My Name is Asher Lev Rehearsals Begin

December 3, 2008

Aaron Posner, adaptor and director of My Name is Asher Lev, discusses the first day of rehearsals.

It was a great first day.

I started talking with Chaim and Adena Potok about bringing My Name is Asher Lev to the stage back in 1999. So to finally find ourselves at the first day of rehearsal after thinking about a project for nearly a decade is quite a trip. We have an amazing cast – Karl Miller, Gabra Zackman, and Adam Heller – and each have some pretty major challenges in bringing this complex and compelling story to life. To have Adena Potok be part of the rehearsal process is quite a gift, as there may be no one in the world who knows Chaim’s work more intimately.

Today we all just got our feet wet. Our set designer, Dan Conway, introduced us to the world we will be inhabiting. A combination of artists studio and synagogue and open, evocative canvas for the play. Alison Roberts, our costume designer, showed us our jumping off place for how we all three actors to play 10 or 12 roles over 20 years without hardly ever leaving the stage, and James Sugg, our composer and sound designer talked about the music – listening to what he composes will come after he has had a chance to see more of where we are heading in rehearsal.

My mind was set into high gear by all that I saw and heard in both the reading of the play and the excellent discussion that followed with the entire team, and we are starting rehearsal today, Wednesday, with an entire new draft of the script. Some new scenes. Some scenes from earlier drafts. Some cuts, some rearrangements, some shifts. I am sure this process will continue for at least the next two weeks as we find the right balances for how to tell this particular story in this particular space at this particular time.

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