“Longtime actress honored: North Side grad among 10 picked for legacy project” by Terri Richardson in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. Read the full story here.
Susan Lehman never had any doubts about what she wanted to do with her life.
She wanted to be an actress.
It was a dream that so many little girls have, but Lehman was specific in her acting aspirations. She just didn’t want to be any actress, she wanted to be in theater.
“I knew from the get-go that’s what I wanted to do,” Lehman says.
And she never had any doubts that it would happen even when she was young. The Fort Wayne native got her start at Fort Wayne Civic Theatre, but even before that she had roles in children’s theater and would ride her bike to Franke Park to work on theater sets, even if she wasn’t in the show.
It was the start of a 57-year career that has included acting and directing.
The 79-year-old was honored this spring for her work by being among the first group of 10 performers to be included in the Performing Arts Legacy Project by the Research Center for Arts and Culture at the Actors Fund. The legacy project is an online platform to identify and document the work of older artists in an effort to preserve their legacy.
“It’s quite an honor,” Lehman says by phone from her home in New York City, where she has lived since 1962. “I never ever thought as myself as a star. I wanted to work in theater; that’s all I wanted to do.”
She says she asked Joan Jeffri, director of the Research Center for Arts and Culture, why she was chosen. Jeffri replied, “You wanted it more than anybody else.”