students to learn by doing. Students may participate in internships or fieldwork in New York City theatres and theatre organizations. The College’s Theatre Outreach program is a training program that uses music, writing, theatre techniques, and the visual arts to address social and community issues. The outreach course has been a vibrant component in the curriculum for more than two decades, encouraging the development of original material with a special emphasis on cross-cultural experiences.

    Many theatre components include an open-class showing or performance. In addition, multiple performance and production opportunities in acting, singing, dance, design, directing, ensemble creation, playwriting, and technical work are available to students throughout the academic year. The College’s performance venues include productions and readings sponsored by the department in the Suzanne Werner Wright Theatre, a modified thrust stage, and the Frances Ann Cannon Workshop Theatre, as well as student-produced work in the student-run blackbox DownStage Theatre. Workshops, readings, and productions are also mounted in the blackbox OpenSpace Theatre, Film Viewing Room, Outdoor Stage Theatre, and various other performance spaces throughout the campus.

    Visual Arts

    Students enrolled in a visual arts course at Sarah Lawrence College work in a new environment created to support the College’s unique arts pedagogy: a philosophy of teaching that not only encourages individual investigation into the nature of the creative process but also provides a setting to foster the exchange of ideas across artistic disciplines.

    While courses are taught in the traditional seminar/conference format, the Monika A. and Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Visual Arts Center is specifically designed to break down barriers among visual arts media. It features ateliers that give each student an individual work area for the year, while its open classrooms and movable walls encourage students to see and experience the work of their peers in painting, sculpture, photography, filmmaking, printmaking, drawing, visual fundamentals, and digital imagery. Students may enhance their work in a chosen discipline by enrolling in a workshop—a mini-course—selected from 10 offerings annually. In some visual arts courses, a particular workshop will be required. This recently developed program expands students’ technical skills and enables them to utilize different media in the development of their work. Workshops are open to students of any visual arts medium, promoting even more interaction and understanding across disciplinary boundaries and furthering the College’s overall emphasis on interdisciplinary work

    The Heimbold Center, a high-performance “green” building, embodies an environmentally friendly approach that features safe alternatives to toxic materials, special venting systems, and an abundance of natural light. In addition to well-equipped, open-space studios, individual ateliers, and digital technology in every studio and classroom, the building also includes space for welding, woodworking, clay and mold-making; a common darkroom, a digital imaging lab, and critique rooms; a sound studio, a screening room, and a large exhibition area. The Center’s doors open onto a mini-quad, allowing students from throughout the College both access to and inspiration from their peers’ works-in-progress.

    The visual arts curriculum is reflected in—but not confined to—the Heimbold Center’s visual arts facilities. The building also houses courses in visual culture, increasing the integration of the creative arts and the humanities. The College’s proximity to New York City brings recognized artists to campus to lecture and also gives the students the opportunity to visit hundreds of galleries and some of the world’s major museums.

    Faculty members are working artists who believe in the intrinsic value—for all students—of creative work in the visual arts, the inseparable connection of the creative arts and the liberal arts, and the necessity of art in life. All visual arts faculty and their students have access to technicians, based in the Heimbold Center, who can provide technical support in most areas.

    In 2014-15, various workshops in the visual arts disciplines will be offered that serve to broaden students’ vocabulary and technical skills. In the past, workshops in Metalworking, Letterpress, Web Design, Drawing, Water Color, Woodworking, Artist Books, Final Cut, Sculpture Methods, and Photoshop have been offered.

    Writing

    In Sarah Lawrence College’s nationally recognized writing program, students work in close collaboration with faculty members who are active, successful writers. The program focuses on the art and craft of writing. Courses in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction are offered.

    In workshops, students practice their writing and critique each other’s work. The program encourages students to explore an array of distinctive perspectives and techniques that will extend their own writing ability—whatever their preferred genre. Conferences provide students with close, continual mentoring and guidance and with opportunities to encounter personally their teachers’ professional experiences. Teachers critique their students’ writing and select readings specifically to augment or challenge each student’s work. In conferences, student and teacher chart a course of study that best allows individual students to pursue subjects and issues that interest them, to develop their own voice, to hone their techniques, and to grow more sophisticated as readers and critics.

    The College offers a vibrant community of writers and probably the largest writing faculty available to undergraduates anywhere in the country. Visits from guest writers who give public readings and lectures are an important component of the curriculum throughout the year.

    Sarah Lawrence College also takes full advantage of its proximity to the New York City literary scene, with its readings, literary agencies, publishing houses, and bookstores—as well as its wealth of arts and culture. The city provides fertile ground for internships in which students can use their writing training in educational programs, schools, publishing houses, small presses, journal productions, magazines, and nonprofit arts agencies.

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    In Depth

    Charles Paccione '13

    As a pre-med student and violinist, Charles is pursuing all of his passions: science, philosophy, Asian studies, and music. He is actively engaged in an exciting and original research project exploring the benefits of meditation in the medical field.

    Christian Jacobson
    Christian Jacobson
    Performing arts | Studio City, CA

    With a focus on music and acting, as well as history and literature, Chris Jacobson has enjoyed the fluidity of academic life at Sarah Lawrence. Yet what has tied his experience together—both in and out of the classroom—is the cooperative nature of the College. “Sarah Lawrence thrives on cooperative dynamics,” he says, “and this creates a positive atmosphere for getting a job done.”

    As a member of the College’s soccer team, Chris also experienced that dynamic on the field. “We had an amazing core group of players,” he says. “Our team was incredibly close and worked well together.” Such teamwork pays dividends after college as well. “Organizations want cooperative skills,” he says. “Because Sarah Lawrence students are so comfortable with cooperation over competition, when we start to make our way in the world we have a head start over other graduates.”

    Kay Ottinger
    Kay Ottinger
    Dance | San Diego, CA

    Kay Ottinger knew she wanted to study dance at Sarah Lawrence, but she didn’t know how deeply she wanted to study it. With the College’s open curriculum, she varied her course work—taking classes in art history and Spanish, along with a number of history classes on China and Russia, along with a dance third each year. By senior year, her commitment to dance had grown to where she was taking a double dance third, that is, two-thirds of her course load in dance. Though she explored other fields, her level of interest in dance was clear: for a modern Russia class, she did her conference work on Russian-Soviet dance; while studying abroad in Argentina, she was motivated to do independent study on tango. “Because of my conference work and independent study,” she says, “I was really able to delve into something I wanted to do.”

    Christina Thela
    Christina Thela
    Writing | Yonkers, NY

    Taking everything from fiction workshops to neuroscience lectures, Christina Thela has sampled much of what Sarah Lawrence has to offer. Anticipating study abroad on the College’s program in Florence, she also dove into Italian culture. “I was obsessed with all things Italian,” she says. “I took Italian literature classes, advanced Italian language classes, and even Italian film classes.” That preparation paid off. “My experience was very rewarding. I learned how to live on my own, 4,000 miles from home. I learned how to feel comfortable speaking Italian. The advantage to the Sarah Lawrence program was that I got to live with a local family. I felt so welcomed in Mama Guilianna’s house, and I really loved that.”

    Bobby Elliott
    Bobby Elliott
    Poetry and Art History | New York, NY

    Knowing he wanted to devote himself to poetry, Bobby Elliott chose Sarah Lawrence for its renowned creative writing program. Focusing on everything from 13th-century poetry to contemporary poetry—and pursuing his own writing in workshops—he has seen his passion grow in an environment where writing is integral to just about every course.

    His guide and mentor at Sarah Lawrence—“simultaneously encouraging me and challenging me”—was recently named poet laureate of Brooklyn. And he considers the Sarah Lawrence Poetry Festival—New York’s largest free poetry festival—among the highlights of each year.

    Lauren Hudson
    Lauren Hudson
    Newport Beach, CA

    Lauren Hudson came to Sarah Lawrence excited about the individualized course of study she could design, and the College has not let her down. Her don—a painter and sculptor with credits including one-person shows nationwide and in Europe—has been instrumental in helping her find her place. “I am very close with her,” says Lauren. “She taught me how to see things in a new way that has strengthened my painting.”

    Thankful that she didn’t attend an art school to study painting alone, Lauren has made numerous connections between other disciplines and her art. “I keep having epiphanies,” she says. With the College’s open curriculum, she can apply her creativity and vision to any area of study. “You’re in the driver’s seat of your own education. It’s a very significant and powerful thing.”

    Participating in a service trip to New Orleans and an internship with the Working Family Party in Brooklyn, among other activities, Lauren has nurtured an emerging passion for social justice—and painting has helped her explore this new territory. Her political involvement also adds depth to her painting. “With multiple resources and experiences to draw upon,” she says, “I’m on an unending trajectory.”

    Rachel Ann Franks
    Rachel Ann Franks
    Visual Arts, Economics, and Italian | Salt Lake City, UT

    Rachel Ann Franks had no idea what she wanted to study at Sarah Lawrence—so she did what any curious person would do: exposed herself to a broad range of disciplines. “I studied Italian my first two years, which prepared me to study abroad in Bologna. I’ve studied visual arts every year, along with architectural theory and studio courses. And I’ve made a point of taking economics courses, which provide a different kind of work.”

    The College’s open curriculum enabled her to craft a balanced academic program, and proximity to New York City made other learning experiences possible—including an internship with MTV’s News and Documentary department. “In New York there is always something to do and somewhere you haven’t been,” she says. As she nears graduation, she’s confident her wide exploration will pay off. “My options are completely open, and while that is scary, it is also liberating.”

    Patrick Metzger
    Patrick Metzger
    Music Composition | Chattanooga, TN

    A music concentration, but a physics adviser? It makes sense to Patrick Metzger. “I wanted to take a fair number of math, artificial intelligence, psychology, and computer science classes. If I had had a music adviser, my path would have been different.” Though he realized from his first year that he didn’t think like a physicist, he was nevertheless drawn to math and science—and treasured the advice his physicist don could provide. “In the sciences, it’s great to have the ability to cross mediums. It has everything to do with the real world.” That kind of creative, interdisciplinary thinking has led to some interesting conference projects. “I explored Tesla’s biography in physics and then wrote a choral piece about it. In another case, I got to write a piece about how entropy relates to evolution.” Then there’s the research on split-brain syndrome he did for a narrative neuropsychology course—looking at how the mind works by examining the novel A Scanner Darkly.

    Christine Spinelli
    Christine Spinelli
    Spanish, Latin American Studies, and Documentary Film | Lincoln, MA

    Christine Spinelli describes Sarah Lawrence students as “creative” and “flexible”—hence, fearless. “That’s why the word ‘recession’ no longer scares me,” she says. As a student filmmaker, she has clearly shown creative fearlessness, traveling to Cochambamba, Bolivia, to make a documentary on adoption. She has studied abroad on the Sarah Lawrence program in Havana, Cuba, traveled to New Orleans twice as a relief worker, and helped create Res Miranda, the only non-audition singing group on campus. “I don’t know where else I could have done what I’ve done at Sarah Lawrence,” she says.

    Patrick Gallagher
    Patrick Gallagher
    Athens, OH

    Only in his second year at Sarah Lawrence, Patrick Gallagher has already combined his passions in music, dance, and theatre— all the while studying Spanish intensively in preparation for Sarah Lawrence’s program in Cuba next fall. “I’ve always been in love with Cuban music, so I’ve been eyeing this program since high school,” he says. “No other school I know of has this type of pick-your-own music and dance program, and that’s perfect for me.”

    Patrick’s music studies have included courses in composition and improvisation, and his immersion in dance has led to a summer internship with the Mark Morris Dance Group.

    A highlight of his experience at the College so far has been a dance performance project: restaging the masterwork Radial Courses by choreographer Lucinda Childs ’62. “We got a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Each dancer memorized this difficult score and had to be self-reliant in both mind and body,” he says. “We had this really intense sense of community, and I am very lucky to have been part of it.”

    Jessica Isabel Muñoz
    Jessica Isabel Muñoz
    Piscataway, NJ

    In her college search, Jessica Isabel Muñoz saw exactly what she wanted in Sarah Lawrence’s writing-intensive curriculum— and its encouragement and celebration of independent work. “It was love at first sight,” she says. As a student at the College, she has brought her interest in writing to nearly every course, and her wide range of studies has given substance to her writing. From Latino/a history, to Spanish literature, to poetry, each has become part of a larger whole. “At Sarah Lawrence,” she says “we make connections; we view the world as it really is—completely entangled in itself. To study the complexity of these relationships is a basic principle of the SLC system, and I think it helps prepare students for lives that don’t always fit neatly into categories or boxes.

    Jessica’s exploration of the College’s open curriculum, echoed by equally broad extracurricular involvement, is perhaps ideal preparation for a writing career. “I’ve learned to say yes to new experiences,” she says. “I don’t want to back down from something just because it’s unfamiliar.” And, of course, there’s the refinement of craft. Her favorite course so far? A fiction workshop.

    Akash Radia
    Akash Radia
    London, UK

    Both an international student and a transfer, Akash Radia saw in Sarah Lawrence a place where he could pursue his love of music along with a variety of other rigorous courses and projects.

    In his senior year, Akash gravitated to screenwriting and filmmaking—without abandoning his interest in music. “There’s a strong correlation between music and cinematic filmmaking,” he says. “I’m really enjoying it.”

    Part of that enjoyment has to do with Akash’s relationship with his film professor, Fred Strype. “Whenever I have friends visit me here, they’re always surprised by how well the students communicate with faculty.” Both communication and collaboration are essential in filmmaking—lessons that Akash also learned on the soccer field. “Our team has great coaches, and now 15 of us are best friends,” he says.

    The future? Graduate school—possibly in broadcast journalism, building on experience gained during internships with television stations in India. And Akash continues to keep an eye on “anything performance or entertainment related”—which, for him, includes not only film but theatre and music as well.

    Max Mallory
    Max Mallory
    Decatur, GA

    With a focus on theatre all three years—and an agent in New York City—Max Mallory might have been content to pursue only acting. Yet at Sarah Lawrence, he knew he could do more. “I started exploring my interest in law, which combines the performance aspect, the improvisational aspect, with the more intellectual context of law and litigation,” he says. Juggling rehearsals with academic work, Max has molded his program of study into something that he knows will make him happy. “I’ll still be able to do what I love—perform and interact with audiences,” he says.

    Max certainly manages his time well, acting in an average of four plays each semester, playing on the basketball team, singing with Vocal Minority, studying abroad in Florence, and doing several summer internships—including one with a law firm.

    David Netto ’92
    David Netto ’92
    Designer and Entrepreneur

    Known for his revolutionary, high-end baby furniture—NettoCollection debuted in 2003 and was acquired by Maclaren in 2009—David Netto creates elegant pieces using sustainable woods and nontoxic finishes in his Soho design studio. He studied art history and film at Sarah Lawrence—which, he says, “celebrated my individuality rather than forcing me to fit into a mold.” After graduating from the College, Netto earned a master’s degree in architectural history at Columbia, established a reputation for interior design in New York City, and then applied his modernist aesthetic to celebrate the individuality of babies—and the design sensibilities of their parents.

    Ann Patchett ’85
    Ann Patchett ’85
    Writer

    Before Ann Patchett graduated from Sarah Lawrence—where she studied with Allan Gurganus ’72, Russell Banks, and Grace Paley—she sold her first story to The Paris Review. But her course work wasn’t focused only on what it took to get ahead, she recalls.

    “As it turned out, it proved to be an excellent foundation for a novelist, but it would have been just as helpful to a linguist, a painter, a mathematician,” says the author of Bel Canto, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award and England’s Orange Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

    Patchett’s other novels, Run, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, and The Magician’s Assistant, have also brought her recognition, honors, and awards. In 2004, Truth & Beauty, her first work of nonfiction, was published. Winner of the Chicago Tribune’s 2004 Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, it is the story of Patchett’s friendship with the late Lucy Grealy ’85, author of the memoir Autobiography of a Face, whom Patchett met at Sarah Lawrence. Another work of nonfiction, What Now?, was based on her 2006 commencement address at SLC. She has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Gourmet, “O” (the Oprah Magazine), and Vogue.

    Damani Baker ’96
    Damani Baker ’96
    Documentary Filmmaker, Director

    Since graduating from Sarah Lawrence, Damani Baker has founded Soulfire Films, his own production company; directed and produced films for PBS, the Sundance Institute, and Danny Glover’s Carrie Productions; and been named one of “25 new faces in independent film” by Filmmaker magazine.

    Baker loves the many people and talents it takes to make a film. “You can’t do it by yourself,” he notes. “You have a vision, and you have to communicate that vision to the five or 500 people working on the film. Ideally, everyone has the same goal: to produce a moving piece of art that will make people think.”

    After studying both African-American history and film at Sarah Lawrence, Baker earned his MFA from the UCLA School of Film and Television. He worked as Glover’s personal assistant on the set of Beloved, then went on to direct and produce documentaries and shorts, including Still Bill, the 2009 portrait of musician Bill Withers. Baker is currently developing feature films.

    He’s also back at Sarah Lawrence, teaching film (and working on several productions, too).

    Alice Walker ’65
    Alice Walker ’65
    Writer

    Alice Walker signed her first book contract before graduating from college. Since then, the social activist, novelist, and poet has published numerous books, including Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart (Random House, 2004), By the Light of My Father’s Smile (Random House, 1998), and The Color Purple (Harcourt Brace, 1982), which won the Pulitzer Prize for literature and was made into a 1985 film by Steven Spielberg as well as a 2005 Broadway musical play. In The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult (Scribner, 1996), she describes the personal challenges and controversies around the making of the film of The Color Purple.

    Julianna Margulies ’89
    Julianna Margulies ’89
    Actress

    When Emmy-award winner Julianna Margulies, to the surprise of many, turned down a significant offer to remain in the ER cast for two more years, she knew she had made a tough choice. “I gave it a tremendous amount of thought, but I kept coming back to my heart,” she explains. “The truth was that I was ready for a new experience, a new challenge.” Margulies pushed ahead with her career, landing roles on Broadway and in films. She recently won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards for her starring role in The Good Wife, one of the hottest shows on television.

    George Adams ’79
    George Adams ’79
    Owner, George Adams Gallery

    A year after graduating from Sarah Lawrence, George “Jeb” Adams became associated with a gallery in New York City; 15 years later it bore his name. Today the George Adams Gallery represents and exhibits work by 22 artists, both established and emerging. The gallery specializes in realist and figurative art, painting and sculpture by San Francisco Bay area artists, and Latin American Art. Many of the younger and emerging artists it has represented have achieved significant reputations; for some Latin American artists, the gallery staged their first solo exhibitions in the United States.

    “When I think back to Sarah Lawrence, I am still amazed at how much independence I had and how respectful the faculty was of my independence. With this, however, came the knowledge that I was responsible for the choices I made and the course I set—so a healthy dose of self-confidence was very helpful—not much different from the real world in that sense.”

    Jimmy Tate ’91
    Jimmy Tate ’91
    Professional Dancer, Singer/Songwriter, Performer

    Sarah Lawrence can’t take credit for teaching Jimmy Tate how to dance. When he was just 13, he played the starring role in The Tap Dance Kid on Broadway. At Sarah Lawrence, he took the opportunity to explore music—including courses in electronic music—and fiction and poetry writing.

    He developed a new vocation, as a folk singer and songwriter, and spent afternoons on the College lawn playing guitar with other student musicians. He also did a one-man show in the Students of Color Series on campus, and other students enlisted him to perform in their shows.

    Tate now has two career paths. One is dance and musical theatre—he starred on Broadway in Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk, and currently teaches at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City. The other is as a folk singer/songwriter who has released his own CD, Play Me. Tate says he was especially influenced by the Sarah Lawrence environment. “To meet so many different people broadened my idea of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be.”

    J.J. Abrams ’88
    J.J. Abrams ’88
    Creator, Executive Producer, Screenwriter, Director

    In his final year at Sarah Lawrence, J.J. Abrams collaborated with a friend to write a feature film treatment, which became 1990’s Taking Care of Business. Since then, he has written such films as Regarding Henry, Forever Young, Armageddon, and Joy Ride; and served as co-creator and executive producer of the TV series Felicity and creator and executive producer of the series Alias and Lost. For the former series, Abrams also co-wrote the theme song; for the latter, he composed theme music. He directed episodes of both.

    Abrams wrote and directed Mission: Impossible III and produced and directed the Star Trek movie. He also co-created, produces, and writes for the science fiction series Fringe. A new drama series, Undercovers, premiered on NBC in 2010, and 2011 will see the release of Super 8, written and directed by Abrams and co-produced with Steven Spielberg.

    Janine Antoni ’86
    Janine Antoni ’86
    Performance Artist, Sculptor, Painter

    Award-winning artist Janine Antoni has exhibited at institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Her work blurs the distinction between performance art and sculpture; her primary tool for making sculpture is her own body.

    How did the artist develop such a nontraditional approach? In many ways, the journey began at Sarah Lawrence, where Antoni studied literature, psychology, anthropology, and religion, and visited New York City museums. “What prepared me most for being an artist,” Antoni recalls, “was the ability to form a curriculum that nurtured my passions. Trusting my inclinations—and the confidence to enter into the world and explore where this inspiration might lead me—was the most valuable lesson I learned at Sarah Lawrence.”

    Vera Wang ’71
    Vera Wang ’71
    Fashion Designer

    Vera Wang entered Sarah Lawrence as a pre-med student, with a career as a championship figure skater already on her résumé. Before going on after graduation to become a renowned fashion designer, she studied theatre and art history.

    What allowed her to change course and what prepared her to become one of the top figures in today’s fashion world? The answer is less about which courses she took than about what most students at Sarah Lawrence really focus on: creativity.

    After graduation, Wang became an editor at Vogue, and later a design director for Ralph Lauren. Then, after a frustrating search for the perfect wedding dress, she did what any self-respecting Sarah Lawrence graduate would do: she designed her own.

    What followed was her trademark line of wedding dresses for contemporary women like herself who defy stereotypes. She has also created gowns for celebrities Jennifer Lopez, Ivanka Trump, and Chelsea Clinton.

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