Celebrating 15 years


My Name is Asher Lev

My Name is Asher Lev
My Name is Asher Lev

My Name is Asher Lev

BY Aaron Posner
Adapted from the novel by Chaim Potok
DIRECTED BY Joel Greenberg

Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan present a co-production with

Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company

Greenwin Theatre
Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M2N 6R8

NOVEMBER 4 to 26, 2017

Tuesday to Thursday & Saturday 8PM
Wednesday 1PM
Sunday 2PM
Thursday, November 23 at 1PM
Sunday, November 12 & 19 at 7PM

Some performances have talkbacks and Beyond the Stage events. View “Beyond the Stage” tab above for schedule and details.

A young Jewish artist is torn between his Hasidic upbringing and his desperate need to fulfill his creative promise. As his genius threatens to destroy his relationship with his parents and community, he must make a difficult choice between art and faith. This stirring adaptation of a modern classic presents a triumphant and heartbreaking vision of what it means to be an artist.


“Thought-provoking, humorous and deeply insightful.”

Studio 180 Season Sponsor

BMO Financial Group


Cast & creative team

BY Aaron Posner
DIRECTED BY Joel Greenberg
FEATURING Jonas Chernick, Ron Lea, and Sarah Orenstein
LIGHTING DESIGN Kimberly Purtell
Brandon Kleiman
 Thomas Ryder Payne
Laura Baxter
Bradley Dunn

Jonas Chernick

Jonas Chernick

Asher Lev

Toronto stage debut; Theatre credits include Biff in Death of a Salesman, Speed-The-Plow, The Chosen (WJT); Cote Saint Joe (Persephone / WJT); Film & TV credits include Fargo, The Best Laid Plans (Canadian Screen Award), The Border (Gemini Award, ACTRA Award nomination), My Awkward Sexual Adventure (TIFF Top Ten, ACTRA Award & Canadian Comedy Award nominations), Borealis (Vancouver International Film Festival Special Jury Award); Private Eyes, Saving Hope, Covert Affairs.


Ron Lea

Ron Lea

Aryeh Lev and Others

Ron is very excited and honored to be making his first appearance for the Harold Green Jewish Theatre and Studio 180. Stage credits include: “Death of a Salesman” and “Betrayal” for WJT. “August” for ATP, “December Man” Vancouver, Winnipeg. “The Motel Plays,” Factory Theatre, “True West,” Tarragon Theatre, “Souvenirs” Greenthumb Theatre and numerous shows at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre including “The Envelope,” “The Book of Bob,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Juno and the Paycock” to name a few. A Gemini award winner and 6-time nominee, Ron would like to dedicate his performance to my beloved friend the late great Dr. Frederick Ward, poet, playwright, composer, teacher, my mentor.


Sarah Orenstein

Sarah Orenstein

Rivkeh Lev and Others

Sarah Orenstein has worked on stages across Canada for over forty years. Originally from Halifax where she grew up watching her father paint in his studio – she lives in Toronto with her husband and sons. Some Selected stage credits: Stuff Happens, Normal Heart, God of Carnage (Studio 180) Scorched, Billy the Kid, Patience (Dora award), Mrs. Klein, Hope Slide (Tarragon) The Millionairess, Heartbreak House, Councillor at Law, Blythe Spirit (Shaw festival – company member 13 seasons) Shakespeare in Love, Possible Worlds, Alice through the looking Glass, Zasstrozzi (Stratford Festival) Dolls’ House (Critics circle Award- GCTC) Hanna’s Suitcase (YPT). Film /TV Credits include: Fugitive Pieces, The Calling, Orphan Black.



Laura BaxterLaura Baxter

Stage Manager

My Night With Reg, You Will Remember Me, NSFW, God of Carnage, Clybourne Park (Studio 180 Theatre), Black Boys, The 20th of November, Arigato Tokyo, Obaaberima, The Maids, The Silicone Diaries, Breakfast, Neon Nightz (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre), Tails From the City, The Public Servant, The Story, Happy Days, All That Fall, And Up They Flew (Common Boots Theatre), Little Pretty and The Exceptional, Age of Arousal, Toronto the Good, The Real McCoy (Factory Theatre), Elle (Theatre Passe Muraille) Dirt, Jitters (Soulpepper), Venus in Fur, Shakespeare in High Park: 6 seasons (CanadianStage), Soliciting Temptation, More Fine Girls (Tarragon Theatre), The Berlin Blues, Ipperwash (Blyth Festival) Speaking in Tongues, Festen (The Company Theatre), A Sleigh Ride Christmas Carol, Everyone, The Story, Macbeth (Caravan Farm Theatre).


Bradley DunnBradley Dunn

Assistant Stage Manager

Select Theatre Credits: Comedy of Errors (TIP/WCT/Theatre Aquarius); Buying the Moose (PSFT); It’s All Tru (Cabaret Company); My Night with Reg (Studio 180/Mirvish); The Wizard of Oz (The Grand); A Grand Time in the Rapids (TIP); The Heidi ChroniclesThe Odd Couple (Soulpepper); You Will Remember Me (Studio 180/Tarragon); It’s A Wonderful Life (Theatre Aquarius), Steel Magnolias, The Gentleman ClothierTouch and GoStag and Doe (UCP). Other: Bradley is a graduate of McMaster University and Sheridan College.


Joel GreenbergJoel Greenberg


For Studio 180: My Night with RegYou Will Remember Me, NSFW, Cock, God of Carnage, Clybourne Park, The Normal Heart, Our Class, Parade (director and choreographer), The Overwhelming, Stuff Happens, Blackbird, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Laramie Project, The Passion of the Chris. As performer – Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish. Co-founder and Artistic Director. Other theatre credits include: As director – The Underdogs, What the Butler Saw (Just For Laughs, Montreal); Taking Sides (Centaur Theatre); The House of Blue Leaves, Lend Me a Tenor, You Can’t Take It with You, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Theatre Aquarius); Vanities (The Grand Theatre). As director and choreographer – Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Dora Award); Forbidden Broadway (Dora Nomination); Bells Are Ringing (Grand); The Golden Land, The Rothschilds (Winnipeg Jewish Theatre). As choreographer – seven productions with Second City in Toronto and Chicago; She Loves Me (Grand). As playwright and director – Drink the Mercury (Dora Award) and The Nuclear Power Show (Chalmers Playwriting Award) for YPT.


Thomas Ryder PayneThomas Ryder Payne

Sound Design

Thomas Ryder Payne is a composer and sound designer for theatre, dance and film. Selected past work includes designs for Stratford, Shaw, Mirvish, Soulpepper, CanStage, Tarragon, Factory, TPM, YPT, Crows, Modern Times, Aluna, BIBT, Nightwood, Toronto Dance Theatre, NAC, Theatre Calgary, GCTC, RMTC and many others. Thomas has received 2 Dora awards and 17 nominations.


Aaron PosnerAaron Posner


Aaron Posner is a Helen Hayes and Barrymore Award-winning director and playwright. He is a founder and former Artistic Director of Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre, is an Associate Artist at both the Folger Theatre and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and has directed at major regional theatres from coast to coast including the Folger, Seattle Rep, Portland Center Stage, The Alliance, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Arizona Theatre Company, Milwaukee Rep, California Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Roundhouse Theatre, Studio Theatre, Signature Theatre, Theatre J, American Player’s Theatre and many more. His adaptations include Chaim Potok’s THE CHOSEN and MY NAME IS ASHER LEV (both of which has enjoyed successful runs at more than 50 other theatres across the country), Ken Kesey’s SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION, Mark Twain’s A MURDER, A MYSTERY AND A MARRIAGE, an adaptation of three Kurt Vonnegut short stories, entitled WHO AM I THIS TIME? (AND OTHER CONUNDRUMS OF LOVE) and STUPID FUCKING BIRD, a variation on Chekhov’s SEAGULL. Aaron was raised in Eugene, Oregon, graduated from Northwestern University, is an Eisenhower Fellow, and lives near Washington, DC.


Chaim PotokChaim Potok


Chaim Potok 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 Judaism 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 non-fiction works, including “Wanderings: Chaim Potok’s History of the Jews” (1978).


Kimberly PurtellKimberly Purtell

Lighting Design

Kimberly is a Toronto based lighting designer for theatre, opera and dance.  Previously for HGJT she designed The Immigrant. For Studio 180 she has designed numbers productions including My Night With Reg, You Will Remember Me, God of Carnage, and Stuff Happens.  Her designs have been critically acclaimed across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Prague, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Moscow and Mongolia.  She has designed for the Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Soulpepper Theatre, Mirvish Productions, National Arts Centre and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Philadelphia, Theatre Calgary, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre, among many others.  She has also designed productions for the Pan Am Games and the Vancouver and Beijing Cultural Olympiads.

Kimberly has been nominated for numerous awards and has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the Pauline McGibbon Award and a Montreal English Theatre Award.


Brandon KleimanBrandon Kleiman

Set & Costume Design

Brandon is a set and costume designer based in Toronto.

Recent credits include: Life After, (set, Canadian Stage Co. w/ Musical Stage Co, and Young Street Theatricals), Undercover, A New Improvised Murder Mystery (costumes, Rebecca Northan, Tarragon, Vertigo & The Citadel), Our Town (costumes, Theatre Rusticle w/ Buddies In Bad Times), The Little Mermaid (costumes, The Globe Theatre), Reframed (set, AGO & Musical Stage Co.) One Night Only (set, Factory Theatre, Dora Mavor Moor Audience Choice Award 2016); Blind Date (set, Tarragon Theatre, Dora nominated Outstanding Production); Sousatzka: The Musical (set design associate, Theatro Proscenium Ltd.)

Upcoming: Shrek; The Musical (costumes, The Globe Theatre), A Christmas Story (set, Sudbury Theatre Centre).

Brandon was a design assistant with The Stratford Festival for 5 seasons, nominated for the 2017 Pauline McGibbon Award and is a recipient of the OAC Chalmers Development Grant. For more information and a portfolio please visit www.brandonkleimandesign.com


Tickets to MY NAME IS ASHER LEV are available through the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company. To purchase, call Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-2787, visit the box office in person at Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge Street), or simply follow the link below.


Ticket prices

All prices include services charges and HST.

Single Tickets

TUES NIGHTS/WEEKDAY MATINEE       $63.28 $51.98 $15.00
WED/THURS NIGHTS/SUN                     $76.84 $65.54 $20.00
SATURDAY NIGHT  $90.40 $79.10 $25.00
ARTS WORKER – THURS NOV 23 1PM $20.00 $15.00 N/A
ARTS WORKER – SUNDAYS 7PM $25.00 $20.00 N/A
Tier 1
Tier 2 $51.98
Tier 3 $15.00

Tier 1
Tier 2 $65.54
Tier 3 $20.00

Tier 1
Tier 2 $79.10
Tier 3 $25.00

Tier 1
Tier 2 $15.00

Tier 1
Tier 2 $20.00

For Arts Worker tickets, use code “ASHER”. Only valid for times listed above. Valid ID required at ticket pickup.

Group Rates

WED/THURS NIGHTS/SUN                     $64.10 $55.00
SATURDAY NIGHT  $74.90 $65.90
STUDENT GROUPS $18.00 $18.00
Tier 1
Tier 2 $44.20
Tier 1
Tier 2 $55.00
Tier 1
Tier 2 $65.90
Tier 1
Tier 2 $18.00

Additional discounted rates are available to Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company subscribers.

“What makes this production work so well is the extent to which the actors inhabit their characters, living within the desires, beliefs and conflicts that are depicted.”
★★★1/2☆ TORONTO STAR – Read the review…

“Director Joel Greenberg guides this production with a sure hand, and it crackles with explosive emotion.”
★★★☆ INTERMISSION MAGAZINERead the review…

“Perhaps what is enduring in appeal about Potok’s story is that it is about art and religion but doesn’t seem to favour one over the other – and perhaps that makes it unconventional in its own way and appeal to audiences that many similar stories don’t.”
★★★☆ GLOBE AND MAILRead the review…

Beyond the Stage



MY NAME IS... Poster design by Jessica KimMY NAME IS… Cross-Cultural Reflections on Identity

During the run of My Name is Asher Lev, the Greenwin Theatre lobby will be animated by the deeply personal and evocative work of Martingrove Collegiate Institute’s Grade 11 and 12 visual art students. This multidisciplinary exhibit features painting, drawing, installation and sculpture, reflecting the play’s universal theme of identity. Studio 180 Theatre and Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company are proud to showcase the incredible talents of Martingrove students, in an exhibit that celebrates the rich diversity of Toronto.

The exhibit is curated by teacher Christina Yarmol and supported by Studio 180 IN CLASS.


Wednesday November 8, 1:00PM Cast Talkback

Wednesday November 15, 1:00PM Cast Talkback

Tuesday November 14, 8:00PM Shiralee Hudson Hill, Lead Interpretive Planner at the AGO
Shiralee will discuss The Jewish artist Florine Stettheimer (1871–1944), an icon of Jazz Age New York – currently at the AGO from the New York Jewish Museum.

Wednesday November 22, 1:00PM Cast Talkback

Thursday November 23, 1:00PM Cast Talkback

Thursday November 23, 8:00PM Jewish Artist Panel
Multi Media artist Evan Tapper and singer/actor Aviva Chernick will discuss the play in the context of their own lives as artists


Wednesday, November 8, 1:00PM Art Opening (at 12:30PM)
Lobby art exhibit by the students of Martingrove C.I.

Sunday November 12, 2:00PM Director Joel Greenberg

Sunday November 19, 2:00PM Director Joel Greenberg

Sunday November 19, 7:00PM Young Professionals Night
Pre show with artistic directors, plus post show meet and greet with the cast. Tickets are $30 and include a drink ticket. Please RSVP to David Eisner at david@hgjewishtheatre.com.



My Name is Asher Lev


Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge St, Toronto

Weekday matinees: November 8, 15, 22 & 23 @ 1PM

Student group rate: $18 (teachers receive complimentary tickets with student booking)

Recommended for: Grades 9-12

Perfect for: Drama, English, Writer’s Craft, Visual Art, Religious & Family Studies

“When I was young, I would often look at myself in the mirror for a long time. Not for vanity. But because I was so curious about the person on the other side.” – Asher Lev

Generations clash in this stirring coming of age tale about a Jewish painter torn between his Hassidic upbringing and his artistic passion. Potok’s classic novel is brought to life with simple and imaginative theatricality as three actors in multiple roles portray a universal story sure to resonate deeply with high school students, about family, tradition, culture, faith, and the search for identity.

“Thought-provoking, humorous and deeply insightful.”

Your experience at the theatre includes…

  • A comprehensive study guide complete with background information and pre- and post-show discussion questions and activities (study guide coming September 2017)
  • A talkback with cast members
  • Complimentary teacher tickets

Enhance your experience with a Studio 180 IN CLASS workshop.
Cost not included in ticket price. Subsidies available. Apply today.

To make a booking or inquire further, please contact Jessica Greenberg at jessica@studio180theatre.com