Zach Throne ’16, a dramatic arts and politics graduate, is gearing up for the debut of his first feature film, “Cadia: The World Within.” Throne is serving as co-executive producer for the film that stars Corbin Bernsen, best known for his roles in “Psych,” “L.A. Law,” and “Major League,” and James Phelps, the actor who played Fred Weasley in the “Harry Potter” film series.
Slated for release in 2019, “Cadia: The World Within” is the story of Matthew, David and Renee Addams, three fourteen-year-olds whose journey into a mystical realm teaches them about grace, love, doubt and the nature of good versus evil. The original screenplay was written by Throne’s business partner, Cedric Gegel, who also directs the film. It was shot primarily in and around Columbus, Ohio, an area of the country that Throne describes as, “a growing scene for film and theatre.”
“In the fall of 2016, I received a callback from Columbus-based theatre company Standing Room Only after participating in the Ohio Theatre Alliance’s regional auditions,” Throne says. “Although that show fell through due to some logistic problems facing the company, I went on to perform in ‘Hamlet’ with Exit Left Productions.”
Gegel was also in that production, and the two struck up a friendship, becoming increasingly involved in not only the theatre community but the film scene as well.
“We wanted to catch the tidal wave of the burgeoning Columbus art scene,” Throne says.
And so they embarked on the production of “Cadia,” and it is very much a family affair. Throne’s mother, Stephanie, is executive producer, and his wife, Krystal, served in extras casting and craft services.
“This is very much a coming of age story,” Throne says. “We liken it to ‘Narnia’ or ‘Spiderwick Chronicles.’ One of the unique aspects of the film is that it has theological and philosophical underpinnings, but it’s not preachy or Bible-thumpy. It’s more about posing questions and discussing; having those conversations which, as a person of faith, are extremely important.
“As a student at Centre, I met people from all walks of life with all different types of faith and all different experiences,” he continued, “and expecting everyone to have the same standpoint is unrealistic. I can’t expect my audience to have the same faith walk that I do, so before I even approach that we have to have a conversation; let’s talk about death and the difference between good and evil, how do we view it, what do we think of it. The script Cedric wrote is a great story that will attract all different types of people. Centre’s motto ‘Learning is the Light of the Mind’ really resonates in this film.”
The star-studded cast is also a testament to the strength of the story.
“We got the contact information for Corbin Bernsen’s agent and started a conversation via email,” Throne explains. “We sent him the script, and a few days later the agent called back to say that [Bernsen] was interested and we began talking numbers. As a start-up company producing its first feature film, Corbin’s network through his history with TV and films is a real blessing. And getting James Phelps is another good sign that this is a great story that needs to be heard.” John Wells, a renowned indie actor in the midwest and west, is also featured in the film.
Throne is thankful for the Centre foundation that helped mold the skills he needed to take on this new career challenge.
“The liberal arts education that Centre provided gave me the ability to view a situation from multiple perspectives and to problem-solve better than your average human being. As an actor and as a producer, being able to change as the course of my career changes has been tremendously beneficial.
“I was influenced by Centre’s entire dramatic arts program, but I particularly relied on Professor of Dramatic Arts Patrick Kagan-Moore and consider him my mentor,” he says.
“Acting is my heart, but I’ve really come to enjoy the production side of theatre simply because I enjoy the business and logistics of it, and my education at Centre has allowed me to grasp that way of thinking.”
by Cindy Long
May 7, 2019
Above: “Cadia: The World Within” actors James Phelps (left) and John Wells (right) pictured with Zach Throne ’16.