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Powerful

 

Conversations

At Axial, our mission is to foster a greater understanding of our shared world through the arts.  Whether as producer, presenter, or educator of theatrical experiences, we are driven by the knowledge that live theater is a powerful tool for inspiring social change.  The written word performed can transform our thinking and expand our ability to reflect on our responsibilities toward creating the change we want to see in the world. We are committed to taking bold risks and making space for new voices.

Embracing Change

Founded as an ensemble of impassioned artists in 1999, Axial Theater Company has developed playwrights, actors, and directors who have gone on to have thriving, professional lives in film, television, and theater.  In 2022 we began a new period of expansion that honored Axial's commitment to developing actors and playwrights while growing into dynamic partnerships that build a bridge between the bourgeoning artistic scene of Westchester and the exciting theatrical pulse of New York City.  Bringing her relationships and experience built by over 40 years in show business, Artistic Director Cady McClain is creating opportunities for talented, trained local actors to work alongside top professionals, and for New York playwrights to develop their work in a safe and supportive environment. 

Cady McClain - Artistic Director

Cady McClain is a history making, three-time Emmy© award-winning actress for her work on daytime dramas "All My Children," "As the World Turns," and "Days of Our Lives." She recently appeared on "Law and Order SVU" with Ice T and Kevin Kane .  Recent stage appearances include "What the Constitution Means to Me" for Axial Theatre at Bethany Arts Community and at Cape May Stage in the lead role of "Shirley Valentine." Film work includes "My Favorite Year" (with Peter O’Toole) and "Pennies From Heaven" (with Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters). Other television work includes "Cheers" (with Woody Harrelson and Ted Danson) and "St. Elsewhere" (with Christina Pickles). 

Directing credits include "Paint Made Flesh" by Howard Meyer at The Cell in New York City (with support from Sothebys), which she then adapted into an award-winning screenplay (semi-finalist, Blue Cat); "Never the Sinner" by John Logan at Bethany Arts Community, and multiple readings for Axial Theatre's Workshop Reading programs. Film directing includes 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 - S.t Louis Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival, Oxford Film Festival, Sedona Film Festival, and High Falls Film Festival; "Burnt Feathers, Broken Wings," Winner - Best Film, Best Ensemble, Best Screenplay at the Paramount Studios KITS Movie Awards, Best Impact Film: Santa Fe Film Festival, Best Short Documentary: Mystic 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). Web series directing includes "Venice the Series" by Crystal Chappelle (two Emmy nominations) and "Switch," starring Olympia Dukakis (Winner Best Pilot - Santa Fe Film Festival, Official Selection Hollyshorts, Dances with Pilots). She is currently directing a new play by Obie winning playwright Susan Miler for Glass Ceiling Breakers 2024.

 

She was honored to be awarded the International Matrix Award for her work related to supporting the female voice in film and television by the Association of Women in Communications.  She is an Ambassador for Kids in the Spotlight (a foster youth filmmaking program) and teaches acting at Michael Howard Studios in NYC. 

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Howard Meyer is the founder of Howard Meyer’s Acting Program (in its 26th year) and the founding Artistic Director (recently emeritus) of Axial Theatre (in its 21st season).


Howard has earned recognition for his plays "Senescence" (2017 semi-finalist), "Paint Made Flesh" (2015 semi-finalist), and Radiance (a two-time semi-finalist (2011, 2012)) at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. The production of "Radiance" featured Obie award-winner Chris McCann. It also received a week-long developmental workshop at The Drama League featuring Lou Liberatore (Tony award nominee, Burn This).  "WELCOME, This is a Neighborhood Watch Community" was presented at Axial Theatre and directed by Drama Desk award-winner, Josh Hecht. The production featured Labyrinth Theater co-founder, David Deblinger, and Emmy-nominated actor, Jon Lindstrom. His play "Lost In Paradise" is under option for a motion picture. Plays "Paint Made Flesh," "Maybe Never Fell" and "Senescence" have had readings and workshops at venues including The Lark, Naked Angels, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, ArtsWestchester, and Half Moon Theatre.  

 

"Paint Made Flesh" was workshopped at Steppenwolf in February 2018 and presented in New York City in June 2018 at The Cell directed by Cady McClain. The production was made possible in part by the support of Sotheby’s. His play, "Capture," was workshopped in October, 2019 at The Denizen Theatre in New Paltz, NY, featuring acclaimed playwright/actor John Peilmeier.


Meyer was selected as a “50 for 50” award winner as a part of ArtsWestchester’s 50th anniversary celebration, honoring 50 artists from different disciplines. He was recently honored for his theatre service by the Westchester County Board of Legislators proclaiming April 1, 2019 “Howard Meyer Day” in Westchester County.

Advisory Board
Athol and Shelia Fugard

Hailed as “the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world,” South Africa’s Athol Fugard has won international praise for creating theatre of “power, glory, and majestic language.” In more than 20 plays, written over six decades, he has chronicled the struggles of men and women of all races for dignity and human fulfillment.

Born and raised in the Eastern Cape, he founded a multiracial theatre company in the 1950s in defiance of the South African government’s apartheid system. When he and a black colleague appeared as mixed-race brothers in his play The Blood Knot, it was closed after a single performance. In the 1960s, his work found an audience in other English-speaking countries. After he appeared in The Blood Knot on BBC Television, the government seized his passport.

Since the downfall of the apartheid system, Fugard has been honored by his country’s government and by critics and audiences the world over. An Honorary Fellow of Britain’s Royal Society of Literature, in 2001 he received a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. His novel Tsotsi was adapted into the film of the same name, which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film of 2006. He has appeared as an actor in the feature films Gandhi and The Killing Fields. In 2014, he returned to the stage for the first time in 15 years to act in his play Shadow of the Hummingbird at the Long Wharf Theatre.

Biography Credit: Academy of Achievement

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John Patrick Shanley
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