Most people in high school cannot say they have sung in a chorus, acted on a stage in front of an audience, or written a play. But Sophie Hunter ʼ23 has done all three.
Few have been as passionate about the performing arts at Wellesley High School as Hunter. Her enthusiasm for singing is evident, as she has been singing in her church’s youth choir since she was four and recently moved up to the adult choir. She joined Dr. Kevin McDonald’s concert choir and Song Sisters, and has performed in three Acatober concerts and three Winter concerts. Hunter is also very dedicated to theater and acting.
“I didn’t start acting until I was six at Ms. Cindy’s drama and dance society, and fell in love with it immediately,” said Hunter.
Hunter this year took Kara Sullivan’s Acting IV class, and earned student of the quarter in her junior year for her acting and playwriting abilities. Additionally, she has performed in three school musicals: “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Something Rotten.”
“One of my favorite theater moments was actually my audition that landed me the role of Nostradamus in the musical Something Rotten,” said Hunter. “It was the day before the audition and I had nothing prepared for it. Out of panic I selected to do the song ‘I Don’t Know What We’re Talking About’, and eventually I got a callback for Nostradamus. I made sure to practice nonstop and not just have another sheer luck moment, and then I got the part! I look back on this as a reminder to always be prepared for auditions and not rush it the day before.”
Additionally, acting has given Hunter the opportunity to learn more about herself.
“I think I like having the ability to be creative when I’m acting, and just be a person who I’m not,” said Hunter. “Normally I’m kind of quiet and a little sheltered, but when I’m acting I feel like I can really open up and be more confident with things.”
In middle school and part of high school, Hunter was involved in the technical side of theater, working on the run crew, running the sets of the show on and off stage.
“I have known Sophie Hunter since sixth grade run crew,” said Sarah Hatch ʼ23. “One of my more recent memories of Sophie was seeing her during a dance rehearsal, waiting for the ensemble to finish learning their choreography and then being willing to run the same number many times in a row, so that Ms. Sozio could teach the dance and the dancers could practice. I was really impressed with her patience and how she put her all into each run.”
Kara Sullivan, who teaches in the Performing Arts department at the high school, has had a large influence on Hunter’s life as her teacher, and spoke on her dedication to the performing arts.
“Sophie’s love for theater and music has been a driving force for her as she never missed taking a class or participating in a show,” Sullivan said. “Sophie is the hardest worker I have ever met, and I am so proud of her.”
“Ms. Sullivan has always been my number one supporter when it comes to not just performing, but life in general,” said Hunter. “She’s given me great confidence and made me feel like I’m worth something even when I don’t feel that way. She’s really a beacon of comfort and support whenever I’m in tough times, and I’m honored to be graced by her presence and feel her love.”
Hunter is not only involved with the acting and technical parts of theater, but also the process of writing and producing plays.
“Sophie is not only a fabulous comedic actress, but also a playwright, having penned several brilliant short plays, even producing and directing one of those works for an audience,” said Sullivan.
Hunter is a student with autism, but she has not let this stop her from accomplishing her goals. In fact, she embraces the benefits that having autism has provided her with.
“My autism can make things more difficult, but it also allows me to be more expressive and creative,” said Hunter. “Sometimes I still struggle with thinking about what to say, and I stutter a lot, but at the same time it gives me the opportunity to really think a lot about what I say, and be a better person.”
As she looks ahead to college, Hunter hopes to pursue a career path in the performing arts, and plans on minoring in theater.
“In college, I want to try out for all the performances that will come up,” said Hunter. “I know it can definitely be competitive out there, so I’m not shooting my shot too high for Broadway, but I’d like to maybe start small with community theater, and maybe build my way up. Who knows what might happen.”
Article written by the WHS Bradford’s George Coulouras ʼ23.