Mark J. Sussman, MA, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Theatre
Director, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture
Prior to teaching at Concordia, he has taught at New York University (Performance Studies, UG Drama), Barnard College (Theater), Wesleyan University (Theater), CalArts (Theater, Critical Studies), UQÀM (DESS en arts de la marionnette contemporarin), and the Parsons School of Design at the New School (Architecture/Lighting Design). At Concordia, he has taught performance studies and studio-based courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with a focus on such topics as performance and the contemporary city, material performance and performing objects, performance ethnography, puppetry, queer theatre, radio drama, and the epic theatre tradition.
Sussman is a founder and co-artistic director of Great Small Works, an OBIE and UNIMA/Jim Henson Award-winning theatre collective based in New York City. Since 1995, Great Small Works has been producing new theatre works on a variety of scales, from miniature toy theatre pieces using two-dimensional cutouts and live montage, to giant parades, community processions, and circuses. The company specializes in the reinvention of ancient, popular, and avant-garde performance techniques in contemporary contexts, creating variety evenings, international festivals, and community-based projects in addition to discrete performance works featuring puppets and objects. With Great Small Works, he was artistic director for Bienvenue à Tourne-York, a large-scale outdoor carnival commissioned by the town of Tournefeuille, France (2009). He has also worked as a performer, designer, and producer for the company's ten International Toy Theater Festivals (1991-2013). He has led many workshops in the form of "toy" or "paper theatre," most recently with Feminismo Communitario Antipatriarcal in La Paz, Bolivia (2016) and with Taichung University students and museum educators from the Tainan region of Taiwan (2019).
Sussman is a Co-Investigator of the Canadian Consortium on Performance and Politics in the Americas, a SSHRC Partnership group based at York University. He is a member of the Artistic Committee of Casteliers, the organization devoted to producing and diffusing the art of puppetry in Quebec and internationally; and in Fall, 2015 he joined the Board of Directors of Montreal's Studio 303.
Photo credit: O. Marra
Photo credit: M. Sussman
Photo credit: Erik McGregor
Great Small Works, performances at Pontine Theater, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
performances of The Toy Theater of Terror As Usual, Episode 14: The Swamp and The Three Graces, November, 2019
Great Small Works, collectively created films for online screening at Spaghetti Dinner cabarets during the pandemic year, 2020-21
Social Dreaming (December, 2020) and The Day I Was Born (March, 2021), created by John Bell, Trudi Cohen, Stephen Kaplin, Jenny Romaine, Roberto Rossi, and Mark Sussman