POPS Senior Profile: Actor, director, stage manager—Sarah Hatch has learned to do it all

Special to The Swellesley Report courtesy of the Wellesley High School Bradford and Parents of Performing Students (POPS). This is one in a series of POPS Senior Profiles we’ll be publishing.

Over Sarah Hatch’s four years at Wellesley High School, she has performed in two musicals, run crew for two others, stage-managed four, and assistant-directed one play. Many in the theater department know Hatch for her always-willing-to-help attitude to her ever-growing passion for theater. 

Hatch’s love for theater began at a young age when she began participating in the Wellesley Theater Project with her sister in the summer going into sixth grade. Hatch was hooked from the moment she stepped on the stage, so when middle school came, she knew she had to be a part of the musicals. Unfortunately, as a sixth-grader, she wasn’t allowed to act, so Hatch did what she could to be a part of it, joining stage crew.

“I joined the tech crew so I could be a part of it, and as it turned out I really liked the tech crew, and since then I’ve kept doing it.” Hatch said.

Sarah Hatch, assistant directing for Something Rotten!
Sarah Hatch, assistant directing for Something Rotten! (Photo credit: George Lucozzi / ASA Photographic 2022)

She continued her love for the theater through middle school and into high school. As a freshman, Hatch again wanted to help as much as she could and joined tech crew to help build the set for the fall musical Hunchback of Notre Dame.

“When we did Hunchback I had never been a part of building the set, so I got to use power tools, which was quite fun because I had never used them before, and got to build up the massive wooden structures,” said Hatch, adding “It was a great experience overall learning how to build the set.” 

Hatch’s can-do attitude never halted, as through the pandemic she was able to build some prop airplane wings despite attending Remote Learning School. Her willingness to help has been widely noted throughout the theater department, especially by peers. Gianna Chatham ’23 was an actor at the high school and has worked with Hatch since the eighth grade.

“During Something Rotten there was a difficult dance sequence, so I went to Sarah and she spent ten minutes working it through with me, and it was very nice and out of the way. Both inside and outside the theater she is always willing to help,” said Chatham 

Katherine Speed, who is a drama teacher at the middle school, worked with Sarah on countless occasions and has learned the importance of having a student who can work as both an actor and stage manager. 

Students who have stage crew experience are much more well-rounded theatre makers than students who solely perform in shows. They have a deeper understanding of all of the aspects that go into making a show happen and develop a great respect for each of these individual jobs. In my experience, most students start out by auditioning mostly because that’s what they know and have seen.” said Speed. “Think about it—when you see a show, what you see are the actors, right? Then later they discover stage crew and see that their creativity can be applied in so many other ways! Having a student who is able to do both with aplomb is a gift to me as a teacher and director.”

Hatch acknowledged that tech crew takes up a large amount of time, yet she still finds joy in participating in other extracurriculars. She loves playing casual soccer and playing Minecraft Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wildor Dungeons, and Dragons with her younger brother.

Despite the time commitment, Hatch is still very passionate about stage crew and finds even the more challenging aspects of stage crew enjoyable. 

“Tech Crew is a fun management puzzle, finding out how to organize people and organize the props, and there are a lot of moving pieces. It’s interesting because everyone in working towards a single goal, and everyone has their jobs and the little puzzles that they have to deal with,” said Hatch.

Throughout her high school theater career, Hatch has learned to think on her feet, from finding a way to fit in a quick costume change all the way to moving set pieces onto the stage. Despite the difficulties, her fondest moments of theater remain the ones where she is forced to adapt.

“During Something Rotten rehearsal,  we were discussing how to reveal some colorful skirts. It was complicated for me due to trying to manage the rehearsal of dance moves while also explaining and puzzling out how the costume reveal should work. That was one day where I just had to do my best even without a full plan,” said Hatch.

Through her many roles and her interactions with teachers and peers, Hatch has learned the importance of being reliable, knowing what’s going on, being honest, and doing her part. 

“The skills I gained from stage managing are going to stick with me throughout my life. I learned how to manage people, schedules, and space. I learned how to communicate and give instructions. I learned the importance and difficulties of working with others. I learned how to be confident that I belonged, to take my role and own it.” she said.

Hatch will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall to study Video Game Development and Computer Science.

Article written by the WHS Bradford’s Ben Galligan ’23 Senior Sports Editor, Co-business manager.