Women Behind the Scenes Spotlight: Sarah Pia Anderson
Today’s Women Behind the Scenes spotlight is focused on TV and theatre director Sarah Pia Anderson.
Sara was born in St. Albans in southern Hertfordshire in England, which is north of central London. She did her training at the University of Wales, graduating with a B.A. in English Literature. She worked as a stage manager at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh and at the Royal Shakespeare Company before receiving an Arts Council grant to train as a director at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre.
It was at this theatre where she directed modern classics like “What the Butler Saw” and “Caucasian Chalk Circle“. In the late 80’s she directed a production of “The Nest” at the Bush Theatre in London, which brought her to the attention of The Royal Shakespeare Company. She made her directing debut with “Derek” while there.
During the 80’s and into the 90’s, she also wrote and directed several BBC Playhouse TV shows and a number of made-for-TV movies. Starting in the mid-90’s, she began directing TV shows such as ER, Nothing Sacred and Profiler.
Throughout the 2000’s, she directed episodes of TV shows like Gilmore Girls, The District, Strong Medicine, Dark Angel, The Division, Ally McBeal, Ed, Dead Like Me, Veronica Mars, Grey’s Anatomy, Huff, Related, Ugly Betty, Women’s Murder Club, Big Love, What About Brian and October Road. Over the last four years, she has directed episodes of 90210, Eureka, Chaos and Awake.
Since 1995, Sarah has been a tenured professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, Davis where she teaches classes focused on directing for the theatre, television and film. Last year she became part of the new program in Cinema and Technocultural Studies.
Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Blindspot, The Blacklist, Killjoys, The Brave, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Fosters. Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.