A Ridiculously Examined Life
Taking care of your child-prodigy, opera-diva mother and comedic genius movie star father could easily detour a person from finding her voice as a performer and writer in her own right.
A Ridiculously Examined Life, is a multimedia collaged journey in which Susannah Mars returns to, and rewrites herstory in order to find her way. She divines the divine.
Surviving her young childhood and searching to belong, she becomes a child actor in Hollywood, the capital of artistic dream crushing. She skateboards with Kristy McNichol and plays field hockey with Jodie Foster yet becomes disenchanted with the showbiz milieu. Leaving behind life as an actor in Los Angeles, she goes to college and pursues a teaching career and meets her future husband who lives in Oregon.
Could a move to Portland, Oregon, and a marriage to a man who grew up in a family closely resembling the Cleavers, revive her destiny as a performing artist? Could a husband, a new family, children, or a city, heal her and set her path right? Will theatre save her life? Using digital recordings, archival film, music, and special guest Wonder Woman, this project will answer that question.
Susannah’s artistic journey into life with her father began in 2014 with her RACC supported Good Grief, an innovative theatrical project that in collaboration with invited artists, including Laura DiTrapani and Jacklyn Maddux, that embraced the profound experiences of illness, death, and grief in surprising ways. Built on a foundation of stories chronicling the diagnosis and subsequent death of her father, character actor Kenneth Mars, Good Grief was capped off with a music video, The Dog Song by Nellie MacKay, made in collaboration with Laura DiTrapani and funded by RACC (Regional Arts & Culture Council). Upon completion of this workshop she knew there was more, and knew, while this last piece had blossomed from her beloved father’s death, the next step was to examine his life, and their life together.
A Ridiculously Examined Life will go farther, examining Susannah’s life as an independent artist finding her unique voice.
Susannah is thrilled to be working on A Ridiculously Examined Life on The Workbench, another treasured gift of artistic growth from the Artists Rep family. She has also been entrusted as Music Events Specialist here, and enjoys every minute of bringing music to Artists Rep.
In other theatrical endeavors, she recently appeared at Artists Rep as Mary Todd Lincoln in A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS and with Portland Opera as Mrs. Lovett in SWEENY TODD. She’s appeared at Portland Playhouse as Margaret in THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, and was Golde in Portland Center Stage’s FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Other favorite roles at Portland Center Stage include Rona Lisa Peretti in THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, Mother in RAGTIME, Mama Rose in GYPSY, and Merideth in BAT BOY.
At Artists Rep she has performed her holiday show MARS ON LIFE for three seasons, and has also appeared as Dinah in THE QUALITY OF LIFE, Julia in HOLIDAZED, Becca in RABBIT HOLE, Mabel in CHAPS, and Karen in DINNER WITH FRIENDS, and most recently Mary Todd Lincoln in A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS. She was Frieda and Betty at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, and was also Susan in their production of COMPANY. You may also have also seen her on NBC’s Grimm as Drew Wu’s psychiatrist, Dr. Richet. Ms. Mars is the proud recipient of six Portland Drama Critics awards. Her most recent recording Susannah Mars, Call It Home; The Music of Richard Gray is available, along with her first, the MAC nominated Take Me To The World, on LML Music.
You can subscribe to her podcast Adventures In Artslandia on itunes, Find all this, and more, at www.susannahmars.com.