Career History

From Garrison, Iowa to Garrison Keillor

By Sue Scott 

When asked how I got started years ago as an actor on A Prairie Home Companion, I typically give the short answer: I auditioned for Garrison Keillor and was cast.

Here’s the long answer...

I grew up in Tucson and went to the University of Arizona, where I was a theater major. While studying I got a job as an “apprentice” with a professional summer stock company in Garrison, Iowa called The Old Creamery Theatre Company, and thus began my journey from Garrison, Iowa to Garrison Keillor.

The Old Creamery Theatre was, at that time, a young repertory company made up of actors from all over the country. Mounting new theater productions every two weeks, it was a great place to hone one’s acting skills. At 19, I was cast as “Martha” in Arsenic & Old Lace. At 20, I was playing “Dolly Levy” in The Matchmaker. Our seasons consisted of plays by Moliere, Feydeau, Tennessee Williams, Neil Simon--you name it. During the five years I spent at the Old Creamery, I cemented my status as a character actor playing the young, the old and everything in between; sometimes I played these characters all in the same show, which is exactly what I get to do every week on A Prairie Home Companion.

Between summer seasons in Iowa, I spent two winters in Chicago studying at Second City and waiting tables, of course. In 1982, I moved to Minneapolis to get my union cards before heading to New York to seek “bigger possibilities." That was the plan anyway. Soon after I got to the Twin Cities, I was cast as a company member with Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop, an improvisation company very much like Second City but older and better.

The improv work lead to TV commercials, print jobs and radio voice-overs. After a couple of years with Dudley Riggs, I left to work with other theater companies in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area, including The Illusion Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre and History Theatre. I was cast in original productions, such as Nancy with a Laughing Face by Nancy Bagshaw Reasoner and hot new plays from Off-Broadway including Laughing Wild by Christopher Durang. I co-wrote an original play, If We Never Meet Again, and performed the one-woman show, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe by Jane Wagner.

My relationship with Minnesota Public Radio began in the late 80’s when I was asked to do a variety of character voices on two new live radio broadcasts that they were producing, Good Evening and First House on the Right.

Then in 1992, Garrison Keillor brought A Prairie Home Companion back to Minnesota after producing the radio variety show in NYC for three years. Looking for two local actors to fill out the cast, he held auditions.

Now, I refer you to the short answer at the beginning...

Working as a character voice actor with A Prairie Home Companion continues to be an incredible experience. Between performance weekends with Garrison Keillor’s radio show, I’m working with my agents in LA and Minneapolis in booking voice over work. I’ve also done on-camera work for Target, Best Buy and Mall of a America, to name a few. My film credits include featured roles in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion, the upcoming film, The Convincer, starring Greg Kinnear,She Lead Two Lives for NBC and Unlocking Rose Red for ABC. I’ve performed character roles for the PBS children’s television series Newton’s Apple and have voiced character roles for Disney's animated ABC-TV Saturday morning series Fillmore!. And the FOX primetime animated TV series, The Cleveland Show.

Our Prairie Home Companion year is packed full. We travel every weekend to perform our show live in cities across the country and in recent years we’ve added yearly chartered APHC cruises to exotic ports of call. But occasionally, during the Prairie Home summer hiatus or when schedules coincide with a St. Paul run of Garrison Keillor's radio show, I can still squeeze in performing in a play. That was the case most recently with, Into the Woods and Axel and His Dog.

I haven’t moved to New York…yet, but I do get to perform there seven weeks a year with A Prairie Home Companion at Town Hall.  So, life is good.

Thanks for listening.

Sue Scott

Actor & Voice-over Artist
SAG-AFTRA, AEA

Sue Scott

Sue Scott

(Photo: Ann Marsden)

“Sue Scott can chatter like a purebred Minnesotan. She can slither through Texas twang, rifle an East Coast staccato, or dish up molasses drawl from the Deep South...millions of [A Prairie Home Companion] fans will immediately recognize her voice from the countless characters, and yes, regional dialects she’s adopted over the years. Scott is also well-known for her extensive commercial and voice-over work in the Midwest.”
-Tim Vanderpool, Arizona Alumnus

Listen to Sue Scott's voice-over demo with excerpts from her commercial voice-over work and from A Prairie Home Companion.

To Book or Audition:

To hire Sue Scott contact Amy Oppegaard of Wehmann Models and Talent, Inc. in Minneapolis at 612.333.6393.

LA representation: Contact Wes Stevens of VOX at 323.655.8699.