Alec Hufford, 17, is a Rye High School senior. As president of the school’s drama club, Parson Street Players, and the only non-actor elected as a club officer, his job is to be the liaison between the dozens of students, teachers, custodians, administrators, parents and volunteers who work together to make a production happen.
“It’s a job about wrangling people — it’s not just about props or costumes,” he says.
Here’s Alec talking about his responsibilities as stage manager, how the club has persevered and what’s coming up this season:
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Hufford ended up in drama club sort of by accident — as a freshman, he overslept and missed a meeting with his guidance counselor to sign up for electives.
Faced with a deadline, his father signed him up for an acting class — something Hufford never would have chosen for himself. But he quickly fell in love with the class and with theater.
As a stage manager, the teen considers himself a level-headed negotiator who conducts the fast-moving, sometimes temperamental orchestra that is the cast and crew.
What he loves about it is “getting all these chaotic elements to make a production come together.”
Last year, when budget cuts threatened to jeopardize the club’s future, Hufford led the effort to rally support for the club and addressed the Board of Education about how important it is to students.
When the faculty adviser had to step down, he interviewed teachers and found another person willing to take on the job.
The club still lost some of its budget, but has continued to produce shows this year with the help of volunteers and donations. In addition to the hours he puts in at rehearsals, Hufford works as co-editor of the school newspaper and is active in his synagogue’s youth service group. During the summer, he’s done professional stage managing for community theater groups including Lawn Chair Theater and Westchester Sandbox Theatre.