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Volunteer Spotlight: Sara Turnbow

Sara’s happy place has always been the theatre and she has immersed herself in the arts for as long as she remembers. Sara made a recent return to the stage after a 27 year absence in last year’s THE 100th ANNIVERSARY GALA at QCT, which was also her QCT debut,  as well as performing in A CHRISTMAS CAROL at The Quincy Museum, and appearing as the Doctor and Cook in February’s production of MATILDA THE MUSICAL at QCT. Last month, she stepped backstage as Assistant Stage Manager for SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, and will again be coordinating things as Stage Manager for the upcoming student production of LOST GIRL. Sara feels extremely blessed, beyond thrilled and truly humbled to have working with this incredibly talented cast.  Sara lives by Shakespeare’s famous words, “to thine own self be true”, and continues to follow her dreams. Sara Turnbow is wife to Charles and mom to Matteson & Harrison.

Q1- How did you first get involved with QCT? What was your first show? Describe the experience.
I decided to step back into theater in 2023.  My son, Harrison, was my inspiration.  Watching him perform in HAIRSPRAY at QHS in 2022 reminded me of how much I truly enjoyed performing for audiences.  While the arts have always had a big place in my heart, live theater has always been my passion.  After walking away from theater for 27 years and much encouragement from my daughter, Matteson, I decided to sign up and audition for RENT.  To my amazement, I received a call back.  While I wasn’t cast for RENT, I realized that one simple audition and the encouragement of the production team was all I needed to rekindle the fire inside of me.  I continued to audition for shows and was cast in my first show, DREAM ROLES REIMAGINED: THE 100th ANNIVERSARY GALA. As a first time QCT performer, I was welcomed into a family of people who had the same interests and passions as I do.  I felt like I was living a dream from the moment I walked onto the stage. 

525,600 minutes from the time of my first audition, I was singing to sold out audiences as The Doctor in MATILDA!  Finally being able to showcase my talents has been a dream come true. 

Q2- What is your favorite memory working on a QCT production?
I have many favorite memories from my short time volunteering at QCT.  Every show that I have had the opportunity to be involved with has filled me with so much joy.  If I had to pick one, it would probably be dancing as the Cook in MATILDA.  While it may have gone unnoticed to many, those that told me they saw me, said they laughed uncontrollably.  I love knowing that I brought a smile to so many faces.

Q3- What was it like working with your husband on Shakespeare in Love?
Working with a family member in any facet can create a different vibe.  Having the opportunity to work with Charles, my best friend and husband, has been nothing short of incredible. Charles and I spent many years working alongside each other running and building businesses.  We have been referred to as “Team Turnbow” by people who we have had the opportunity to coach and manage.  With him being onstage and me being offstage, I have had the opportunity to watch him grow as the performer I have always known he is.   As the Assistant Stage Manager for SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, I found myself hiding in many places to watch him perform his many roles.  I have even been lucky enough to help him with his multitude of costume changes.  Charles is my biggest cheerleader and rock, so being able to be that for him has been nothing short of rewarding.  From watching him audition, gather knowledge during rehearsals, and finally perform with the amazing cast, my heart is full.  I am blessed to have been able to be on this journey with him as he stepped into my world. 

Q4- Do you prefer performing on stage or working behind the scenes? Why?
As someone who loves the spotlight, I also like being in control and being the brains behind the operation. As someone who manages people for a living, I find it far more fulfilling to be on stage. Getting to portray a character is just so enthralling. I also find it so much fun being the motivator.  Hyping people up before a show is energizing.

Q5- What are you looking forward to for the rest of the 2024 season?
I’m hoping to see my son in the summer musical NEWSIES and maybe CINDERELLA. I simply adore watching my family enjoying themselves in the spotlight. I am also excited to see what the many guest directors are going to bring to the QCT stage.

Q6- What would you say to encourage someone else to get involved at QCT?
I would tell them to “Seize the Day” because there is “No Day But Today.”  There are so many opportunities and different areas to be involved in. If you are someone who likes to perform, sign up for an audition slot.  If you are more of a behind the scenes person, sign up to help with the crew. The QCT family will welcome you with open arms.    

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