The audience bursts out in joyful laughter as Patch Hearn delivers his lines. He gestures with his arms during essential dialogue, performing naturally. As the curtains close at the end of CHS’s one act play, “Our Place,” applause rings throughout the auditorium.
Hearn exits backstage and walks to meet an excited audience in the lobby. Hugs, handshakes, and words of praise are exchanged amongst coactors. While “Our Place” is a successful performance, it is far from the beginning of Hearn’s theatrical career.
“I was really welcomed into the theater atmosphere when I first went to the Springer in elementary school. Since then, I’ve really had a passion for theater,” Hearn explained.
This eagerness for theater led to Hearn participating in Springer Opera House productions annually. Hearn was a part of plays like “Curious George and the Golden Meatball.”
While Springer allowed him to become a better actor, Hearn was also exposed to other valuable elements of theater.
“‘Curious George’ was my first experience looking at theater from the technical side, and the experience really changed my outlook on drama as a whole,” he stated.
These productions through the Springer conditioned Hearn to be a versatile actor and crew member.
With his technical knowledge and adamant love for acting, Hearn began theater at CHS during freshman year with the One Act, “Antigone.”
“I found a community in the cast [of Antigone] within weeks of starting high school,” Hearn remarked.
Success in “Antigone” encouraged Hearn to join the crew for CHS’s musical production, “Into the Woods” later that year.
“I was accepted with open arms into the crew of the theatrical department,” Hearn said.
Hearn gives great credit to fellow CHS actors and crew members for his successes, describing them as “integral” to his high school theater experience.
When asked about one characteristic that makes a good actor, Hearn emphasized adaptability.
“As an actor, you never know when an aspect of the show you have rehearsed for weeks will change. Being able to go along with the change is really important,” he explained.
In the past, Hearn himself has had to make last-minute adjustments just days before opening night. This reflects the overall compatibility for theater Hearn possesses.
As he continues to pursue his passion for theater, Hearn will be an important part of the CHS theatrical community for years to come.