My Name Is Asher Lev

By Aaron Posner from the book by Chaim Potok — Bluff City Theatre

Asher Lev Director’s Notes

Rosemary Watts as Rivkeh, Drew Anthony Pannebecker as Asher Lev and Jared Sanz-Agero as Ari

This is a play about tradition. Asher Lev is born into a family with a strong Jewish (Hasidic) tradition. He is also born with an artistic gift and must learn the traditions that come along with that gift.

Asher’s family and community bring him up in the Jewish traditions and his ties to his religion are very strong. His Mother and Father are active in helping Jews in Europe rebuild places of worship and religious communities, as well as helping those who still don’t have the right to practice, escape from those countries. Asher does not question his faith.

Asher’s gift, his artistic talent, is the other thing that drives his life. At 13 he is given a second set of parents, his artistic parents. They warn him that being part of two traditions will not be easy. It should be undertaken only if he must do it, if his need to create is so strong that he cannot live without practicing his art. His Mother and Father do not understand this need.

Rosemary Watts as Anna & Drew Anthony Pannebecker as Asher

As an artist, I know that following that passion, the need to create is not for the faint of heart. I am fascinated by stories of how artists find their place in the world. There are many types of struggles artists go through. Our story is the conflict between two traditions. It is beautifully and thoughtfully told in both Chiam Potok’s novel and in this adaptation by Aaron Posner.

I am thrilled to be bringing this play to life with a phenomenal group of artists, each one gifted, devoted to the traditions of the theatre, and just great to work with.

I have certainly had my crosses to bear in my artistic journey, and although I am Jewish, like Asher, I was blessed with having two of the most supportive parents an artist could hope to have. They loved to see my work, whether they liked its style or content, they loved my work. I wish that they were here to see this. They would love this production.

– Sydnie Grosberg Ronga

Drew Anthony Pannebecker as Asher Lev
Jared Sanz-Agero as The Men
Rosemary Watts as The Women

Julian King – Costume Designer
Stephen Schisler – Set Designer
Chris Davis – Technical Director

Drew Anthony Pannebecker as Asher Lev, Jared Sanz-Agero as Ari & Rosemary Watts as Rivkeh