Born in La Rochelle, France of American parents, Susan had an early love of dance. She studied with Anne Waugh Allen and the masterful "father of modern dance," Charles Weidman, learning his choreographies for Lynchtown and the Brahms' Waltzes as a teenager.
After graduating from Boston University, Susan worked as a Vista Volunteer with Mexican migrant workers before settling in Mexico City.
Susan performed for five years with Flemish movement artist, Frederik Vanmelle's company Teatro Frederik. Sponsored by the Flemish Minister of Culture, Teatro Frederik performed extensively in Mexico, the US and Europe. Susan worked with Frederik until his untimely death in the Mexico City earthquake.
With husband Stephen Elliott and colleague Patrick Picciano, Susan formed Teatro de Paso. Together they toured Mexico with a show based on street traditions of mask, stilts, juggling and dance. Today Teatro de Paso functions as a solo vehicle for Susan's community and educational work.
Susan completed the two-year certificate program and the one year design program (L.E.M.) with master mover Jacques Lecoq at his International School in Paris.
Since 1990 Susan has lived in the Boston area and been a core artist with Pilgrim Theatre Research and Performance Collaborative. With Pilgrim she has created, directed, performed and devised numerous productions including her original plays Missing Persons, Panic, Boundless as the Sea, The Wild Place (coauthored with Jon Lipsky), Haunted by Waters and Unforgettable: Letters from Korea.
Other collaborations include work with Wendy Woodson and Present Company, New Theatre's Son/Corazon, an original piece based on the life of Puerto Rican actress Myrna Vasquez, and Anam Cara, an original piece co-created with Anne Gottlieb and Judi Wilson which toured to the Roy Hart Theatre in southern France.
Performance venues have included: The National Mall (Washington, D.C.), La MaMa (N.Y.C.), Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), Teatro de la Cuidad (Mexico), Festival Cervantino (Guanajuato, Mexico), The Malta Festival (Poznan, Poland), Ko Festival (Amherst, Ma.), Teatro Yuyachkani (Lima), ArtPark (New York), The Barn at Wolftrapp (Virginia) and the Boston Center for the Arts.
Susan directs in the Boston area and teaches movement for theater, style's work (including clown, mask, buffoon, and commedia dell'arte), acting, storytelling and theater history. Her PhD (Tufts 2007) dissertation, Tout Ensemble: The Actor/Creator and the influence of the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq on American ensembles, traces the work of three companies; Jeune Lune, Touchstone and UMO Ensemble.
Publications include her plays Boundless as the Sea (Smith and Kraus) and The Wild Place (co-authored with Jon Lipsky, Smith and Kraus, 2015), a chapter in the 2014 book Encountering Ensemble and a chapter on Lecoq in America in the Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq.