La Plata na­tive to make Broad­way de­but this month

La Plata na­tive to make New York de­but this month

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By SARA NEW­MAN snew­man@somd­news.com

Fol­low­ing his pas­sion de­spite un­likely odds was al­ways the goal for Jesse Sut­ten, 29.

The La Plata na­tive and La Plata High School grad­u­ate will make his Broad­way de­but this month as a video and mov­ing light tech­ni­cian for “Mo­town the Mu­si­cal,” set to open July 12 at the Ned­er­lan­der Theater in New York City.

“This is my first Broad­way pro­duc­tion,” Sut­ten said. “I’ve done a few large tours, but this is my first Broad­way show.”

Sut­ten be­gan his theater jour­ney when he was 12 years old through school pro­duc­tions. He started do­ing light­ing for shows in high school and worked with Port To­bacco Play­ers, Inc. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing in 2004, Sut­ten went to Frost­burg Univer­sity to study stage pro­duc­tion and left af­ter two years when he landed his first pro­fes­sional job with Maltz Jupiter Theater com­pany in Jupiter, Fla.

Since then, he says he has worked with more than 50 pro­duc­tions over the past 10 years, in­clud­ing the sum­mer he spent de­sign­ing light­ing for a Stephen Schwartz pro­duc­tion in up­state New York.

“[That] was ab­so­lutely amaz­ing,” Sut­ten said dur­ing a phone in­ter­view from Brook­lyn, N.Y. “You meet one of the idols for the ca­reer you’ve been striv­ing to get into and to be able to spend a sum­mer with him was an in­de­scrib­able ex­pe­ri­ence. It was very grat­i­fy­ing for me.”

Sut­ten said he is able to ob­tain jobs mainly through the con­nec­tions he has made in the in­dus­try and based off of his rep­u­ta­tion.

The show is sched­uled to run for 18 weeks on Broad­way, but Sut­ten said there is a pos­si­bil­ity it could be ex­tended to the end of the year. Be­ing able to make a pos­i­tive name for him­self at a young age, he said, was the hard­est part.

“The big­gest chal­lenge for me was get­ting into such a big tour­ing po­si­tion so young. A lot of those guys have been do­ing this since I was born and gain­ing their re­spect as a young pro­fes­sional was a big chal­lenge for me,” Sut­ten said. But the more work he does, the more peo­ple he meets and those pos­i­tive con­nec­tions make all the dif­fer­ence, he said.

“I made the right con­nec­tions at the right time for the most part and met a lot of re­ally good peo­ple who liked my work and kept me go­ing,” Sut­ten said. “It’s more kind of who you know and where you are.”

One of his fa­vorite pro­duc­tions he has worked on was last year when he was part of the tour­ing com­pany for “Once The Mu­si­cal,” a six-month gig.

“I joined ‘Once’ be­cause a friend sug­gested me for some­thing and then I ended up get­ting ‘Mo­town’ through that con­nec­tion,” Sut­ten said.

In prepa­ra­tion for his ‘Mo­town’ de­but, Sut­ten moved to Brook­lyn. His per­ma­nent res­i­dence is in Fred­er­ick with his wife, Me­gan, who works at a call cen­ter for a pub­lish­ing firm in Rockville. His par­ents still live in the La Plata area and have seen his past tour­ing shows in Washington, D.C. and Bal­ti­more.

Though he typ­i­cally has eight per­for­mances a week dur­ing pro­duc­tion, Sut­ten said he keeps in mind that each show could be a new ex­pe­ri­ence for au­di­ence mem­bers.

“Some­where out there, there’s a guy who has saved up for months to take his kid out to a show and… we have to put on the best show ev­ery night be­cause of that,” Sut­ten said. “The fact I can make 1,500 peo­ple’s night ev­ery night is an amaz­ing feel­ing.”

De­spite arts fund­ing be­ing one of the first cut­backs for many school dis­tricts, Sut­ten said he wants to en­cour­age kids to stick with their pas­sion be­cause it is pos­si­ble to make a ca­reer out of it.

“My big­gest ad­vice to any­body is to find a lo­cal light­ing shop where you can get in­volved. There’s a lot in D.C. You’ll fig­ure out a niche from there, but don’t be afraid to be the low man in the totem pole,” Sut­ten said. “There were many years that I wasn’t mak­ing enough money to even sup­port my­self, but if you stick with it the ca­reer is there and you can sup­port your­self with it.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

Jesse Sut­ten, a La Plata na­tive, will be­gin his video and mov­ing light tech­ni­cian Broad­way de­but dur­ing “Mo­town: The Mu­si­cal” when it opens July 12 at the Ned­er­lan­der Theater in New York City. He is pic­tured here with his wife, Me­gan, of Fred­er­ick.

Jesse Sut­ten, a La Plata na­tive, works in theater stage pro­duc­tion and man­ages racks like th­ese for shows. He will be­gin his Broad­way de­but dur­ing “Mo­town: The Mu­si­cal” when it opens July 12 at the Ned­er­lan­der Theater in New York City.

Jesse Sut­ten, a La Plata na­tive, works in theater stage pro­duc­tion and man­ages video racks like th­ese for shows. He will be­gin his Broad­way de­but dur­ing “Mo­town: The Mu­si­cal” when it opens July 12 at the Ned­er­lan­der Theater in New York City.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.