Hickory – Grace Bollinger and Ethan Fite, two local actors, are returning to the stage at the Hickory Community Theatre for EXIT PURSUED BY A BEAR. Performances of the modern comedy will begin performances on Friday, April 28 and continue through May 13.Two Actors Return To HCT

EXIT PURSUED BY A BEAR, a revenge comedy by Lauren Gunderson, explores the relationship between an abused woman and her husband as she decides to turn the tables and give him a taste of his own medicine. Nan knocks Kyle out, ties him to a chair, and forces him to watch as she and her two best friends re-enact the history of their relationship.

One of Nan’s friends is a stripper named Sweetheart, played by Bollinger, who’s most recent theatre experiences have been in the director’s chair. In February 2022 she directed THE SWORD IN THE STONE for the Green Room Community Theatre, where she is the Education Director. After that came ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFFORE CHRISTMAS in December for HCT. On stage, here most recent roles at HCT have been Rita Faye in BY A FLARED NOSTRIL and Krystal in JUNK. “My favorite things at HCT,” she says, “are the people, the building and the shows. My favorite things about playing Sweetheart are her positivity and love of Shakespeare.”

Nan’s best friend Simon, literally her biggest cheerleader, is played by Ethan Fite, who just played Franz in the smash hit musical, ROCK OF AGES. He made his HCT debut last fall, playing Lady Macduff in MACBETH. His other roles in the area include Victor in CABARET at Theatre Statesville, Pascal in FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, and Linguire in CYRANO for Old Colony Players. Originally from Houston, Fite relocated to Hickory to be closer to his family. When asked why he auditioned for this latest play, he replied, “I like the overall message of women’s empowerment and that it brings to light some serious issues.”

Performances of EXIT PURSUED BY A BEAR are April 28 through May 13 in the Firemen’s Kitchen. Tickets for all performances are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students. For tickets visit hickorytheatre.org or call the box office at 828-328-2283. The play is rated R for adult language and themes.

The HCT’s 74th season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive, Sunbelt Xpress and Frye Regional Medical Center. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. EXIT PURSUED BY A BEAR is produced by Ken Wilkinson and Allen Wood, III.

PHOTO: Grace Bollinger and Ethan Fite play the best friends of the main character in EXIT PURSUED BY A BEAR. Performances will begin on April 28 in the Firemen’s Kitchen at the Hickory Community Theatre. Visit hickorytheatre.org or call 828-328-2283 for tickets and information. Photo by Eric Seale.