Advanced acting performs Norko’s sci fi play


Angelica Burr

Damon Norko has a copy of the book he impersonated Edgar Allan Poe in his room.

by Angelica Burr, Reporter

Damon Norko has been teaching English at Linganore for seven years, but his secret love is writing. One of his plays, called My Brother, the God Particle, was performed by Mr. Julian Lazarus’ advance acting class on Thursday, March 20th.

The play My Brother, the God Particle, takes a science fiction combined with brother rivalry. “It’s not a very valid scientific play… but it does, I think, create scientific awareness and motivation to explore,” said Norko.

There are no spaceships or aliens in these stories and plays. Norko describes his own type of science fiction as what could happen if? scenarios.

Carissa Gregory, performing as student Maddie McGee in the play, says “My favorite part is when Ricky and Joey are playing video games. I like the way they act and Mr. Norko’s writing style.”

Norko says, “I found that learning drama really helped my writing.” He’s always been a writer but only started writing plays since he started working at LHS. “In order to write good literature, you have to understand how to write drama. They go together.”

Norko’s writing style and story lines are very much like some of his favorite authors, Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. After writing My Brother, the God Particle, he’s written five short stories, all on the technological collisions of life. His story “Smarties” was published on the Loch Raven Review.

Norko first described himself as a “poet.” He had some degree of success by selling poems by wearing a sign “Poems for Sale.” Then, he began to incorporate his poetry into songs written for his band, The Submensas.

More recently, he has had several poems published in LHS-alum Kevin Cole’s magazine, The Annual. By his own estimation Norko’s writing career he has had “minor” successes, but only after 30 years of writing are people finally beginning to notice.

“Success at writing is rarely an ‘instant fame’ thing; rather it takes years of building contacts and being in the ‘real world’” Norko says. He was also assistant director of the fall play, Twelfth Night and director of the spring musical, Curtains.

Norko has a bachelor’s degree in English from University of Maryland in English and a master’s in education from McDaniel.

Like a cat with nine lives, writing and teaching are just two occupations. Also, Norko has been an Edgar Allan Poe impersonator and the owner of a chess store in Baltimore.