Performance Network Invites Audiences to BACKSTAGE ART SHOW, 9/8
Performance Network Theatre and Ugly Mug Cafe & Roastery have announced the first Backstage Art Show in which audiences are escorted backstage after the 85 minute performance of "My Name is Asher Lev" to engage with works by local visual artists Mike Aul, Dora Diaspora, Alex Mandrila, and Dan Muholland now through September 8.
"My Name is Asher Lev" adapted by Aaron Posner from the novel by Chaim Potok is a co-production with Performance Network and Jewish Ensemble Theatre.
Tickets are available at performancenetwork.org or by calling 734-663-0681. For more information on the Backstage Art Show visit performancenetwork.org/backstageartshow
Performance Network Theatre began an "artnership" with Pop Up A2 in January 2013 to bring works by local visual artists to the lobby of the theatre. Since the beginning of the artnership, Performance Network Theatre and Pop Up A2 have featured works by eight artists, including works by Brian Spolans now showing in the lobby of Michigan's most award-winning theatre. For the production of "My Name is Asher Lev", Performance Network Theatre reached out to the Ugly Mug Cafe & Roastery for contributions to the special Backstage Art Show.
"I was originally introduced to Stepanie Wottreng from Pop Up A2 through Creative Rights' Executive Director, Brandon Weiner when I approached him with the idea of the Backstage Art Show. He encouraged Performance Network and Pop Up A2 to join forces right away to present as many artists as possible and we've been working on each Performance Network production since January," said Marissa Kurtzhals, Marketing Director at Performance Network. "I've always admired the pieces in the Ugly Mug Cafe in Ypsilanti and contacted their Event Coordinator, Kayj Michelle to see if she would be interested in curating the Backstage Art Show. It has been a fulfilling creative experience to work with Stephanie and Kayj and we're very excited about the artists they have chosen to present."
Based on the famous 1972 novel by Chaim Potok, "My Name is Asher Lev" tells the story of a boy growing up in a sheltered Hasidic community in 1950s Brooklyn, who discovers he has a prodigious talent as an artist. Struggling to reconcile his gift with the community's Orthodox values, he immerses himself in an art form steeped in Christian imagery. When he brings forth a masterwork entitled "The Brooklyn Crucifixions," he must decide whether or not to honor his self-expression and exhibit, potentially bringing shame on his family, his community, and even his faith. "My Name is Asher Lev" features performances by Naz Edwards, Mitchell Koory, and John Seibert.
After the performance of "My Name is Asher Lev", audiences are directed backstage to view the hidden gallery behind the critically acclaimed set. "Something is promised with [Performance Network] productions is detailed set dressing. There is consistent attention to detail that had me exploring the set before the play even began. But even behind the set, the [Performance Network] had artists displaying their work. I was delighted to find one of my friends, Alex Mandrila, photograph paired with interesting pieces from other local artists. It was a serendipitous way to end a pleasant night," said bloggers from Damn Arbor.
For more information about the artists, curators, and performance, visit performancenetwork.org/backstageartshow.
My Name is Asher Lev adapted by Aaron Posner from the novel by Chaim Potok is running at Performance Network now throughSeptember 8. Tickets are available at performancenetwork.org or 734-663-0681.
Founded in 1981, Performance Network Theatre has grown from a fledgling company to Ann Arbor's resident professional theatre. The Network reaches 40,000 theatre patrons and children each year through the year-round Professional Series and the Children's Theatre Network. Performance Network also presents the Fireside New Play Festival and a series of classes on theatre-related topics. The Network provides uncompromising artistic leadership in the region and produces works that engage, challenge and inspire audiences and artists.