Axis is in the process of updating its web site. While this is taking place the full production archive will not be available. Please check back later to see the completed archive update. Below are titles and descriptions (sometimes partial) of the Axis Theatre productions that have been seen on stage (and on screen) since 1997. Enjoy.

2016
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Seven in One Blow

Seven in One Blow

For the fifteenth consecutive season, Axis Company will present its winter show for children, Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, beginning December 2nd. Adapted from the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm, this interactive play with music is conceived by Axis Company and directed by Randy Sharp featuring Axis' signature blend of advanced technology and live performance. Children in the audience will be encouraged to participate in many of the Kid's challenges with singing and organized "shout outs." Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
Attorney Street

Attorney Street

written and performed by Edgar Oliver
directed by Randy Sharp

Edgar Oliver, the singular storyteller and beloved downtown NYC theater artist, returns to Axis Theatre to perform the world premiere of Attorney Street, the final installment in a trilogy of solo shows, directed by Randy Sharp, charting Oliver's life in New York City. Following 2014's acclaimed In the Park and, before it, 2009's breakthrough East 10th Street: Self Portrait with Empty House (Edinburgh Fringe First Award; NYT Critic's Pick), Attorney Street follows Oliver as he is forced to leave his longtime home in one of the last East Village SROs, on East 10th Street, and finds his way to his current residence, on Attorney Street on the Lower East Side. Between the two was a circuitous path that held turns and encounters that changed Oliver's life, and opened doors he never thought existed.
Evening 1910 Musical

Evening 1910

A Musical
Music and Lyrics by Paul Carbonara & Randy Sharp

Henry, a newly arrived immigrant to 1910 New York, finds himself at the center of this story involving a Bowery theatre facing eviction as the dawn of cinema becomes day. As the kinetoscopes that replace them are being installed, the showgirls wonder what will become of them while one dreams of a better life working in the garment factory nearby. Determined to become the new American success he himself has imagined, Henry is pulled by heart and hunger toward disparate and uncertain destinies, like a loving heiress' fortune, a hopeful laborer's dignity, and flickering visions of greatness that yet persist in the darkness of our city.
2015
The Groundling

The Groundling

Written & Directed by Marc Palmieri

After stumbling upon a small outdoor production of a Shakespeare play in Manhattan, Long Island landscaper Bob Malone is inspired to write a play about his troubled marriage. He hires two reluctant New York theatre professionals to spend a week at his home and stage the play in his garage with a cast of colorful locals. The Groundling is a heartfelt comedy that meditates on the meaning of the final moments of Love's Labour's Lost, and the surprising effects a play can have on the most unsuspecting, and perhaps most deserving of us all.
David Crabb Bad Kid

Bad Kid

Written and performed by David Crabb

Bad Kid is the story of a Goth boy who dreamed of being anywhere but the middle of Texas in 1991. Preferably somewhere in London wearing fishnet gloves and a cape while standing alone in the rain. In this funny and moving examination of rebellion, sexuality and friendship, David Crabb reflects on what it means to grow up different and alone, just like everyone else. Bad Kid is based on the true story of a Texas teen who navigates his outcast adolescence in a goth-obsessed, drug-fueled haze. It is a candid and hysterically honest examination of what it means to grow up different and alone.
The Vast Machine

The Vast Machine

Although Great Britain and the United States made the slave trade illegal in 1807-1808, other countries carried on the trade as did many illegal British and American traders. After 1818 the British and American navies sent vessels called interceptors to police the Middle Passage, sometimes impounding vessels, arresting crews, and returning captives to the African continent.

The Vast Machine takes place on the slave ship Perisher completely becalmed on a mirror-like sea. Following an unsuccessful slave insurrection, the crew is almost completely decimated by illness, alcohol and accident. On the horizon is an approaching Interceptor.

Who were the crewmen that perpetrated the complex and multi-faceted crime of slavery? Who would take this work knowing what it entailed? Is there a vast machine that still grinds away today existing only because of the complacency and fear of the witness?
Seven In One Blow 2015

Seven in One Blow

For the fourteenth consecutive season, Axis Company will present its winter show for children, Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, beginning December 4th. Adapted from the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm, this interactive play with music is conceived by Axis Company and directed by Randy Sharp featuring Axis' signature blend of advanced technology and live performance. Children in the audience will be encouraged to participate in many of the Kid's challenges with singing and organized "shout outs." Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2014
Nothing on Earth Can Hold Houdini

Nothing on Earth (Can Hold Houdini)

Nothing on Earth, written and directed by Randall Sharp, examines Houdini's driven crusade to expose fraudulent mediums and his crossing paths with the avid spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Both men are catapulted to the center of The Scientific American Magazine contest to find the first-ever provable clairvoyant, a battle that destroyed their friendship and left Houdini to continue his search for a true psychic to contact his mother. He was not successful.
In the Park Edgar Oliver

In the Park

As Edgar Oliver wanders through Prospect Park he guides his audience to hidden landscapes few have seen but he also reveals his innermost longings and regrets. In this most personal of Edgar's monologues, he maps his deepest memories of childhood and experience. IN THE PARK is a journey of loss and hope, joy and sadness, along tangled paths to the fascinating place that is Edgar's heart.
Solitary Light a Musical

Solitary Light

On March 25, 1911 the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on Greene Street was engulfed in flames. On the 8th and 9th floors all the doors were locked form the outside to prevent employees from discussing unionism in the hallways, to discourage suspected theft and to ensure a full days work from the essentially enslaved seamstresses. 146 people died in this disaster. Some stood at windows begging to be saved. Some tried to climb down the fire escape that immediately collapsed because no one had wanted to pay for its repair. Some tried the elevator that was valiantly operated until it could no longer rise because of the weight on its roof of girls who had jumped into the shaft.

Solitary Light tells a story through the eyes of those who witnessed New York's Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire that resulted in the death of 146 people in 1911. It depicts the lives of Frank and Louise, two young politically minded immigrant workers in love, as they navigate the financially strapped owners and the incredibly rich families of 1911 New York who had little concept of the horrors of the working class experience. The streets of lower Manhattan in the early 20th century and the fascinating stories that happened there are carefully recreated in a manner that will bring this turning point in history to life on stage. How did a disaster like this happen? How is it possible that it still occurs in factories all over the world?
Seven In One Blow 2014

Seven in One Blow

For the thirteenth consecutive season, Axis Company will present its winter show for children, Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, beginning December 5th. Adapted from the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm, this interactive play with music is conceived by Axis Company and directed by Randy Sharp featuring Axis' signature blend of advanced technology and live performance. Children in the audience will be encouraged to participate in many of the Kid's challenges with singing and organized "shout outs." Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2013
Last Man Club

Last Man Club

The Dust Bowl: 1930-1939. While this period in American history has been mythologized for 82 years—the most famous images being bread lines and soup kitchens in the cities, and Henry Fonda in his jalopy, driving to the green fields of California—the truth is more complex and difficult to comprehend. The Great American Desert of the Texas and Oklahoma plains was an unimaginably blank landscape. Destroyed by the greed of wheat farmers who plowed under the bluestem and buffalo grass that held the dirt in place, the plains blew up into the air in dust storms that packed enough static electricity to power the city of New York. Ten years of drought marked by short rains black with soil made people believe they were truly witnessing the end of the world. For all the thousands who fled this terror, many refused to leave their dust covered farms, even after all the animals died and they were eating bitter roots to survive. Using any means necessary, Axis will bring the sensation of this period to the audience so they not only hear and see this truly American disaster, but feel it as well.

Last Man Club is about one of the desolate families who stayed. With no one else around for a hundred miles, Major's busted family lives in a one room dugout as he tries to reconcile himself to the fact that his own kin has taken the money and run. Out of the biggest storm in the history of the Dust Bowl—200 miles wide, 15,000 feet high—come two desperate men promising a way out. Their visit is a welcome break in the grinding routine of storm/quiet/storm/quiet that Wishful Hi, Saromybride and Uncle Pogord have endured under Major's iron, heartbroken hand. But did his brother really get out and away? Who are these people? Where'd that money come from? Will the machine work? Are there lights in the sky?
Killers and Other Family Lucy Thurber

Killers and Other Family

Trying to escape her painful past, Elizabeth has dedicated herself to finishing her dissertation and building a life with her partner, Claire. Their routine is disrupted by a visit from Elizabeth's brother and her troubled childhood lover, as they threaten to ruin all she's built and pull her back into a cycle of destruction.
Asi Wind Concert of the Mind

Asi Wind: Concert of the Mind

Exceeding Human Limits

A fascinating journey into human ability. Asi will perform feats of the mind previously believed impossible.
Seven in One Blow

Seven in One Blow

For the twelfth consecutive season, Axis Company will present its winter show for children, Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, beginning December 2nd. Adapted from the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm, this interactive play with music is conceived by Axis Company and directed by Randy Sharp featuring Axis' signature blend of advanced technology and live performance. Children in the audience will be encouraged to participate in many of the Kid's challenges with singing and organized "shout outs." Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2012
Bad Kid David Crabb

Bad Kid

Bad Kid is the story of a Goth boy who dreamed of being anywhere but the middle of Texas in 1991. Preferably somewhere in London wearing fishnet gloves and a cape while standing alone in the rain. In this funny and moving examination of rebellion, sexuality and friendship, David Crabb reflects on what it means to grow up different and alone, just like everyone else. Bad Kid is based on the true story of a Texas teen who navigates his outcast adolescence in a goth-obsessed, drug-fueled haze.

Bad Kid is a candid and hysterically honest examination of what it means to grow up different and alone. "As Goth kids, we thought that everything honest was rooted in death, even our sexual urges and our concept of 'fun,'" said Crabb. "But as I grew up I could sense there was another 'freak' beneath the one I contrived as a 15 year-old who wore dog collars and black nail polish; the lifelong freak, not the temporary one. I wanted to find out who he was."
Last Man Club

Last Man Club

The Dust Bowl: 1930-1939. While this period in American history has been mythologized for 82 years—the most famous images being bread lines and soup kitchens in the cities, and Henry Fonda in his jalopy, driving to the green fields of California—the truth is more complex and difficult to comprehend. The Great American Desert of the Texas and Oklahoma plains was an unimaginably blank landscape. Destroyed by the greed of wheat farmers who plowed under the bluestem and buffalo grass that held the dirt in place, the plains blew up into the air in dust storms that packed enough static electricity to power the city of New York. Ten years of drought marked by short rains black with soil made people believe they were truly witnessing the end of the world. For all the thousands who fled this terror, many refused to leave their dust covered farms, even after all the animals died and they were eating bitter roots to survive. Using any means necessary, Axis will bring the sensation of this period to the audience so they not only hear and see this truly American disaster, but feel it as well.

Last Man Club is about one of the desolate families who stayed. With no one else around for a hundred miles, Major's busted family lives in a one room dugout as he tries to reconcile himself to the fact that his own kin has taken the money and run. Out of the biggest storm in the history of the Dust Bowl—200 miles wide, 15,000 feet high—come two desperate men promising a way out. Their visit is a welcome break in the grinding routine of storm/quiet/storm/quiet that Wishful Hi, Saromybride and Uncle Pogord have endured under Major's iron, heartbroken hand. But did his brother really get out and away? Who are these people? Where'd that money come from? Will the machine work? Are there lights in the sky?
7 in 1 Blow

Seven In One Blow

For the eleventh consecutive season, Axis Company will present its winter show for children, Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, beginning December 2nd. Adapted from the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm, this interactive play with music is conceived by Axis Company and directed by Randy Sharp featuring Axis' signature blend of advanced technology and live performance. Children in the audience will be encouraged to participate in many of the Kid's challenges with singing and organized "shout outs." Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2011
Hospital 2011

Hospital 2011

Axis Company's episodic play Hospital, about the interior life of a person in a terminal coma, is something of a signature for the company, which has produced a new installment of the drama nearly every year since 1997. Conceived, written and directed by Randy Sharp (Edgar Oliver's East 10th Street: Self Portrait with Empty House), the show is a summer downtown phenomenon beloved for its balance of horror, humor, and weirdness. The company will present the 11th production in the series July 8 - August 20.

While most audience members return to see multiple, if not all four, parts of the summer's production, each episode is a self-contained short play that can be seen in isolation. The brief premise film that begins each year's production—depicting the event that brought on the coma—is shown at the beginning of each performance.

Each annual production of Hospital has a new protagonist, who enters a coma in a different way. This year's iteration imagines a young grade school teacher with epilepsy—played by Britt Genelin, and by Madeleine Birnbaum in childhood flashbacks—who has grown tired of taking the deadening medicine she requires to live normally. Accepting the risk of a major seizure, she stops taking the pills. On a much-anticipated date the following night, she goes up to the roof to look at the night skyline in the beginnings of a summer storm. Her companion briefly leaves her, and she has a serious epileptic event, slipping from the roof and falling to the pavement below. Once in a coma, she travels through the vast, dark interiors of her dying mind, utilizing dream-like characters from her class subjects, distant memory and imagination to guide her to the end.
Bad Kid Crabb

Bad Kid

Bad Kid is the story of a Goth boy who dreamed of being anywhere but the middle of Texas in 1991. Preferably somewhere in London wearing fishnet gloves and a cape while standing alone in the rain. In this funny and moving examination of rebellion, sexuality and friendship, David Crabb reflects on what it means to grow up different and alone, just like everyone else. Bad Kid is based on the true story of a Texas teen who navigates his outcast adolescence in a goth-obsessed, drug-fueled haze.

Bad Kid is a candid and hysterically honest examination of what it means to grow up different and alone. "As Goth kids, we thought that everything honest was rooted in death, even our sexual urges and our concept of 'fun,'" said Crabb. "But as I grew up I could sense there was another 'freak' beneath the one I contrived as a 15 year-old who wore dog collars and black nail polish; the lifelong freak, not the temporary one. I wanted to find out who he was."
Seven in One Blow

Seven In One Blow

For the tenth consecutive season, Axis Company will present its winter show for children, Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, beginning December 2nd. Adapted from the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm, this interactive play with music is conceived by Axis Company and directed by Randy Sharp featuring Axis' signature blend of advanced technology and live performance. Children in the audience will be encouraged to participate in many of the Kid's challenges with singing and organized "shout outs." Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2010
Down There

Down There

During 3 months in 1965, a 16 year-old girl was tortured and killed in the Indiana home of the Menckl family. Down There explores how this could have happened and what it might have felt like to the perpetrators as well as the victim.

Casey Kindens and her sister Joyce were boarded at Pat Menckl's house while their parents went to find work. Mr. and Mrs. Kindens knew nothing of the Menckls, and the sole connection was that Casey had played in the park with Pat's niece Paula once or twice. After a few weeks, when the $20-per-month boarding fee failed to arrive, Casey and Joyce were denied meals and beaten with a board. In an attempt to protect her polio-afflicted sister from further beatings, Casey took all the blame for future offenses, both real and imagined. The abuse escalated to the point where Casey was receiving daily life-threatening beatings, cigarette burns and scalding baths. Neighborhood teenagers joined in the torture, which was overseen by the sickly, phenobarbitol-addicted Pat.

After the words "I am a prostitute and proud of it" were carved into Casey's stomach, Pat realized that if anyone saw the girl's condition they all would "get in trouble." Pat forced Casey to write a letter to her parents, explaining that she had caused her injuries by going with a "gang of boys in the middle of the night." Following a final attempt at escape, Casey was dragged back into the home and beaten to death.

At no time during any of these events did Casey's sister attempt to alert anyone nor did any visiting neighbor contact the police when they heard Casey screaming for her life. How could a diverse group of people of various ages—who went to school, interacted with others, had their own families, ate snacks and played—return daily to a basement and torture a girl to death? And: Why didn't Casey run away? What was in her personal condition that allowed her to understand her abuse as something normal?

Based on the real-life 1965 torture murder of Sylvia Likens, Down There is a new play from Axis Company, written and directed by Randy Sharp (based on an original script by Randy Sharp & Michael Gump).
Seven 2010

Seven In One Blow

For the ninth consecutive season, Axis Company will present its winter show for children, Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, beginning December 3rd. Adapted from the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm, this interactive play with music is conceived by Axis Company and directed by Randy Sharp featuring Axis' signature blend of advanced technology and live performance. Children in the audience will be encouraged to participate in many of the Kid's challenges with singing and organized "shout outs." Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2009
Trinity 5:29

Trinity 5:29

TRINITY 5:29 centers on J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb. When Trinity, the first atomic bomb, was tested at 5:29am on July 16, 1945, Oppenheimer whispered a quote from Hindu scripture, "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." Less than a month later, two 20-megaton bombs were dropped on Japan, killing almost a quarter of a million people. Trapped in a desert of complicated regret, guilt and justification, New Jersey native Oppenheimer spent the rest of his life trying to decipher his actions. Using the form and structure of the medieval cycle plays, TRINITY 5:29 shows OppenheimerÕs journey as he remembers his girlfriend Jean Tatlock, the supposed Communist who committed suicide the year before; the arrogant, yet vulnerable General Groves, overseer of The Manhattan Project; and President Harry Truman, who pushed the button that started the end of the world.
Hospital 2009

Hospital 2009

A man is adrift in space. His mother ship - EARHEART - is a distant smudge on the void that has no horizon. He sits in the small escape pod - NOMAD - and tries to figure out how he became separated from the ship, his friends and his life. Discovering that he has been dropped off the connector arm and is alone and completely out of control, he calls the EARHART for help. In a dream state he cannot define, this Traveller wonders if he is not simply back in his apartment on Earth. Occasionally attempting to right his orbit and make it back to safety, he becomes increasingly disoriented and begins a private odyssey through the unmapped galaxies of his own universe.
East 10th Street

East 10th Street: Self-portrait With Empty House

In EAST 10TH STREET: SELF PORTRAIT WITH EMPTY HOUSE, long-standing, downtown theatre icon Edgar Oliver takes the audience on a fantastic voyage through the strange rooms of the apartment house where he has lived since his first years in New York. Inhabiting the dark, mysterious halls of an East Village tenement building are a dwarf Cabalist, a possible Nazi, the landlord's former wet nurse who apparently lives in a nest of rags, and many other memorable persons. Edgar leads the audience up to the final room, his own, at the top of the derelict stairs, wherein lie the secrets of his own family and the unbelievable odyssey that brought him there. This incredible cast of characters illuminate the sad, funny, brilliant and deeply personal story.
Gluetrap

Gluetrap

New York City is a Glue Trap! The more you move - the more stuck you get. In this dynamic performance piece Sueli Rocha, a Brazilian immigrant working in the city, allows us a glimpse into the extraordinary lives of the most ordinary people, a snapshot that unravels our culture. Walking the line between Sueli's own foreign history and mainstream America, she encounters a myriad of unexpected situations which she responds to in her own inimitable style. Moving amongst badly-educated photographers, talking mice, lousy babysitters, and "perfect men," she ends up taking on a much larger role than she originally signed up for. Through her job cleaning the homes of one client after the other Sueli deciphers the strange and heartbreaking similarities between all people and the unusual connections one stranger can make to another when they spend a few hours together. Funny, tender, full of loss and redemption GLUE TRAP provides a sense of the confusion, laughter, love and death inherent in New York City life.
Seven 2009

Seven In One Blow

For the eighth consecutive season, Axis Company will present its winter show for children, Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, beginning December 4th. Adapted from the classic fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm, this interactive play with music is conceived by Axis Company and directed by Randy Sharp featuring Axis' signature blend of advanced technology and live performance. Children in the audience will be encouraged to participate in many of the Kid's challenges with singing and organized "shout outs." Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2008
Henry May Long

Henry May Long

Late in the nineteenth century, Henry May, New York's golden child, has reached the end of a long road to self destruction. In debt and drug addicted, he is simply marking time until his eventual exile into poverty and oblivion. On the other side of the city Henry Long carefully observes May's decline, devoting his brilliant mind to the constant surveillance of his former school friend. May and Long finally meet and begin a complicated and dangerous odyssey that leads them to the sea and beyond. The houses and families of New York's golden age as well as the timeless underworld of the city are vividly brought to life as May and Long journey to the possible resolution of both their troubled lives. Both men discover what they have lost to get where they are, what they are willing to risk to get what they want and what they are willing to lose to live.
Hospital 2006

Hospital 2008

New York runs on water. From the steam system that heats and electrifies the five boroughs, to the water that flows from millions of taps, without it there is no city. Until 1970 two ancient tunnels, both at least 73 years old, were the only conduit. As far underground as the Chrysler Building is tall, teams of "sandhogs" risk their lives digging the path for the new Water Tunnel #3. Every day, far down beneath the feet of all New Yorkers, below the subway and the sewer, the sandhogs live their days in a dangerous, subterranean universe.

HOSPITAL 2008 takes place in the aftermath of a catastrophic collapse of part of this tunnel. Three men are trapped beneath the city streets, in a part of the system that is unrecognizable to them. As they attempt to find their individual ways back to the surface, it becomes clear that something beyond normal comprehension may have occurred deep beneath the capital of the world.
East 10th Street Encore

East 10th Street: Self-portrait With Empty House

In EAST 10TH STREET: SELF PORTRAIT WITH EMPTY HOUSE, long-standing, downtown theatre icon Edgar Oliver takes the audience on a fantastic voyage through the strange rooms of the apartment house where he has lived since his first years in New York. Inhabiting the dark, mysterious halls of an East Village tenement building are a dwarf Cabalist, a possible Nazi, the landlord's former wet nurse who apparently lives in a nest of rags, and many other memorable persons. Edgar leads the audience up to the final room, his own, at the top of the derelict stairs, wherein lie the secrets of his own family and the unbelievable odyssey that brought him there. This incredible cast of characters illuminate the sad, funny, brilliant and deeply personal story.
7

Seven In One Blow

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2007
Benjamin Baker Glance at NY

A Glance at New York

Axis Company presents the revival of Benjamin A. Baker's 1848 A Glance at New York. The original production of this vaudeville play following the adventures of Mose The Fireman became the first true American stage blockbuster filling theatres for years. The Axis production is an experimental event adapted by the Company for a contemporary audience.

A Glance at New York is set during a particularly dangerous, raw and inspirational period in New York City history. It is an unmitigated conglomeration of historic filth and fury following the burly firefighter Big Mose. Known as the toughest man in the nation's toughest city, Baker's Mose was a brave trailblazer for a new kind of American theatre populated by recognizable street-familiar characters that spoke to the common man. 1848 vaudeville actors from this play have found themselves spat out onto the stage of a theatre in New York 2007. Are they historic ambassadors or panicked children on the run? Are they diseased slum inhabitants or master story tellers? What is there to guide them? Only the memory of their play and each one's love for the distant, forgetful city that threw them away.
7 2007

Seven In One Blow

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2006
Levittown

Levittown

In the shadow of World War II, architect William Levitt envisioned a new American town in a Long Island potato field. After an extensive and spirited development effort, thousands of Levitt "Cape Cod" homes were built with scrap materials from the War. Each carefully modeled home was designed to serve the needs of the modern family, and soften the impact of the modern War. They were sold for $8,000 to battle-weary GIs with the hope of a new life–and as a means of forgetting the recent past...

It is nearly half a century later. The Maddigan family spans three generations of New York City firefighters. When Kevin, the grandson of a combat veteran, returns early from yet another college, he learns that his deeply troubled sister is about to be married. Inspired with a renewed hope of reconciliation and happiness, (and a final departure from a painful past) he attempts to reconcile the family with the abusive father who left them years before. Amidst the thin walls of their Levittown home, the members of this beleaguered family are forced to confront a concealed history, and the failures of the tidy truths they have desperately tried to embrace.
Henry May Long

Hospital 2006

Axis Company's episodic play Hospital (a West Village phenomenon every summer) examines the interior life of a man in a terminal coma. Entering this state in a different way every year, the audience travels with him as he lives out his last few days roaming the vast, dark interiors of his own brain. This year a complicated mystery unfolds to reveal the possible intentions of a manipulative, drug addicted thief. Hospital 2006 asks this question: What is an accident ?
Christmas 2006

Seven In One Blow

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2005
Not Yet Diagnosed Nervous 1918

Not Yet Diagnosed

After WWI thousands of veterans suffered from a serious mental condition that the bewildered medical community labeled "Shell Shock." Their complex symptoms ranged from total immobilization or a state of panic at the slightest provocation, to a complete failure even to realize that they had returned home. Doctors were unable to navigate their hallucinatory world and simply categorized them as Not Yet Diagnosed (Nervous). In their struggle to return to a normal life, what visions were endlessly replayed? What memories did they desperately try to decipher or forget? What was it like to live in this state of nervous dissolution, fear and confusion where no one was familiar and nothing seemed the same? Axis Company's Spring show Not Yet Diagnosed (Nervous) 1918 concerns the effects of the extreme shell shock suffered by WWI veterans following their service. Set in an allied trench during 1918 a small group of American soldiers wake to find themselves abandoned by everyone on the battlefield, including the Germans. On this desolate landscape everyone from the Army Photographic Corps specialist to the loneliest infantry soldier tries to piece together what may have happened during the night. Were they left behind? Is the war over? Are they already home? Is there anybody out there?
Henry May Long

Hospital 2005

Hospital 2005 occurs at the height of this imminent epidemic. A jet pilot lives in a city where H5N1 has reduced the population by 30%. Denying that he has contracted the virus, he gets so ill he is transported to a Quarantine Hospital with thousands of other people who have only a few days to live. H5N1 becomes the language of his terminal coma, a cerebral system through which he attempts to decipher the conflicts of his failed, lonely, finite existence.

Axis Company's episodic play Hospital examines the interior life of a man in a terminal coma. Entering this state in a different way every year, the audience travels with him as he lives out his last few days roaming the vast, dark interiors of his own brain. Although Hospital is a serial play, each evening can be viewed separately as a self-contained, short play.
Henry May Long

Seven In One Blow

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2004
Henry May Long

In Token of My Admiration

During August of 1849 an explosive friendship began between Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. Although it only lasted a year and a half, it was during this time that Melville wrote one of the few American, true masterpieces which he dedicated to Hawthorne with "In token of my admiration for his genius." Hawthorne was at the height of his literary success, having just published The Scarlet Letter and then The House of the Seven Gables. He was thrilled by the renegade maverick who had sailed the seven seas and come back again to the summer mountains of western Massachusetts. They visited each other often. Only a few months after it began, their friendship and their separate lives took dangerous turns for the worse. Melville published his genius Moby-Dick to little notice except out and out derision in the press, an event that he never was able to understand. Hawthorne, afraid of the dark door he had opened in The Scarlet Letter, retreated into idyllic fairy tales that sold well but showed little of his inner life or dire, emotional struggles. Incredibly, after the disaster of Moby-Dick, Melville went to work for twenty years as an ordinary custom's inspector in downtown New York. For twenty years he published nothing but poems and then simply nothing. His son committed suicide and he began his terminal relationship with alcohol. Hawthorne took a patrician's job as consul to Liverpool, cutting himself off physically and mentally from the "blue room" he had entered in New England with Melville. He died a relatively young man that even he described as "another pallid phantom gliding noiselessly up and down the stairs"

AXIS figures out what may have happened to these men as they crashed into each other like a freight train wreck, and then spun away to lives of darkness, boredom and frustration. Using impressions, film, music, Hawthorne and Melville's brilliant, sad and funny writing and every possible means, AXIS unfolds the interiors of two of the greatest minds in the artistic world.
Henry May Long

Hospital 2004

A soldier with a questionable past abandons his post during the last battle of a mid nineteenth century war. Running away in fear he is blown back into his trench by a massive explosion and is buried in mud and debris. Pulled from the trench and taken to a field hospital in a barn, he falls into a terminal coma and dies alone on the floor.

Axis Theatre Company's popular, episodic, annual play Hospital examines the interior life of a man in a terminal coma. Entering the coma in a different way every year the audience travels with him as he lives out his last few days roaming the vast, dark interiors of his own brain. Although Hospital is a serial play, each evening can be viewed separately as a self-contained short play.
Henry May Long

Seven In One Blow

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2003
Hospital 2003

Hospital 2003

Axis Company's episodic play Hospital examines the interior life of a man in a terminal coma. Entering this state in a different way every year, the audience travels with him as he lives out his last few days roaming the vast, dark interiors of his own brain.
A Glance At New York

A Glance at New York

Axis Company will present the first Off-Broadway revival of Benjamin A. Baker's 1848 melodrama A Glance at New York since the end of the Civil War. The original production of this short play which follows the exploits of Mose The Fireman became a huge cult hit and spawned many imitation "Mosaic" plays, as they became known. a glance at New YorkThe Axis production, beginning performances May 29th, is adapted and directed by Randy Sharp using music and mixed-media.

A Glance at New York is set during a particularly dangerous and raw period in New York City history. It is an unmitigated conglomeration of vulgarity and illiteracy following a burly firefighter named Big Mose. Known as the toughest man in the nation's toughest city, Mose spends much of his time beating whomever is in his path before rushing off to rescue a screaming innocent from a burning tenement.

Benjamin A. Baker was a volunteer fireman with Old Engine Co. #15 who worked as a prompter at Mitchell's Olympic Theater (on Broadway between Howard & Grand Street -- where A Glance at New York was originally staged). He based A Glance at New York on a real-life fireman, Moses Humphrey, an Irish printer employed by The New York Sun and a volunteer fireman. After the overwhelming success of A Glance at New York, Baker again used Mose as the central character in New York as It Is (1848), and the interest in that form of play was capitalized immediately by other writers and actors.
USS Frankenstein

USS Frankenstein

USS Frankenstein boldly blends fact and fantasy as it examines a mysterious and little-known military incident. In July 1945, a United States cruiser class battleship sailed to the South Pacific to deliver key components of the bomb that later detonated over Japan on August 6th. Known only to the highest military personnel, the passenger manifest may have included the man responsible for the creation of the bomb itself, J. R. Oppenheimer. On the voyage back to the States, the ship was destroyed...

With USS Frankenstein, Axis Company examines not only the nature of the atomic bomb itself but also its effect on its creator, protectors, and victims. Using disparate mixed-media sources this reconstruction of what may have been Oppenheimer's most secret thoughts pulls into focus historic events and introduces several potential outcomes.
Seven Christmas play

Seven In One Blow

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single swat and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2002
Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer

March 21 - April 5, 2002
Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar

written by William Shakespeare
Axis theatre childrens play

Seven In One Blow

In Seven In One Blow, or The Brave Little Kid, a child living in the city kills seven flies with a single rag and makes a belt emblazoned with "SEVEN IN ONE BLOW" to commemorate the event. As he is traveling about, most people think his belt refers to seven people and assign the Kid all kinds of difficult tasks based on this faulty presumption. Along the way a few interesting things are learned: an Ogre finds that you don't always have to show how strong you are... sometimes it's okay just to be quiet about it; a girl realizes that when you tease people you are hurting someone who may be just like you; and a scary monster understands that because she is loved, she may not be so scary after all. In the end, the Kid ultimately discovers that a parents' love and care has no bounds.
2001
Hospital 2001

Hospital 2001

Axis Company's episodic play Hospital examines the interior life of a man in a terminal coma. Entering this state in a different way every year, the audience travels with him as he lives out his last few days roaming the vast, dark interiors of his own brain.
The Freeman Watts Standard Procedure

Freeman Watts

February 15 - March 3, 2001
Listen Houdini

Listen Houdini

In the latter part of his life Houdini began a maniacal crusade against the then hugely popular fad of spiritualism and seances. He spoke out against mediums and their supporters whom he labeled shills and collaborators. Listen Houdini examines the intricacies of the real life relationship between Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a firm believer in the spiritualist movement. Both men suffered from tremendous feelings of personal loss and both held a burning desire to speak to those that they had lost. Doyle introduced Houdini to many famous psychics only to have their simple tricks publicly debunked. In Listen Houdini, Doyle presents the beaten down and aging Houdini with Margery Crandon -- the last contender for the title of genuine Medium. Through this final test, the interior terrors of both men's desperate lives are revealed. Using these amazing, historical characters Axis brings to life the unprecedented period of the golden age in New York City.
Welcome Houdini

Welcome Houdini

March 8 - March 24, 2001
2000
Hospital 2000

Hospital 2000

Axis Company's episodic play Hospital examines the interior life of a man in a terminal coma. Entering this state in a different way every year, the audience travels with him as he lives out his last few days roaming the vast, dark interiors of his own brain.
Woyzeck

Woyzeck

Beginning from B¨chner's terminal fever while writing the play, Axis replays the story of his common world's transformation into the nightmarish horror of Woyzeck's planet. The population of the author's daily life is re-born in each character of the play: his father becomes the captain who torments him, his wife a prostitute, an irritating passerby becomes his arch rival, his son an adult cypher. On the barren surface of his memory Büchner is forced to live out his last moments surrounded by monsters of his own creation.
Sarah Kane Crave

Crave

Axis Company Presents the U.S. Premiere of Sarah Kane's Crave
Frankenstein

Frankenstein

Fused at a molecular genetic level are three 20th century American icons: Frankenstein, Chicago World's Fair serial killer HH Holmes and Frank Lloyd Wright. Three builders of limitless imagination are contained in a single architect's body as he struggles to interpret the tremendous personal losses of his conglomerate life. Drawing on the traditional Frankenstein story, the brutal fire/murder of Wright's wife and children and the clever, ruthless multiple murders of Holmes,the creator of the Chicago "Killer Castle" AXIS creates a muli-layered journey into the language of memory and resolution.
1999
Play by Samuel Beckett

Play

written by Samuel Beckett
Picture This

Picture This

May 6 - June 5, 1999
Hospital 1999

Hospital 1999

Axis Company's episodic play Hospital examines the interior life of a man in a terminal coma. Entering this state in a different way every year, the audience travels with him as he lives out his last few days roaming the vast, dark interiors of his own brain.
1997
Hospital

Hospital 1997

The first iteration of Axis Company's episodic play Hospital examines the interior life of a man in a terminal coma. Entering this state in a different way every year, the audience travels with him as he lives out his last few days roaming the vast, dark interiors of his own brain.