Ms. Merson has a long history of supporting and developing new plays and playwrights as the Founder/Producing Artistic Director of New York Theatre Intensives (NYTI) and through her work at such theatres as New Dramatists, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lion Theatre (which she co founded) and the O’Neill Theatre Center. Her mentoring skills have been polished through significant time on Broadway, in regional theatre and in the Off-Off Broadway developmental world. Appearing as an actress in the Broadway productions of Zefirelli’s SATURDAY SUNDAY MONDAY and CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, she also co created and appeared in the original production of VANITIES, Off Broadway, in which she performed over 800 times. Her first play REFLECTIONS OF A CHINA DOLL was produced Off Broadway at the Ensemble Studio Theatre which seeded her ongoing relationship as an active artist and board member of EST on both coasts.
Coming to Los Angeles, Susan co-founded and served as moderator for the Los Angeles Writers Bloc with writer Jane Anderson, which has supported the work of such writers as Donald Margulies,(Pulitzer), Noni White and Bob Tzudiker(Tony for Newsies), Irene Mecchi (Lion King), Janet Fitch (White Oleanders) and countless others since the 1980’s.
She has served as Artistic Director of the Streisand Festival for New Plays, Associate Producer at the Fountain and Mark Taper Forum, Resident Playwright for the Jewish Women’s Theatre Project, Literary Manager of the Ensemble Studio Theatre/ LA and has worked as a reader for Fogwood Films, TNT, and Polygram and many others.
Her many plays have been seen at theatres across the US and Canada. 2014 so far, DAMN EVERYTHING BUT THE CIRCUS: 2 short plays About the Circus at the FOUNTAIN THEATRE in Los Angeles and Ensemble Studio Theatre/NYC in readings. BETWEEN PRETTY PLACES, a play with music written by Shellen Lubin, premiered at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Los Angeles and as part of the HERE ARTS Sublet Series in Manhattan in 2013. NYC has also seen WHITE BIRCHES at the Avant Garde Arts Festival, CARLA TELLS US WHAT HAPPENED IN THE BLUE BEDROOM at Berkshire Playwrights Lab, I BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE at the League of Professional Theatre Women’s One Act Festival and WHEN THEY GO AND YOU DO NOT at both the EstroGenius Festival and EST/6th Floor/NY and the Fountain Theatre in LA. HAIR: A REMINISCENCE a Heideman Award finalist at Louisville; and BOUNTY OF LACE a 2008 Religion and Theatre Award recipient — will be included in a published collection in 2013. Screenplay nods have gone to SWIMMING UPSTREAM and DEATH IN VIENNA, both developed with Jimola Productions. As a fiction writer, her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. Her novel DREAMING IN DAYLIGHT and a recent collection of plays and memoir WHEN THEY GO AND YOU DO NOT: Writing on Transition are available on Amazon along with her book on solo performance, YOUR NAME HERE: An Actor Writers Guide to Solo Performance.
She currently leads the programs of New York Theatre Intensives in association with the artists of Ensemble Studio Theatre, of which she is a member, League of Professional Theatre Women and is currently a Resident Playwright in the America -In -Play cohort. New fiction in progress: MURDER: A NOVEL has just been selected as a PITCH Week finalist at Words That Count Writers Retreat.