This week I talked with thespian Susan Claassen about her fabulous play "A Conversation With Edith Head" that runs October 21st to October 24th in Palm Springs, California. For six decades the legendary costume designer Edith Head worked on over eleven hundred films, dressed the greatest stars of Hollywood from Mae West to Grace Kelly, received 35 Academy Award nominations and won an unprecedented eight Oscars. "A Conversation With Edith Head" based on the book "Edith Head's Hollywood" by Edith Head & Paddy Calistro continues the legacy of Hollywood's iconic costume designer. The play is filled with behind-the-scenes stories about great movie legends and their delicious intimate encounters with Miss Head during their costume fittings and other personal recollections. As Lucille Ball stated, Edith knew the figure faults of every top star. And she never told. Edith always knew how to keep a secret. However in this one-woman show some secrets just might be revealed and fashion tips freely given. The play is interactive allowing the audience to ask questions that pertain to the era, fielded by Stuart Moulton. Claassen's portrayal of Edith Head is uncanny and riveting. I talked to Susan about the inspiration for her play "A Conversation With Edith Head" and her spin on our LGBT Issues.
When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Claassen stated:
I've always been involved by how I live. I've been with my partner for 26 years and I've always been associated with endeavors that utilize the arts to raise awareness and to raise funds. Way back in the 1980's we were the first organization to do Tucson AIDS Project. We raised money and tried to organize all the arts in Tucson (Arizona) to do that. So awareness is still there. We do programing that has specific themes, our guidance in that is that they are universal. You know, marriage is marriage, love is love, but we try to make stories as diverse as possible.
Susan Claassen has been a member of Actors' Equity Association for 46 years and is celebrating her 40th anniversary as Managing Artistic Director of the Invisible Theatre in Tucson, Arizona. Her production of "A Conversation With Edith Head" is currently touring nationally and was featured in the 2006 Republic of Georgia International Theatre Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival August 2007 and played London's West End in 2008. She received a prestigious LA Stage Alliance Ovation Best Actress Nomination in 2011 for her portrayal of Edith Head and Phoenix New Times Best Actress 2012. As Managing Artistic Director of the Invisible Theatre, she has produced over 400 productions and directed over 90 productions. In addition to her work with the Invisible Theatre she has been a consultant and director for the Waterfront Playhouse and Red Barn Theatre in Key West, Florida. She was most recently seen as Olive in Invisible Theatre's "Olive and The Bitter Herbs" and won the 2014 MAC Award for Best Actress in a comedy. Susan has been honored as one of Arizona's "48 Most Intriguing Women". Susan Claassen will be appearing in "A Conversation With Edith Head" from October 21st to October 24th at Palm Springs Woman's Club 314 South Cahuilla in Palm Springs, California.
For More Info & Tix: edithhead.biz