Susan Hussey (1954-2009) was born in Martinsville, Indiana. After high school, a series of odd jobs included a five-year stint with a small Canadian circus, working as a magician's assistant. A graduate of Indiana University, she received an MA in English Literature from the University of South Florida in 1984.
While finishing school, Susan joined natural cosmetics manufacturer Aubrey Organics typing invoices, and worked her way to Vice President of Marketing and Advertising, as well as Editor-in-Chief of Organica magazine.
In 1990, Susan co-founded the Gorilla Theatre with Aubrey Organics' founder, Aubrey Hampton. Susan and Aubrey married in 1999, and in 2002 they embarked on their most important collaboration, raising their son Trevor, now seven.
A playwright and poet, Susan wrote and co-produced a number of award-winning plays, including "Plutography in the Slave Trade", "Christmas Trio", "The Toxic Wave", and "The Dressing Room", which was singled out by the St. Petersburg Times as one of the best 10 shows of 1993, and was later produced off-Broadway in New York.
In 1999, Susan received the Weekly Planet's Best of the Bay award for best playwright. Her two-play collection, "The Toxic Wave" and "The Dressing Room", was published by the University of Tampa Press in 2002.
Susan led a spirited and colorful life filled with friends, literature, art, and a love of all things natural. For its 2009 season, the Gorilla Theatre is revising Susan's "Christmas Trio", dedicated to her memory by her husband, Aubrey Hampton, the Gorilla Theatre and all her friends in the Tampa arts community.
Editor David Warner of Creative Loafing said some kind and encouraging words on page 26 of the August 26, 2009, issue. Partial quote, "At a moment when ignorance is being aggressively defended, Deep Carnivale still respects our intelligence. Imagine that."
Esther Martinez, in a story at The Florida Book Review" says she knows "Deep Carnivale will be 'A Celebration of Words' and not a Bourbon Street bacchanal."
"But logophile that I am, I reason I'll get drunk on language. With over 70 writers and artists scheduled [for the 2008 Carnivale] to perform or read from their works, my beaded necklaces will be strung with verse. I imagine haiku shooters..."
"It is just before 10am when I arrive at the corner of Palm Avenue and 14th StreetóDeep Carnivale ground zero. About a dozen vendor tables are lined up around the Hillsborough Community College courtyard where a band of teenagers [Next Exit] are setting up their instruments."The vendor tables sell books by local writers, HCC publications and baked goods. I grab a Cuban favorite, papa rellena, a potato stuffed with savory ground beef. Belly satisfied, I cross the street and enter the historic Circulo Cubano. A nearly 100 year old neo-classical building of ionic columns and marble staircases, it served as the Cuban Social Club and remains the oldest building of its kind in the country."
"When I look back over 2008, my visit to the second edition of Deep Carnivale was a
highlight. You and your staff did a great job and I loved being part of it, again.
I am sure there will be bigger festivals to come. But maybe not better!!!"
– Darrell House, children's book author and 2008 Deep Carnivale presenter.