John C Suesse



  • Carnegie Institute of Technology (1961-62)
  • Syracuse University (1963-1964)
  • Carnegie Institute of Technology, BA in Technical Theatre, (1964-1967)

Employment history:

  • Assistant Technical Director, Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN (1965-1966)
  • Faculty, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY (1967-1968) Editor’s note: This position also included the job of Staff Supervisor of WCNY Television’s production department.
  • Owner and President, Syracuse Scenery & Stage Lighting (1968-1970)
  • Project Manager, J. R. Clancy, Inc. (1970-1980)
  • Owner and Principal Consultant, Scenassure Theatrical Systems (1980-1986) Editor’s note: This firm offered independent coordination for construction projects around the world. 
  • General Manager, Partner and President, J.R. Clancy, Inc. (1986 – 2005) Editor’s note: During Mr. Suesse’s tenure with Clancy he consulted and oversaw over 100 projects.  Some of the most interesting and complicated include:
  • Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City; The Peace Center in Greenville, SC; the Chicago Opera House; the United State Naval Academy at Annapolis (This last project was especially noteworthy, as it was built on a very small footprint of land. The existing facility had no space to the side of the arena, so J.R. Clancy, Inc. raised — via a fail-safe design — the stage, many of the seats, the orchestra shell, all the lighting, all the stage draperies (over 150,000 pounds of equipment) up into the truss ceiling space over the arena, allowing the space to convert from basketball court to concert hall or theatre).
  • Owner and Principal Consultant, J Suesse & Associates, South Carolina (2005-2007)

USITT Involvement and Offices Held:

  • Contributing/Sustaining Commercial Member since 1970
  • Commercial exhibitor since 1975
  • Co-presenter (along with Jay Glerum) of the program session “Rigging 101” (1984). Editor’s note: This is generally considered the beginning of the educational training and codification of standards in and for the overhead rigging profession in the U.S..  In the years since, Mr. Suesse and J. R. Clancy. Inc., spearheaded the creation of standards, destruction testing certification of components, and have ultimately led to the establishment of the ETCP certification in rigging programs.  Whether it was through donations of financial support to translate foreign language documents, serving as a workshop presenter, or in his contributions as an ESTA subject matter expert for the ETCP program, Mr. Suesse’s contributions helped change the industry.
  • Panelist at the popular annual “Stump the Rigger” conference sessions

Awards and Honors:

  • Elected USITT Fellow (1993)
  • Member ESTA, served as Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP) subject matter expert
  • Life-long Member, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Local 9
  • Volunteer and honoree, Habitat for Humanity