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Susan Lieu

County: King County




Grants for Artist Projects 2018
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Susan Lieu is a Vietnamese-American playwright, producer, and performer who tells stories that refuse to be forgotten. With a vision for individual and community healing—made possible through the interplay of comedy and drama—her work delves deeply into the lived realities of body insecurity, grieving, and trauma.

After a year and a half workshopping her show, Susan premiered her debut theatrical solo show, “140 LBS: HOW BEAUTY KILLED MY MOTHER” in Seattle February 2019 with a sold-out run. Later that year, Susan self-produced a nearly sold-out 10-city national tour with accolades from NBC News, L.A. Times, NPR, The Washington Post (The Lily), American Theatre, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Seattle Times. In February 2020, Lieu held a sold-out World Premiere of the sequel “OVER 140 LBS” at Seattle’s ACT Theatre as their inaugural SoloFest headliner. Lieu has performed iterations of her family’s story 51 times to 6000 people from 2019 to 2020.

Her work has been showcased with The Wing Luke Museum, The Moth Mainstage at Benaroya Hall, On the Boards, RISK!, Bumbershoot, Seattle Children’s Hospital, The Riveter, and The World Economic Forum. She has also given talks at Harvard College, Brown University, University of Maryland, and Mills College, among others. In addition, Lieu collaborated with The Seattle Public Library and Book-It Theatre to adapt and play the main character of The Best We Could Do, a graphic novel on the Vietnamese refugee experience as part of the city-wide Seattle Reads program. Currently she is working on a memoir.

Susan began performing comedy in 2011, with sets at the Purple Onion and Carolines on Broadway. Susan has a BA from Harvard and an MBA from Yale. She and her sister are the co-founders of Socola Chocolatier, an artisanal chocolate company in San Francisco. In her spare time she is a proud board member for Asylum Access, community advisor for the Wing Luke Museum, instructor for Artist Trust and mentor for Artists Up. She lives in Seattle with her husband and son, passing the time with mountaineering, fruit costumes, and Vipassana meditation.

Susan received 2018 GAP Award funding to produce her first full-length solo show 140 LBS, paying for incredible collaborators. She will leverage show content to embark on a nationwide tour and share her story across podcasts and film. She hopes her work sparks conversation on medical accountability, body insecurity, and grieving.

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