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Cactus Flowers pt I: Monologue Night

Saturday, December 16th at 7PM 

St John's Episcopal Church

8 Sunnyside Ave, Pleasantville, NY 10570

Actors (in alphabetical order) - all members of the Axial Ensemble


Gail Greenstein - with over 50 years of performing, Gail has been with Axial Theatre for 22 of its 24 years. Credits include the Axial Theatre productions "Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike," "Back to the Garden," "Gaslight Tango," and "Dead Man's Cell Phone," among others.

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Julie Griffin is a proud member of Axial Theatre. She is a graduate of The Goodman School of Drama (now the Theater School at DePaul). She has been performing theater and Improv for over 35 years.

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Patrick McGuinness is a proud member of the Axial Theatre Company. He is a graduate of Binghamton University (’85) and the Trinity Rep Conservatory (87) in Rhode Island. His most recent performance was as Robert Crowe in last year’s Axial production of "Never the Sinner" directed by Cady McClain at the Bethany Arts Center.


Ryan Mallon is an honorary member of Axial Theatre. It’s where he began his journey as an actor and playwright. Grateful to be performing a monologue here tonight from our founder Howard Meyer. Ryan recently starred In a short film titled "Overflow" that premiered at Windmill Art Gallery in NY. 

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Marisa Lowe is a Peekskill native. An alum of Howard Meyer's Acting Program, she recently graduated from the Michael Howard Studios Conservatory.  She is an ensemble member and the Managing Director of Axial Theatre.  Her most recent credits include "Mala" in Axial's staged reading of Craig Lucas's "Ode to Joy," "Karen Andre" in The Night of January 16th with the Manor Club Theatre and "Daphne" in Misha Sinclair's "There's a Storm Coming" with Westchester Collaborative Theater.  

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Donna Svennevik has been in about 100 theatrical productions in New York. She has acted in 8 independent films. Her main teachers are Uta Hagen and Austin Pendleton.

Playwrights (in alphabetical order)


Stephen Baluzy ("The Interview") has written many one-acts and ten-minute plays. His one-acts “The Date” and "Girl Dressing” were recently performed at FEST ( Frankfurt English Speaking Theatre) in Frankfurt, Germany this summer.  "The Great Thing About Me” appeared in The Ridgefield Theatre Barn’s production of one-acts in 2018. “Calculating” and “It’s just you and me, Bro’” were produced in Axial Theatre’s Twisted Valentines series. He is frequently commissioned by actors to create comedic plays and monologues. This summer his play "Spy Pigeon” was written for Shawn Cribari for HMACTING’s “Other Realms." He is currently working on a full-length play. Steve participates in the playwright’s workshop at Theatre Works in New Milford, Ct. 


Tom Coash ("Flat Meat Society") is a Louisville, Kentucky playwright, producer, and teacher. Coash has won numerous playwriting awards, including the Osborn Award from the National Theatre Critics Association, the Clauder Competition, and an Edgerton Foundation National New Play Award and his plays have been produced worldwide. Coash currently teaches playwriting at the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA Writing Program.


Alice Eve Cohen ("Days of Awe") is a playwright and memoirist. Winner of the Jane Chambers Feminist Playwriting Award, the National Jewish Playwriting Contest, and Oprah magazine’s "25 Best Books of Summer," her works have been performed nationwide and on four continents, at theatres including: the Kitchen Theatre, New Georges, Cherry Lane Theatre, Here, The Women’s Project, New York Theatre Workshop, and many more. Recipient of fellowships and awards from NYSCA, NEA, VCCA, The Orchard Project, Poets & Writers, and an Emmy Award Special Commendation, Alice teaches playwriting at The New School, where she received the University Distinguished Teaching Award.


Dana Leslie Goldstein ("Undiscovered Country") Winner, New England New Play Competition, Steinberg Playwriting Prize, Different Voices New Play Award, ACTF New Play Award and numerous development grants. Dana’s work has been seen at Manhattan Theatre Club, Cherry Lane, Culture Project, WP, York, Theatre80, New Dramatists, Vineyard Playhouse, Brave New World, Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, American Stage, Pacific Theatre (Canada), TischAsia (Singapore), Baggage Productions (Australia), Red Brick (UK), on Ellis and Liberty Islands, at the UN, etc.  Agent: Michael Moore,


Evelyn Mertens ("Is Nothing Sacred?") has had plays and short films produced through Axial Theatre; Westchester Collaborative Theatre (WCT); Glass Ceiling Breakers; the Aery 20/20 Festival (where she was a four-time finalist); Ariane; Irvington Arts Incubator; and Manhattan Rep. She studied acting with Howard Meyer’s Acting Program, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Circle in the Square. Evelyn is a member of Honor Roll! and the Dramatists Guild.  A Broadway World review said, “Mertens is more than a writer -- her mastery of imagery, story and the human condition casts her as a portrait artist whose palette is words, each of which she chooses with utmost precision and affection.”


Howard Meyer ("Pluto") Produced plays include "Paint Made Flesh" (semi-finalist, the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and PlayPenn, selected by The Last Frontier Theatre Conference), workshopped at Steppenwolf, presented at The Cell in New York City and optioned for a motion picture; "Radiance" (two-time semi-finalist at the O’Neill and a finalist at the Hormel New Works Festival, developmental workshop at the Drama League); "Maybe Never Fell," presented at New York’s Cherry Lane Theatre; "WELCOME, This is a Neighborhood Watch Community" presented at Axial Theatre; "LOSS": commissioned and produced by Half Moon Theatre; "Capture," presented at The Denizen Theatre, "Senescence" an O’Neill semifinalist, also presented at Axial Theatre. Howard’s other plays include "The Kiss," 'All That’s Fair," "The Contract," "The Number Trilogy", "AngelBeast," "Cherrie & Jerry," the monologues, "Calculus and Horus," "Amateur Tantra,"" Thruple," "Joy To The World," "Raising the Ground, Lowering the Sky" and "Pluto." As a director, he has worked at venues including New York Theatre Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis, and Axial Theatre. Howard directed the NYC premiere of the original text of Athol Fugard’s "Hello and Goodbye" at Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre.

Directors (in alphabetical order)


Albi Gorn ("Undiscovered Country") has been doing theater for over 50 years as an actor/director/producer but chiefly as a playwright. He is currently an Associate Member of Axial. Axial has

produced several of his short plays including "It’s About Forgiveness," "Double Date" and "Girl with Guitar."

Nathan Flower ("Flat Meat Society") is the Associate Artistic Director of the Axial Theatre Co.  He is the founder of the Hudson Valley Moving Company (HVMCo.) – a physical performance collective.  Nate is the Head of Movement Training at the Terry Knickerbocker Studio @ Industry City, Brooklyn and an Associate-Arts Professor for Tisch Drama-NYU where he serves as Program Director for the MSNR (Meisner) Studio.  Nate was mentored in Meisner Acting Technique under Bill Esper, Maggie Flanigan and Victoria Hart.  He teaches & coaches actors through a contemporary Meisner lens for over a decade.  He is a Certified Williamson Practitioner - spending 20 years developing uniquely integrated process for movement training and physical performance, role-preparation and on-set coaching for actors. Credits include: El Barrios Artspace, the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon), Axial Theatre Co., Lincoln Center Theater (Clark), BAM Fisher, Classic Stage Company, Lucille Lortelle, Judson Church, Center for Performance Research, Julia Crockett Group @ 99 Scott, Aquila Theatre Co, The Acting Company, Duanjun Theater-Shanghai Theatre Academy(China), Shakespeare Festival Neuss(Germany), Festival at Syros(Greece), Crossroads Theater, Hangar Theater, Vermont Stage.

Howard Meyer ("Pluto") has directed at theatres including New York Theatre workshop, The Playwright’s Center, Coyote Rep, The Schoolhouse Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club and Axial Theatre as well as Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre where he directed the premiere of Athol Fugard’s Hello and Goodbye. He is an inaugural member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Director’s Lab.


Rachel Jones ("The Interview”) is a founding member of Axial Theatre and has directed extensively for Axial. She has served as the Director of Performance Workshops for Axial Theatre’s educational affiliate HMActing for the past eighteen years, where she is also a teaching artist.  She directed Axial Main Stage productions “Crimes of the Heart”, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone”, “The Kiss”, “Persephone Rising” and co-directed “Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike” with Catherine Banks which received the Broadway World Best play award in Rockland/Westchester division for  2021. Other favorite productions include “ Rabbit Hole” for Top Shelf productions, and “ The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds” for Avalon Repertory in NYC. 

Cady McClain ("Days of Awe") is the Artistic Director of Axial Theatre. She has directed two full plays for Axial: "Paint Made Flesh" by Howard Meyer at The Cell in New York City (with support from Sotheby's) and "Never the Sinner" by John Logan at Bethany Arts Community.  Film credits include the documentary "Seeing is Believing: Women Direct" - Jury Award Newport Beach Film Festival, Audience Award for a Feature Film at the SOHO Film Festival, Best Documentary Pro-Action at the Artemis Women in Action Film Festival. Official Selection - St. Louis Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival, Oxford Film Festival, Sedona Film Festival, and High Falls Film Festival among others. Narrative film directing projects include the short subject, "Burnt Feathers, Broken Wings" (Winner - Best Film, Best Ensemble, Best Screenplay at the Paramount Studios Sponsored KITS Movie Awards, Best Impact FIlm - Santa Fe Film Festival, Best Short Documentary - Mystic Film Festival); "Butterflies" (Winner Best Short Film, Best Actress in a Short Film - Philadelphia Independent Film Festival); "Venice the Series: Season 5" (two Emmy© nominations for Best Series/Best Directing of a Web Series - 2017 and 2018); "Flip Fantasia" (Official Selection - Macon Film Festival); "The World of Albert Fuh" (Best Comedy Drama Short at the Indie Gathering Festival, Honorable Mention for Best Director by the Los Angeles Film Review, Honorable Mention from the SaMo Indie Film Fest); and the original web series, "Switch," starring Olympia Dukakis (Winner Best Pilot - Santa Fe Film Festival, Official Selection Hollyshorts, Dances with Pilots). She has also directed two other films for Kids in the Spotlight with the film "The Last Day" winning Best Ensemble and Best Supporting Actress at the Movies By Kids Awards hosted by Ty Burrell. Recently she completed work on "Robust Admixture," a short film mixing film and theater for Axial Theatre, with text by Westchester poet laureate BK Fisher and featuring the Axial ensemble.

Susan Ward ("Is Nothing Sacred?") is an award-winning actress and writer. She has been a member of the Axial Ensemble since 2013 and has been seen in numerous productions with Axial, and has directed several plays for various evenings of new work. She is also a member of Westchester Collaborative Theater where she directs and teaches Scene Study. Her Solo Show “Wasbian" has been seen Off B’way and was most recently produced in Westchester, directed by Nate Flower. 

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