Englewood, New Jersey
Fred Hutchins devoted more than forty years to educational theatre. For nine years he taught in public school systems in Rhode Island and directed students in numerous productions, including, memorably, several Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. In 1956 he began teaching at the Englewood School for Boys in Englewood, New Jersey, and chartered Thespian Troupe 746. Over the years his students performed hundreds of shows and he brought them to eight national conferences. His troupe performed Arthur Miller’s The Crucible on the main stage at the 1960 conference.
Mr. Hutchins was a key figure in the leadership of the Thespian Society in the 1960s. He was elected to the national council in 1959, became assistant national director in 1960, and served as national director (the equivalent of board president) from 1964 to 1968. During his tenure he oversaw a reworking of the system for electing trustees and an effort to enhance the professionalism of the headquarters staff. He also served for many years as an adjudicator for the national conference and, in 1966, helped recruit more Thespian troupes on the West Coast by moving the national conference to Portland, Oregon. Members of the headquarters staff described this Hall of Fame inductee as “a true gentleman with a great sense of humor and a caring heart.”