Jamal Hutcherson is a junior BFA acting student playing the role of the Hungry Townsperson in the upcoming production of "Elephant's Graveyard."
What drew to Texas Tech's School of Theatre & Dance?
I didn't know right away that I would be attending Texas Tech. It wasn't until I actually toured the campus and got to be a part of the family atmosphere at Texas Tech that I knew this school would help me evolve.
You participated in a few workshops this summer in Dallas. What was the experience like?
This summer I participated in several workshops that helped me get involved with classical works as well as different styles of building character and movement upon the stage. This was a great experience for me. It allowed me to showcase my abilities to directors who could potentially cast me in plays over the next few summers.
Talk about your Elephants Graveyard character The Hungry Townsperson.
The Hungry Townsperson is a character who has a vast intellect. He's an African American man who lives in a town that doesn't understand the term of equality very well. He's stuck trying to help the world remember the terrible things that has happened to colored people in America.
This play is performed outside a traditional theatre space. What has the cast done so far in rehearsals to prepare for the new space?
Performing theatre in the round wasn't something I'd ever done. During the first rehearsal I looked clueless, but our director, Dr. Linda Donahue, and assistant director, Eric Eidson, really helped us adapt to the situation. They sat in different sections of the audience so that the actors could understand that not everyone will be able to see your face at once. We could tell we would have to make every action have purpose and be able to manipulate our positions for those purposes. This theater space is sort of like a clock; you just have to work your angles and take your time. This process has been different, but the cast has bonded and shown great talent.
If you had to pick a favorite memory from your time with the department, what would it be?
I've been blessed to have so many adventures at this school. If I had to choose, it would be the production of We Are Proud to Present... That whole process was fantastic--from directors, to crew, to the fantastic cast. The cast played a game during rehearsals when we had breaks or to just pass time. One person would sing a song, then another would interrupt and start a new song, and this kept us energized. We had so much fun. We were a small family.