Sarah Sullivan
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Sarah Sullivan

In America

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About Her

Grew up… in a land without enough opportunities. Sarah and her husband Johnny left Ireland for Canada, where they eventually crossed the border into America. Though Sarah was born in Ireland and retains her accent, she wants to focus on her new life in the New World.

Living… in a broken-down tenement building in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. As poor, illegal immigrants, Sarah and Johnny are forced to live with the dregs of the city. They are surrounded by drug addicts and sex workers – not the best environment to raise their two daughters.

Profession… server in an ice cream parlor. Sarah will take any job to help support the family while her husband pursues his dream of becoming a stage actor. As time wears on, and as Johnny fails to find gainful employment as an actor, she becomes frustrated about being the sole breadwinner in their family.

Interests… her unborn child. Things become more complicated for the Sullivans when Sarah learns she’s pregnant. After recently losing their son Frankie to a brain tumor, Sarah and Johnny cherish the miracle of her pregnancy, despite the financial issues that it raises.

Relationship Status… married to Johnny. He's a strong, yet troubled, man. After the excitement of coming to America wears off, Sarah and Johnny face the tensions of poverty and parenthood. As she begs her depressed husband, “Make believe you’re happy, Johnny. Please, for the kids.”

Challenge… building a stable life for her family. Sarah and Johnny are facing all the struggles of an illegal immigrant family. While Sarah wants Johnny to pursue his dreams of becoming an actor, she also begs him to be realistic: “Acting, Johnny. And bringing someone to life – it’s the same thing. That’s why you can’t get a job acting, Johnny, because you can’t feel anything.”

Personality… strong and supportive. Sarah, it seems, is the real leader of the Sullivan family. She is willing to sacrifice anything – perhaps even everything – for the future of her children.

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