Elon College Fellows

Logan Sutton ’13

“Everyday Odyssey: The composition and staging of an original play that explores the struggles of Odysseus’s family in his absence" 

More than anything, Elon College Fellows fed the fire of what is now my insatiable intellectual appetite. The Winter Term “Paths of Inquiry” course, the yearly seminars and their devilishly inspiring instructors, the final project and the mentor, Fred Rubeck, who would help me bring it to fruition—these various elements of ECF worked in tandem to hone my inherent curiosity into a passionate examination and exploration of my craft that continues to this day. 

My craft, as you may well be asking yourself right about now, is comprised of equal parts acting, writing and whatever other scholarly work might tickle my fancy. Though playfully phrased, the previous sentence is a testament to the teaching and guidance of Elon College Fellows. It can be easy for someone who, on both stage and page, dabbles in the imaginary world as often as I do, to write off these activities as mere frivolity. It was my professors at Elon, many of whom I was privileged to study with only as a result of ECF, who taught me that these fanciful gambits I wanted to engage in were not only exercis-es of an art form, but necessary further steps in the work of scholars in my field. They changed my perspective so that I be-gan to look at the performances of actors on stage and screen, and the writings of playwrights, poets and comedians with a greater appreciation for the exploration and/or critique they were engaged in. I came to view these artists not just as para-gons to be worshipped from a distance, but as peers—fellow storytellers who, by their various methods, encouraged us all to join them in a thoughtful examination of society and the human con-dition. 

With this in mind, while at Elon, I chose to use the works of Homer as my jumping off point and designed a performance project that would tell the story of two of his characters who I felt had been ne-glected historically: Odysseus’ wife, Penelope, and their son, Telemachus. My Fellows mentor, Fred Rubeck, and the ECF community were instrumental in helping me bring my idea to the Lumen Prize Com-mittee, and after receiving the award they were there for my remaining two years as a constant support sys-tem. After the aforementioned kindling of my passion, the Elon community acted as intellectual buoys for me as I embarked on a scholarly odyssey that took me from a period of intensive playwriting study at the Eugene O’Neill National Theatre Institute, through a term of research in Greece, on to the culminating per-formance of my play, Story of Home, under the direction of Kevin Otos as a main stage production in Elon’s 2012-13 season. Following graduation, I took my acting degree and the scholarly gaze I developed at Elon to New York City where I have been fortunate to work as an actor in an average of four productions a year (and the number keeps growing). I continue to write, having had two of my latest plays receive multi-month runs with SeedArt Share in Raleigh, North Carolina. In all of these, whether writing or acting, I car-ry with me the inquisitive, educated, creative passion that was instilled in me at Elon.