There are two things that actor-playwright Will Stutts is best known for: a host of smartly, self-written one-person shows and a history of performing them at the Walnut Street Theatre. In his time as a thespian (“this is my 50th anniversary,” says Stutts, a former Philly resident), Stutts created "Journey Through the Mind … Edgar Allan Poe," "Walt Whitman: Liberal and Lusty as Nature" and "Noel Coward at the Cafe de Paris," along with many others. What brings him to the Walnut next has nothing to do with acting or one-man shows. Instead, it is Stutts the playwright’s "The Gift" — a somewhat fictionalized version of the life of Truman Capote and Harper Lee — that he’ll deliver to his favorite theater space.
I was born in Alabama and was going to be a doctor — University of Alabama medical school, pediatric medicine — yet, when I happened into the university’s drama department where they were casting for Chekhov’s "The Seagull," I read for a part, didn’t get it, and, in what sounds like a cliche story, a week later I got a call. The young man who won the part I auditioned for took ill — he literally broke his leg. So they asked me to do it. From then, I switched my major and continued on the theatrical path.
I swear I wasn’t there.