Asher Lev, With Daniel Cantor, Adam Green and Renata Friedman, Opens at Barrington

News   Asher Lev, With Daniel Cantor, Adam Green and Renata Friedman, Opens at Barrington
Barrington Stage Company's intimate BSC Stage 2 in Pittsfield, MA, is home to the drama about identity, family and career, My Name Is Asher Lev, adapted from the Chaim Potok novel, opening Aug. 21 following previews from Aug. 18. Performances play to Sept. 11 in the Berkshires.

Writer-director Aaron Posner's staging features Daniel Cantor (as The Men), Renata Friedman (as The Women) and Adam Green in the title role in "the journey of a young Jewish painter torn between his Hasidic upbringing and his desperate need to fulfill his artistic promise," according to BSC.

Asher's "artistic genius threatens to destroy his relationship with his parents and community," forcing him to "make a difficult choice between art and faith."

The run represents a one-week extension. BSC Stage 2 is at 36 Linden Street, in Pittsfield. This is the Berkshires premiere of the popular regional title.

My Name Is Asher Lev's creative team includes scenic designer Dan Conway, costume designer Olivera Gajic, lighting designer John Hoey and sound designer James Sugg. Rose Marie Packer is production stage manager.

Novelist Potok was born Herman Harold Potok in 1929. The son of Polish immigrants, he was reared in an Orthodox Jewish home in New York City, where he attended religious schools. As a young man he became fascinated by less restrictive Jewish doctrines, particularly the Conservative side of Judaism. He attended Yeshiva University and graduated summa cum laude in English literature in 1950 before moving on to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was ordained a Conservative rabbi. He began his career as an author and novelist in 1967 with the publication of "The Chosen," the first book from a major publisher to portray Orthodox Judiasm in the United States. Two years later, he followed "The Chosen" with a sequel, "The Promise." In 1972, Potok returned to the subject of Hasidism for a third time with his novel "My Name Is Asher Lev," the sequel to which, "The Gift of Asher Lev," was published 18 years later in 1990. He is the author of a number of other novels and works of nonfiction. Posner is a playwright, director, teacher and former artistic director whose work has been seen at major regional theatres across the country including Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Alliance, Arden Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, California Shakespeare Theatre, Folger Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Portland Center Stage, Seattle Rep, and many more. His adaptations of Chaim Potok's novels "The Chosen" and "My Name Is Asher Lev" have been produced at more than 50 regional theatres, as well as internationally. Other adaptations include a musical adaptation of Mark Twain's A Murder, A Mystery & A Marriage; Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey; Who Am I This Time? by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.; What Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse; Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons; and Third & Indiana by Steve Lopez. He has won Barrymore Awards and Helen Hayes Awards for both playwriting and directing, is an Eisenhower Fellow, is originally from Eugene, OR, and currently resides near Washington, DC.

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