Barrington Stage Company Presents the American Premiere of BASHIR LAZHAR, 5/22-6/8

Barrington Stage Company Presents the American Premiere of BASHIR LAZHAR, 5/22-6/8

Barrington Stage Company, the award-winning theatre in downtown Pittsfield, MA, under the leadership of Julianne Boyd Artistic Director and TriStan Wilson Managing Director, will present the American Premiere of Bashir Lazhar, from May 22 through June 8. The Press Opening is Sunday, May 26 at 3pm.

Written by Canadian playwright Evelyne de la Chenelière, in a translation by Morwyn Brebner, Bashir Lazhar stars Juri Henley-Cohn, under the direction of Shakina Nayfack.

Bashir Lazhar opens the 2013 St. Germain Stage season at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. Tickets start at $40 (reserved seating).

An acclaimed Canadian play, Bashir Lazhar tells the story of a French-Algerian political refugee who is hurriedly hired as the teacher at an elementary school in Montreal for a class of distressed students. His unorthodox teaching methods draw him into surprisingly explosive territory. Timely and deeply moving, Bashir Lazhar explores the practical and emotional nuances of living in a multicultural society, the pain of loss and the power of imagination.

Bashir Lazhar was adapted for the screen under the title Monseiur Lazhar and was nominated for a 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Barrington Stage presented a staged reading ofBashir Lazhar June 3-4, 2012, directed by Shakina Nayfack.

The design team includes Brett J. Banakis (set and costume design), Robert Brown (lighting design) and Anthony Mattana (sound design and original music). Paul Vella is production stage manager.

Juri Henley-Cohn (Bashir Lazhar) makes his Barrington Stage debut. Theater credits in New York include: Inventing Avi and Savage in Limbo. Regional: Dracula (ASF), Dying City (Opera House Arts),Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (Hudson Guild, LA), and The Blue Demon (Williamstown). Television: Blue Bloods, Golden Boy, Royal Pains, Rubicon, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Film: Syrup; New York, I Love You; and Eye for an Eye.

Shakina Nayfack (Director) is the Associate Producer of the Blatt Center and is a theatre director, choreographer, producer and performance artist with a passion for developing new work. BSC directing credits include Bashir Lazhar (2012), Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers... (2011, 2012), and choreography for Mormons, Mothers, and Monsters, The Game, and Lord of the Flies. BSC producing credits: Lungs, The North Pool, Dr. Ruth, All the Way, The Black Suits. Member SDC.

Evelyne de la Chenelière, author and actress, wrote several plays which played in Quebec as well as abroad, and translated into several languages, including Strawberries in January, Au bout du fil, Henri et Margaux, Aphrodite en 04, L'Héritage de Darwin, Bashir Lazhar, and Le plan américain. In 2009, the play Les pieds des anges (Feet of the angels) was a part of the programming of the theater Espace GO and was nominated for the literary prize of the General Governor (2009) and Grand Prize of dramatic literature (2010). Her play, Bashir Lazhar, has been the object of a cinematographic adaptation, written and realized by Philippe Falardeau and produced by Micro_scope. Her newest creation, La chair et autres fragments de l'amour, an adaptation of the book Une vie pour deux from Marie Cardinal was presented at theater Espace Go in spring 2012.

Performances of Bashir Lazhar are Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 4pm, Sunday at 3pm. There is an added matinee Thursday, June 6 at 4pm. Press Opening: Sunday, May 26 at 3pm. Tickets start at $40 (reserved seating). Tickets to the Low Priced Preview performances May 22 & 23 are $15. Seniors: $32 all matinees. For youth ages 6-18, tickets are $15 for all performances (subject to availability). To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Barrington Stage Box Office at 413-236-8888 (or toll-free at 855-TIX-2BSC) or visit

There will be a Post-Show Discussion on Tuesday, May 28 following the 7:30pm performance of Bashir Lazhar at St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield.

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