New College alumna shines in “The Crucible”

By Emma Knadle

Sara Linares shifted from a late 17th-century Puritan girl to a young woman of the 21st century within a matter of minutes, shedding the persona of her character from the night’s play. Linares played the role of Mary Warren in Asolo Repertory Theater’s spring production of “The Crucible,” Arthur Miller’s play about the Salem witch trials.

Mary, the Proctor family’s servant, is a dynamic character in a moral battle with herself as she struggles between staying loyal to those who are important to her and saving herself. Sara admits this was one of her favorite parts about playing Mary.

“It’s very refreshing [to play Mary] because … you always, like, in real life want to put up a front and know that you’ve got things on lock,” she said, “like you know what you’re doing. You want to put a good face forward, and you don’t want to show people that you’re confused or that you’re sad about anything. But with her, you can constantly see her … changing her mind, changing her loyalties.”

Linares earned a bachelor of arts from New College in 2015 with a concentration in humanities. Theater was her real passion, however, and that passion came through in her thesis project, for which she translated and staged a production of Luis Riaza’s “Antígona…¡Cerda!”

New College Adjunct Associate Professor of Theatre Andrei Malaev-Babel, who also teaches at Asolo Rep, told Linares about Florida State University’s conservatory program. Linares auditioned and is now a third-year MFA student at the theater company. She credits New College with building the foundation for her graduate work.

“[New College] helped me discipline myself and teach myself not to get frustrated and [to] have patience and actually do the work because there’s no one holding you back but yourself,” said Linares.

Although she didn’t have much contact with the budding Windmill Theater Company, Linares joined a few productions during her tenure at New College and is excited about the opportunities available to students.

“Right now there’s so much more theater happening at New College and I’m so happy about it,” said Linares. “I just wish it was happening when I was there!”

— Emma Knadle is an intern at the Office of Communications and Marketing. Associate Director of Communications and Marketing Liz Lebron contributed to this article.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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