Category Archives: Theatre

Dr. Sue Shakespeare

My Zoom Opinion: To Say or Not? Dr. Sue Positive Entertainment

My Zoom Opinion: To Say or Not? Dr. Sue Positive Entertainment: (How I Got Kicked Out of Zoom Class)

This Blog Post needs my short personal bio, so here goes. I’ve been an English/Theater Professor/Writer for over thirty years. (I stopped teaching about the time the pandemic hit in early 2020.) I have close relationships with some of my former students and a connection with my former college. I also have opinions.

Anyone who wants to keep a job (as I certainly did) knows that you sometimes
swim in shark-infested waters. You learn to keep some of your opinions to yourself – especially in group meetings. This is especially true if you don’t have job security (which in academia means tenure).

But if you never say what you truly feel, your calculated, tactful silence tends
to chip away at your self-esteem. Over time, those little bits of your true self get lost. Instead of the smart, vibrant, outspoken, fully alive person you used to be, you wind up as a weak, sad, timid ghost.

As any English/Theater Teacher, Actor, Theater Pro, or Amateur Nerd knows, the subject of ghosts brings us to… William Shakespeare! My main go-to ghost is Hamlet’s dead dad – Hamlet Senior, who gets the action (and non-action) into high gear. 

Prince Hamlet, the hero of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, has a spooky, but motivational conversation with King Hamlet (the ghost). Ghost Hamlet tells Live Hamlet that his Uncle Claudius, the dead king’s brother, murdered him, married his widow (Queen Gertrude –Hamlet’s mom), and is now King of Denmark. Ghost Hamlet tells Hamlet to seek Revenge!  Our hero Hamlet immediately… thinks about it!

What does this have to do with my getting kicked out of Zoom Class?

Like me, Hamlet talks to people (ghosts) who aren’t physically there. In my case, it’s Zoom Chats (the sidebars on Zoom classes and meetings where you type your thoughts to people who are somewhere in cyberspace. After Zoom, they vanish, like ghosts).

In Shakespeare’s play, old King Hamlet’s Ghost issues a call to action: kill your uncle!  Hamlet decides that  Ghost is right, and he should kill King Claudius – but on the other hand…. What if the ghost is wrong – or a fake ghost ? Instead of springing into action, Hamlet springs into depression. People think he’s mad (and maybe he is – or not). After several murders and suicides (Hamlet’s girlfriend, her father, her brother, Hamlet’s friends, his mother, Claudius, and, finally, Hamlet himself), the stage is littered with bodies, and the show is over.  Denmark has a new King, and I’m ready for a coffee break (preferably with a Danish pastry because Shakespearean tragedy gives me an appetite).

How did a Shakespeare semi-scholar (me) get kicked out of Zoom class?  

My Zoom class was not actually about Shakespeare, it was a series about musical theater, which tends to be less tragic (except for investors when the show closes on opening night).  Our Teacher showed video clips from Broadway shows, led discussions in the Chat feature (where we post comments), and called himself an “Expert”. I didn’t bother looking up his academic credentials or affiliation, because I didn’t care. I already have a Ph.D. in Theater, so I don’t need academic credit. I was interested in the subject matter and what seemed to be an entertaining, informative experience. As long as I was enjoying the class, I didn’t need to know his professional history. I paid for an “All-Access Pass” which gave me full admission to his series of Zoom classes and videos. (Scroll down for my own Video –  wearing my Shakespeare Hat and talking to Teddly Bear Puppet).

So there we were, several classes into the series, watching video clips and posting comments in the Chat.  Most of the comments were posted to “Everyone” – which means everyone can read them.  The other option is “Private” – which means only you and your chosen Zoom attendee reads your post. The “Expert” controlled the Chat. I usually posted supportive comments, but if I disagreed, I said so briefly without negative personal remarks. 

I never posted political comments until… Cabaret.  The musical Cabaret is set in Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. The in-cabaret performances echo the real-world events happening off-stage – including the growing threat of the anti-Semitic, violent Nazi regime.  During the class, the teacher said that the Nazi idea of the German “folk” (ancient Germanic tribes) excluded all non-Aryans (like Jews). 

TrumpI thought there was a parallel between the myth of the German “folk” and the Trumpian idea of the United States as an Anglo-Saxon country. (The Anglo-Saxons were Germanic tribes.)

I started posting a brief comment in the Chat about “Trump notion of the USA as an Anglo…” Then I accidentally pushed “Enter” which posted my half-sentence.

Before I could continue, the Teacher cut me off, and announced to “Everyone” in the Chat that if I posted political comments, I would be thrown out of class!

At first I thought: is this a mistake? He can’t mean me! Throw me out of class for one, brief remark?  In my long career as an educator, students have said and done much more shocking things! I don’t throw them out of class. I usually ask to speak with them privately so we can solve the problem without a public confrontation.  When this Zoom teacher threatened me and posted it to “Everyone” in the Chat, I felt embarrassed and attacked.  I did not want to escalate the situation, so I didn’t post anything in reply.   After a while, the class was over, with the Teacher soliciting and getting compliments about his class from some of my fellow students.

After class, I felt conflicted. Saying nothing would avoid immediate conflict. But keeping silent made me feel powerless and depressed.  Why should this Zoom “expert” feel enttitled to embarrass me in front to the class – and for what – one half-sentence of a political opinion that he did not want to hear?

I decided to write an E-Mail to the Teacher and CC my E-mail it to his “Staff “– which probably meant his Assistant. Based on his class behavior, I figured that he might distort what actually happened.  If I CC’d his Assistant, who seemed reasonable, she would have my written record. I also figured that since the Assistant was an African-American woman, she was more likely to understand my feelings than the White, male teacher.  Here is my E-mail to the Teacher – CC’d to the Assistant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG66DsrQGLA

Dr. Sue SssWitch

Be Your True Self – Dr. Sue Positive Entertainment

Be Your True Self – Dr. Sue Positive Entertainment

I recently posted my latest YouTube video about my original musical “SssWitch” www.SssWitch.net

The video story-song includes two songs from “SssWitch” www.SssWitch.net I share some of the story and a brief explanation of the themes and ideas. In my explanation, I say, “Being yourself is True Magic.”

Dr. Sue Sings “SssWitch” songs, tells story, and gives positive advice!

I always invite comments on my YouTube videos, and this time I got one that really touched and inspired me. I’d like to share the comment – with my reaction.

“Yes being yourself is True Magic. So many people living lives of lies… It’s nothing like experiencing the magic of living your truth. That’s what you do Dr. Sue. 💕” –

– source is private (until I receive permission to share)

I was touched to read a comment that showed that the viewer really paid attention and understood what I was trying to say. “SssWitch” is a fantasy musical – a modern twist on Cinderella, with entertaining elements like a funny Witch. It’s also about real human issues – especially the challenge of living an authentic life based on your true feelings and talents.

Sometimes our true feelings are about gender, sexuality, or relationships (past or present). Sometimes our true feelings are about religion or family values – how we were raised and what we really believe and want. Sometimes our true feelings involve telling a friend, relative, co-worker or boss how we really feel.

Sharing our true feelings can be hard, and we sometimes pick and choose what to say and how to say it. But if we don’t share our personal truth with someone we want to be close to, then we can’t have intimacy. (I’ll talk more about this when we get to another song from “SssWitch” called “Won’t You Let Me Love You?”)

My viewer also said,

“So many people living lives of lies… It’s nothing like experiencing the magic of living your truth.That’s what you do Dr. Sue. 💕” –

“Living lives of lies” is unfulfilling and frustrating. It also damages our self-esteem. If we hide our true feelings, then no matter how much external success we may have, we alway know that we are not being valued for our true selves – only for the false mask that we put on to please someone else – someone or something that we imagine as all-powerful and much more important that we are.

I hope that this Blog will offer some helpful ways to look at our lives – plus some entertainment. Just like a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, we can become our beautiful, true selves!

SssWitch Logo
SssWitch Logo

Learning to Love Yourself is the True Magic!

Please write to me by posting comments on my Blog or YouTube video Channel:

Here’s my YouTube Channel: www.YouTube.com/drsuecomedian

Here is the link to my SssWitch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2lEhcg1yq8

Here is Positive Advice for Your Day!

The real Magic is Transforming Your Life! – SssWitch!

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Susan (“Dr. Sue”) Horowitz, Ph.D.
Entertaining Motivational Speaker-Author-Educator-Singer/Songwriter.

Book: “Queens of Comedy”
(Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, and more!)
smashwords.com/books/view/219367

Musical: “SssWitch” www.ssswitch.net

Dr. Sue YouTube Channel
youtube.com/user/drsuecomedian/videos

Dr. Sue SssWitch

Dr. Sue Sings Funny Witch Song Positive Educational Entertainment

Dr Sue Sings Funny Witch Song Positive Educational Entertainment

Dr. Sue Sings her Funny, Original Song “Accessory to Crime” from her Fun, Family Musical “SssWitch!”

Enjoy Funny Song-Video “Accessory to Crime” by Dr. Sue
from her Original Musical”SssWitch” – www.SssWitch.net .

Dr. Sue, Writer-Performer-Professor, presents a multi-media, entertaining, educational experience! Her original song “Accessory to Crime” from her musical “SssWitch” combines witty, rhyming lyrics and a catchy, sing-along tune.

Dr. Sue speaks to the audience as a funny, flirtatious Witch sharing delightful, magical secrets. Then she sings the witch’s song “Accessory to Crime” in which the witch confesses that she resents the special privileges of Disney-type princesses and turns to a life of naughty crime. This comic confessional-complaint is classic musical theater. The jealous villain is a twist on Shakespearean villains like jealous Iago in “Othello.”

Dr. Sue speaks and sings with humor and clear diction – so important, especially for those for whom English is a second language.

The Witch appears in her fantasy world – a virtual background with a green sky, twisted black branches and a hint of spiders and pumpkins! The virtual background and costume elements (like Dr. Sue’s little witch-like hat) add visual interest and are perfect for online entertainment and learning.

Dr. Sue’s introduction and ending remarks establish Dr. Sue as an Entertaining, Host-Educator for a series of progams or stand alone short videos. The videos may be used as prompts for discusssion and writing, and programs may include other guest speakers, artists, and educators.

Enjoy Dr. Sue’s Song-Video “Accessory to Crime”!

Here’s the “Accessory to Crime” lyric from Dr. Sue”s original musical: “SssWitch”

"Accessory To Crime"
Oh princesses have fame, like that girly - what's her name?
The one with the big pumpkins and the shoes
Without slippers made of glass, it's hard to show my class
So I'm...an Accessory to Crime! 

Oh Beauty had a Beast, a castle and a feast
They call her Belle, but me - they just abuse
They say that I've got zits and very smelly pits
I'm...an Accessory to Crime!

Why do I act like I'm a rat and talk of gloom and doom? 
Why am I cruel to my own cat and ride a big vacuum? 
The devil makes me wear this hat, my outfit makes me itch
I can't impress you with my dress 
So I confess that my success is acting like a witch!

Oh princesses have feet that are tiny and smell sweet
But sister all my blisters tend to ooze
My feet they are humungous, and covered with green fungus!
If I had just one glass slipper, I just might unzip my zipper
For a prince - or a big tipper!
Till that day revenge feels so sublime
I'm...an accessory an accessory...Here's to Crime!

copyright 2020 Susan Horowitz
Written Music is available on Request.
Susan "Dr. Sue" Horowitz is available as an 
Entertaining, Motivational Speaker, Educator, Singer-Songwriter,
and Teaching Artist. Please Use Contact Form on Website

Please get in touch! We’d love to hear your response and suggestions!

Dr. Sue Logo


Susan (“Dr. Sue”) Horowitz, Ph.D.
Entertaining Motivational Speaker-Author-Educator-Singer/Songwriter.

Book: “Queens of Comedy”
(Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, and more!)
smashwords.com/books/view/219367

Musical: “SssWitch” www.ssswitch.net

Dr. Sue YouTube Channel
youtube.com/user/drsuecomedian/videos

ShakesBear & Dr. Sue

Dr. Sue ShakesBear (Shakespeare) MacBear (Macbeth) Positive Funny Educational Entertainment

Dr. Sue, Teddly & ShakesBear Star on YouTube Channel!

http://www.youtube.com/drsuecomedian

Dr. Sue Song-Video “Wear a Mask Show You Care” with Teddly!

Dr. Sue & ShakesBear (Shakespeare) Funny Video “MacBear”

Dr. Sue visits Battery Park NYC (Virtual Tour) with Teddly!

Susan "Dr. Sue" Horowitz is available as an 
Entertaining, Motivational Speaker, Educator, Singer-Songwriter,
and Teaching Artist. Please Use Contact Form on Website
Dr. Sue Logo


Susan (“Dr. Sue”) Horowitz, Ph.D.
Entertaining Motivational Speaker-Author-Educator-Singer/Songwriter.

Book: “Queens of Comedy”
(Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, and more!)
smashwords.com/books/view/219367

Musical: “SssWitch” www.ssswitch.net

Dr. Sue YouTube Channel
youtube.com/user/drsuecomedian/videos

Dr. Sue Titanic Panic

Dr. Sue Romantic Comedy “Titanic-Panic” Positive Entertainment

  titanic-gorman-sueManhattan Repertory Theatre presents “TITANIC-PANIC: Move Over Baby!” A Romantic Comedy by Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz Co-Starring: Susan Horowitz and Gorman John Ruggiero Audience Comments:  “Your show was very impressive! You are terrific! I see it as a television series” (Pat McGuinn, Agent/Producer) “Absolutely engrossing! It felt like a real relationship – so natural I forgot they were acting.” (Andreas Quioga, Filmmaker) “Wonderful! This has such promise! I can see them really falling in love and the audience going nuts! You were adorable!”  (Bobbie Horowitz, Producer/Writer NYC/London) “It was so touching…I cried.” (Carolina Parker, Student BMCC/CUNY) “My main influences are Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, and Goldie Hawn.  I interviewed Ball and Burnett for my book Queens of Comedy. Lucy told me the secret of the success of I Love Lucy is the audience loved the comedy and the Lucy-Ricky romance; Carol played comedy spoofs of romantic movies; and I’ve often been told I remind people of Goldie Hawn.” – Susan Horowitz (Award-Winning Writer/Performer) short-play-project-series-1-posterManhattan Repertory Theatre Presents: “TITANIC-PANIC: Move Over Baby!” 17-19 West 45th Street Suite 301 NYC 10036  (left of Turkish restaurant, Push Code #109, then lower button with bell icon) Reserve: http://manhattanrep.com/short-play-project-dec-2016/ Price: $20 – for a full evening of entertainment in the center of Manhattan!

Susan (“Dr. Sue”) Horowitz, Ph.D.

Book: “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, and more!) www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367 Musical: “SssWitch”: www.ssswitch.net  www.YouTube.com/drsuecomedian https://www.youtube.com/feed/my_videos  
Dr. Sue Rita Moreno

Dr. Sue Positive Entertainment meets Rita Moreno at APAP 2016

Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno at APAP

“Alive and Kicking!” could be a theme of the APAP (Association of Performing Arts Presenters) conference and its closing speaker: Rita Moreno, 84 year-old multi-award winning performer (including the Oscar for her role “Anita” in the film “West Side Story”).

APAP’s event features presenters from Broadway and far beyond (think global!) – industry mentors, and mentees – like the finalists of the Wallace Foundation’s “Five Minutes to Shine” who won a conference  package with travel.

Attendees include over 3,600 APAP members and professionals who come for networking, support, development, and great entertainment, and is accessible via live-streaming.

Ms. Moreno will be awarded Kennedy Center Honors, capping off a career that amazingly includes Tony, Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar awards. She is one of a handful of performers to win all four – and the only Latina.

Ms. Moreno spoke about her life journey from childhood poverty in Puerto Rico and the Bronx to Hollywood/Broadway legend. Her current high-kicking courage, quick wit, compassion, and poignant honesty inspires her audience and readers of her recent book “Rita Moreno: A Memoir” to go for their dreams.

Rita Moreno & Dr. Sue

Rita Moreno & Dr. Sue

Dreams and determination helped Rita survive bullies and bigots in the ghetto and gilded Hollywood mansions. Her mom took her for dance lessons, and when she was performing in Macy’s toy department, she was discovered by a talent scout for MGM, who set up an appointment with Louis B. Mayer. She showed up looking like a Latin Elizabeth Taylor (with a waist-cincher and “feminine enhancements”). Mayer promptly signed her to a seven-year contract. As a contract player, Rita was invited to Hollywood parties – loaded with lecherous producers. She was also assigned a series of dark-skinned stereotypical roles: the Polynesian/American Indian/Mexican mistress of a white man – which she played with the same one-size-fits-all vaguely Latin accent (no one noticed).

Moreno also had some amazing opportunities, including “Singing in the Rain” (with Gene Kelly) “Desiree”  (with Marlon Brando).  The second encounter ignited a scorching  eight-year affair that left Rita burned – but never killed her innate optimism – or her ability to do the work she loves and fall in love with “a great guy” – a nice Jewish doctor and her husband of  forty-six years  It’s all in her book “Rita Moreno: A Memoir” – which sold out at the conference raising $1000 for The Food Bank, but is still available in stores and online.

To learn more about APAP/NYC,  visit their website: www.apapnyc.org

Sue MimosaSusan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz,Ph.D. www.drsue.com

CD “Keys of Love” www.cdbaby.com/drsue

Book: “Queens of Comedy” (interviews with Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, etc.) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367

“Sss…Witch!” – a Magical, Motivational Musical! www.ssswitch.net

“Judy Maccabee”: a Hanukah comedy with a girl hero!

Join Dr. Sue (Susan Horowitz) on Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter!

Dr. Sue’s mission is to create empowering entertainment!

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Dr. Sue TRU Producing/Investing/Marketing Panel Positive Entertainment

  TRU (Theater Resources Unlimited – www.truonline.org hosts panels and workshops for theater professionals at all stages of their careers. Audiences and Speakers include Producers, Investors, Artists, and Self-Producing Artists (SPA’s – because it’s so relaxing to produce your own show 🙂 ) Panelists include Commercial Broadway Producers: Eric S. Goldman (Entertainment Attorney), Patrick Blake, Van Dean, Jeremy Handelman, Cheryl Wiesenfeld, and James L. Simon. Here are my notes from the panel – with questions: Why People Invest – How to Pitch and Choose Projects 1. People invest and produce for different reasons, including: profit– everyone hopes to make money, but people may invest for other reasons – relationship to creative team and/or producer, experience – the thrill of being part of a glamour industry, with opening nights, parties, and the chance to mingle with stars, passion for the project – the artistry, message, etc.! Basic RGB 2. Is this show well-crafted? (I had the opportunity to successfully present my musical SSS…WITCH! ssswitch.net  as part of the TRU series “How To Write a Musical” – the experience was quite helpful!) 3. Does this show have a selling point? Is it based on a popular property? If so, does the producer and/or writer own the rights? Does it have a celebrity star? Will that star sell tickets? 4. Who is on the production team? Is there a capable general manager? Does it have a realistic budget? (cast size? sets? etc.) S.A.F.E. – An Acronym for Smart Choices 1. S – What will Sell this Show?  A name-brand property? the concept? the celebrity star? the writing team? 2. A – Audience Who is your Target Audience (not “everyone” be specific – and spill over). Do these people go to the theatre? 3. F –  Funds How are your investors going to recoup their money – and how long will it take?  How many tickets do you have to sell – and how much will it cost to keep that show afloat? (You can make money beyond Broadway in stock and amateur rights. Musicals are more likely to tour than straight plays – and don’t forget licensing – shared by authors and sometimes producers!) 4. E – Environment What is happening in the world and current theater environment? Aim for relevance and avoid repetition. Producers and Projects need to Match! Producers choose shows for a several reasons – passion for the subject, love of the artistry, money-making potential, entertainment and fun, etc.  Nobody does everything well – or wants to – talent and funding need to match! The Journey Most shows don’t open on Broadway. They start in regional theatres, off (and off-off Broadway), festivals (for example, fringe and New York Musical Festival) London’s West End, International Venues, and today’s trend – the movie-cal a slick move from Screen to Stage!
Dr. Sue Sings "You Can Be a Hero"

Dr. Sue Sings “You Can Be a Hero”

Hope you enjoy hearing me sing my original song “You Can Be a Hero” from my musical show “Cupid’s Dart”   (performed at Theater for the New City) “You Can Be a Hero” copyright 2015 Susan Horowitz Creative Living by Dr. Sue: Do What You Love! These tips are intended to help you make smart choices. But even if you never make a dime, if you do what you love, you’ll have the time of your life! Support the Arts!: Without the arts, many children have no chance for a better, more fulfilling life! Without the arts, there is no real beauty, joy,  or civilization!

Susan (“Dr. Sue”) Horowitz, Ph.D.

Book: “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, and more!) www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367 Musical: “SssWitch”: www.ssswitch.net  www.YouTube.com/drsuecomedian https://www.youtube.com/feed/my_videos