One-man show: Nathaniel Norton writes, acts Bible narrative ‘A God in Love’

Nathaniel Norton plays over 20 Biblical characters in "A God in Love." (Photo by Kelly Johnson)

Nathaniel Norton plays over 20 Biblical characters in “A God in Love.” (Photo by Kelly Johnson)

by Kelly Johnson, ECM Publishing

Theater and spirituality are two cornerstones of Nathaniel Norton’s life.

As a pastor’s son, spirituality holds a prominent place in Norton’s heart.

So, too, does theater, in which he first became involved in first grade.

Today, Norton is able to combine those passions with New Seed Theatre.

A pastor's son, Nathaniel Norton admits reading the Bible was confusing at first. His endeavor is to help make it real. (Photo by Kelly Johnson)

A pastor’s son, Nathaniel Norton admits reading the Bible was confusing at first. His endeavor is to help make it real. (Photo by Kelly Johnson)

It’s a company the Elk River resident and 2005 St. Francis High School graduate founded recently to produce quality theater that also makes the Bible and its stories accessible to a larger number of people.

Norton began in theater as a youngster participating in church musicals. As he grew, he participated in community theater and high school theater.

“I love the story telling, the camaraderie with working with people,” he said.

As he was looking at theater and the church, he noticed something was missing.

“There just seems to be a niche that needs to be filled,” Norton said.

So he set out creating a theater company and production that combined both in a way that could be replicated by other theater companies looking to share stories of faith with audiences.

“A God in Love” is a one-man show in which Norton portrays more than 20 characters.

“It’s a blast going from one character to another,” Norton said.

He wrote the play after reading the Bible cover to cover in high school.

“I’m a pastor’s kid and I found it more confusing,” Norton said.

So he set out trying to create a way to retell the Bible as a story.

The result is “A God in Love,” which Norton performed in workshops more than a year ago before finalizing the play and performing it at area churches.

Two more performances are planned, including one in Ramsey, before Norton takes the play to the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August.

This is his first time performing at the Fringe Festival, although Norton has performed with Theater for the Thirsty.

“This will be a new, exciting adventure,” Norton said. “I like the story that I’m doing.”

“A God in Love” will be presented May 27 at 7 p.m. at Hope Fellowship, 6000 167th Ave. N.W., Ramsey. Tickets are $6 and are available at http://newseedtheatre.com or at the door.

Minnesota Fringe Festival performances at Aug. 3, 1 p.m.; Aug. 4, 7 p.m.; Aug. 7, 10 p.m.; Aug. 8, 8:30 p.m.; and Aug. 11, 5:30 p.m., at HUGE Theatre, 3037 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. Tickets for the Fringe Festival require a Fringe button and are $12. Tickets are available at http://fringefestival.org/.

For more information about New Seed Theatre, visit http://newseedtheatre.com.

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