Section: Arts

Drama student embarks on acting career in TV show

Drama student embarks on acting career in TV show

THE BASTARD EXECUTIONER -- Pictured: Sarah White as Isabel Kiffin. CR: James Minchin/FX

by India Amos

After studying abroad in London last semester, drama major Sarah White ’16 relocated to Wales to spend the summer not only working in the foreign country, but also exploring a different century.

Cast in the recurring role of Isabel Kiffin, a baroness’s handmaiden, in FX’s new show The Bastard Executioner, White relocated to Cardiff for two and a half months to film the show, whose pilot episode aired this past Tuesday.

Set in the 14th century, The Bastard Executioner follows an ex-warrior who, despite not wanting to fight anymore, is forced to become an executioner. The show was created by White’s stepfather, Kurt Sutter, who also created another FX series, Sons of Anarchy. White’s mother, actress Katey Sagal, also has a role in the show: She plays Annora “Nora” of the Alders, whom White described as a healer.

“There’s a little nepotism, but it’s a dream,” White said of getting the role.

White is a member of the Owl Creeks a cappella group and has experience acting in a number of Kenyon productions; both activities have given her experience on stage. She is currently preparing for a role in the Kenyon College Dramatic Club’s (KCDC) production of Moonchildren, which will run Oct. 15 to 17.

White’s drama senior thesis partner and friend, Hannah Zipperman ’16, is happy to see her friend succeed.

“Sarah is a great and beautiful person to work with just because she’s so giving and trusting when you’re working with her on stage,” Zipperman said.

Despite having gained experience in theater at Kenyon, White wanted more. She said the opportunity to gain professional experience while still in college is rare, and she recognizes her good fortune.

“It’s amazing to get a taste of exactly what I want to be doing while I’m at Kenyon and going back to senior year with all that,” White said.

While this hands-on experience has helped broaden her professional repertoire, the show’s specific setting has required White to learn skills she never would have otherwise.

“I’ve had to do some tricky things, like learn how to ride side saddle, which was very exciting because I hadn’t been on a horse since I was about 12,” White said.

Assistant Professor of Drama Benjamin Viccellio ’98, who is White’s advisor, believes this success could not have gone to a more deserving person. “I’m thrilled for her,” Vicellio said. “I think it’s nice when good things happen for good people.”


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