On Saturday evening, June 10, the night before the Tony Awards, Axial Theatre will travel from its Pleasantville home to the Gallery of ArtsWestchester in downtown White Plains to pay tribute to Tony-winning producer Jane Dubin.
Dubin, a longtime Sleepy Hollow resident and colleague of Axial’s artistic director/founder Howard Meyer via the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, is a fan of Axial Theatre. She praises the company for continuing to showcase new works and presenting quality professional theater “in our backyard.”
A former actuary turned investment counselor, Dubin made a career change to theater around 2004 and never looked back. She founded her own production company, Double Play Connections, in 2005 and followed up by completing multiple courses from the Commercial Theatre Institute, including the 14-week Producing Intensive seminar.
In 2009, she won her first Tony for “The Norman Conquests” – a trio of plays by Alan Ayckbourn performed at Circle In the Square. Next “Ann,” written and performed by Holland Taylor, brought back to life Texas Governor Ann Richards and garnered a Tony nomination for its star. “Peter and the Starcatcher” won five Tonys in 2012 and now tours nationwide. Other productions include “An American in Paris,” winner of four Tonys, now in London and in the midst of a National tour; and “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,” by James Lescesne, also on tour.
Currently on Broadway, “Bandstand,” a WWII swing musical, is up for two Tonys, including one for choreographer and director Andy Blankenbuehler, “Hamilton’s “choreographer.
Will Broadway’s soaring costs and the risks of producing ever steer Dubin away from the theater? “That’s not even an issue. Theater has the power to transform. We have to be there,” she says.
She next plans to co-produce, with Harriet Leve, Lily Tomlin and Tomlin’s partner, Jane Wagner, “Fingersmith” (translation “Pickpocket”), a play set in Victorian London written by Alexa Junge (a writer for TV’s “Grace and Frankie” and “Friends,” among others), to be directed by Bill Rauch of “All the Way” fame. Sounds like a winning formula.
The Axial Benefit on June 10 runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at ArtsWestchester, 31 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains. It will include cabaret entertainment; gourmet dishes and libations from 12 Grapes Restaurant in Peekskill; a live auction featuring luxury getaways on the Italian Riviera and in Provence and South Africa and a silent auction. General admission is $60, including food and an open bar for wine and beer. Seating in Jane Dubin’s VIP section is $100. Visit AxialTheatre.org, Axial Theatre’s Facebook page or contact AxialTheatre@gmail.com.
– Evelyn Mertens