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Bri Sudia Is So In Demand She Competes Against Herself

Photo: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

The local actress is so in demand that she competes against herself: At the 2017 Jeff Awards, she was nominated twice for best actress in a musical (for her lead roles in Wonderful Town at the Goodman and Sweeney Todd at the Paramount). Sudia is trained in classical theater, but she performs in plenty of contemporary productions. Catch her in the latter when she stars as a Norwegian diplomat in TimeLine Theatre Company’s Oslo, running September 10 to October 20 at the Broadway Playhouse.

On her unusual start

“I was going to be a sign language interpreter for the deaf — that’s my undergrad degree. Then I started interpreting for shows, and I was really jealous of the actors onstage. So I applied to study abroad in a classical Shakespeare program in London.”

On meeting her idol

“The first show I saw as a kid that made a real impact on me was Mary Zimmerman’s The Odyssey, in New Jersey. I had the poster of her Broadway play Metamorphoses on my wall for my entire childhood. So when I met her years later doing Wonderful Town, I was so nervous.”

On the appeal of Chicago theater

“Growing up seeing Broadway shows, I never really imagined that you could do a show for fewer than 800 people. Watching actors give the performance of a lifetime five feet from me made Chicago seem like the place where you could figure out what kind of actor you wanted to be.”

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