Sep 13, 2010

Meet your Neighbors: Susan Fenley

Meet your neighbor interview:

Name: Susan Fenley
Neigborhood: St. George
Schools attended: Bishop Gorman High School in Nevada, US International University in San Diego
Born here? no
Work on Staten Island? yes -- St. George and Grymes Hill
What is your favorite place on Staten Island? 
SF:Anywhere that's green and peaceful. :-)

Can you sum up why you live on Staten Island?
SF: Wanting to live in New York City, but not wanting to pay exorbitant amounts, we moved to Staten Island because it's like a suburb in New York City. On Staten Island we can own a home, have a yard, park in front of our house and not have to move the car every other day -- and it's one of the friendliest places I've ever lived.

What do you love about Staten Island?
 SF: We got to know all our neighbors in such a short time -- I've never lived in a neighborhood where people are so neighborly and community minded.

What is your favorite hangout on Staten Island? 
SF: Well, I spent a lot of time at the Sundog Theatre office, so I guess you could say that's one of my favorites. We like to eat out from time to time and we dine at Bay Street Bistro because they have great food, are reasonably priced, they know us, we know them -- and they even can tell us what we ordered from past visits! We also like Chirag for Indian food and also Forest Thai. Obviously we like to eat...

Where is your favorite place on the North/South Shore?
SF:  We love to hike around Staten Island's many parks and natural areas.

What do you do for Staten Island?
SF:  I am the executive director of Sundog Theatre which, although our offices are located on the North Shore, serves the entire Island with theatre performances and educational programs that we bring to schools. For Wagner College, I also teach acting, improvisation, and related theater courses to theater majors. I also teach public speaking there. In addition, I coach actors -- young and old. Some of my students recently were accepted into LaGuardia High School and the Mark Twain School.

Sundog Theatre is a performing arts organization that is Staten Island-based. We offer theatrical works for all ages and have worked with many organizations throughout the island, such as Wagner College, the former Cromwell Center, Snug Harbor, South Shore JCC, CSI, Staten Island Children's Museum, and the Staten Island Museum.  Our yearly "Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry" showcases new playwrights -- many from Staten Island --as well as talented actors from Staten Island and other boroughs.  We are the only Island organization that creates and produces original theatre along with our contemporary works. Sundog also brings professional artists into kindergarten through high schools to support the curricula through theater, dance, art, and music. By engaging students in their studies through the arts, we help make lessons come alive, and the information that is retained by students lasts well beyond the testing.  Additionally, Sundog offers acting lessons for kids at the Staten Island Children's Museum on Saturdays and for young adults on Wednesday evenings.

Sundog Theatre has commissioned a play about Staten Island pioneer photographer Alice Austen. It will have its world premiere on the Island, then in Manhattan in the September/October 2011 time frame. Be on the lookout for it! All information will be on our website at

Tell us something that you miss on Staten Island?
SF:  I haven't really been here long enough-- 11 years--to miss anything, but I would like to have seen the farmland on Staten Island.

What is your wish for Staten Island? 
SF: Many people who live on the Island go to New Jersey, Brooklyn, or Manhattan for their recreation-- sometimes exclusively. My wish for is that all Islanders, whether they work here or not, would fully support and attend artistic performances and functions here. There is a lot of talent on Staten Island.

What would you like to see on the site?  
SF: A full complement of cultural activities' information and reviews of theatrical and artistic performances/functions.

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