Dr Sue Buckmaster is the Artistic Director of Theatre-Rites, a puppetry expert and the fourth generation of theatre practitioners in her family.
Since 1996 she has directed 12 site-specific productions and 15 theatre productions for Theatre-Rites. In 1996 she co-directed the company’s first production Houseworks with co-founder Penny Bernand. Houseworks was the UK’s first site-specific production created for the under 5’s and is considered by the Guardian’s Lyn Gardner as one of her desert island theatrical experiences. More recently she has directed The Welcoming Party, 2017 and 2018 (Manchester International Festival, z-Arts and the Ruhrtriennale Festival in Germany) and The Incredible Tale of Robot Boy, a co-production with Schauspielhaus Bochum in 2019.
Sue has an MA in Contemporary Theatre Practice from Essex University, which included a thesis on the Psychoanalytical Study of the Power of the Puppet. In 2018 the University of Essex awarded her an honorary doctorate in recognition of her inspiring leadership in theatre direction and puppetry.
Sue has many years of experience as a director, puppetry specialist and teacher, and has worked with a wide variety of companies outside of Theatre-Rites including the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Young Vic, Sadler's Wells and Complicite. In 2015 and 2019 she collaborated with Akram Khan, directing Chotto Desh and Chotto Xenos; versions of his award-winning productions Desh and Xenos for a young audience.
Sue’s work regularly involves cross-artform collaborations. With Theatre-Rites she has worked with puppeteers, sculptors, animators, choreographers, Iranian daf drummers, world jazz percussionists, djs and magicians – to name but a few.
Sue also works as a puppetry advisor/specialist on productions outside of Theatre-Rites, including as head of puppetry for the acclaimed Peter Pan originally performed in Kensington Gardens, which then toured the US.
External Theatre Credits Include:
As Puppetry Consultant:
For information on the shows Sue has created for Theatre-Rites please take a look at our current and previous shows section on the website.
Sue is the Artistic Director of Theatre-Rites and the fourth generation of theatre practitioners in her family.