Returning to his roots

Northeast native Steve Pacek is back to his old stomping grounds, appearing at the Theatre Horizon.

On stage: Steve Pacek is now ap­pear­ing in Patrick Bar­low’s comed­ic ad­apt­a­tion of Al­fred Hitch­cock’s The 39 Steps at Theatre Ho­ri­zon in Nor­ris­town from May 15 through June 8.

His par­ents lived only three blocks from each oth­er on Shelmire Street in the North­east. They met, mar­ried, and ul­ti­mately pro­duced a son, Steve Pacek, who has gone on to ac­com­plish much in the world of the theat­er.

“And al­though we moved to the sub­urbs when I was about 4 or 5, much of my fam­ily still lives in the same area in the North­east,” said Pacek, now ap­pear­ing in Patrick Bar­low’s comed­ic ad­apt­a­tion of Al­fred Hitch­cock’s The 39 Steps.

The fi­nal pro­duc­tion from Theatre Ho­ri­zon in Nor­ris­town runs May 15 through June 8.

The the­at­ric­al riff on Hitch­cock’s film is fast and funny, per­formed by a cast of four that seems more like a cast of thou­sands, in­clud­ing Pacek, who is re­ferred to as Clown l in the script but who plays many oth­er parts.

Ac­cord­ing to Pacek, 35, this even­ing of theat­er in­cludes an on-stage high-speed chase on a speed­ing train, hand­cuffs, miss­ing fin­gers, good old-fash­ioned ro­mance, and it’s filled with light­ning-quick changes.

“Some­times, I’m ac­tu­ally wear­ing two cos­tumes at the same time. So I lit­er­ally say one line as one char­ac­ter, then turn around and say an­oth­er line as a second char­ac­ter,” Pacek ex­plained. “Part of the thing I like most about theat­er is the abil­ity to trans­form my­self. So when giv­en the chal­lenge to do mul­tiple roles in one show, that def­in­itely ex­cites me.”

Raised in Lans­dale, Pacek ad­mits play­ing a sheep in his fourth-grade school play, titled We Like Sheep, also ex­cited him, to the point that he ac­tu­ally thought of mak­ing a ca­reer out of the theat­er.

”I loved be­ing sur­roun­ded by people who I felt were like me and spoke the same lan­guage. I loved go­ing to play prac­tice. I just loved it all,” he ad­ded.

Later, in the sixth grade, he was asked to play the young Ebenez­er Scrooge in A Christ­mas Car­ol at Lans­dale Cath­ol­ic High School, the school he would ul­ti­mately at­tend and have the op­por­tun­ity to play many more roles in school pro­duc­tions.

He knew by then he was hooked. So after gradu­ation from high school, it was off to Ithaca Col­lege to ma­jor in mu­sic­al theat­er. Mov­ing to New York City shortly after col­lege, he stayed long enough to get his equity card, and then moved out to Los Angeles, where he did some small parts on TV and in in­de­pend­ent films.

“But I soon real­ized L.A. wasn’t the place for me. I don’t watch TV aside from the Weath­er Chan­nel, so I knew I didn’t want to pur­sue a ca­reer in tele­vi­sion but wanted, in­stead, to be back on the East Coast.”

So back he came, and in ad­di­tion to teach­ing and per­form­ing loc­ally, Pacek was re­spons­ible for co-found­ing the 11th Hour Theatre Com­pany along with Mi­chael O’Bri­en and his wife Megan.

“For me,” Pacek said, “I love the col­lab­or­a­tion that hap­pens in the theat­er — mean­ing all the team­work that goes in­to put­ting on a show. And then there’s the audi­ence who gives you all their en­ergy. It’s not un­like what I felt back in grade school. It’s hard work but very, very sat­is­fy­ing.” ••

For times and tick­et in­form­a­tion, call 610-283-2230 or go to­ho­ri­ 

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