Spotlight On: Montgomery Sutton
Playwright and actor, Montgomery Sutton, is the type of multi-talented, ambitious theatre artist that has come to typify a lot of the young, indie theatre artists forging multiple creative avenues to find their voice.
As an actor, Montgomery was a 2013 Nominee for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role for his portrayal of Edmund in the American Bard Theatre Company's production of King Lear. A graduate of NYU Tisch's Atlantic Theatre School, his resume boats a balance of appearances across town in various Off-Off-Broadway theatres and leading roles in indie films.
As a playwright, Montgomery trained with Edwin Sanchez, Josh Hect, and Tina Howe at Primary Stage's Einhorn School of Performing Arts and Steven Drukman at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He currently has a play in development (currently titled Ruins) and his play Your Colonel was developed at the 2013 Workshop at the Metropolitan Playhouse's Founders Festival.
I caught up with Montgomery in Texas as he prepared for his January 20th opening in On the Eve, a new rock musical created by Shawn Magill, Seth Magill, and Michael Federico currently in production at at Theatre Three in Dallas.
CB: Howdy Montgomery. Tell me about this rock musical, On the Eve?
MS: On The Eve is the almost entirely true story of Marie Antoinette and her time-traveling hot-air balloon.
CB: (to self) Of course it is.
MS: So, with Revolution on the horizon and a husband who is generally lacking, Antoinette turns to a space-busting aeronaut, a crazed scientist, and a beautiful muse to set things right in her kingdom before launching them on their way to a different time to take on Politics, the Church, Science, and a crazy dude in a bowler hat.
CB: Always a crazy dude in a bowler hat. A time-traveling Marie Antoinette?
MS: Yes, her story is spun together with that of the inventor of the hot air balloon and future space-faring-rock-god Chase Spacegrove, and their travels through time.
CB: Yes, I think I remember him from AP European History. Is the production a period piece or updated to modern times?
MS: It is not happening in the safe comfort of our 2014 theater, but underground in a war-torn future...as the story goes along, the audience discovers that the narrator-come-puppet-master is manipulating the story and other performers to his own ends, so the members of the company start rebelling.
CB: That sounds awesome.
MS: On the Eve is an incredible piece of theater that I've been thrilled by since seeing its first public reading in 2011 and I couldn't be more excited to join the company for its professional world premiere.
CB: I see you have done a fair share of indie theatre since you finished school. We all know it comes with challenges, but what have you found to be rewarding about this amazing artistic scene?
MS: Honestly, the same fearlessly daring uniqueness that characterizes On the Eve is precisely what draws me to working in Indie Theater Off-Off-Broadway. In my experience, it's a unique microcosm where the only mistakes you can make as an artist are to underestimate yourself or work towards the safe choice instead of the choice most uniquely specific to you. That's incredibly liberating as an artist and, in my opinion, absolutely essential to a thriving arts community.
Well put. Watch Montgomery in action in the On the Eve promo video.