James Sugg

30 Nov 2016


James Sugg, 2010 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

"I want to wake up the audience, make them wonder where they have ended up, erase lines of easy supposition."

James Sugg (b. 1968) describes himself as a bridge—a bridge between music and theater, composer and performer, and traditional and ensemble-generated theater. Well known for his collaborative work with Philadelphia's celebrated interdisciplinary ensemble, Pig Iron Theatre Company—with whom he won an Obie Award in 2009 for his role in Chekhov Lizardbrain—Sugg finds himself on the precipice of a new stage in his career, in which he hopes to create new work beyond the collaborative experience. "Finding inspiration in solitude is one of my greatest insecurities," Sugg admits. "Yet I believe it is my unavoidable next step as I strive to make great compositional work." One of the region's most lauded theater artists, Sugg has received four Barrymore Awards for his work as a sound designer and composer, as well as the F. Otto Haas Emerging Theater Artist Award in 2005. Sugg has made 17 original works with Pig Iron and worked with several local companies and theaters; he now stands poised to make an enduring contribution to the field. "The very nature of [my] concerns is the search for the 'unknown,' and therefore is not about how one makes theater, but how one makes the space in which vibrant theater can be made."