As a new faculty member, Patrick Hitschler has quickly adapted to the pace at Trinity-Pawling School. Shortly after joining T-P in September, Hitschler kicked off Trinity-Pawling’s drama program with a hilarious production of Drop Dead! performed at Gardiner Theater in November.
Outside of the theater, Pat coaches wrestling, and teaches English, American Literature, Modern English, and Public Speaking. The story-telling and improv techniques he utilizes in public speaking class gives his students “the skills to speak with confidence, whether it’s for a college interview or a class presentation.”
As a dedicated student-athlete himself, Hitschler never had the time to pursue his interest in theater and acting until college. On the same day he was recruited to play soccer for Franklin & Marshall College, Pat attended a high school drama production, inspiring him to make a conscious decision to pursue his interest in acting once at college. Pat’s athletic skills gave him a foot in the door, as he was often cast in parts that required heavy lifting, flips, and other rigorous acting. Soon he was being assigned lead roles and Hitschler’s creativity flourished in the theatrical environment. Pat eventually began taking charge of productions and directing his own college shows.
Hitschler prides himself on choosing productions that are geared to the community and that students will find entertaining. “If the shows are fun to perform, more and more students will want to become involved, and enthusiasm for the drama program will naturally grow,” he says.
“Drop Dead! was a great choice as my directorial debut at Trinity-Pawling – the characters are bad actors playing actors, it’s a very forgiving play when you’re unsure about the skill level of your cast,” admits Hitschler. Yet he was surprised by the level of talent and dedication of the T-P cast, “the kids worked so hard that they played very good ‘bad actors’ and had no problem with the demands of transitioning from one character to another.”
If audience reaction was any indication, the cast and crew came together and performed beyond expectation. “This certainly didn’t feel like a school production, as everyone was conveying their lines with emotion that felt real, and without a doubt, made the play as funny as it was. You could really tell that these actors spent many hours working hard to put on a quality performance,” raved student, Brennan McGuire ‘17.
“I’m lucky to be at a school where the students are interested in theater – they will learn great communication skills, collaboration and teamwork, and problem solving techniques,” says Hitschler, “I hope to expand the Trinity-Pawling Theater Department for the enjoyment of the T-P community.”
View photos from the Drop Dead! production here.