Sarah Jane Hardy  |  Breakout Session

Sarah Jane Hardy joins Anita Menon for a breakout session entitled, "Developing New Audiences Through Cross Cultural Relationships". The Regional Arts and Culture Council points out in their Equity Statement that "tackling the issue of equity and inclusion requires commitment, respect, patience, determination and flexibility." This breakout session traces the growth and development of a cross-cultural collaboration by two female artists, Anita Menon, a classical Indian dancer, and Sarah Jane Hardy, Artistic Director of Northwest Children's Theatre in Portland, Oregon. In 2015, Northwest Children's Theatre brought to life the story of The Jungle Book through the lens of Indian classical, folk and contemporary dance. The unique production was the result of a two-year collaboration. The show ran for a month and broke box office records for the 22-year-old company, reaching over 13,000 children and families in Portland, Oregon. Anita and Sarah Jane are now planning their next two collaborations with the potential to create real change in the Portland arts community. 


About Sarah Jane

Northwest Children's Theatre's Artistic Director, Sarah Jane Hardy was born in Liverpool, where she earned Advanced Certification in Ballet, Tap, and Modern from the International Dance Teachers Association. Her early career included work as a choreographer, dancer, and teacher throughout Europe and the Middle East before moving to the United States as an international student in 1993 and earning an MFA in directing from Utah State University.

In 2001 Sarah Jane began working for NWCT where she developed a series of new adaptations with an emphasis on meaningful and powerful female characters. She led NWCT's Main Stage through many record-breaking and award-winning seasons, including the 22nd season which swept the regional Drammy and PAMTA awards with seven and nine wins, respectively.