Sarah J. Fabian, M.F.A.
Assistant Professor

Department of Communication, Media, and Theatre

College of Arts and Sciences

Northeastern Illinois University



Master of Fine Arts in Stage Design for Scenic Design, 2008-2012

Degree awarded June 2013

Thesis Chair: Todd Rosenthal

Thesis Committee: Walt Spangler, Joseph Appelt

Training: Daniel Ostling, Todd Rosenthal, Walt Spangler, Linda Roethke, Ana Kuzmanic, Joseph Appelt, Jessica Thebus, Anna Shapiro

HOPE COLLEGE in Holland, Michigan

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with Concentration in Scenic Design

Minor in Studio Art with a concentration in Oil Painting, 2004-2008

Design Mentor: Richard Smith

Training: Richard Smith, Paul Anderson, Perry Landes, Michelle Bombe, Daina Robins, John K. V. Tammi, Jean Bahle

Studio Art Mentor: Katherine Sullivan

Teaching Experience


Northeastern Illinois University - Chicago, IL | 2016-Present

CMTT 130: Introduction to Theatre (Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Spring 2019)

CMTT 130: Introduction to Theatre - Hybrid (Fall 2017)

CMTT 130: Introduction to Theatre - Online (Fall 2019)

CMTT 240: Stagecraft (Fall 2017)

STEAM 300: The Performative Self - Exploring Identity and Character Through Theatre (Fall 2019)

CMTC 308: Independent Study - Advanced Technical Direction & AutoCAD (K. Garcia, Fall 2017)

CMTC 308: Independent Study - Advanced Carpentry (N. Baltudis, Spring 2020)

CMTT 309: Independent Study - Technical Direction & AutoCAD (K. Garcia & J. Merel, Spring 2017)

CMTT 309: Independent Study - Professional Development: Portfolio and Resumes (T. Stevens, Fall 2019)

CMTT 309: Independent Study - Advanced Carpentry (R. Denham, Fall 2019)

CMTT309: Independent Study - Advanced Stage Design (S. Acevedo, Spring 2020)

CMTT 333: Contemporary Theatre (Fall 2018, Spring 2020)

CMTT 334: Special Topics in Theatre - The Art of Visual Storytelling (Spring 2017)

CMTT 334: Special Topics in Theatre - Musical Theatre, Europe (Summer I 2018)

CMTT 334: Special Topics in Theatre - Puppetry (Summer I 2019)

CMTT 339: Advanced Theatre Practicum (Fall 2016, Summer I & II 2017, Spring 2018 (2 sections), Summer I 2018)

CMTT 340: Set Design (Spring 2017, Spring 2019)

CMTT 346: American Musical Theatre (Spring 2019, Fall 2019)

CMTT 383: Professional Internship (S. Foster - Goodman Theatre Marketing Internship, Fall 2018)

ZHON 395: Honors Thesis (S. Foster - "The Future of Goodman Theatre: An Examination of Audience Development and Marketing Strategies

                   to Attract and Maintain Young Adult Audiences", Spring 2019)

CMTT423: Independent Study - New Play Development and Formation of A Theatre Company (C. Cheng, Fall 2019)

Educator Partnership Program

CourseHero | October 2018-August 2019

Best Lecture Series:  Detail a “Best Lesson” in an article written by a Course Hero editor and published to the Course Hero website. The article will be part of a series highlighting innovative teaching methods and tactical advice from college educators around the country. Prior to publication of the feature, the Educator will review the article for accuracy. Educator agrees that Course Hero can include a link to the Educator's Course Hero profile and can include the Educator’s name and affiliation in associated marketing efforts.

Consulting:  Participate in research sessions to inform product, design, and community development efforts, as requested by Course Hero.

Educator Introductions:  Identify post-secondary educators who may be interested in collaborating with Course Hero, send referrals to the Educator Community team for review, and make introductions. Link to CourseHero Feature or (


Presentation: Scenic Design

Goodman Theatre, August 2017

A one-day presentation exploring the world of theatrical design to the Williams Medical Prep students. The Goodman Education area "is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. We subscribe to the idea of arts as education—using the tools of our profession to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. In partnership with schools, our focus on professional development with teachers hones their abilities to activate student learning. With both adults and youth, our exploration of authentic voice leads to conversations about identity and commonalities in shared experience. Using our art in service of a wider vision of social change is our guiding principle—and is an extension of Goodman Theatre’s vision and values as a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community." (

Workshop: Scenic Design

Steppenwolf Young Adult Council, February 2017

A one-day workshop exploring the world of scenic design. The Young Adult Council is "a unique program for passionate and motivated high school students who wish to learn the inner-workings of professional theatre from the most celebrated artists in the city. In addition to face time with these leading professionals, Council members attend the best plays in Chicago, learn how to analyze and speak about these plays and lead events for their peers around Steppenwolf productions. Council members meet once a week and receive a travel stipend for this rigorous and exciting work." (from

Master Class: The Art of Visual Storytelling, A Pop-Up! Grinnell College, Fall 2015

A two-day master class open to the students and faculty from the departments of theatre, dance, art and art history, and music. The class focused on storytelling through two-dimensional and three-dimensional mediums of found materials. Participants used personal life events as the basis of their story and used the found materials to create a piece of art that expressed their point of view. 



Gillette’s Theatrical Design and Production

Dallas, TX | 2015

Reviewed subject objectives and questions provided by ansrsource for a new online learning platform for Gilette's "Theatrical Design and Production" text in the areas of scenic design, scene construction and techiniques, and digital projection technology and design to ensure the authored objectives and questions are accurate. ansrsource is the preferred editorial services partner of the world’s leading academic publishers for the last decade.  They work with the top publishers creating content and learning solutions to fit their needs. They use creative, efficient, and inspiring teaching professionals and subject matter experts to assist them in a variety of disciplines—writing test banks and quizzes, preparing instructor materials, and filling a range of other roles.

ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR, Northwestern UniversitY

Evanston, IL | 2013-2015

Theatre 201:  Introduction to Design, Lecture and Lab Adjunct Instructor, 2013-2015

Theatre 241:  Scene Design I, Adjunct Faculty, 2013-2014


Columbia College Chicago - Chicago, IL | 2013

AutoCAD, 2013

Rendering for Theatre, 2013


Northwestern University - Evanston, IL | 2008-2012

Theatre 241:  Scene Design I, Instructor, 2010

Theatre 241:  Scene Design I, Teaching Assistant, 2011, 2010

Theatre 119:  Production Laboratory - Electrics Instructor, 2010

Theatre 119:  Production Laboratory - Properties Instructor, 2009

Theatre 119:  Production Laboratory - Scenic Art Instructor, 2009

Theatre 119:  Production Laboratory - Scenic Carpentry Instructor, 2008


Trinity High School - River Forest, IL | April-June 2011

Acting I

Introduction to Musical Theatre

Introduction to Theatre


Hope College - Holland, MI | 2007-2008

Theatre Crafts I & II - Scenic Design segment

Advanced Scenic Design I

Advanced Scenic Design II

2010 - present

2010 - present


VISIT: Design Resume or (

Conferences & presentations

Association for Theatre in Higher Education

Annual National Conference in Orlando, FL

         August 7-11, 2019                Presenter, TLA Focus Group: "Re-ignite your Intro to Theatre Courses with Innovative Assignments"


February 2020                     Presenter, 7th Annual Learn and Lead Symposium, “Nurturing Community in the Classroom" (Sarah Fabian and

                                             Dr. Christopher Merchant)

November 2019                   Presenter, 10th Annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium, "Nuevas Voces: Creating the World of the

                                             Play" (Jim Blair, Sarah Fabian, Ariel Notterman, Susana Acevedo, and Paloma Lozano)

November 2019                   Presenter, 10th Annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium, "Scenic Design: Creating the Physical

                                             World of the Play"

November 2018                   Presenter, 9th Annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium, "From Page to Stage: Nuevas Voces:

                                             Northeastern's 10-Minute Playwriting Festival" (Jim Blair, Sarah Fabian, Becca Peterson)



Service to the University

Spring 2019                           Faculty Excellence Committee TP/RPs, Co-Chair

Spring 2019                           HerStory Committee, Member and Representative from CMT Department

Fall 2018 - Spring 2019         CASAAC, CMT Department Representative

Spring 2018 - Spring 2019    Black Ensemble Theater Partnership, Theatre Area Coordinator

Fall 2018                                NEIU Golden Gala, Sapphire Table Representative

Fall 2018                                Inauguration Committee, Committee Member

Spring 2018                           Search & Screen Committee for Assistant Director-Race & Ethnicity in the Angelina Pedroso

                                               Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs, Committee Member

Fall 2017                                NEIU 150th Anniversary Golden Gala, Coordinator and producer of the student performance

                                               with the Office of Alumni Relations

Service to The College of Arts and Sciences

2018-2019                             Art Search and Screen Committee, External Member and Secretary

Fall 2017 - present                STEM to STEAM Initiative Committee, led by Ana Fraiman, Ph.D., Chemistry

Service to the Department of Communication, Media, and Theatre

Nov 2019 - present               CMT Communication Search and Screen Committee, Co-Chair

July 2019 - present               Managing Director of Stage Center Theatre

July 2017 - June 2019           Managing Artistic Director of Stage Center Theatre

Jan 2019 - present                CMT Talent/Special Skills Scholarship Coordinator

Nov 2017 - April 2018           CMT Theatre Search and Screen Committee, Secretary

2016-present                         Executive Committee

2016-present                         Department Personnel Committee (DPC)

Spring 2016                           Brommel Scholarships Committee

2016-2017                             CMT Theatre Search and Screen Committee, Secretary

Certifications & Training

2019                 Online Design II, Center for Teaching and Learning

2018                 Safe Zones Training

2018                 Social Justice Ally Initiative: Closing Praxis

2017                 Desire2Learn Daylight Training: Organizing Your Course in Daylight D2L

2017                 Desire2Learn Daylight Training: Intro to New Video Tools in Daylight D2L

2017                 Social Justice Ally Initiative: Exploring Bias

2017                 Social Justice Ally Initiative: Opening Praxis

2016                 Center for Teaching and Learning Online Teaching Course

2016                 Center for Teaching and Learning Hybrid Teaching Course

2016                 Social Justice Ally Initiative: The (Dis)Ability Project

2016                 Social Justice Ally Initiative: Undocumented Student Ally

2016                 Social Justice Ally Initiative: Safe Zone Ally

2016                 Online Design I, Center for Teaching and Learning

2016                 Hybrid Design I, Center for Teaching and Learning

COMMUNITY OUTREACH in Chicago & Beyond

Goodman Theatre

          August 2017                                    Presenter at Williams Medical Prep Workshop

Steppenwolf Theatre Co.

         February 2017                                  Presenter at Young Artist's Council Workshop

Columbus Academy, Ohio

January 2018                                  Theatre Collaborators' Panel Appearance

August & October 2017                  Theatre Collaborators' Panel Appearance

September & October 2016            Theatre Collaborators' Panel Appearance








Mental Health First Aid, Certified

Adult & Pediatric First Aid, CPR & AED Training -- American Red Cross

Association for Theatre in Higher Education - Full-Time Employed Member

Theatre Communications Group - Professional Member

USITT Professional Member

Two Pence Theatre: Company Member, Resident Scenic & Props Designer, and Intern Program Director















Faculty Excellence Award in Research & Creative Activities, Northeastern Illinois University

10 Under 10 Award Recipient, Hope College​ Alumni Association

See.Me Photography Exhibition, New York City

Prague Quadrennial of Performance and Design Space; United States of America Emerge Exhibition

Full Scholarship to Northwestern University Stage Design Program

Brad Williams Memorial Award for Creativity and Excellence in Design from Hope College Department of Theatre

Regional Design Project Award Winner for Set Design, A Flea in Her Ear, American College Theatre Festival Region III

Certificate of Merit for Scenic Design, Rose and the Rime, American College Theatre Festival Region III

Phi Beta Kappa

Dean's List, Hope College

Junior Prize from Hope College Department of Theatre

Certificate of Merit for Scenic Design, Perfect Pie, American College Theatre Festival Region III

Sophomore Prize from Hope College Department of Theatre


Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Photoshop




Scenic Painting​



Graphic Design


Manual/Digital Photography

Microsoft Office

Portfolio Buidling

Website Design



Spanish (intermediate reading)

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Sarah JHP Watkins  |  email:  |  phone: (773) 318 - 7125

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