STAR OF BROOKLYN: Susan Huizinga

Susan Huizinga – President of Narrows Community Theater

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Huizinga has been involved with NarrowsCommunity Theater (NCT) for a decade, originally showing up toaudition for a production of the musical Guys and Dolls. Iwanted my daughter to audition, but it was only 18 and up, sherecalled. So I auditioned and that ended up being my first show.Huizinga won the part of a Hot Box dancer in the production. Forthe last five years, she has served as president of the non-profittheater group, the longest tenure in NCT history. In addition toproducing the several shows a year that the theater group stages,Huizinga oversees the budget and day-to-day operations. Through theuse of strictly volunteer staff and the support of other localorganizations, she reports the theater group is able to cover 90percent of its costs through ticket sales, a fact that sheattributes to both the group’s longevity and its quality. We puton great shows and we’re very popular with the neighborhood becausewe’ve been around so long, she said.

PERSONAL: A lifetime Brooklynite, Huizinga credits the supportof her husband of 30 years as being critical in allowing her todevote so much of her time to NCT. The couple has a 21-year-olddaughter and has lived on the border of Dyker Heights andBensonhurst for the last 14 years. Other than a six-month stint inCanada that she describes as cold, Huizinga has spent her life inthe borough, after a childhood spent in Bensonhurst. She says shecan’t imagine living anywhere else. I grew up here, so I loveBrooklyn, Huizinga said. Everyone leaves, but I refuse toleave.

INSPIRATION: It is her desire to provide a creative outlet forthe people of Bay Ridge and the surrounding areas that fuels thevolunteer work that Huizinga does at NCT. I love making sure thatour Bay Ridge community has an opportunity to see talented peoplefrom the community, she said, adding: So many people throughoutthe years have participated. She also hopes to continue, makingsure that musicals, which are a very American art form [and amountto roughly two thirds of NCT’s productions], are available foreveryone. Not everyone can afford to pay $150 to see a Broadwayshow, she added. So they can spend $20 to see a Broadway-qualityproduction here in Bay Ridge.

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