See Susan as Portia and many other characters March 4th-April 3rd by reserving your tickets here: http://greenhousetheater.org/julius-caesar/
If the race and gender equality conversation going on in the Chicago theatre community (and the greater arts community in general) is not on your radar, it’s possible that your home is somewhere under a rock. With that in mind, I am excited to be a part of JULIUS CAESAR for many reasons. The cast consists of immensely talented and kindhearted people, the ones you learn from by simply watching. Lavina is every bit as smart and wholly bad ass as the reputation that precedes her. The administrative minds behind Brown Paper Box Co. are effortlessly on top of their shit. (Ooooh, she said “shiiiiit.”) And. You guys. AND. I get to play boy parts in this show, and I don’t even have to pretend to be one!
Even still, it’s odd how easy it has been for me to embrace the given circumstances of our world on an emotional level, yet fight it with every bit of my physical and intellectual being. As we started putting the show on its feet, I would constantly ask myself, “Okay, Suze McGuze, how would this man walk? Where does he carry his weight? What is his vocal quality? He’s a strong soldier after all.” Needless to say, the results left me frustrated. This is partially because my favorite pastime is being grossly hard on myself and because I was being a liar, liar pants on fire. Guess what, dudes? I’m not a boy, not yet a man. In fact, I’m every bit woman.
A common thread in the smorgasbord of acting classes, videos, blogs, podcasts and books I’ve been exposed to is honesty. Be honest. Be present. Be yourself. You’re enough. The list of mantras go on. These viewpoints exist because when an individual is being totally honest on stage and with their acting partner, it often leads to a captivating vulnerability. It’s magic, or science, or both! So, there I was, wiping my rear-end with this ScienceMagic and all because I wanted to make sure the audience would understand that any given character I may be playing was a strong, dedicated soldier who would die for the good of their country.
SPOILER ALERT: people die in this play.
Hopefully, it’s taken you less time than me to realize that neither strength, passion, nor dedication have anything to do with gender. Once I came around to this notion, I naturally found myself adjusting from imitating a man to one of defining who the person is that goes to war for her country. What are her motivations, what has gotten her to this place, what was her childhood like and why does succeeding matter to her.
We’re a little less than a week away from tech, and I still find myself struggling with this mindset. It’ll probably be present throughout the run and as we start sharing our version of this world with an audience. Some people may dig it and some may not. I hope it’s a healthy mix of both. Regardless, I’m thrilled at the opportunity to step into the shoes of the various ladies I play in this show—some who were written as ladies to begin with and some who weren’t. They’re each strong, wonderful, and sometimes vulnerable in their own way. And they’re mine.
Susan's favorite Chicago credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream with Chicago Shakes (Helena/Titania US); Brewed (Roxette), Matawan (shark), Facing Angela (Torn Angela) all with The Ruckus; Ride Down Mt. Morgan (Bessie) with Redtwist Theatre; Titus Andronicus (Lavinia), Marat/Sade (Inmate) and Pretty Penny (Crystal) all with The Right Brain Project, Fractured Fairy Tales (various), A Christmas Carol (Martha), The Giver (Mom) all with Great Works Touring Theatre, and The Young Playwright's Festival (Glinda/Betty) with Pegasus Theatre. Susan received her B.A. in Theatre from Florida State University in 2008. She is a proud company member of The Ruckus and is represented by the wonderful folks at Big Mouth Talent. www.susanmyburgh.com
Brown Paper Blog
Making theatre. Writing about it. Announcements & interviews.