Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 19th 2015 Contents JANINE CHARLES-FARRAY
Praise has been pouring in from
all quarters of the local fashion, visu-
al arts and theatre industry for Sarah
Woodham, a burgeoning fashion
and costume designer, on her
acceptance to the Yale School of
She has been awarded a scholarship
to pursue the master of fine arts
(MFA) postgraduate degree in design
at this prestigious, globally renowned
school in New Haven, Connecticut.
Approximately 12 students are admit-
ted to the programme each year.
Woodham already has an impres-
sive resume of collaborations, includ-
ing a student design critique session
with T&T fashion icon Meiling Esau,
costume designing with Robert Young
for the legendary Carnival productions
of musical trio 3Canal, and co-ordi-
nating wardrobe for Kaz Ove s award-
winning short film Dubois.
She has had a strong foundation
of creative experiences from her par-
ents Greer Jones-Woodham and
Gabriel Woodham, both of whom are
artists. Her first taste of working in
the theatre was with Trinidad Theatre
Workshop s (TTW) 2005 production
of Derek Walcott s musical Steel.
"I was 15 at the time, helping my
mother with costuming and Jackie
Hinkson with the set after school. I
completely fell in love with the way
a team was able to execute the imag-
inings of the writer. I saw a different
world come to life on that stage and
I enjoyed every minute of it," she said.
Years later, she returned to the
TTW and was hired on her first solo
project as a costume designer for its
production of An Echo in the Bone.
There she met Tobagonian-born actor
Winston Duke and TTW assistant
artistic director Timmia Hearn-Feld-
man, alumni of the Yale School of
Drama, who first encouraged her to
apply to the school.
Academically, Woodham has
excelled. At Bishop Anstey High
School she earned the certificate of
academic achievement at the CSEC
examination level. She was also
awarded a certificate of excellence in
visual arts for a wide range of artistic
technical skills taught at the school,
including painting, drawing, photog-
raphy, wire bending, paper sculpting,
fabric surface design and ceramics.
She earned her bachelor of fine
arts in fashion design in 2013 at UTT.
She also participated in the uSTART
programme---the first university-co-
ordinated business incubator in
T&T---out of which she started
AMEN Print house, which she co-
manages with her mother.
Being accepted to Yale was a dream
come true; she is "equal parts happy,
excited, scared and nervous," she said.
"This acceptance has been a real-
isation of a dream of mine. I can only
smile when I think that all the hard
work I have done in my life has led
me onto this path especially when I
had been rejected at first. It s like
falling, only to be stopped before your
nose hits the ground and allowed to
Prof Jess Goldstein, a Tony Award-
winning costume designer at the Yale
School of Drama, in reply to inquiries
from the Sunday Arts Section, gave
the following commendation on her
acceptance to the school:
"We were very impressed and
enthusiastic about her portfolio which
we viewed online and requested her
to take the next step of interviewing
with us in New Haven on the Yale
campus. As she was unable to make
the trip, we agreed to speak with her
via Skype and were charmed by her
intelligence, seriousness of purpose
and delightful manner.
"We look forward to meeting Sarah
in person. We all believe she will ben-
efit greatly from her experience at
Yale and, equally important, Sarah
will also bring a very fresh and unique
point of view to us."
Goldstein shared these sentiments
on behalf of department head Stephen
Strawbridge and co-faculty members
Ilona Somogyi and Jane Greenwood
who comprise the costume design
Woodham s reaction on receiving
the news of her acceptance was
"It was an early morning. I was
still in my pyjamas checking my e-
mails for things to do for the day...
and there it was. I d received an e-
mail from one of the lecturers in the
department saying that I d been
accepted and I d get the official news
from the school soon.
"I started jumping up and down
and screaming and laughing. My dad
knew at once that I d got in. No need
to ask if, just a reassuring hug to say
Including her close family and
friends, Woodham gave credit and
thanks to several key people who have
assisted her. They include her former
primary school teacher Tina Schuller,
high school art teachers Leona Fabien
with Lisa Hutchinson, and university
lecturer Babatu Sparrow. To Yale, she
will take her experiences, training
and cultural inspiration from T&T.
"Any person growing up in a par-
ticular visual and cultural environ-
ment will be influenced by it no mat-
ter if they are aware of it or not. Every
festival, sound, smell, colour of this
country has left an indelible mark on
my aesthetic memory. It is what I
carry with me and what sets me apart
from the rest."
Woodham starts her three-year
course of study this September.
An Odyssey of pathos
and earnestness---Page B37
off to Yale
PHOTO COURTESY UTT
Photo sketches from Sarah Woodham's Yale admissions costume design
portfolio. IMAGES COURTESY SARAH WOODHAM
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