Civic’s Miss Susan Strohmer – Profiled in the GR Press

Hey all you Grand Rapids theatre folks – there is a wonderful article in the Grand Rapids Press about the very fabulous Susan Strohmer.  Here’s an excerpt, but head on over to to read the full article and check out all the photos:

Profile: Grand Rapids Civic Theater queen ‘Miss Susan’ Strohmer

Published: Sunday, October 16, 2011, 6:35 AM
By Terri Finch Hamilton | The Grand Rapids Press

Susan Strohmer

Susan Strohmer lights up the stage at Civic Theatre with her energetic personality. (Photo credit: T.J. Hamilton | The Grand Rapids Press)

Every year on her birthday, Susan Strohmer goes to Toys R Us, where they’ll announce your name over the speaker on your special day.

“They say, ‘Do you want us to announce your age?’” she says. “And I say, ‘No.’

“Then, they say, ‘Attention shoppers: we have a special shopper with us today. It’s Susan! If you see her, say ‘Happy birthday.’

“Then I stand in the middle of the store and yell, “IT’S ME!”

If only Strohmer could come out of her shell.

Strohmer, 41, is known as “Miss Susan” to the thousands of kids who have come under her kooky spell at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre.

A 14-year Civic veteran, Strohmer wears a lot of hats, including a sparkly tiara she dons at the beginning of summer camp season and rarely takes off until fall. You might spot her at Meijer wearing it.

She runs the popular summer theater camps, which attract close to 700 youngsters each summer, teaches theater classes during the school year, creates the theater’s education programs, hires and trains the teachers and works on costumes.

As an actress in a slew of productions, she’s knocked the socks off theater reviewers, who’ve called her “bombastic,” “delightful,” and “a scene stealer.”

And this month, drum roll please, she makes her main stage directing debut with “Night of the Living Dead,” a zombie-stuffed play that opened Friday. Cue the shivers.

Effervescent and wacky, Strohmer teaches kids how to sing Beyonce songs using only cat meows. There’s a dance that goes with it. Break out your claws.

She has legions of former student fans, many in their 20s now, who still squeal at the sight of her.

Her husband, Patrick, tells how they were out to dinner the other night when their server took one look at her and blurted out, “Miss Susan! I love you!”

It happens all the time. ()

Check out the rest of the article (and all the great photos of Susan) on

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