Susan Mathews to receive Marjorie Brandon Award

Susan Mathews, well known in the local theater world for her acting, directing and philanthropy, will be presented with the Marjorie Brandon Award Friday, Sept. 29 at the Marriott Hotel, hosted by the Brandon-Mitchell Gallery.

Marjorie Brandon, who turns 106 this month, is one of the namesakes of the gallery.

She is a long-time artist and teacher. The gallery is reviving the award after a 10-year break.

The award will be presented annually to a person who has a long history as an artist and also goes beyond the scope of his own art to benefit the community.

Mathews took over the Green Acres Middle School Theatre Department in 1995. During her 12 years as a teacher and director, she took the annual musical to new heights, rehearsing with the young students every morning at 6:45.

With a $30,000 budget, the musical required a lot of fundraising and networking, which also fell on Mathews. When she retired in 2007, she started a foundation, which she still runs, to continue underwriting the musical.

Since 1983, Mathews has been very involved with the Ice House Theatre, acting in at least one show a year, and helping wherever needed—coordinating costumes, coaching actors, fund raising.

She has become the go-to person whenever someone in the community needs a show put on, an actor or singer found at the last minute, or money raised. People say, you can’t say no to Susan.

With her candid humor, she says, “It’s not cheap to be a con artist. It’s give and take. When it comes to students, I support it—whatever it is.”

Tickets to the event are $50 at The evening, which is a fundraiser for the Brandon-Mitchell Gallery, includes entertainment by Rudy Parris, local finalist on “The Voice.”

There will also be a dessert auction and auctions for a collage by Marjorie Brandon, a week at a timeshare anywhere in the world and other items.

For more information, call 559 625-2441. No tickets will be sold at the door.

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