The Vast Machine

Written & Directed by Randy Sharp

October 8 - November 7, 2015

Thursdays - Saturdays at 8PM
Added performances: Monday, October 12; Tuesday, October 13 and Wednesday, October 28 at 8pm. There is NO performance on Saturday, October 31.

Tickets are $45 Adults; $30 Seniors/Students Preview Ticket prices are $25 for October 8, 9, 10 & 12. Theatre Artist/Under 30 (w/valid I.D.) $10

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?


Featuring: Brian Barnhart, Brian Carter, George Demas, Sean Patrick Monahan, Julian Rozzell

Stage Manager: Regina Betancourt
Dramaturg/Asst. Director & Stage Manager: Marc Palmieri
2nd Asst. Director: Spencer Aste
Historical Consultant: Marcus Rediker
Light Designer: David Zeffren
Asst. Light Designer: Amy Harper
Sound Designer: Steve Fontaine
Costume Designer: Karl Ruckdeschel
Set Designer: Chad Yarborough
Original Music & Guitar: Paul Carbonara
Cello: Sam Quiggins
Asst. Costume Designer/Wardrobe Supervisor: Jess Gersz
Set Construction: Chad Yarborough, Mike Bajor, Matt Doliner Oscar Krol
Prop Designer & Construction: Lynn Mancinelli
Charge Artist: Alicia Adams
Set Painter: Erica Goepel
Metal Fabrication: Max Haendler
Website & Graphic Design: Ethan Crenson/Red Shift
Photography: Dixie Sheridan
Publicity/PR: Blake Zidell & Assoc.
Box Office Manager: Erik Savage

AXIS COMPANY
Randy Sharp: Artistic Director
Brian Barnhart: Producing Director
Jeffrey Resnick: Executive Producer

The running time is approximately 80 minutes without an intermission.

NOTES
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 ships. 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.

THANK YOU
Peter Sharp, sailing consultant; Terry Jackson - Worldstage


  • Brian Barnhart, Sean Patrick Monahan, Julian Rozzell, Brian Carter, George Demas - photo by Dixie Sheridan
  • Sean Patrick Monahan, George Demas, Brian Carter, Brian Barnhart, Julian Rozzell - photo by Dixie Sheridan
  • Brian Barnhart, Julian Rozzell, Sean Patrick Monahan, Brian Carter, George Demas - photo by Dixie Sheridan
  • Sean Patrick Monahan, George Demas - photo by Dixie Sheridan
  • Brian Barnhart, Julian Rozzell - photo by Dixie Sheridan




“...seething with feeling…dark…vivid...the divide between commerce and compassion is made abundantly clear, as is the deserved torment of these sailors, flailing in an inferno of moral retribution.”
The New York Times
“…a tense, impeccably designed world premiere production…a fascinating look into an industry that changed the course and the nature of America and, indeed, the entire Western world…an uncomfortable and therefore effective experience.”
—Theater Is Easy
“'The Vast Machine' is a “compelling new drama…(with an) excellent ensemble…”
—Talkin' Broadway
“Is Everyone Capable of Evil?”
—Diep Tran, TDF Stages