Stage Director Sara E. Widzer continues to produce exceptional operatic and theatre works at companies across the United States and abroad. Currently serving on faculty at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in Los Angeles, her guest engagements for the 2020-21 season include as director for Opera Santa Barbara’s Concert in the Car production of La Tragedié de Carmen and a directorial debut at Opera Orlando with a new production of Carmen. Ms. Widzer’s 2019-20 season included as director for the world premiere of the new opera, JUANA, based on the novel Sor Juana’s Second Dream by Alicia Gaspar de Alba with music by Carla Lucero, for Opera UCLA. Also, the US premiere of La Morte d’Orfeo in her directorial debut at Los Angeles Opera. Among her engagements cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic were Assistant Director to Sir David McVicar at Los Angeles Opera for the mainstage production of Pelléas et Mélisande and as director at Music Academy of the West for a new production of Philip Glass’ Les Enfants Terribles. 

As Director: Chautauqua Opera Scenes Program; Carmen for Rochester Philharmonic; Woman of Salt for The Wildish Theatre; After Life and Letters from Quebec to Providence in the Rain for UCSB Opera and the National Opera Association and UC Santa Barbara Opera Theatre; Susannah for Pasadena Opera; The Flying Dutchman for the Hawaii Opera Theatre and Virginia Opera; The Music Man for the Royal Opera House of Oman; Le jongleur de Notre-Dame and L’elisir d’amore for Florida State Opera; Don Giovanni, Tosca, Pagliacci, and Hansel and Gretel for Opera in the Ozarks; Faust and Giulio Cesare for Celestial Opera Company; Reasons to be Pretty, Bury the Dead, Zoo Story, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, As You Like It, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Lee Strasberg Creative Center.

As Associate and Assistant Director: The Ghosts of Versailles and ¡Figaro! 90210 for Chautauqua Opera; El Gato Montes: The Wildcat for Los Angeles Opera; Madame White Snake for Beth Morrison Projects at the Hong Kong Arts Festival; Der Ring des Polykrates at the Dallas Opera, Silent Night, AIDA and The Daughter of the Regiment for Washington National Opera; The Marriage of Figaro for Music Academy of the West; The Flying Dutchman, King for a Day, and The Music Man for The Glimmerglass Festival. Ms. Widzer has worked with esteemed directors Francesca Zambello, Peter Kazaras, Tomer Zvulun, Eric Einhorn, James Darrah, Michael Counts, Robert Longbottom, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Ray Roderick, Robert Eagan, and Mark Rydell.

As an educator, Ms. Widzer is currently on faculty as acting coach and stage director at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Los Angeles, CA where she has been on staff for over fifteen years. She worked with famed film and tv audition coach Crystal Carson, co-teaching Audition by Heart courses and brought Carson’s technique to film and stage actors across the country. Through her work at City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts, she taught Shakespeare classes at inner city middle schools and high schools throughout Southern California, a project which culminated in a bilingual production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream that she adapted with the Spanish title Un Sueño en Medio-Verano. On the opera stage, she has worked with members of the Glimmerglass Festival Young Artist Program, the Los Angeles Opera Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, the WNO Cafritz Young Artist Program and has also served as guest coach at El Camino College, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State University Long Beach, and Florida State University. Ms. Widzer continues to guest teach acting at studios throughout the Los Angeles area, and also maintains a roster of speaking and singing actors for whom she coaches acting and performance technique.

She received her MM in Opera Directing from Florida State University, her BA in theatre from Connecticut College and has an Artist’s Diploma in Classical Acting/Shakespeare from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in Shakespeare. Ms. Widzer makes her home in Los Angeles.