Sarah-Vyne Vassallo


Name: Sarah-Vyne Vassallo

Creative practice/s: Director, Writer, Theatre Maker

Postcode: 2153

Suburb or city: Baulkham HIlls

Do you identify as disabled and/or Deaf and/or with disability?


Why do you do what you do?

My purpose in making theatre is not only to reveal my own truth, but to do so in a way that allows others to connect with theirs. As an artist with lived experience of chronic illness and a history of mental illness, I feel a keen responsibility to challenge preconceptions and break down the stigma surrounding both invisible and visible disabilities. I have experienced firsthand the power of storytelling for social change when people are moved and entertained, they are far more likely to be receptive to ideas that are socially confronting. My prefered approach for creating is through collaboration, intersecting artforms and working with multidisciplinary artists. I like to obscure and tease apart these often hard topics, abstracting real life stories by utilising humour, movement, visual imagery, voice and sound.


What are you looking for?

Collaborations, Paid Work, Professional Development , Speaking Engagements

What’s still with you from the workshops? What do you remember?

I think the workshops were a really great initiative that connected artists with disabilities to each other and facilitated great activities/conversations that allowed us to articulate some of the successes and challenges we encounter in the industry.

What’s the legacy for you - creatively or with contacts?

The workshops definitely cemented my relationships with various contacts and so I think that was the legacy for me.

What makes a good workshop for you?

Effective facilitators and participants who are engaged and willing to take risks and be vulnerable, surrendering to the creative process.

The arts industry and you - how do you feel about where you are professionally? Where would you like to be?

I’m in a very unique position in that I am only in my fifth year of professional practise but I am already generating enough work to support myself full time as a creative artist. In saying that, there are obviously many challenges and barriers that I have faced throughout my career but I feel like I am becoming more resilient as time goes on. I’ve just finished a successful season of my debut play Freefall, which was a culmination of a two-year residency program. It was very well-reviewed and I feel like it was seen as not just a work about disability so I am feeling very good about that. In terms of where I would like to be in the next couple of years, my passion for playwriting has definitely been ignited and I have ideas for what my next two plays will be.