Sara Zatz

Associate Director
Headshot of Sarah Zatz

Sara Zatz is the Associate Director of Ping Chong and Company and a member of the Artistic Leadership Team, where she leads the company’s community engagement programs.Since joining the company in 2002, she has led the Undesirable Elements series, working with a wide range of partner organizations, from regional theaters to community-based arts organizations, and has had the privilege of collaborating with hundreds of community members to bring their life stories to the stage. She has co-created and produced dozens of works in the series and overseen the creation and implementation of in-school arts education and training programs to share the methodology of Undesirable Elements with other artists and community members. Recent productions include Generation Rise and Generation NYZ (with Kirya Traber; New Victory), (Un)Conditional, with individuals living with chronic illness (Profile Theatre), Inside/Out: Voices from the Disability Community and Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity (national touring). In addition to Ping Chong and Company, she has worked with the Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater, the composer Tan Dun, and Lincoln Center Festival. She has spoken and presented workshops on community-engaged theater at many conferences and universities.

"As we look to the future of the company, I am excited about the space of evolution, nurturing and care with communities, building trust, willingness to take artistic risks, using art/storytelling to create spaces of belonging, hopefully to create meaningful dialogue and engage in civic discourse, making space for stories that would not otherwise get told or heard.

I first came to Ping Chong and Company as a college intern in 1997. One of the first productions I saw was ‘Kwaidan,’ as part of the Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater, ‘Kwaidan’ was transformative - to see how puppetry could be imagined, playing with perspectives, and scale. It really opened my eyes to the creative possibilities, innovation, and literal play of perspective that Ping was so masterful in creating. But the work that changed my life was the ‘Undesirable Elements’ series, which I first encountered in 2000, as a production associate on Secret Histories, at the Ohio Theater. Since joining the company full time in 2002, I have led the UE work, and the evolution of our community programming. ‘Undesirable Elements,’ as a series, and methodology, has continuously showed me that theater can be beautiful, entertaining, transformative, and also truly serve as a tool for building meaningful connections, fostering dialogue, and facilitating change."