Sarafina has been working as an actor, director, and teaching artist in Chicago for over 20 years. She holds a Post Graduate Award in Teaching Shakespeare from The University of Warwick, in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company, in Coventry, England. She earned her Bachelor's in theatre from Roosevelt University and studied classical acting at Richmond College in London. She is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at Roosevelt University's Theatre Conservatory, and served as administrator of The Acting Institute at Paramount Theatre's School of the Arts. She is also honored to have been invited as a guest instructor to Ontario, Canada's Stratford Festival, where she taught their acting company techniques in Shakespeare instruction.
As a performer and creative, Sarafina has worked locally with many companies, including: Drury Lane, Timeline, Remy Bumppo, Irish Theatre of Chicago, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Invictus, Speaking Ring, The Other Theatre Theatre Company, Steel Beam, and Janus. Sarafina also worked for several years in Chicago, NY and LA as a plus size model, appearing on runways, magazines and print ads. Most recently, she has been seen on NBC's Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice, several feature and independent films and national commercials. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Actor's Equity Association.
Sarafina is also available as a private audition and Shakespeare text coach. www.SarafinaVecchio.com
This class was truly my first exposure to acting besides just watching TV. [I was] super nervous and already feeling like I wouldn’t fit in. Sarafina Vecchio was very kind and friendly and really helped me break out of my shell, I can’t express how grateful I am to have had her as an instructor. (Grades 9-12: Acting for Teens)
— Brooke Reynolds
Sarafina Vecchio is a passionate instructor who takes time to help her students get a real sense and importance of all training material. Her Shakesplay curriculum has ignited a fire in me.
— Daniel Ochoa
Sarafina (Vecchio) is a great teacher. She made Shakespeare fun and accessible. I appreciated her incredible and infectious enthusiasm for Shakespeare, and the care with which she chose monologues for myself and my classmates. Her suggestions were thoughtful and helpful and led me to make choices and take risks I may not have in the past. Thanks for such a fun class! (Shakesplay! Scene Study)
— Liz Vibbert
Sarafina (Vecchio) made Shakespeare make sense! The manner in which Sarafina broke down the language allowed for me to understand at a high level the patterns in Shakespearean speech, clarified iambic pentameter, and the importance of his intonation/inflection notation. I received so much more knowledge and confidence in this class than initially expected. I would take this class again if I could! (Shakesplay! Scene Study)
— Lawrence Green
Sarafina (Vecchio) challenged us to really push our creativity and experiment with our choices in Level 3. She created a space where mistakes were opportunities for growth. I grew so much as a performer.
— Mike Cahill
I appreciated Sarafina (Vecchio's) thoughtful reviews after our scene practices. Her considerations were helpful -- allowing me to use her suggestion, yet still make my own choices during my rehearsals with my scene partner. (Level 3 Scene Study)
— Melanie Hubbard
The best learning environment for me is one that is rich in passion and motivated by a teacher that delivers the information with humor and sincerity; this is precisely what I got in Sarafina Veccio's ShakesPlay! class. This is just what I needed. There is no doubt that Sarafina loves Shakespeare, and that love is contagious. I wanted to dip my toes in the language for the first time as a professional and break open some confidence as I look toward approaching these roles as a career choice, this is exactly what I got, and more! Loved Sarafina, loved this class!
— Natalie Elizabeth
Sarafina Vecchio was amazing in this course (Level 3)! She managed her time so well, and would set a timer for every scene to ensure we all had an equal amount of time. I really appreciated that and wish more teachers would do that. She also didn’t overload us with too many comments, instead just gave us a few concrete things to work on each week. Overall a lovely and fun instructor and I would love to take more classes with her!
— May Lee
Level 4 with Sarafina Vecchio and Christy Arington is an outstanding class and experience. They both have extremely different teaching styles and that worked out perfectly because they bounced ideas off of each other. Sarafina and Christy really found ways to push me to better myself and performance. They helped me figure out how to let go and just give it my all. I would take it over and over again.
— Jaimie Duel
Her (Sarafina Vecchio — Level 3 Scene Study: Online) classes and exercises were so well structured. Her feedback was very valuable and insightful and helped me to learn and grow. I loved her humor and how she made class fun as well as informative.
— Camille Baxter
Sarafina (Vecchio — Level 3 Scene Study: Online) is the real-deal. Her approach was different in the best way possible. I took nuggets from her like I have with all my instructors so far, and it all works well!
— Justin Mobley
Sarafina (Vecchio - ShakesPlay! Online) taught each lesson with a creative approach, and when someone didn't understand she adapted to make sure that student understood and felt heard.
— Meradi Ramirez
Sarafina (Vecchio — Beginning Monologue: Online) kept the class engaged and kept the class interesting. Even on Zoom, we still managed to feel connected. A great part of that connectivity was the instructors energy.
— Sharone Brown
Sarafina (Vecchio — Beginning Monologue: Online) is amazingggggggg! I love her so much. Very insightful and beautiful soul. She's herself and I love that about her.
— Marshelle Sanders
Sarafina (Vecchio — Beginning Monologue Online) is a joy and I'm so grateful for her dedication to our success and her open approach. This is my second class with her and she is kind and inclusive and incredibly supportive of everyone in the class. She has a real skill at making people of every skill level feel like they are making progress, and as a result, I've seen improvement in myself and everyone else in the class. While not soft-pedaling how difficult the industry can be, she still makes work and life and the theater and the business feel achievable with hard work.
Another thing she did so well in this class, and much appreciated by me, was to give really great monologues that matched her understanding of me and reflected not only my type, but my preference for the kind of monologue I wanted to explore. She even sourced the original play when I couldn't find it. I wish to be more like her in classes I lead.
— David Wright
Her (Sarafina Vecchio — Beginning Monologue Online) feeback was well constructed. She knew when to compliment us and when to criticize so that we could get the most out of each moment. This has been the best acting class I have taken yet.
— Stephen Jackiw
Sarafina Vecchio is such an amazing teacher and warm person. I took both Level 3: Scene Study Online and Beginning Monologue: Online with her and I felt every time motivated to do more and be more.
— Adriana Belan
Sarafina (Vecchio — Level 2: Shurtleff to Scene: Online) was high energy, encouraging, supportive and explained the ideas well. I like how feedback that she would give to a scene would actually apply to all of us
— David Quach
Sarafina (Vecchio, Level 2) was amazing! She always gave the best feedback and encouraged us to challenge ourselves.
— Atavia Reed
I took both levels 1 and 2 of the core classes with Sarafina Vecchio. Sarafina is an amazing instructor! I was really nervous going in, but she put me at ease immediately with her warm and welcoming spirit. I can't believe how much I've learned already from just the first and second courses. I've been doing theatre for a long time now, but I've always struggled with a lack of self-confidence. Her encouragement and emphasis on positive feedback and constructive criticism really helped me to shake the nerves and drop my guard. Thanks to Sarafina, I've already been auditioning with a lot more confidence, feeling prepared, strong, and self-assured.
— Rebecca Fassbender