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Sara Ward CulpepperAssociate Teaching Professor, Theater StudiesScenic Designer and Scenic Charge Artist, Theater Emory


Sara Ward Culpepper is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University (BA) and of the University of Virginia (MFA). Currently, she is based in Atlanta, working as a Lecturer, Resident Scenic Artist, and Properties Coordinator with Theater Emory at Emory University.

Designing nationally and locally she has had the pleasure of working with many talented artists, including Theatrical Outfit, Heritage Theatre Festival, The Atlanta Opera, The Alliance Theatre, Theater in the Square, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, The Puppetry Center for the Arts, CENTERSTAGE in Baltimore, New Harmony Theater and Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Sara studied painting, drawing, architecture, and furniture making. While studying for her undergrad degree she became intrigued by architecture and art. She wanted to find an avenue that took both of these interests and combined a collaborative artistic experience. Scenic design found her.

Her approach to set design incorporates the integration of the human form within its environment. She enjoys the translation of text into location and the exploration of how the characters interact with the audience. Research is a huge part of this discovery and she pulls from her personal experience and emotional responses to produce the surroundings. Line, texture and color are essential to her composition and design.

Sara won The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Design Storm Award for Scenery in 2004.

Recipient of the 2012 Fine Award in Theater Studies.