The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University

THE PACE CHRONICLE

The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University

THE PACE CHRONICLE

The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University

THE PACE CHRONICLE

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Pace University’s Spring Play: Our Lady of 121st Street

The+cast+of+Our+Lady+Of+121st+Street+at+Arc+Stages.+%0ALeft+to+right%3A+Jillian+Hinz%2C+Evan+Mahanna%2C+Patrick+Purcell%2C+Belle+Duddie%2C+Kendall+Key%2C+Marquise+McCullough%2C+Lilah+McCormack%2C+Darius+Tiru%2C+Leanna+Ward%2C+Michaela+Elyse+Williams%2C+Faith+Andrews%2C++Payton+Cocchia.
Alisha Bhandari
The cast of Our Lady Of 121st Street at Arc Stages. Left to right: Jillian Hinz, Evan Mahanna, Patrick Purcell, Belle Duddie, Kendall Key, Marquise McCullough, Lilah McCormack, Darius Tiru, Leanna Ward, Michaela Elyse Williams, Faith Andrews, Payton Cocchia.

Pace University’s spring play, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Our Lady of 121st Street, premiered this past week at Arc Stages in Pleasantville. Opening night was April 12th, with two more showings the following day.

-The play takes place in a neighborhood in Harlem, where Sister Rose, a beloved nun and teacher, has passed away; with her body being mysteriously stolen overnight. The play follows a New York City detective who is tasked with finding the body, along with everyone else who has shown up to pay their respects. We watch a diverse set of characters spend time with one another after not seeing each other for years, and fight through their struggles of grief, love, and grudges.

Lilah McCormack directed the play, as well as starred in it as ‘Vic’. She has directed two productions in the past, though this was her first time doing so at Pace.

“My favorite part of directing the play was getting to work with an amazing group of talented actors! We had a great group and all got along really well. I also really loved making the sets.”

McCormack explained how the hardest part about making the show was scheduling times to rehearse. With such a big cast, it was hard to get everyone in the same place at the same time.

“There were some difficulties we faced as a cast of course, but as a director, it was challenging to schedule rehearsals that worked for everyone. We actually didn’t do a full complete run-through with everyone until the first show because it was just impossible to get everyone together at one time before that. Luckily, we rehearsed every week in groups so that was good.”

Despite that, the final product was still something to be proud of, and the directorial experience McCormack got was plentiful.

“I gained a lot from this experience directing the play, but I think the most useful skills I gained would be learning to be assertive when necessary. All of the cast were my friends, so it was hard for me to be a true director to them and be stern when it was needed, but I eventually realized that we had a show to put on and it was now or never to lock in and put on a great show.”

Arc Stages in Pleasantville (James Steigerwald)

The cast did a fantastic job playing their parts. It was clear to see they put a huge amount of effort into their characters, and they all had great chemistry with one another. It made for many comedic and heartfelt moments that gave the play a good edge. The cast included Michaela Elyse Williams, Belle Duddie, Leanna Ward, Jillian Hinz, Faith Andrews, Evan Mahanna, Quisey McCullough, Payton Cocchia, Darius Tiru, Kendall Key, Patrick Purcell, and Lilah McCormack. The cast created their own rendition of Guirgis’ emotional, dark comedy play.

Alisha Bhandari was the stage manager for the play. This was their second-time stage managing a play at Pleasantville, the first being Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train last spring. They have lots of previous experience, having stage-managed numerous plays, musicals, and dance shows.

“It was way easier than last year. We know the venue, the awkwardness is gone, and there were far less audio cues that I needed to look out for.”

Bhandari’s work as the stage manager for this year’s play did not go unnoticed. Their work was exceptional and helped bring the play together. Their favorite part was working on opening night.

“I almost cried after we wrapped that night! It was great to see it all come together.”

Our Lady of 121st Street was a triumph, credit due to the director, stage manager, and amazing ensemble cast.

 

 

 

 

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