Susan Burns

Susan Burns
New York, NY
Creative Non-Fiction, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Playwriting, Acting, Storytelling
After School Program, College/University, Community Center, Independent Living, K-12 Schools, Library
I am a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity, and I am also a member of the Actors Studio. I am also a Usual Suspect with New York Theatre Workshop. I am also a Founding Member/Actor of Seaside Shakespeare Company of Nantucket, MA. Some significant roles I have played are in plays such as Hillbilly Women (Denise) Director, Arthur Penn, at the Long Wharf Theatre, and The Undefeated Rhumba Champ (Miss Harris) Director, Mark Travis, at ATA. I have also done solo shows at Dixon Place As a teaching artist, I am a facilitator with Senior storytellers and a teacher of playwriting, memoir writing, and curriculum enhancement, and have taught Shakespeare as well as theatre games. I have taught in grades 4,6, middle school and high school, and taught one workshop at the college level.
I love learning new skills, and I love to impart new skills to others, whether the participant is young or old. One must take a chance and put oneself out there. I was a volunteer reading tutor at my library, St. Agnes, and the feeling of empowerment that the adults experienced when they learned to read was so joyous to see, and so unbelievably rewarding! I have had so many unexpected "teachable moments" where the learning was mutual. At the fantastic Story Circle in the Brooklyn Public Libraries where I had the pleasure to work for a few years, the older adults amazed and delighted me and the other participants. I think the first skill is listening, which I learned to do as an actor. The second skill is organization, which I learned to do through trial and error over the years. The third skill is outlining very specifically what we are learning today. The fourth is not confusing the students, at whatever age, with too much information. That's where a very detailed lesson plan comes in. When one adheres to a good step by step lesson plan, and works backwards from the culminating event,i.e., this is where we have to be by this date, etc., anything is possible, and the students and teacher(s)are comfortable creative, and happy.