Taking the Stage by Storm

Jan. 29, 2013

Sue Mach '86 gains notoriety with two plays opening in Portland this month.

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Writing plays is a long way from practicing physical therapy.

Sue Mach ’86 came to Pacific with dreams of becoming a physical therapist. After her freshman year, though, her dreams took a very different direction.

Today, Mach is a teacher at Clackamas Community College with a burgeoning playwriting career — one that’s especially gaining ground this month.

She currently has two different plays on stage with local Portland theatres.

The Lost Boy explores what is considered the first “ransom kidnapping” in the United States and the subsequent “media circus,” both literally and figuratively (P.T. Barnum offered a reward for the victim’s return). The play is presented by the Artists Repertory Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, as well as 2 p.m. Sunday, through Feb. 10.

Meanwhile, A Noble Failure is an empathetic and humorous critique of education reform, following a veteran teacher, a crusading reformer and a school principle in an inner city high school. The play is presented by Third Rail Repertory Theatre with just four shows left: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Both plays have garnered media attention this month. You can read more about Mach’s success in the Oregonian and Portland Monthly.

And, go further behind the scenes in the Spring 2013 issue of Pacific magazine, coming in April, for a look at how Mach went from a small-town girl exploring the health professions to an award-winning playwright.