Actor Spotlight: Jericho's Anna Sutheim

What attracts you to MJTC?

I appreciate theater companies that combine a strong, focused mission with high artistic standards, and MJTC is definitely one of them. As a (somewhat lapsed) Jew myself, it's also been a wonderful experience to be involved with a company that explores the many aspects of Jewish history, culture and politics through a theatrical lens. It's led me to reconsider the extent to which my Jewish upbringing really does inform my sense of identity, including my identity as an artist.

How did you prepare for the role of Beth in Jericho?

In part, Jericho is about how the victims of tragedy and violence can be dogged by the experience long after everyone around them expects them to have moved on. I was a child when the WTC attack happened, so my memories of it are hazy and impersonal. I spent some time researching it, finding things that would haunt me the way that Beth is haunted. Needless to say, the internet delivered, and now my browser history is a bit of a trauma minefield. 

Jericho explores both personal and collective catastrophe, but it contains a lot of humor and irony as well. Is it challenging to navigate this juxtaposition?

Surprisingly, no. I think humor - especially the ironic, observational kind present in Jericho - is such an important part of how human beings cope with pain, that its presence in this play feels very natural and right.   

Is there one line or scene in this show that you particularly relate to or appreciate?

I like Jessica's line: "No one, anywhere, at any time, has ever corrected someone else's grammar in order to be helpful."

Any roles you're dying to play?

I'd love to be in something by Liz Duffy Adams - I really enjoy her plays. I'd also love to do something really movement-heavy, with a lot of dance or slapstick or clowning, just because I haven't done much of that yet. 

Who or what inspires you?

I have a private, ever-growing list of "Female Badasses From History" that I look to sometimes for inspiration. Someday I want to write a web comic where they all fight injustice as a very anachronistic superhero team. 

What's the best part about living in the Twin Cities?

All the warm-hearted, creative, practical, intelligent, multi-talented, compassionate people. I keep thinking I'll move back home to Los Angeles, where I grew up and where my family still lives, but the wonderful friends and communities I've found here are too hard to leave. It must be something in the drinking water, which there's also more of here than in L.A., incidentally.