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Barrington Stage Co Presents MY NAME IS ASHER LEV,Closes 9/11

Barrington Stage Company, the award-winning theatre in Downtown Pittsfield, MA, under the leadership Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Managing Director TriStan Wilson, is proud to present the Berkshire County premiere of My Name Is Asher Lev, based on the acclaimed novel by Chaim Potok.

Adapted for the stage and directed by Aaron Posner, My Name Is Asher Lev has added an extra week of performances. Production dates are August 18 through September 11 at BSC Stage 2 (36 Linden Street, Pittsfield) with a press opening on Sunday, August 21 at 3pm.

The production stars Daniel Cantor (The Men), Renata Friedman (The Women) and Adam Green (Asher Lev).

My Name Is Asher Lev follows the journey of a young Jewish painter torn between his Hasidic upbringing and his desperate need to fulfill his artistic promise. When his artistic genius threatens to destroy his relationship with his parents and community, young Asher realizes he must make a difficult choice between art and faith. This stirring adaptation of a modern classic presents a heartbreaking and triumphant vision of what it means to be an artist.

My Name Is Asher Lev will feature sets by Dan Conway, costumes by Olivera Gajic, lighting by John Hoey, and sound by James Sugg. Rose Marie Packer is production stage manager.

Daniel Cantor (The Men) At BSC: Wonder of the World. Off-Broadway: Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight (Promenade), Tuesdays With Morrie (Minetta Lane), Strictly Personal (Soho Playhouse). National Tour/SF: Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Chicago: Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Victory Gardens, Next. Regional: American Conservatory Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse, Milwaukee Rep, Cleveland Play House, Studio Theater, Hartford TheaterWorks, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Arkansas Rep, Worcester Foothills, Mill Mountain, National Shakespeare. Television: "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: CI," "Conviction," "The Sopranos," "As the World Turns," "Loving," "Asphalt Man" (Korea). Film: The Auteur Theory (Showtime), Alchemy (ABC) and other indies. Daniel teaches acting at Northwestern University.

Renata Friedman (The Women) BSC debut. New York: A Midsummer Night's Dream (New Victory Theater), The Importance of Being Earnest (Baruch Performing Arts Center), The K of D, an urban legend (FringeNYC and Fringe Encores) and the Orchard Project. Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Humana Festival, ACT (Seattle), Seattle Children's Theatre, the Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, Aquila Theatre touring company. Renata will be appearing this winter at Yale Rep and Berkeley Rep in A Doctor in Spite of Himself. NYU graduate.

Adam Green (Asher Lev) New York: The Witch of Edmonton (Red Bull), Election Day, All this Intimacy (Second Stage), Dov and Ali (Playwrights Realm), None of the Above (Lion Theatre), The Last Word (St. Clement's), The Mines of Sulphur (New York City Opera), Bone Portraits (Walkerspace). Regional: All's Well that Ends Well, The Liar (Shakespeare Theatre Company, Helen Hayes nom: Liar), Peter and the Starcatchers (La Jolla/Disney), The Monster at the Door (Alley Theatre), Pride and Prejudice (Geva), The Chosen (Actors' Theatre of Louisville); Awake and Sing (Arena Stage), The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Alliance Theatre). Affiliated Artist, DC's Shakespeare Theatre. MFA (Acting): NYU; BA (English): Harvard University.

Chaim Potok (Author) was born Herman Harold Potok on February 17, 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. Potok then taught at several Jewish colleges, including the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, before moving on to become the managing editor of Conservative Judaism in 1964. Potok spent a year in Israel completing his doctoral dissertation on philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965 and the following year became the editor of the Jewish Publication Society of America, which he remained for eight years before becoming a special-projects editor of the publication in 1974. Potok 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, Mr. 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. His other novels include In The Beginning (1975), The Book of Lights (1981), Davita's Harp (1985), I Am The Clay (1992), The Tree of Here (1993), The Sky of Now (1995) and The Gates of November (1996). Potok also published several major nonfiction works, including Wanderings: Chaim Potok's History of the Jews (1978).

Aaron Posner (Playwright/Director) is a playwright, director, teacher and former artistic director whose work has been seen at major regional theatres across the country including Actor's 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 playwrighting and directing, is an Eisenhower Fellow, is originally from Eugene, Oregon, and currently resides near Washington DC.

FREE EVENT "Conversations with..." From Page to Stage with Aaron Posner on Friday, August 19 at 4pm. Playwright/Director Aaron Posner will discuss how a modern classic novel such as Chaim Potok's My Name Is Asher Lev is adapted into a dramatic form for the stage. Posner will discuss the process beginning with the first idea through the play's premiere on the stage. While all "Conversations with..." events are free, reservations are highly recommended. All seating is general admission. BSC Stage 2, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201. For tickets, call the Box Office at 413-236-8888.

My Name Is Asher Lev will be presented at BSC Stage 2, 36 Linden St., Pittsfield from August 18 through September 11. Opening Night: Sunday, August 21 at 3pm. Performance times are Tuesday through Friday at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm, and Thursdays and Sundays at 3pm. Added matinee performance Friday, September 2 at 3pm. Please note there will be no Thursday matinee on August 18. Tickets: $15-$39. Youth 18 and under $15 all performances except Saturday evening.

About Barrington Stage Company
Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity regional theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA, was co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. Barrington Stage's mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre-especially young people. Barrington Stage garnered national attention in 2004 when it workshopped, and premiered William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin's musical hit The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which later transferred to Broadway's Circle-in-the-Square Theatre where it won two Tony Awards and played more than 1,000 performances. In 2009/2010 Barrington Stage produced the world premiere of Mark St. Germain's Freud's Last Session, which later moved Off-Broadway to the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater. Barrington Stage was voted "Best Live Theatre" by The Berkshire Eagle readers in 2011 and was named "Best Theatre Company" in Metroland's Best of the Capital Region 2009-2011.

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