Pascale Smith: It’s not your average high school theater

With its inclusive attitude and 200-plus roster of performances, Philly Fringe features plenty of shows that may not make it on a typical stage — such as “BASH,” directed by 17-year-old Pascale Smith.

Smith’s career in Philly’s performing arts scene started with a lucky break when she was cast as Marybeth in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village.” “I had no experience acting before, and I only went to the audition because I saw a notice in the newspaper and had nothing better to do,” says Smith. “I fell in love, and decided to pursue acting.”

Since then, she has studied theater and dance, and recently began writing. Having completed three short plays, she has already received recognition in the 2011 VSA Playwright Discovery competition and won first place in the Philadelphia Young Playwrights contest.

Written by Neil LaBute, “BASH” is a story in three parts featuring three actors. A business man, a young woman and a Mormon couple tell their stories in a show that challenges the audience’s beliefs towards the evils of the world.

This show will be Smith’s directorial debut. Although she admits it was an intimidating process, “my background as an actor has really informed my choices as a director,” she says.

Although an unusually busy teenager, Smith still has time outside the world of performance to focus on her guilty pleasure: baking — lots of baking. “I often show up at people’s doorsteps with a plate of cupcakes and a thin excuse about Flag Day.”

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