The Theatre Resource Centre was established in 1975 with Richard Pochinko as the Artistic Director. Under the tutelage of his North American native teacher John Smith, Richard had begun to find a new way of working with the sacred figure of clown in theatre. At the TRC, Richard continued in this direction, developing a unique approach to clown that synthesized native American and European clown traditions. The TRC became renowned as an organization whose focus was the development of clown using Pochinko’s approach.
In Sue Morrison, Richard saw someone who could continue to teach and develop the process of Clown through Mask and he took her on as his protégé. Richard passed away in 1989, and Sue became the Artistic Director of the TRC in 1993. Since then, she has continued the TRC’s vision, developing and teaching clown and bouffon and integrating clown into theatre where it can take a relevant place on today’s stage.
Sue Morrison is a world-class teacher of performance-oriented Clown and Bouffon. An experienced performer, she is a sought after show creator, director, and consultant who has been instrumental in redefining clown for today’s world.
Early in her career, Sue was the protégé of Richard Pochinko, and was chosen to develop and add multiple new dimensions to his original Clown Through Mask. Today, her unique and powerful work brings together the diverse elements of Native American and European Clowning, Bouffon, Le Jeu, Improvisation, and Puppetry, creating dynamic performances that grip the audience.
As a teacher, Sue’s approach is oriented to the individual, with an intense focus on developing and releasing each student’s potential to bring them to a new level. Her intensive workshops allow for the emotional excavation necessary to evolve stellar performances, as exemplified by her many students in global powerhouses Cirque du Soleil, Second City, Blue Man Group, Slava’s Snow Show and as individual performers internationally.
Sue has co-created and directed ground-breaking productions at Fringe and theatre festivals across North and South America, as well as the UK, Scandinavia, and Europe. Her award winning shows include ‘Red Bastard’, currently in Los Angeles, and ‘Absence of Magic’, both co-created with Eric Davis, and acclaimed in the Village Voice and Timeout NY. ‘Party of One’, co-created with Noel Williams, won the Best Clown Show at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. One of Sue’s most recent shows is ‘Baba Yaga – The Fantastical Tragical Clown Show’, created with Albina Matsuko, which has been acclaimed at Vienna and St. Marten. Ms Morrison is the co-creator and director of the widely known Burnt Tongue trilogy (‘Burnt Tongue’, ‘It’s Me Only Better’, and ‘Out of My Skin’). The television debut of her production of ‘Burnt Tongue’ aired on the Bravo Arts Channel, and a section of ‘Out of My Skin’ is a feature in the Cirque du Soleil’s Las Vegas production of Zumanity.
Ms Morrison has been Artistic Director of Toronto’s Theatre Resource Centre since 1993, and has taught worldwide, including at the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre in California, the Dramatic School of Stockholm, and LUME Company in Brazil. She has collaborated with some of the leading lights of comedy performers and teachers, including Keith Johnstone, the Second City and master Philippe Gaulier. Sue was in The Second City and performed as a puppeteer with Jim Henson and the Muppets. She continues to be recognized as the subject of documentaries and books, and as an invited speaker at international theater conferences in New York, Ireland, Toronto, Brazil and Argentina. Her work is the focus of several documentaries and most recently, Sue and co-author Veronica Coburn have written a book on the work titled “Clown through Mask: The Work of Richard Pochinko as Practiced by Sue Morrison”, published by Intellect Press. And listed in the University of Chicago catalogue.