Great White Way beckons Milford High senior aims to stage manage Broadway shows

The Milford High School graduation is scheduled for Saturday, June 14, at 10 a.m. on the football field.

MILFORD – Emily Hutchins is on the floor of Milford High’s video production room, looking into the opening to a crawl space where another student is trying to run an audio cable from a router in the control room to a router in the audio room.

“She’s my go-to girl,” said teacher Terry Toland.

The students in Toland’s video production class are putting together a couple of videos, and the teacher said Hutchins’ help is invaluable,

“I teach problem solving,” he said, and she is a problem-solver. “With her level of enthusiasm and curiosity, she’s figuring it out. She called the manufacturer.”

Hutchins, who is 18, has been figuring things out for a long time. Over the years, she has staged-managed 19 plays, at the high school and for community theater groups, including Milford’s Amato Center and Nashua’s Court Street Theater.

Her involvement in theater started when she was in fifth grade, working backstage for “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.”

“I jumped in and never stopped,” she says.

It was not always easy, though. The Milford High production of “Bullshot Crummond” that she stage managed last year required “tons of lighting cues and sound cues and costume changes that happened so quickly,” she said, the work was a major challenge.

“As a stage manager, my job is to make sure everything flows well,” and working on “Bullshot” showed her she could work on something difficult and have it turn out well.

“It was an amazing show for my portfolio,” Hutchins says.

And it’s a portfolio that helped get her into Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa., where next year she’ll start working toward a degree in stage management.

Besides her theater work, Hutchins has brought her energy to several other high school activities. Last year, she co-chaired the prom committee, and this year she was president of the Spirit Week Committee that re-vamped the annual event, with an indoor field day with paper airplane throwing contests, board games, movies, ping-pong tournaments and other activities throughout the school.

“I was really nervous” to take the project on, she said, but it was satisfying to see “people actually participate and have fun.”

For the past two years, she has also been a Destination Imagination team manager with her mother, a first-grade teacher at High Bridge Elementary School in New Ipswich.

Hutchins lives in Mason, which sends students in grades eight to 12 to Milford on a tuition basis. She came to Milford in eighth grade and has no regrets.

”I love Milford High,” she said.

One thing she loved is the school’s annual field trips to Manhattan, and over the past four years, she has seen 10 Broadway plays. In the Class of 2014’s yearbook, the “superlatives” page says Hutchins and Erik Rimalover “most likely to win an Oscar.”

But it’s not movies but live theater that interests Hutchins the most, and working on Broadway is her ultimate goal.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy in my life.”

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at kcleveland@cabinet.com or 673-3100, ext. 304.