Collegiate Theatrics: Belmont University's MAGGIE HUTCHISON
Another in the long line of impressive talents who are part of the legacy of musical theater at Nashville's Belmont University, Maggie Hutchison claims the spotlight once more in this semester's eagerly anticipated production of Side Show, in which she is one of two actresses cast in the role of Daisy Hilton.
With rehearsals well under way for the production's November 16 opening night - as well as the rigors of a typical year as a university undergrad - Maggie somehow found enough time to take on our questions for our regular Collegiate Theatrics column and today is your opportunity to get to know her better and to encourage you to make reservations for Side Show!
What's your college experience at Belmont been like so far? I have loved every second of being in the Musical Theatre department at Belmont. I have learned so much from the wonderful faculty and have watched my classmates grow exponentially each year. I've been fortunate enough to play a wide variety of roles in the musicals here, from Margaret in 9 to 5, to Golde in Fiddler on the Roof to Flossie's Friend in On the Town, and I am currently in rehearsals for the fall production of Side Show!
Has it lived up to its advance hype? This may sound strange, but other than visiting the school, I didn't know much about Belmont before I came here! I just knew in my gut that this was where I was supposed to be. It sounds insane now, but this was actually the only audition I did, and thank goodness I got in. So, in that sense, yes, definitely! I thought this was where I needed to be - and I was right!
What's your favorite thing about studying at Belmont? My favorite thing about studying here is that the program really becomes a family. Musical theatre, in general, can get pretty competitive, but our program does a wonderful job of discouraging that, and instead building a really great support system among our peers. We are truly proud of each other when we do well, and I have never felt like competition got in the way of the friendships I have made here. The faculty is also very much a part of that family, and they begin to feel like second parents away from home.
What does the future hold for you and have your aspirations changed since you're now an experienced college student? The future is a little up in the air at the moment! I hope to move to New York fairly soon, although I don't have a solid timeline for when that might be. My aspirations haven't exactly changed so much as matured. I still have big dreams, but I now have more knowledge of what my path to "success" might look like, and a better awareness of where I fit in this industry (I put success in quotations because everyone's definition of success is different!).
What collegiate theatrical moment looms largest in your mind? I'm going to make this a two-part answer. The first isn't really a moment, but having the opportunity to play Golde in Fiddler on the Roof was really special to me. Fiddler is one of my favorite musicals, and I loved having the opportunity to dive deep into the character to tell such a beautiful story. I also got to act alongside some of my best friends who were just fantastic in the show. Part two to this answer is during one of the final rehearsals for my freshman showcase, my scene partner was not there - she had a conflicting rehearsal. So, to allow me to rehearse my part, I sang the duet with the incomparable Ms. Nancy Allen, who directed our showcase. That moment goes down in history for me.
What advice would you offer to high school students considering making the plunge? Do your research and go with your gut! Every school offers something different, so find the one that suits your needs and will allow you to thrive. Although it worked out for me, don't put all your eggs in one basket and hope for the best. But, that also doesn't mean you have to audition for a dozen schools or more. These are four of the most important (and the most fun!) years of your life! Do what's right for you!
What's your latest theatrical project and what comes next? My latest theatrical project was playing Trina in Falsettos with Faust Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, over the summer. This was by far one of my favorite roles I have ever played, and an all-around wonderful experience putting the show together. Up next, I will be playing Daisy Hilton in Side Show at Belmont University, November 17 and 18.