This show was produced May 5 — May 21, 2017
My Name Is Asher Lev
Adapted by Aaron Posner from the book by Chaim Potok
Directed By Josh McLucas
Tyler S. Elliott • Steve Gleich • Stacy Skinner
“Be a great painter, Asher Lev. It is the only justification for all the pain you are about to cause.”
Asher Lev, a boy with prodigious artistic abilities, is born into a Hasidic Jewish family in 1950s Crown Heights, Brooklyn. His father, Aryeh, is a man who has devoted his life to bringing the teachings and practice of their sect to Jews around the world — even fighting their vicious persecution in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. His mother, Rivkeh, recovering from the traumatic death of her brother, devotes her life to finishing his work when she’s not waiting for her husband to return from his travels or her son to come home from yeshiva.
When Aryeh discovers what Asher’s been drawing, he cannot abide it. Like most of his Hasidic community, which places faith and religious practice above all, he considers art to be foolishness embodied, or even possibly a sacrilegious impulse from the Sitra Achra — the Other Side. There can only be one recourse: stop drawing immediately and return to the way of life that connects man with the Ribbono Shel Oylam — the Master of the Universe. Rivkeh, meanwhile, is a mother caught between a son searching for answers and a father doing incredibly important work; how far can one woman spread herself?
Nonetheless, Asher’s gift cannot be denied. The Rebbe, the leader of their community, decides that Asher should study under Jacob Kahn, one of the greatest living artists and, surprisingly, a non-
observant Jew. Kahn brings the world of the goyim — the non-Jew — to Asher in ways he never expected, forcing him to reconcile his unshakeable faith with the hard truth that there has never been a single great observant Jewish artist. As his art matures, his family’s understanding of his calling struggles to catch up.
Asher visits Florence and Paris and carries out the traditions of an artist until his apprenticeship ends. When he’s finally on his own, his gift calls upon him to paint his masterpiece.
But when inspiration strikes this goy-trained observant Jew, how much pain will his gift cause?
Tyler S. Elliott played Asher Lev
Tyler S. Elliott is honored to make his second appearance with South Camden Theatre Company. A 2015 graduate of Swarthmore College, Elliott has most recently worked with Philadelphia Young Playwrights and Found Theater Company (First They Came). Past credits include Konstantin in The Seagull (Swarthmore Theater), Pilot/Air Traffic Controller in CVR (South Camden Theater Company), and Nas in Mercury Fur (Brainspunk Theater Company). He will be appearing this Spring in You For Me For You (InterAct Theatre Company). He would like to thank the director and cast for their unbelievable work and his family for their unwavering support and love.
Steve Gleich played the men
Steve Gleichis excited to be part of this challenging production with South Camden Theatre Company; his third with SCTC. He has performed locally with Walnut Street, The Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Shakespeare Festivals, Hedgerow, City Theatre, Luna Theatre, the Ritz Theatre, Simpatico Theatre, and the Irish Heritage Theatre companies. Favorite roles include Stephen in Dealer’s Choice, Robert in Proof, the title role in Macbeth, Scrooge in Christmas Carol, Bobby Gould in Speed the Plow, Eddie in Conversations with My Father , Miles Gloriosis in A Funny Thing Happened and Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey into Night. He also has had featured and major roles in several independent films, has speaking roles in both the Smithsonian Channel documentary The Hunt for the Double Eagle and in the second season of the House of Cards Netflix series. Steve lives with his wife Susan in Delaware. They travel regularly between Dublin Ireland and Salt Lake City to visits their son and daughter’s families and their five grandkids.
Stacy Skinner played the women
Stacy Skinner (The Women) is delighted to be returning to South Camden Theatre Company where she was last seen playing multiple roles in Charlie Victor Romeo. Originally having lived and acted in NY, Stacy has been seen in a variety of Philadelphia venues, including The Walnut Street Theatre and Hedgerow Theatre, and also expresses herself as a voice over artist. Favorite roles include: Gertrude (Hamlet), Mrs. Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility), Edith Frank (The Diary of Anne Frank), Don Joan (John) (Much Ado About Nothing), and Mrs. Gibbs (Our Town). She holds degrees in Theatre and Speech-Language Pathology. Big thanks to Josh for this invitation to enter the world of her lantsmen and to her ever faithful family.
Funding has been made possible in part by the Camden County Cultural & Heritage Commission at Camden County College, through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.