Photo by Leslye Smith:
Francesco Campari, Allison Daugherty,
and Gene Gallerano as the
Ellis Family in “The Clearing.”






The Pleasantville Patch
Pleasantville's Axial Theatre Premieres 'The Clearing'
Provocative adult play brings local writers, actors together.

by Sarah Studley
Posted: 4/25/2012

The ClearingFamily loyalties and secrets will come alive during the Axial Theatre's spring production of The Clearing, which premieres with a preview performance tomorrow at Pleasantville's St. John's Episcopal Church at 8 p.m.

"The mission of Axial Theatre is to engage professional and emerging theatre artists in the development and presentation of new plays. There are still some misconceptions about theatre in Westchester, and Axial is one of the professional theatre companies that is working to change this," explained Howard Meyer, Axial Theatre's artistic director.

Axial's current production stars Francesco Campari, Brian McManamon, Gene Gallerano, South Salem resident Allison Daugherty and Mark Gorham.

"Our cast is composed of veterans of TV, stage and film, largely Actors Equity actors," Meyer added.

The Clearing was written by Yale School of Drama's Jake Jeppson and will be premiering in Westchester County for the first time. The production will be on the stage from tonight's preview through May 13.

The Clearing shows complex human beings with a desire and inability to connect, and the author's own empathic urgency to connect to us all," commented Paula Vogel, a Pulitzer-prize winning playwright and chair of Yale's playwriting department.

The play was also a finalist in the 2011 Hudson Valley Writers' Center's new play competition, where Meyer, a Yorktown Heights resident, served as a judge.

"t’s complex, it’s edgy, and it deals with human emotions in a way that cuts to the core—it’s impossible to walk away from the piece without being moved deeply, and that’s what theatre is all about: moving people through words and actions in a way that no other medium can," said Meyer of The Clearing. "The story is an unorthodox combination of nostalgia and longing that will engage our audience."

The Axial production of The Clearing is directed by Josh Hecht, a Drama Desk winner.

"The Clearing investigates the delicate line between loyalty and obsession,” Hecht said. “It asks us to consider the haunting possibility that some wounds may be too deep to heal.”

"The Clearing" is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18. Tickets to "The Clearing" are $35 for opening night on Saturday, April 28—opening night, followed by a wine and cheese reception. Tickets to all other performances (Thursday through Sat at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m.) are $20 general admission and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (800) 838-3006.