10 Questions With Suzanne Salmo

This week St. Louis Limelight Magazine is shining our Director’s Spotlight on Suzanne Salmo.  Suzanne not only exudes talent as a Director, but also as a Pianist, Educator and Mentor for our youth.  The St. Louis community is very fortunate to have Suzanne Salmo sharing her passion with us right along side her entire family!  Thank you, Suzanne for taking the time to be a part of our “10 Questions With” Segment.

  • What is your name and how old are you?
    • My name is Suzanne Salmo and I am 46 years old.
  • What Social Media Links do you have where our audience and your fans can connect with you?
  • What hobbies do you have, other than community theatre?
    • I am a die hard scrapbooker,  love to journal about the pictures and I especially love old photos.  My grandmother is 102 years old and I have been talking with her and writing down her stories.   I also love to do genealogy research.   This has allowed me to discover a lot of my family history this way!  I love to read, play piano, and sing.   I also love to travel.   My favorite place is Switzerland.
  • What is your occupation?
    • I am the Music Director for Young People’s Theater (YPT). My son started with them 5 years ago and when they found out I could play piano, I started playing in the orchestra pit.  Then before the previous Music Director left, I was asked if I would take his job.  The rest is history!  I love getting to work with these amazing kids, including my son and daughter.  Our whole family participates in each production.  I am also the Social Worker at United Services for Children and have worked there for 20 years.  Our agency supports kids who have developmental delays and disabilities.  I am blessed to work with so many amazing staff and families.  In addition, I have also been a Church Musician at St. Joseph Cottleville for over 13 years. I directed one of the choirs there for many years and have recently moved to being the pianist for the choir.
  • How long have you been directing?
    • I have been with YPT for 5 years and 13 years at St. Joseph Cottleville.
  • What shows have you directed?
    • Shrek
    • Sleepy Hollow
    • Miracle on 34th Street
    • Seussical
    • Tumbleweeds
    • Scrooge
    • Fiddler on the Roof
    • High School Musical
    • Lumberjacks and Weddingbelles
    • A Christmas Story
    • The Little Mermaid.
  • Top 3 shows you have directed?
    • Fiddler on the Roof
    • Shrek
    • Seussical
  • Top 3 shows you would love to direct?
    • Mary Poppins
    • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
    • Peter Pan
  • What theaters have you worked with?
    • Young People’s Theater – Music Director
    • I have also accompanied for Kirkwood Theater Guild – Addams Family.
    • I started out playing piano for musicals in high school.  I always had to be in the pit, when I just really wanted to be on stage.  My sophomore year I had a dance solo in Carousel and was in the ensemble, but I still had to play in the pit.  It was a little crazy bouncing back and forth between the pit and stage!
  • What nominations and awards have received?
    • I was nominated and won an Arts For Life award for Best Musical Direction of a youth production for Fiddler on the Roof.  What an incredible honor!

Wrapping up this segment with a little inspiration and insight from Suzanne Salmo.

  • As member of the theatre community, what do you feel is a one of the biggest hurdles or challenges?
    •  I think one of the biggest challenges for community theater is marketing.  Within the community we know how great theater is and once we get people here many of them want to come back.  It’s spreading the word that can be difficult.  Social media helps quite a bit!
  • What advice might you give from a directors stand point to those who are just discovering a passion for theatre or just starting out in any role? Also, if you have any closing thoughts or insights for your fans and the St. Louis Theatre Community, I would love to hear them.
    • For those just discovering theater or starting out, no role is too small. You will get so much experience from ensemble roles, not to mention the amazing people you will meet. Be realistic and understand that while you may think you are perfect for a role, the director may have another perspective. Sometimes casting comes down to height or other factors that you can’t control. As a director I pay attention to your work ethic, attendance, and how you interact with the other actors – both on and off stage. Check out the local theater community. There are great things happening all over the metro area. My Grandma introduced me to theater by taking me to the Muny and sitting in the free seats. I did the same thing with my kids when they were little. Those experiences were life-changing.
    Follow your passion! Never stop learning or challenging yourself. It will lead you to amazing opportunities. But it’s also okay to say no sometimes! Your gut instincts are usually correct so trust them.
    Image provided by Suzanne Salmo

    Best of luck to Suzanne Salmo, keep doing what you do to encourage others to continue to follow their passion!

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