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Behind the scenes with William Tutt

Alice Yoo '27

May 10, 2024

William Thayer Tutt ’25 is famous on campus for his participation in the Stony Batter Players. He is best known for his passion for acting, participating in most Mercersburg's theatrical productions over the past two years. Tutt said, “With Clue, I feel like my best skills are seen there, but I had the most fun during The Importance of Being Earnest.” Tutt attributed his passion for acting to “the sense of community you are able to build” and “improving and creating my own spin on things.” 

Since his youth, Tutt was exposed to various movie and theatrical performances, especially with his sister, who is one of his “biggest acting inspirations,” along with “Jim Carry, Danny DeVito, Raul Julia, and Robin Williams.” Tutt explained, “For the longest time, I loved movies, but none of them really pushed me out onto the stage until I saw my sister act as a tree in The Wizard of Oz. I never really thought of acting, then I saw her as a tree and joined theater, falling in love with it.” 

Despite “falling in love” with acting, he faced some challenges as a person with dyslexia, ADHD, and dysgraphia. Tutt remarked, “These give me a hard time reading, writing, and paying attention.” These were also the reasons why his least favorite part of acting “would be having to memorize lines as a dyslexic.” 

However, he is always striving to grow both as a student and an actor. Kelly Dowling, Arts Department Head, said, “What's great about William is that in his career here he has always taken the note! He is definitely most comfortable being a comedic goofball exploring physical comedy, but I'm so impressed by how he challenges himself to express more dramatic and tender moments.” Dowling added an example from the recent musical, Ride the Cyclone, “where his character cried after singing about his lost love. He really went there and it was a very touching moment that we hope took the audience by surprise.” 

Jessica Doubell, Burgin Center Director of Operations, said, “It has been fun to watch William grow the last few years as an actor and as a human being.  He has worked with two strong directors and when he has been given feedback about a performance, he listens with intent and works hard to take that critique and grow from it.”

With his “great sense of timing,” according to Doubell, and the “challenges he gives to himself,” according to Dowling, Tutt has spreads positivity on campus and to members of the community. Not only does he show a great passion for acting, but he also makes the people around him joyful. 

Doubell added, “He is himself no matter where he is and who he is with. He makes the people around him feel safe to be themselves, which I personally think is an important trait in any human. He allows for honesty of human emotion and never makes you feel bad about it. I love it when we have a speaker because I always know at least one student will ask a question, and that student is always William.”

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