PACE — First-time director Charles Pate makes his debut with a different sort of production for the Panhandle Community Theatre; it's called black box. These nine short plays feature simple, unadorned design and almost no props.

A divorce lawyer engineers a conflict over a dog and a cat for his two clients in Ron Frankel’s “She Takes the Dog, You Take the Cat.”

A waitress explains the necessity of the toad swimming in her customer’s gumbo in Barry Shuck’s “Gumbo Mumbo.”

Seven more 10-minute plays round out the roughly hour-and-a-half show.

A 2015 Pace High graduate and drama student during all four years, Pate’s first role with the PCT was as an actor in the April show, “The Zombie,” where he played the antagonist, Cartwright.

While he says he loves acting, directing is his stronger interest.

“I have a strong vision for a script and ideas for setting and accents,” Pate said. “The end goal is to write, direct and produce plays.”

Pate sees the black box production as a the next step before he tackles a normal production.

“I want to hit a 10-minute play before a full-time one," he said.

Pate says black box plays are like cartoons.

“It’s an area where anything can happen," he said. "The actors pantomime. They’re more fun. It takes the stress out with set costumes and makeup. It’s more personal with the cast.”

The show will run at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7-9 and 2:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at the theatre, 4646 woodbine Road.

Call 221-7599, email or visit for more information on auditions, performances and tickets.