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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

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TCU senior steps into the spotlight at Circle Theatre

Evan Michael Woods
Suttles and her castmate, Paul Taylor, during a dress rehearsal. (Photo courtesy of Evan Michael Woods)

When the curtain went up on Feb. 1 at Circle Theatre, one cast member had class the next day.

Maddie Suttles playfully hides behind a paint palate, while shooting promotional material for “Artemisia.” (Photo courtesy of Evan Micheal Woods)

Maddie Suttles’ post-show routine consists of caffeine and homework. The TCU senior acting major–the youngest in this professional cast–said she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The cast is lovely,” Suttles said. “From the first table read, first rehearsal, I knew that I was going to make beautiful art with beautiful people.”

Artemisia” tells the true story of Gentileschi, a 17th-century female artist known for painting women of the Bible.

Instead of depicting women as frail and weak, as was typical for the time period, Gentileschi painted them as equal to, if not stronger than men. Her work was lost in history until recently.

“She was way ahead of her time,” Suttles said. “She was what we would now call a feminist.”

Suttles plays the teenage Gentileschi and later in the play, Gentileschi’s daughter.

While joining a community cast as a college student is intimidating, Suttles has taken it as an opportunity to learn from those around her.

Suttles said working on the production taught her what it looks like to balance a day job and still perform in the evening.

“Professional actors require a combination of both love and grit,” she said. “They must love what they do enough to endure what can be a grueling, fast-paced rehearsal process, like the process for “Artemisia.”

Suttles added that her work in and out of the classroom at TCU helped her succeed on the professional stage.

“Stamina is one thing that TCU has really prepared me to do,” Suttles said.

She said her voice and speech class taught her to speak with intention and articulate each word, an essential skill for any actor.

“Krista Scott can be thanked for that,” she said. “I was not there before I came to TCU.”

Suttles said other professors, such as Lydia Mackay, taught Suttles the importance of taking care of herself on stage and off.

“Lydia Mackay is lovely,” Suttles said. “She prioritizes taking care of yourself first. You can’t act to your fullest potential if you are not okay mentally and physically.”

The cast of “Artemisia” shooting paint-themed promotional photos.
From left to right: Carson Wright, Maddie Suttles, Sky Williams, Paul Taylor, Jenna Anderson. (Photo courtesy of Evan Michael Woods)

Suttles’ professors praised her work ethic.

“Maddie is very quiet until she is in performance mode,” said Scott, Suttles’ voice professor. “Then she shows her immense inner power with a controlled and utterly compelling intensity that is undeniable.”

Mackay, who has also directed Suttles, called her an invaluable cast member and a true professional in the studio or classroom setting.

“Maddie is deeply dedicated,” Mackay said. “To her education, her community, her craft, and the business of acting. In a word, Maddie is gold. I consider myself a lucky lady to have had Maddie as a student. She’s an incredible young woman.”

“Artemisia” runs Feb. 1 – 24. On Friday nights, students can receive discounted tickets if they purchase them online with the code “SCNI.”

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