Who's Who at ImaginOn Presents... Mark Sutton!

Ever wondered who the lucky people are that get to work at ImaginOn every day? Welcome to our Who’s Who at ImaginOn column, where we’ll feature people who work in all corners of this magical building, from the scene shop and costume shop of the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte to the circulation desk, the Spangler Library and Teen Loft of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Say hello next time you see us in the building!


What is your name? 

Mark Sutton

What is your position/company/role at ImaginOn? 

Associate Artistic Director, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

What does that actually mean you do every day? 

Every day is a little different for me. Sometimes I am in a rehearsal room directing a show or acting on one of our stages. Other days I am part of the creative team that picks which shows we will produce in upcoming seasons. Or I might even be writing music or building  puppets!

If I were walking around the building, how would I recognize you? 

I’m frequently wearing one unusual hat or another and I generally have a crazed look in my eye! I say “howdy” a lot. I have glasses and wear a lot of blue.

What is the absolute coolest or weirdest or most fun part about your job at ImaginOn working for the Children's Theatre of Charlotte? 

Most people not in theatre or library work would probably think it odd how much time I spend reading children’s books, but I regard it as one of the coolest (and most important) parts of my job!

You know that game “Two Truths and a Lie,” where you give three facts, and two of them are true and one is false? What are two truths and a lie about you?   (*Scroll to the end for the false one!)

1. I have eight children. 

2. I met my first wife in a theatre and my second at a church.

3. As a child, I dreamt of being a lion tamer.

What is your favorite book, and what is your favorite play?

A very difficult assignment for me to pick a favorite of anything, let alone books of which so many have been such a huge influenced on me as an artist and human being. To make it a bit easier, I’m going to break this into 2 categories: children’s books and adult literature. Andrea’s Search by celebrated Swedish author Barbro Lindgren and The Cider House Rules by John Irving. My favorite play is probably Chekhov’s “Three Sisters.”

What did you do before you came to ImaginOn? 

Before ImaginOn was built, I worked for Children’s Theatre of Charlotte at its previous facility. There, back on Morehead Street, besides performing in over 40 shows, I painted scenery, taught acting and playwriting, and went into CMS classrooms as a facilitator of conflict resolution workshops.

If you could live in any imaginary world, what would it be and why? 

I suppose my utopia would be a lot like this one except that there wouldn’t be such a thing as hate anymore. Fear might still exist, but not that manifestation of it that allows people to be content being selfish and ugly. I’d have my own puppet theatre there and I’d start training actors again and the government would fully subsidize the arts and all tickets would be free! 

*The falsehood: I never dreamed of being a lion tamer!