Michelle Sutherland is a theater director and performance creator who develops highly original music theater and opera. Michelle cut her chops in the field of performance as the guitarist in an eight-piece gypsy jazz punk band. Her work with this ensemble spanned five years and taught her valuable lessons in creating and sustaining punk rock levels of collaboration and co-creativity. Her work in the theater began as the band ended and since then she has been developing a way of working on the stage that contains both a musician’s deep understanding of performance-as-event and the actor/audience relationship that craves intimacy and understanding. Michelle’s work has been greatly influenced by her study and observations of the work created by Thomas Richards and Mario Biagini (The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards
), Marianne Weems (The Builder’s Association
), Annie-B Parson (Big Dance Theater
), and Caden Manson (Big Art Group
). Michelle established Theater Plastique
in 2012 to develop new work that explores the concept of America using jazz techniques such as improvisation, call and response, and jam session in the rehearsal room.
Directing credits include Gertrude Stein SAINTS!
(La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club), Mozart's La Finta Giardineria
(Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh), Four Saints in Three Acts
(Carnegie Mellon University). Sacred Emily
(Florida State University), Medea Medea Medea
"Run, don't walk, to see Gertrude Stein SAINTS!"
Theatre Plastique has "composed original music and turned two inaccessible avant-garde operas into rousing entertainment."
-Off Off Broadway World
"This unique take on American dance history makes Gertrude Stein SAINTS! a visual spectacle not be be missed."
-Broadway World Dance