Behind the Scenes of Spoon River Anthology: Norm

 Norm Sutton.

Norm Sutton.

 Norm as Black Dog in  Treasure Island  (2006) - the show that started it all! (Photo: supplied)

Norm as Black Dog in Treasure Island (2006) - the show that started it all! (Photo: supplied)

For those who frequent Keyano Theatre, Norm Sutton is a familiar face both on and behind the scenes. He is currently on the main stage, acting up a storm in Spoon River Anthology, but he is no newcomer to it - this is his eight show at Keyano Theatre! You might have seen him in Treasure Island (2006),  Picasso (2008), The Importance of Being Ernest (2009), Dracula (2010), The Farnsworth Invention (2012), Hometown... The Musical (2013), Les Miserables (2014) and Footloose The Musical (2017). An avid supporter of all things art, and attending most gatherings and events as either a guest or volunteer, it seems as if Norm must have grown up in the theatre. However, his performance journey started later than that of most; he made his theatre debut at the age of 50. Norm is living proof that you are never too old to discover something new, and to grow to love it passionately. His advice? Read on, brave souls who have such visions! (*cough* Spoon River reference *cough*)

"I started in theatre relatively late in life. When I was 50 the Keyano Theatre publicist, my friend Russell Thomas, asked me to pose for the lobby poster for the next season's production of Treasure Island, directed by Vern Thiessen. His choice was obviously because I looked like a pirate, I even brought my own sword.  After the poster was completed I had many people asking what role I had in the play, and I kept telling them I wasn’t in it, I wasn’t an actor, but I was encouraged to audition by friends and family and signed up. In retrospect I had what was probably one of the worst auditions of all time, but the director wanted someone that looked like a pirate, so I was cast.  My role was small; "Black Dog" appeared in Act 1, Scene 1 and was never seen again. I spent the rest of the show backstage helping with set moves, props, safety watch etc., by the end of the show I was totally and forever in love with the theatre process. 

I’ve never had any formal theatre training so I count myself as incredibly lucky that nine times now directors have seen something in me they wanted to put on the Keyano main stage. The theatre has made a huge positive change in my life, it has given me the opportunity to meet many of my best friends and some of the most amazing and talented people anywhere.

I’m excited that Spoon River Anthology is providing me with the opportunity to work with Fort McMurray theatre legend Karen Towsley, fellow Victorian stage manager Barry Cook, old friends Angela Fenton and Melissa Mitchell and the always professional Keyano crew. One of the things really pleases me is the number of new and very young actors that are in the cast.  It’s heartening to see so many newcomers entering this world I love. I’m a perfect example that it’s never too late to become involved, on stage or behind the scenes, with theatre.

Social media is a great way to find out about upcoming auditions and productions. I encourage anyone who has ever had the tickle, the urge, the thought that they would like to find out more about this crazy theatre world to take the chance and leap. It might change your life as it has mine."



Preview: April 27, 8:00 pm
Opening: April 28, 8:00 pm
Show dates: April 29, May 4, May 5, May 6, 2017 8:00 pm

Tickets available at

Genre: Drama
Rating: Appropriate for all audiences

In the fictional small town of Spoon River we are introduced to the ghosts of the people that were once its inhabitants who took their secrets to the grave. While exploring the evocative story, both the sad and humorous sides of life are portrayed in the haunting performance with fetching ballads and the free verse of Edgar Lee Masters.

“A dramatic presentation reduced to its simplest terms… moving and beautiful… An evening of astonishingly stirring emotional satisfaction.” – New York Post

“A glowing theatre experience… A brooding and loving American folk poem brought to life on a stage.” – The New York Times