Throughout a professional career of more than 35 years, Sandra Cavanaugh has worked extensively as a writer, director, actress, speaker, singer / songwriter, coach, filmmaker, consultant and educator.

Sandra Cavanaugh

Sandra began her professional career as an actress in the 1980’s in New York after having trained at The National Shakespeare Conservatory and The National Theatre of Great Britain. She toured with the National Shakespeare Company, worked in regional theatre, performed Off-Broadway, and understudied on Broadway, as well as working in indie films, voice-overs, commercials, and daytime TV,  before moving her career West.

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In 1986, Sandra began teaching acting, improvisation in voice and speech at the National Shakespeare Conservatory. For the past 35 years Sandra has taught acting, improvisation, movement, voice, and writing at universities and conservatories across the country. She has served on the faculty of The University of Utah – Professional Actor Training Program, Portland Actors Conservatory, Clackamas College, The University of Iowa, The New Heritage Studio, The National Shakespeare Conservatory, Boise State University, and Portland State University, among others.  She has chaired departments, developed curricula, and coached teachers on the art of teaching. In the 1990’s, Sandra began teaching children with special needs and at-risk students K-12, which led Sandra to creating cutting edge interactive programming and scenario based training programs in school districts in New York, New Jersey, Wyoming, Utah, Iowa, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

In 1986, Sandra began teaching acting, improvisation in voice and speech at the National Shakespeare Conservatory. For the past 35 years Sandra has taught acting, improvisation, movement, voice, and writing at universities and conservatories across the country. She has served on the faculty of The University of Utah – Professional Actor Training Program, Portland Actors Conservatory, Clackamas College, The University of Iowa, The New Heritage Studio, The National Shakespeare Conservatory, Boise State University, and Portland State University, among others.  She has chaired departments, developed curricula, and coached teachers on the art of teaching. In the 1990’s, Sandra began teaching children with special needs and at-risk students K-12, which led Sandra to creating cutting edge interactive programming and scenario based training programs in school districts in New York, New Jersey, Wyoming, Utah, Iowa, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

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Sandra began directing professionally in 1983, and it has remained a passion for almost 40 years. Sandra has directed over 100 professional stage productions, from Neil Simon to Shakespeare, as well as large scale events like The Special Olympics World Winter Games “Share the Magic” extravaganza, starring Henry Winkler, and the unprecedented Dalai Lama’s Children’s Day event in Sun Valley in 2005. In 1997, Sandra founded The New Heritage Theatre Company, a professional resident repertory company and school, under the patronage and mentorship of Anthony Hopkins and Olympia Dukakis. In her 10 years as Artistic Director, she received multiple educational, community service, and artistic awards, including the Governor’s Brightest Stars Award in 2006.

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After decades of directing for the stage, in recent years Sandra has begun directing independent films. Her feature film “AVATARA” is currently in post production. Her short film “Fairchild” starring Michelle Oneida and Katie Preston is in pre-production since filming was suspended last year due to Covid. Sandra’s feature length screenplay “Fault Line”   is in development with Miracle Film Group and she is currently writing her next feature RESIDUUM.

After decades of directing for the stage, in recent years Sandra has begun directing independent films. Her feature film “AVATARA” is currently in post production. Her short film “Fairchild” starring Michelle Oneida and Katie Preston is in pre-production since filming was suspended last year due to Covid. Sandra’s feature length screenplay “Fault Line”   is in development with Miracle Film Group and she is currently writing her next feature RESIDUUM.

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An entrepreneur and business consultant, Sandra has founded a number of innovative start-ups, including co-founding Silverdraft LLC in 2007 (Originally Dramatic Entertainment), which introduced cutting edge virtual production technology to the  entertainment industry. In 2011, Sandra was named one of the Idaho Business Reviews, Business Women of the Year Honorees. Sandra is currently CEO of Miracle Film Group.

Sandra Cavanaugh - Consultant

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Sandra is a prolific writer. She has written thirty-five plays, including full-length, one acts, educational, and children’s plays. Her innovative “RESPONSE” plays toured Idaho schools for 7 years through the State Dept of Ed., receiving numerous arts and education awards. A collection of her children’s plays ‘The Ohana Plays’ are being published next year. Sandra’s screenplay “Fault Line” won Best Feature Screenplay at the 2015 Austin Revolution Film Festival. Sandra wrote and directed the Indie feature “AVATARA,” which is currently in post production. Sandra is a member of both the Writers Guild of America West and the Dramatists Guild.

Sandra is a prolific writer. She has written thirty-five plays, including full-length, one acts, educational, and children’s plays. Her innovative “RESPONSE” plays toured Idaho schools for 7 years through the State Dept of Ed., receiving numerous arts and education awards. A collection of her children’s plays ‘The Ohana Plays’ are being published next year. Sandra’s screenplay “Fault Line” won Best Feature Screenplay at the 2015 Austin Revolution Film Festival. Sandra wrote and directed the Indie feature “AVATARA,” which is currently in post production. Sandra is a member of both the Writers Guild of America West and the Dramatists Guild.

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Sandra has been singing for as long as she has been acting. In addition to performing in musical theatre since age 13, Sandra has sung pop, rock, blues and jazz in clubs from NYC to LA. For five years She and her partner Rex Miller were members of the popular band “Pat McDonald and the Tropical Cowboys.” Sandra and Rex have also been in several other bands together since 1999 including OSR, Spare Parts, and The Rex Miller Band. Rex and Sandra have also been a duo performing and writing their original songs for more than 15 years. Their Original album “Let Go” is available on iTunes, Spotify and Reverbnation. They are currently recording their second album “Drink It In.” Rex also writes original music to back Sandra’s Meditation CD’s as well as scoring the soundtracks to her films.

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Sandra Cavanaugh & her family

Sandra is the very proud mother of four daughters, three of whom are adoption miracles.  Her personal journey has also made her a passionate advocate for children’s issues including children in foster care, adoption, children’s mental health, FASD, Autism, At-Risk Youth, and creativity in education.

The Art of Unconditional CommitmentIn her signature program and upcoming book, “The Art of Unconditional Commitment,” Sandra draws on her own life experience to teach and inspire parents of children adopted from foster care to cope with extremely challenging behaviors and stay committed,even through the darkest times. Sandra uses her expertise in communication and problem solving to coach parents in effective advocacy for their child.

Sandra holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Iowa, where she was an ICA Fellow and a member of the prestigious Iowa Playwright’s Workshop. Sandra is a graduate of The National Shakespeare Conservatory, as well as The National Theatre Of Great Britain’s Pilot Acting Program. She received her BA from Boise State University.

Sandra is the very proud mother of four daughters, three of whom are adoption miracles.  Her personal journey has also made her a passionate advocate for children’s issues including children in foster care, adoption, children’s mental health, FASD, Autism, At-Risk Youth, and creativity in education.

The Art of Unconditional CommitmentIn her signature program and upcoming book, “The Art of Unconditional Commitment,” Sandra draws on her own life experience to teach and inspire parents of children adopted from foster care to cope with extremely challenging behaviors and stay committed,even through the darkest times. Sandra uses her expertise in communication and problem solving to coach parents in effective advocacy for their child.

Sandra holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Iowa, where she was an ICA Fellow and a member of the prestigious Iowa Playwright’s Workshop. Sandra is a graduate of The National Shakespeare Conservatory, as well as The National Theatre Of Great Britain’s Pilot Acting Program. She received her BA from Boise State University.

Sandra Cavanaugh & her family

Sandra has been featured on/in:

Sandra Cavanaugh - Media Appearances