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Son of a Hutch

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Joe Hutcheson
March 26, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Writer/performer.

What is your show about?
Joe Hutcheson shares a collection of hilarious stories about growing up gay in the Hutcheson family, where all the men go by the name "Hutch," and little boys who identify with soap opera heroines can't identify with their dads--until they grow up.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I remember being very young and forcing my little brother to do skits and plays with me for my mom on our fireplace hearth. I remember doing something from "Song of the South," that very old Disney movie. I made my brother and I costumes (which were really construction paper whiskers and ears--we were playing a rabbit and a fox.) Sometime in the middle, Josh messed up his lines. I was furious with him, but even more so at my mother for not letting us start over from the beginning. I cried. Theatrical perfection was very important to me at an early age, and I hated having someone else mess that up for me. Perhaps that's why I've gotten into solo performance.

What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
The credit I'm most proud of is my solo show Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown, which has appeared at several theaters around New York, as well as in Cincinnati and California. It's the absurd idea where the spirit of a Southern Belle from the Pre-Civil War Era becomes trapped in my body. We meet while I'm on vacation in Provincetown, MA. When I first conceived it, I thought, "This will never work." But somehow, it does. And I've been able to pull in lots of audience and win a few awards with it.

Are there any cautions or warnings you’d like to make about the show (e.g., not appropriate for little kids)?
This is not a typical "coming out" story. It's not a story about how hard it was for me to be a young gay boy raised in a family of man's men. It's a story about how I didn't accept the people around me, which is what made it hard for me. I think it's a story about how we create obstacles for ourselves sometimes, and assign those obstacles to the people around us.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Surprising. I want my audience to be surprised by how hard they laugh.

How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
Theatre Festivals are so important because they make it possible and achievable for artists to get their work up on the stage. Some artists have shows that are great, but don't have the funds or the know-how to get them on their feet. Everything I've learned about producing independent theatre I've learned through my work with different theatre festivals. What's amazing about the Left Out Festival, is that it not only raises funds for a good cause, but there is no cost to the artists. And if they sell well, they can make some money.