Director Annabelle Critz wrote a scene and cast actors Chris McCaffrey and Margaret Bethel. Photo: Margaret Bethel

Emerging from the needed hibernation of winter break, Pace students stretch their legs and resume their classes as usual in the new semester. With Spirit Week behind them, students may wonder what to do after school, longing for some afternoon entertainment to satisfy their boredom. At last, on Jan. 26 and 27, students will be bored no more.

Performing Arts Director Sean Paul Bryan and the drama department are putting on the second annual “Theater Hike,” a winter directors showcase. With emphasis on the word “hike,” this showcase requires some activity from the audience. Moving away from traditional sedentary theater, the audience will travel to various “stages,” or performance locations, such as the chorus room or the Fine Arts Center stage, and witness seven total scenes. There is even a walking scene where the audience will follow the actors while they speak.

The seven scenes utilize different actors, with plots ranging from mental disability to relationship advice. Another unique aspect of the showcase is the use of different directors for the scenes, including student directors. Junior Jeb Carter is directing a scene and sophomore Annabelle Critz has written her own scene. The two have collaborated with Mr. Bryan and have cast their peers to perform the scenes. 

“It’s fun to act and do scenes, especially in Pace’s theater department,” said sophomore actor Jeremy Levin. “I like the aspect of students being able to direct, too. I think it’s a really unique opportunity for people to shine in a way they never have before. I’m amazed at [Jeb and Annabelle’s] work.” Jeremy and junior Schuyler Drose portray two men musing on how to pick up pretty women in a sleazy bar. “It’s a different kind of character for me. I’m having fun with that,” said Jeremy. 

On a more serious side of the spectrum, Mr. Bryan also selected an excerpt from the famed novel turned Broadway show, “A Curious Incident of a Dog in the Nighttime” by Mark Haddon. The story follows the chronicles of a misunderstood, alienated boy named Christopher, played by theater veteran and sophomore Issac Eichenlaub, who seeks the murderer of his neighbor’s dog. “I really like ‘Curious Incident’ because of the uniqueness of the whole show and specifically this scene,” said sophomore actress Ania Briscoe. “It’s really intricate and the ensemble work plays a big role in bringing the scene to life. It covers an interesting topic, and I hope it will be good for the audience to be exposed to this subject.”

Actors are rehearsing daily to perfect this performance, because they will eventually need to present their scene up to five times a night to rotating audience members. Mr. Bryan advises all who wish to attend to bring their walking shoes, for they are most definitely going to need them.