ALIENS Artist Profiles: Anna Sutheim

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or none of the above? Facebook, mainly. I have twitter (@asutheim) and instagram (@cephalopoetry) but I don’t use them much.

What’s your favorite (or extraordinary) skill that you had to learn for a show? I think the ballon animal twisting for “Aliens” has been my favorite - my daily practice sessions on the porch are making my very popular with my kid neighbors! Other shows I’ve been involved with have required me to learn to solve a Rubik’s Cube, smoke a cigarette, learn lines in Hungarian, and develop a dairy-free quiche recipe that didn’t suck (which was definitely the hardest one, and I don’t think I ever really succeeded, although the actor who had to eat it every night was very polite about it).

Why should people come see “Aliens with Extraordinary Skills”? “Aliens” is funny, tender, painful, meaningful, and timely, and is one of those very rare “issue” plays that manages to make the political deeply personal without ever becoming preachy or didactic. Everyone involved has poured their hearts into this show, and I think that will be clear to audiences!

“Aliens” is the story of Nadia, who immigrates to the US from Moldova. How has immigration shaped your story, or your family’s story? I’m the granddaughter of Holocaust refugees, Austro-Hungarian Jews who barely made it to the United States with the clothes on their backs. My Jewish heritage makes me keenly aware of the life-or-death nature of immigration law for those who are struggling to survive in their countries of origin.

Aliens… is Anna Sutheim’s first show with Theatre Unbound. Other favorite local performance credits have included productions with Walking Shadow (Marie Antoinette), Mission Theater (Everything’s Free!), Red Eye Theater (Slow Motion Carnival), Minnesota Jewish Theatre (Jericho), Nautilus Music-Theater (Fringe Festival: REACH), 20% Theater (Q-STAGE: Singing Out), and Nimbus Theater (Happy Birthday, Wanda June! and Babel). She also works as a writer, stage manager, administrator, and most recently as costume designer. During the week, she learns alongside the children of Sunny Hollow Montessori, where she is an Elementary Assistant. Anna is the granddaughter of Holocaust refugees.

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