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TWELFTH NIGHT from Axis Theatre Company, April 24-May 25
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 06:52 pm EDT 04/17/24
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 06:50 pm EDT 04/17/24


Director Randall Sharp Brings Her Signature Stark and Musical Touch to Shakespeare's Most Painful Comedy

Live Music by Paul Carbonara in Streamlined Adaptation by Marc Palmieri

Axis Theatre Company is thrilled to present a new staging of William Shakespeare's most painful comedy, Twelfth Night. Directed by Axis Theatre's founder and Artistic Director Randall Sharp, this streamlined production is adapted by playwright and dramaturg Marc Palmieri and features original music by Paul Carbonara performed live. Previews for Twelfth Night begin on April 24 at Axis Theatre (1 Sheridan Square, Manhattan), with a press opening set for April 27, for a limited run through May 25, 2024. Tickets are now on sale at www.axiscompany.org .

Even in a season of the darkest calamities, does the human will to be happy ever surrender? Shall there be cakes, ale, dancing and love, as the darkness ever looms? Director Randall Sharp brings her signature stark and musical touch to one of Shakespeare's most hilarious, yet heart-breaking tales of unrequited love. Sharp's radical interpretation strips away much of the jovial excess of Shakespeare's most-beloved play and places focus on the yearning for human connection.

The 12-member ensemble cast of Twelfth Night includes Spencer Aste, Brian Barnhart, Eli Bridges, Andrew Dawson, George Demas, Katy Frame, Britt Genelin, Robert Ierardi, Brian Parks, Dee Pelletier, Jon McCormick, and Jim Sterling, along with musicians Paul Carbonara and Yonatan Gutfeld.

The creative team for Twelfth Night includes Karl Ruckdeschel (costume design), David Zeffren (lighting design), Paul Carbonara (original music, sound design), Lynn Mancinelli (prop design, choreography), Will Vicari (wig design), Regina Betancourt (production stage manager), Marc Palmieri (dramaturgy), Jon McCormick (technical director), Amy Harper (assistant light designer), Laurie Kilmartin (assistant stage manager), Brian Barnhart (producing director), and Jeffrey Resnick (executive director).

Twenty performances of Twelfth Night will take place April 24–May 25, 2024 at Axis Theatre, located at 1 Sheridan Square in Manhattan's West Village. The performance schedule is Wednesday - Saturday at 8pm. Critics are welcome as of April 24 for an opening on April 27. General admission tickets are $40 for adults, $20 for seniors/students, and $10 for artists and people under 30. Performances are Free for veterans and active U.S. service members and their families. Tickets can be purchased online at www.axiscompany.org.

About the Artists

Randall Sharp (director) is Axis Theatre Company's founder and Artistic Director. Her plays include the Drama Desk Award-nominated Last Man Club (published by DPS), Washington Square (published by TRW), Worlds Fair Inn, Nothing on Earth, Down There, Seven in One Blow (published by DPS and performed every December in NYC and around the country) and the long-running serial Hospital. Sharp wrote and directed The Vast Machine (2015) and co-wrote (with former Blondie member Paul Carbonara) and directed Solitary Light (2014) and Evening – 1910, which premiered to acclaim at Axis in 2016. Sharp's directing credits also include Last Man Club; Nothing on Earth; Down There; Seven in One Blow; Hospital ; Edgar Oliver's New York Trilogy (including East 10th Street: Self Portrait with Empty House, winner of the Fringe First Award, Edinburgh Fringe, In the Park, and Attorney Street) and London Paris; A Glance at New York (Edinburgh Fringe & NYC), Julius Caesar; and the U.S premiere of Sarah Kane's Crave, starring Deborah Harry. She also directed the feature film Henry May Long, winner of 13 international awards, and is the host of the popular YouTube cooking show "Dinner Party Tonight."

Paul Carbonara (original music, sound design) was born in Greenwich Village and has been a performing musician for 30 years. He was the guitarist and musical director for the seminal pop band Blondie from 1997 through 2010. Carbonara has performed with Ray Davies, Coolio, Jose Carreras, and Chubby Checker, among others, and was the guitarist for the New York art rock band Giant Metal Insects in the 1990s. He has composed music for three independent movie soundtracks, including Randy Sharp's Henry May Long and Jyllian Gunther's Pull Out. He has composed commercial jingles for Nickelodeon, SBLI, and Waterworks. Paul composed music for the noted choreographer Robert Moses' work Faith and Fable, presented at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. Carbonara performs and records with his own band The Mudlarks. He has also toured much of the world with the Mary McBride Band since 2010, traveling to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. He is a graduate of NYU and studied with the noted jazz guitarist Sal Salvador.

Marc Palmieri (dramaturgy) teaches courses in Shakespeare at Mercy University, where he is an assistant professor. He has also taught Shakespeare at The City College of New York, where he is a guest faculty member of the MFA program in Creative Writing. Marc's plays include the New York Times' "Critic's Pick" Levittown , The Groundling, Carl the Second, Poor Fellas, and Waiting for the Host. All are published by Dramatists Play Service. His screenplays include Miramax Films' Telling You (1999). He has published prose in Fiction, The Global City Review, (Re), An Ideas Journal, and has one-act plays, scenes and monologues in anthologies by Applause Books, Smith & Kraus and Rowan & Littlefield. Marc's memoir, She Danced With Lightning, (Post Hill Press, 2022) has been an Amazon #1 Best Seller in multiple categories. www.marcpalmieri.com

About Axis Theatre Company

Axis Theatre Company was founded in 1996 by Randall Sharp as a theatrical haven for stories that awaken an audience's curiosity for little known parts of American history. Through Sharp's plays and that of like-minded artists like Edgar Oliver, David Crabb, and Marc Palmieri, Axis Theatre uses intricate visual and sound design to maximize a viewer's insight into these historical moments and shared experiences.

In 1998, Axis acquired a permanent home at 1 Sheridan Square in New York City's West Village. Built in 1834 by Samuel Whitmore, the building once housed Café Society, the historic site of performances by Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughn, Art Tatum, Big Joe Turner and other jazz greats; and later was the home of Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Axis transformed the interior performance space into one where audiences are totally immersed, surrounded by the experience of a theatrical production the moment they enter. Distractions from the material are minimal.

Among the wide variety of works that Axis has produced in the theater are Beckett's Play ; Benjamin Baker's 1848 vaudeville A Glance at New York (also at the Edinburgh Festival); the U.S. premiere of Sarah Kane's Crave, starring Deborah Harry; the premieres of Edgar Oliver's East 10th Street (New York Times Critic Pick; Fringe First Award at Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Spoleto Festival, USA) and In the Park; David Crabb's Bad Kid ( New York Times Critic Pick, now an acclaimed book published by HarperCollins Perennial); Marc Palmieri's The Groundling; and Sharp's The Vast Machine, Last Man Club (Drama Desk nomination), Solitary Light, Worlds Fair Inn, Washington Square, Nothing on Earth, Down There, Seven in One Blow, Hospital , Dead End, and High Noon.

Visit www.axiscompany.org for more information.

Axis Theatre is accessible via the 1 train at Christopher St./Sheridan Square and the A, B, C, D, E, F and M trains at West 4th Street.

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