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Sarah Fahmy

Published November 30, 2023

Assistant Professor,
Theatre Studies


Sarah Fahmy, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies at Florida State University. She is a decolonial scholartist, who works at the intersection of performance and identity politics, Arab and North African theatres, cultural heritage, speech and language hearing sciences, and eco-feminism.

Sarah’s research presents a foundational theoretical praxis for supporting young Egyptian women author and embody their decolonial feminist identities. She has devised multi-disciplinary site-specific pieces and facilitated applied performance and Playback residencies with hundreds of participants internationally, ranging from creative climate communication with scientists, to co-created workshops with youth for the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Her most recent creative work is The Butterfly Affect, a performance experience designed for participants to learn from the natural world and to envision themselves as agents of change. Utilizing qualitative and quantitative methods, Sarah’s publications appear in a range of peer reviewed theatre and social science journals and books ranging from Theatre Topics, RiDE to PloS One. She has presented at several conferences including ATHE, ASTR, PSi, and the International Symposium on Bilingualism.

Sarah has a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Colorado Boulder; where she led university-wide restructuring and served as an executive member of numerous campus strategic planning committees, as the President of the Graduate and Professional Student Government, the Center for Teaching and Learning Theatre Lead Instructor, and the co-artistic producer of the New Play Festival. She created the first university library database, around the world, dedicated to MENA Women Playwrights—work that she is evolving through the creation of ATHE’s Middle Eastern Theatre Digital Handbook, to support teaching and producing MENASA plays, and connecting scholars.

Sarah is actively involved in the field. She is a co-founder and Chair of the Middle Eastern Theatre focus group at the Association of Theatre in Higher Education; a co-convener of “The Persistence of Hope in the Theatre of the MENA Region and its Diaspora” working group at the American Society for Theatre Research conference; and the past co-chair of the Middle Eastern North African Theatre Makers Alliance programming subcommittee. She has peer-reviewed for Research in Drama Education, and Modern Drama; and is on the editorial board of the Environmental Communication Journal.


PhD Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Colorado Boulder, 2023
MA Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Colorado Boulder, 2019
BA Theatre, University of Kentucky, 2017
BA Arts Administration, University of Kentucky, 2017

Select Publication

Sarah Fahmy. Performing on the Nile: young women’s embodying ecofeminist decolonial care Environmental Communications Journal (in press).

Sarah Fahmy. Using Applied Theatre for Collective Healing and Grief Processing in the ClassroomPedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Journal: Vol. 7, Article 11. September 2023.

Sarah Fahmy. Eco-puppetry: playful disruptions for climate agency. Puppetry International Journal. Issue 52, October 2022. pp. 30-36.

Sarah Fahmy, Beth Osnes. little words BIG ISSUES: Co-creating an applied theatre workshop with Young Women. RiDE: Research in Drama Education. July 1, 2022. DOI: 10.1080/13569783.2022.2086039

Beth Osnes, Sarah Fahmy. Keeping the Fun in Staying with the Trouble: Green Suits and Environmental Activist Pleasure Theatre Topics. Volume 32, Number 2, July 2022. pp. 49-60. DOI:10.1353/tt.2022.0014.

Sarah Fahmy, Pui-Fong Kan, Jen Lewon. The Effect of Theatre-based Vocal Empowerment Program on Young Women’s Speech & Language Characteristics in Egypt. December 2021. PLoS One 16(12): DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0261294

Select Book Chapters

Sarah Fahmy. “Catastrophic Arab Shadows: Archiving the Obscene.” In Global Medieval Drama, Cambridge Elements Series on the Global Middle Ages. (Forthcoming 2024).

Sarah Fahmy. “Decolonizing the conversation: Sustainable Development Performances in Egypt” In Applied Theatre and Gender Justice. Routledge. (Forthcoming 2024).

Select Conferences

“MENA Decoloniality through Performance Studies” American Society for Theatre Research, Rhode Island, PI, November 9-12, 2023.

Episode 3: Critiquing the Critics: the Reception of SWANA Theatre in North America” Golden Thread Productions in Collaboration with ATHE, August 2023

“Launching The Middle Eastern Theatre Handbook: A digital guide to teaching and producing MENA in the academy” Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Austin, TX, August 3-6, 2023“Eco-Puppetry with Social Media for Women’s Joyful Public Expression.” United Nations,

Commission on the Status of Women. Washington D.C, March 6-10, 2023

“Catastrophic Arab Shadows: Archiving the Obscene.” Then and Now: Disaster and Adversity in Medieval Performance Working Group. American Society of Theatre Research. New Orleans, LA, November 4-7, 2022.

“The Effects of Theatre-based Vocal Empowerment Program on Young Egyptian Women’s Speech and Language Characteristics.” International Symposium on Bilingualism 13. 10-14 July 2021 (Online).

“The Arts, Women and Social Change.” Egypt Can: Education. Ministry of Emigration and Expatriates Affairs. Hurgada, Egypt, (National televised conference featuring expat academics). December 16-19, 2018.

Research/Teaching areas

  • Performance Studies
  • Decoloniality and Global South Theories
  • Arab, North African, Middle Eastern theatre and performance
  • Ethnography
  • Art-Science Collaborations
  • Community Based Research
  • Devising