Acting Background

Suzanne Birrell got her start in theater at an early age.  At about age 9 she started writing, directing, and acting in her own staged shows produced and performed in her backyard for neighborhood friends.  She wrote short scripts, cast her brothers and friends, and directed, made cookies and lemonade, printed tickets on a homemade hectograph duplicator and sold them for 10 cents each.   She mostly wrote situation comedy often times “borrowing” ideas from radio comedy.  Her most memorable skit concerned a woman (played by my firend Joanne) who went into a store and asked the clerk (played by her brother, Steve) for some “peppar.” After much discussion this lady finally said with exasperation, “Noooooo.  Tissue peppar!”  Suzanne reports that she was quite demanding in directing this particular scene.

She devoted her free time to music throughout her school years until she got to college where she caught the thespian bug.

Suzanne made the transition to professional status (SAG) when she was placed on the list of stunt Riders (horses) for Warner brothers.  Although she never did get an opportunity to ride she did end up doing stunts in movies such as Two Minute WarningWonder WomanLombard and Gable and more. Most notably, she was in the chess scene of Futureworld (1976), the first major feature film to use 3D computer-generated imagery – it took all night to get the “special effects” to work on the one scene with the Lipizzan Stallions. Suzanne got stunt pay because she was on the floor next to one of the stallions who slowed the process down by ripping his costume. Meanwhile there was a major fire which totally engulfed a nearby sound stage.

She graduated from Webster University and her training has included special studies for film as well as theater.  She specifically studied the Stanilovsky method with Renee Harmon who was one of his students.  She is also trained vocalist and dancer.  She has acted in film, stage plays, musicals, and operas.  As well as writing and directing plays, she has experience as choreographer and musical director.