Sue McLaughlin, with three of the many puppets and masks she tends to backstage at Disney’s “The Lion King,” playing the Boston Opera House September 9 - October 12. Photo by Selena Moshell
Somewhere in the depths beneath Boston’s Opera House lies a home and hospital for the extraordinary puppets that come to life nightly in Disney’s “The Lion King.” One of the guardians of this theatrical ménage of giraffes, hyenas, and gazelles is the company’s Puppet Assistant, Sue McLaughlin.
A native of Milford, NH, Sue has been working her magic with “The Lion King” for 16 years. She was initially hired as a dresser with the original Broadway company, working closely with the Scar and Zazu puppets. More recently, she has been applying her professional touch with the national touring company, which plays the Opera House from Sept. 9 to Oct. 12.
McLaughlin studied theater at Hofstra University and has a master of professional studies in art therapy from Pratt Institute. Originally pursuing an acting career, she eventually found her calling backstage, building an impressive list of credits at Lincoln Center where she was part of the wardrobe department for prestigious productions of “Carousel,” “The Heiress,” and “A Delicate Balance.”
We spoke by phone about her work with “The Lion King” during the show’s Washington, DC, run. Here’s an edited look at our conversation. Read more