Susane Lee started her writing career in television at WGBH/Boston with the NOVA Science Series, followed by WNET/NYC and Nature. She produced & wrote WILD TV, a series on urban wildlife, for WNET. Susane traveled to more than 100 cities across the U.S. as a Writer and Producer of one-hour documentaries, winning a PBS Communications Award in 1999. Susane is the Executive Artistic Director of Hudson Classical Theater Company, a nonprofit theater company that’s currently in its 18th season. Susane has written numerous adaptions of classical works. Susane took six novels of Alexandre Dumas and wrote The Three Musketeers (2017), The Three Musketeers: 20 Years Later (2018), The Man in the Iron Mask (2019), and The Count of Monte Cristo (2021), for HCTC’s summer stage. Susane has written original adaptations of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” (2019) and “Sense & Sensibility (2020). Susane adapted a stage version of the Hollywood Film Classic, His Girl Friday (2017) (which she also directed), and Lysisarah: Make America Great Again! (2016) an original adaptation of Lysistrata, which she directed. As a director, Susane has directed many screenplay reading series with the Writers Guild of America, East at the Lincoln Film Center and at The Guild. In 2016 & 2017, Susane was nominated for Best Director in the Take Ten Festival & in 2018, finalist for Best Play. She has also directed for many years with the Women a Year 365 Festival. Susane was a NY Foundation for the Arts Fellowship recipient for Nonfiction Literature in 2005 and an Urban Artist Initiative Grant Fellow for Fiction in 2006. Her memoir was published in MORE magazine in 2010. Susane is a Lifetime Member of the WGAE & member of SAG/AFTRA. Susane was Finalist for the 2013 Wai Look Award, by the Asian American Arts Alliance for those “who outstandingly contributed to the arts.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA:
MORE ABOUT ME:
The most gratifying moment I had was in the Brooklyn jail. After we performed, we introduced ourselves and said our theater company performs summer theater in Riverside Park. One inmate immediately said, “I’ve been to your shows! I saw your ‘Three Musketeers.’ I appreciated seeing a high quality production when I was broke.” That crystalized why I do what I do: to bring theater to those who don’t have easy access to the arts. After a show in the park, audience members thank me profusely for bringing theater to the city and making it so accessible and enjoyable. So our not having reservations in advance and only asking audiences to pay what they can helps bring arts to all. The play that changed my life was my adaptation of “Lysistrata.” It was 2016 and the only war I saw was the political war and the presidential election. So using that play as a framework, I created a comedy/musical and created characters from the people in politics at the time. I took dialogue from these people verbatim, added my own script, and created a wholly original adaptation of this classic play. I wrote it overnight and it was produced with very minor tweaks. The response to this play was phenomenal and made me trust my ability to write enjoyable, meaningful adaptations of classical work. People may not know that my father is North Korean and my mother is South Korean. These dual aspects of my upbringing shaped me completely and helped form the writer I am today. Growing up in Southern Virginia, where we were the only Asian family in the county, also made me a writer. From the age of 7 to 17, I had no friends. I was very shy and an outsider. This solitary life made me a writer because that’s all I did growing up.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON:
I am currently reading Frankenstein (M. Shelley) as my next potential stage adaptation for Hudson Classical Theater Company. I'm also toying with an original adaptation of Emma (Jane Austen) for next summer, to produce in our outdoor space. I'll read that novel once I'm finished with Frankenstein! I'm also looking for a bigger space for my theater company. We have our costumes, props, weapons, and other production materials scattered all over the city: in storage units, in people's homes, in our tiny apartment. It's not tenable. I am looking very hard for a space large enough to accommodate our company.
Korean, Buddhist, Adaptations, Biography, Period, Satire, Thriller, Historical