Susan Corzatte, Actress

On March 21, 1931 in Buffalo, New York, Lillian and Herbert Heinrich welcomed their daughter Susan. The family spent Susan’s early years in East Aurora, a small village in western New York. Her mother performed occasionally on stage, and Susan took an early interest in the theater.

Susan Corzatt

Susan began her collegiate education at the University of Rochester, but left when the school cancelled the production of “Pygmalion” with her playing Eliza Doolittle, because school rules did not allow a freshman to perform a lead role. She then transferred to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. When she graduated, she followed a professor’s advice and joined the apprentice program of the Cleveland Playhouse in Cleveland, Ohio. She identified herself in her performances as Susan Ludlow.

At Cleveland Playhouse in 1955 she met Clayton Corzatte (3/4/27 – 4/6/2013), as they both appeared in “The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker.” Susan and Clayton – AKA “Clay” — married in 1957, and soon moved to New York City.

In the 1960s, the Corzattes performed with New York’s APA Repertory Company, a project of the Association of Producing Artists. The troupe staged its first productions “way way off Broadway,” and slowly moved up.

When APA folded in 1969, the Corzatte family moved to Seattle, where they rented a house on the South-facing slope of Queen Anne with a fine view of the city.

They then moved to Ashland, where they lived and worked for about three years. At the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Susan played The Nurse in “Romeo and Juliet,” Mistress Quickly in “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” and Audrey in “This Day & Age.”

Susan and Clayton Corzatte at home with baby

From Ashland, the family – including son Christopher and daughter Felicity Katherine – moved back to Seattle, where they purchased a westward-facing home on Queen Anne Hill, overlooking Puget Sound.  http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv69168 

Susan  first performed for Seattle audiences as Peter Pan at Seattle Junior Theatre. In the ensuing years she has played at ACT – in its original location at 100 West Roy and more recently downtown – and at Arts West, Intiman, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Village Theatre (Issaquah).

She and Clay performed together and separately. Her roles have included Ethel Thayer in “On Golden Pond,” “A” in “Three Tall Women,” Mrs. Tarleton in “Misalliance,” Rummy Mitchens in “Major Barbara,” Mrs. Malaprop in “The Rivals,” Ann in “The Cocktail Hour,” Sheila and Grace in “A Day In The Death of Joe Egg,” Delia in “Bedroom Farce,” Helga in “Deathtrap,” and Audrey in “End of the World.”

Susan and Clayton Corzatte on stage

Both Susan and Clay taught for more than a dozen years at Cornish College of the Arts, which awarded them both honorary Doctorates in 2009.

In her teaching role, Susan met Dr. Hugh James Lurie (1935-2014) and took part in his work training psychiatrists by performing disturbing moments with and for his students. Dr. Lurie documented her work in a 1973 paper “The Actress as a Mental Health Teacher.”

Theatre Puget Sound honored Clayton and Susan with the Gregory Falls Sustained Achievement Award in 2000, recognizing their memorable pairing in local productions of “The Gin Game” and “On Golden Pond.”

Society Seeking a Treasurer

 

The Queen Anne Historical Society seeks a volunteer Treasurer who sits on our board of directors and is responsible for tracking income and expenses, paying bills and providing quarterly financial reports.  The Treasurer should be familiar with QuickBooks Online and the principles of not-for-profit accounting. Elected for a one-year term, the Treasurer attends the monthly board meeting (second Wednesday of the month, 6 to 7:30) and spends approximately two hours per month bookkeeping.  An interest in local history and historic preservation will make the Treasurer’s role more engaging. The society does not require a CPA.   Reply to info@qahistory.org.  

George and Irene Matzen House nominated!

The 1909 George and Irene Matzen House located at 320 W. Kinnear Place has been nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. You can read all about the property in this great article by Jan Hadley. The Governor’s Advisory Council will deliberate the nomination on June 27, 2019 starting at 12:30 at the Centro de la Raza. The Matzen House is a glorious Prairie Style design by the architectural firm of Willatsen and Byrne. After the Queen Anne Community Club at Queen Anne Avenue and Garfield Street, the Post Office building at First North and Republican and the Seattle Coliseum (formerly the Key Arena), the property becomes the fourth Queen Anne building to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is time!

The Queen Anne Historical Society will attend the Advisory Council meeting to support the nomination.