20-Plus Years Strong for Theater, and Mr. Hall Still Giving it his all.

Mr. Hall Heralding

Mr. Hall “Heralding”

You may know him by his purposeful stride and geeky nature, or maybe as theater director, or even as the medieval-obsessed English teacher. Regardless, he is always on the go, and I was lucky enough to get him to take a breather and talk to me about his knowledge, experience, and love of theater and fantasy!

During the school week, you can find Mr. Erik Hall down in the Patton building, room 111 (the room with all the bright colors and Marvel, medieval, and Star Wars decor/memes). There he teaches Mythology and Composition, Public Speaking, and Graphic Novels. On rehearsal weeks leading up plays or musicals hosted at PHS, you can usually find him either instructing student actors, making props, working with other instructors and students maneuvering props, and behind the desk with the sound tech crew. As you can tell, he has a pretty busy schedule!


Overall, Mr. Hall has engaged in almost 50 productions in the Piscataway school district. He has  directed 3 at Quibbletown, 5 plays and 15 musicals at PHS, and serving mostly as Assistant Director/Stage Manager for the others. This time he will be directing “Macbeth” in the Fall 2023 school year, so if you’re interested, come see it if you can.

Moreover, Mr. Hall mentions how he doesn’t really have a favorite production, but he lets us know why and what would be in his top 3!

“I have no favorite. It’s like picking which of your children you love the most. I have loved them all for different reasons. As to which have been of exceptional quality for whatever reason, Wizard of Oz, Hairspray, and SpongeBob top that list,” said Mr. Hall.

When you come to see these plays or musicals here at the high school, you can definitely see and feel the amount of effort that was put into them by the students and everyone that helped with making it happen.

Graduating senior, and Drama club student Rebecca Deally shows her admiration and appreciation of how dedicated Mr. Hall is to his profession.

“I think Mr. Hall is an extremely passionate director. He puts a lot of emotion, thought, and care into the productions we put on here at the school and it was an honor working with him these past three years, and he’s a respectable guy! I hold a lot of respect for him not only as my teacher but as a person,” said Deally.

Originally, Mr. Hall’s love for theater really began when he was just around the age of 9, where his mother would take him to the New York Renaissance Festival, which is still going on today. Experience this at such a young age would play a major part in his path today.

In college, he didn’t go to be a teacher, that happened afterwards. Initially, he was actually a Medieval literature major, and going to be a fantasy writer, which he still loves doing, but doesn’t do that as much as he used to.

Mr. Hall took the the next step on his path right after college, when he was fired from his retail job.  Luckily, this gave him more free time on the weekends, leading him to audition for the New Jersey Renaissance Festival in his early 20s. He loved it for the theatrics like Shakespeare and such, but he ended up developing an additional passion that aligned with theater, which happened to be Medieval acting and history.

Initially, he met many people who were passionate about presenting that material and getting more in-depth about things such as the names of armor and the types of swords. So most that he’s assimilated about Medievalism really started at these festivals.  This is not to say he didn’t know anything beforehand, but it allowed him to build on top of that previous knowledge and true interest.

Hall soon began to write for those Renaissance Festivals, and that helped flourish Mr. Hall’s love for Medievalism because he then thought about how to bring the traditional literature to life in plays and make it interesting for the modern audience.

“It’s been almost 25 years that I’d been performing that way, and learning the history too,” said Mr. Hall.

One of the ways that he has learned so much about Medieval times was by joining a group called the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA), where participants dress up and learn about the culture of the Medieval and Renaissance period through activities, demonstrations, and events..

Mr. Hall described some other things about this reenactment, and what he does as a job at the SCA:

“They don’t do it [shows] for other people, and you go to events where people don’t call you by your name, they call you by your SCA name,” said Mr. Hall

“…I’m a Herald, so when the Baron and Baroness have court, I’m the one that does all the announcing and the yelling…Again it’s a theater thing, that translates now into this historical thing I love,” he added.

Mr. Hall “Heralding”

This passion for the time period was so powerful, when he got married, Mr. Hall held medieval wedding with 150 guests and 140 of them came costume! At the reception, they had archery, fencing, and armored combat, and through this experience he became a certified archer in NJ and even taught archery right here at PHS as well as at summer camps.

That being said, all of his geekdoms are in a way linked together, and adoring fantasy as a young child taught him to dream big and follow those dreams, which has brought him so far. However, he says that these geekdoms aren’t mutually exclusive to who he is as a person, they’re things he likes together.

However, one drawback of him being so passionate about these geekdoms is that they have made him overly critical about certain things.

“I’ll go see a movie now, that’s supposed to be set in Medieval Renaissance times, and I fold my arms and scowl at the screen because it’s all wrong, or it’s not oven original, it just ripped off this. Like I’ve seen the Matrix, and I like it, but it’s really just King Authur, you know a dude comes to him and says you’re the one that can do this,” said Mr. Hall.

Hopefully this article helped if you didn’t know anything about Mr. Hall, and maybe you’ll use his story as a source of inspiration or encouragement to follow your dreams and what you love to do because it can take you far with the right amount of effort and motivation!