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Volume 24, Number 10 — October 2017

Who is In/Visible Theatre

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | September 30, 2017

Karen Sabo is the co-founder and artistic producer of In/Visible Theatre in Boone, North Carolina, and is also a director, teacher and union actor.She is an adjunct faculty member in the theater and dance department at Appalachian State University. She has been a member of three different resident acting companies, including the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, where she also became a resident director, dialect coach and director of education.

She studied acting with the American Conservatory Theatre, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Saratoga International Theatre Institute and Shakespeare and Company. She has a B.A. in liberal arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts (where she studied government-media relations), and an M.A. in liberal arts from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, (where she studied representations of Appalachians in media).

Her husband and co-founder of In/Visible Theatre is Derek Davidson.

Davidson is a playwright, director and AEA actor. He is a full-time professor in the theater department at Appalachian State University in Boone, and just started directing the Climate Stories Collaborative there.He is creating the program and figuring out how to combine dramatic stories and climate issues.He teaches playwriting, theater history and dramatic literature and previously taught at Carnegie Mellon, Ashland University and East Tennessee State.

He is artistic director of Boone's In/Visible Theatre, was an associate artistic director for the Barter Theatre in Virginia and Barter's coordinator for the Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights.

He is an Equity actor and professional director, and his plays have been produced nationally. Davidson wrote and directed the award-winning independent feature film "This is Not the South," and his play "Bumbershoot," which premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival, was e-published by IndieTheatreNow.com as one of the best new scripts from that year's festival. His show "Groundwork," co-created with actor Mike Ostroski, has been produced in New York and Los Angeles, and he received commissions from An Appalachian Summer Festival for his works, "Mauzy" and "Without Words." He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting from Florida State University, an master's in playwriting from Miami University, and a doctorate in theater history from the University of Washington.

"We live in Boone because we love Boone, and because this is where we want to make art.We want to hold the mirror up to all the various facets of our local population and produce theater that speaks specifically to people who live in and around this Appalachian town. Many American theaters produce the same plays in Oregon, Minnesota or Georgia- often plays from NYC -but Oregon, Minnesota and Georgia (and NYC) are geographically and culturally different. In/Visible Theatre creates art by, for, and/or about our local population, while remaining open to the complexity and dynamics of our changing community," Sabo says.

"We created In/Visible Theatre because artists see the beauty of things that are overlooked. There is much in this area that is beautiful. There is much in this area that is overlooked."

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Derek Davidson