B.F.A., Denison University - 1985
M.A., Northwestern University - 1987
Citation awarded June, 2010
After graduating from Northwestern, Susan honed her skills with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and the City of Chicago Professional Summer Theatre. She also taught at Northwestern, DePaul, Emory, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2001, she headed for Atlanta and The Alliance Theatre.
Six short years later, in 2007, Susan was onstage at Radio City accepting a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. In her brief acceptance speech, she said the award had been earned by every artist, carpenter, teacher, volunteer, board member and staff member of The Alliance…and the people of Atlanta, whom she thanked for their “big-hearted support” for what she called “the national theatre with a local address.”
At The Alliance, Susan initiated the Collision Project for teens and the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition, and created local producing partnerships with Georgia Shakespeare, True Colors and the nine theatre companies that participated in The Alliance’s City Series. She oversees regional collaborations with Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Pasadena Playhouse and the St. Louis Repertory Theatre. Her commercial collaborations have launched three plays to Broadway: The Color Purple, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, and Elton John’s unique staging of Aida.
In-house, Susan has directed Proof¸ Doubt, Day of the Kings, Intimate Apparel, Jacques Brel, Bluish and Frame 312. She also directs nationally at the Goodman, La Jolla Playhouse, New York Stage and Film, Actors Theatre of Louisville and many others.
Susan firmly believes that The Alliance and Atlanta are partners in success. She is a member of Leadership Atlanta’s Class of 2003, has been cited as a Lexus Leader of the Arts by WABE-FM, was named Atlanta Magazine’s “Best New Visionary” in 2004 and one of Atlanta’s “25 Power Women to Watch” in 2006. She was chosen Best Local Director in The Sunday Paper’s Readers Choice Awards in 2006 and 2007. Susan serves on the board of the Metro Atlanta Arts and Cultural Coalition, co-chairs the City of Atlanta’s One Book, One Community program, and serves as president of the Board of Directors for Theatre Communications Group (the national service organization for the field).
For Denison, Susan did a career-oriented presentation to theatre majors and students, including one-on-one consultations for those interested in “the business.”
We honor Susan Booth ’85 for following her passion through every facet of the theatre business, for mentoring future colleagues in and out of the classroom, and for working tirelessly to foster the importance of theatre in the fabric of a city.