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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

September 19, 2012

Meet Devon A.A. Norris, Charleston Stage Professional Resident Actor

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 9:44 am

Devon Norris, Charleston Stage Professional Resident Actor


Q: Where did you grow up? Were there any activities you did as a child that led to your passion for theatre and the arts?
A: I was born in Louisville, KY, but have moved across the country a couple of times living in Colorado, Texas, and most recently Missouri. As far as activities that led me to the theatre and performing, I honestly was born into it.  I came out singing.  My mother swears to this day that I didn’t scream after being born I sang scales in my bassinette and the nurses would just listen.  And since then I’ve been onstage.  It also helps that my parents and my three brothers also do theatre too!!


Q: Where did you study theatre?
A:  Growing up in a very theatrical family I was exposed to theatre all the time, but I started really studying acting in 7th grade and continued through high school taking classes and doing productions locally and professionally around St. Louis. I then went on to study and get my BFA in Musical Theatre and BA in Speech/ Theatre Education from Lindenwood University.


Q: Where have you worked previously? What are some of your favorite roles?
A: I’ve worked some in St. Louis with smaller and larger theatre companies: The MUNY, New Line Theatre, Citilites, St. Louis Shakespeare, Riverside Shakespeare, Opera Theatre of St. Louis and some others. But for the past two summers I worked out at Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake, CO. I loved every moment there; it was like my second home!! I have been very fortunate to play some of my favorite roles while working with these amazing companies: Leaf Coneybear in …Spelling Bee, Danny in BABY!, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, the Arbiter in CHESS.


Q: How did you prepare for playing Emmett in Legally Blonde? Were there any challenges or things that you were excited about with taking on this character?
A: Getting ready to play Emmett was fun. I saw a lot of similarities of myself in his character. So, I took some inspiration from my life and my passion for performing and translated it into understanding his passion for law and helping others, which I also find myself doing. Going through his background and really getting into his stressful and slightly misunderstood past was really exciting for me as an actor. While doing research and analyzing the movie I did notice that Emmett’s involvement with Elle is more established in the musical than in the movie originally, which I think is interesting. As for being excited about any particular part of the show, I was nervous yet so ready to dive into “Chip On My Shoulder” and “Legally Blonde” with my fellow actor Vanessa Moyen, not just because she is brilliant as Elle, but she is such a great scene partner. I totally feel safe and free when working with her!


Q: You’ve been in performances for the past three weeks… what do you look forward to each performance playing your role?
A: I honestly look forward to seeing everyone backstage and just getting to know how their lives are going. We have become somewhat of a family. I have this ritual that I do at five till places with some of the cast where I link pinkies and kiss thumbs to wish them break a leg, it’s gotten to the point where if I don’t, I feel as though something is wrong and my performance is just not completely “on.”  But other then that I look forward to getting to watch and be apart of the “What You Want” number as a frat boy!!!


Q: Please share with us your thoughts and experience so far on being a Resident Actor with Charleston Stage.
A: Working with this company and these students has been fantastic so far. I loved being able to jump in and work on the SummerStage production of Alice In Wonderland. Those kids were great. They loved what they were doing and they were so willing to learn. It made my job as their teacher that much more exciting and rewarding. And now that I’m teaching classes weekly I get to experience that thrill again. I really love this company and I look forward to working and growing over the next several months!


From Left to Right: Guest Actor Vanessa Moyen as Elle Woods and Charleston Stage Professional Resident Actor Devon A.A. Norris as Emmett Forrest in "Legally Blonde the Musical."


Charleston Stage Professional Resident Actor Devon A.A. Norris in "Legally Blonde the Musical."




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