Blog30

Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Melanie Sutherland

Melanie Sutherland, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenDirector / Event Producer / Executive Coach
Brooklyn, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
Visual arts: museum or galleries; plus, I dabble in watercolor, create found-object collages, and design Wrist Art.  Music: anything from Carmina Burana to I Gotta Feeling.  oh, and, I Love Lucy re-runs…

What’s your favorite movie?
To Kill A Mockingbird
also: Amadeus; Across the Universe; Moulin Rouge

What’s your favorite line from a play?
I have a favorite quote from a Hindu poem: “If you have two pennies, with the first buy bread and with the second buy hyacinths for your soul.”

What’s your favorite cocktail?
A vodka martini, heavy on the olives; however, you’ll more often see me with a glass of merlot.

What’s your favorite pop culture guilty pleasure?
I kind of hate to admit this, but when I have time, I watch ANTM online….

What play or production changed your life?
On a high school trip in 1975, I saw the Broadway revival of Candide. The production style blew my mind – the actors performed on platforms in front, behind, and between the audience, who sat on bleachers or stools on stage; the orchestra played from four corners. In my career as a director, I’ve had the most fun when I can explode the staging outside the proscenium arch.

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
Yes! Riding an elephant… swimming with dolphins…… climbing Machu Picchu…… exploring the Great Wall of China… and working as artistic director in a regional theatre.

I feel most like myself when I …am in rehearsal: Discussing the script with the playwright; teasing out the nuances of the writer’s words and rhythms with the actors; exploring the world of the play with the designers – somehow colors, scents, sounds are brighter when I’m in rehearsal.

What is your best escape?
Hiking through the woods with my dog, or, sitting on a beach watching the waves. Or simply walking through Prospect Park is enough to both soothe and stimulate. And if it’s pouring rain, getting lost in a good book.

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?
I modeled sportswear and swimwear in runway shows for Seventeen magazine and department stores when I was a teenager.

Melanie Sutherland conceived/directed 7 Sins in 60 Minutes. Theatres include: Cherry Lane, Circle Rep, Culture Project, Rattlestick, Women’s Project; and a gender-bending The Misanthrope for AAI Prods. Awards include: John Golden; Who’s Who in America, & three others; Atlantic Center for the Arts residency; NYWA board member; WAMCo past president; SDC.

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