Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Axial Theater Presents a Workshop Reading of Award-Winning Playwright Craig Lucas' Ode To Joy in Westchester, NY September 23, 2023


Axial Theatre will present a workshop reading of Axial Advisory Board Member and multiple award-winning playwright Craig Lucas's Ode to Joy on Saturday, September 23 at 7 pm. at St John's Episcopal Church, 8 Sunnyside Ave, Pleasantville, NY. Axial Theatre ensemble members Sandy Rooney, Marisa Lowe, and Duane Rutter will be directed by Nathan Flower, professor of theater at NYU. 

The event is produced by Axial Artistic Director and three-time Emmy-winner Cady McClain. Tickets are $10 students (registered in high school or college); $25 general seating, available at
The New York Times said the play takes a “straightforward look at people battling with the ogres of contemporary life."

Axial Theatre is a 24-year-old not-for-profit institution founded by playwright/director Howard Meyer. It is dedicated to supporting the professional development of the independent voice through audience involvement and is committed to presenting challenging and relevant theatrical experiences. The company and its productions have been reviewed in The New York Times and are supported by the William T Morris Foundation and ArtsWestchester among others. 

Caption: (L-R) Director Nathan Flower with actors Duane Rutter, Sandra Oppedisano Rooney and Marisa Lowe are in rehearsal for Axial Theatre’s reading of Craig Lucas’s Ode to Joy presented Saturday, September 23 at 7 pm.

About Craig Lucas

Lucas received an Obie Award for his direction of Harry Kondoleon's Saved or Destroyed at the Rattlestick Theater and the 2003 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay for The Secret Lives of Dentists. His Small Tragedy was awarded an Obie as Best American Play in 2004. Lucas's other awards include the Excellence in Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award; and Outer Critics Circle, L.A. Drama Critics Circle, Drama-Logue and Lambda Literary Awards. 

He has received the Tony Award nomination for the books of: An American in Paris (2015), Light in the Piazza (2005), Prelude to a Kiss, and Paradise Square (2022). He was nominated for the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Prelude to a Kiss.

About Cady McClain (producer)

Axial Theatre Artistic Director was recognized by Deadline for being a history-making three-time Emmy© winner, acting as three unique characters on three different daytime shows. Cady studied theater directing with legendary artistic director of Ensemble Studio Theater, Curt Dempster, and acting for eight years with Michael Howard. Her theatrical directorial debut was with Axial Theatre in Paint Made Flesh by Axial Founder Howard Meyer, shown at The Cell in NYC. 

Cady's documentary on female directors, Seeing is Believing:Women Direct, won multiple awards, including the Audience Award at the SOHO Film Festival and a Jury Prize at the Newport Beach Film Festival. It was released on regional PBS stations nationwide and the educational platform Kanopy. She currently plays “Jennifer” on Days of Our Lives.

About Nathan Flower (Director)

Nathan is the Founding Artistic Director: Hudson Valley Moving Company (HVMCo). Head of Movement Training: Terry Knickerbocker Studio in Industry City, Brooklyn. Associate arts professor - NYU. Currently Program Director for the MSNR Studio @ Tisch Drama. Served for three years as Associate Chair of Tisch Drama. Certified Williamson Practitioner - spending 20 years developing uniquely integrated process for movement training and physical performance, role-preparation and on-set coaching for actors. 

Directing/performance credits include: BAM Fisher, Judson Church, Center for Performance Research, Julia Crockett Group @ 99 Scott, Aquila Theatre Co, Clark @ Lincoln Center, Lucille Lortelle, The Acting Company, Classic Stage Company, Duanjun Theater at Shanghai Theatre Academy (China), Shakespeare Festival Neuss (Germany), Festival at Syros (Greece), Crossroads Theater, Hangar Theater, Vermont Stage, Shakespeare in Delaware Park, National Shakespeare Co., Westchester Collaborative Theater, Axial Theater Co., Aery 20/20 Festival & Ariane Festival @ Depot Theater.
Caption: Award-winning playwright Craig Lucas – Photo by W