1st Stage

1524 SPRING HILL ROAD | TYSONS, VA 22102 | (703) 854-1856

My Name is Asher Lev

November 16-December 17, 2017

Directed by Nick Olcott, Written by Aaron Posner, Adapted from the novel by Chaim Potok

Adapted from the celebrated novel by Chaim Potok, a humorous and compelling journey of a young Jewish painter torn between his Hassidic upbringing and his desperate need to fulfill his artistic promise unfolds. As art and faith collide, Asher must choose between his cultural roots and his vast artistic promise. This stirring adaptation of a modern classic presents a heartbreaking and triumphant vision of what it means to be an artist. “Thought-provoking, humorous and deeply insightful.” – Talkin’ Broadway

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Captioned Performances

November 19 at 2pm, November 25 at 2pm and 8pm, November 30 at 7:30pm, December 8 at 8pm, December 14 at 7:30pm.

This captioning system uses individual devices with stands. Pick up equipment at the box office when you check-in!

Community Conversations

Connecting the community through artwork, stories, and conversation. Join us for discussions surrounding the themes of our plays and the impact of these stories on the community beyond our walls.

Note: All Community Conversations are offered free of charge. To attend a performance you must purchase a ticket or a subscription.


The pre-show discussion series illuminates facets of each 1st Stage production that shape your adventure with the play from the beginning. Learn from community leaders and 1st Stage artists and head into each show with a new framework for your experience.

TELLING STORIES: A discussion about telling Jewish stories on page and stage (ASL Interpretation)
Thursday, November 30, 2017, 6:30pm
We will be joined by David Winitsky, the Artistic Director of the Jewish Plays Project to discuss Posner’s adaptation of Chaim Potok’s celebrated work and the process of bringing a story from the page to the stage.

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10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY: SEASONS 1 AND 2: A conversation with Eileen Mandell, 1st Stage Community Relations director and early board member, and Jacob Yeh, Artistic Associate and actor in 1st Stage’s first season.
Thursday, December 7, 2017, 6:30pm
In honor of our 10th year, we are continuing the conversation about the founding of 1st Stage with the artists, volunteers, and founders that brought the theater to life! Come learn about the next stage with 1st Stage!

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ACCESSIBILITY AND 1st STAGE: A conversation with 1st Stage’s Education & Accessibility fellow, Shanna Sorrells (ASL Interpretation)
Thursday, December 14, 2017, 6:30pm
Shanna Sorrells is currently a high school teacher at Washington-Lee and H-B Woodlawn, as well as a teaching artist at Imagination Stage, and a nationally recognized Deaf performer. She is excited to introduce the 1st Stage accessibility initiative and discuss the development of accessibility in the performing arts! The future for 1st Stage is bright, and all are welcome!

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The classic and beloved Community Conversations series connects the community through artwork, stories, and conversation. Join us for discussions surrounding the themes of our plays and the impact of these stories on the community beyond our walls.

MEET THE DIRECTOR: Bringing My Name is Asher Lev to life at 1st Stage
November 18, 2017
Following the 2pm performance
Join in for a discussion with director Nick Olcott, returning to 1st Stage having directed Floyd Collins (among The Wall Street Journal’s “Best Theater of 2016”) in Season 8, about helming Aaron Posner’s take on this beloved classic.

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WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP: A discussion with religious leaders (ASL Interpretation)
November 19, 2017
Following the 2pm performance
Join in for a discussion with Rabbi Amy Schwartzman of Temple Rodef Shalom to discuss the history of women in the rabbinical field. Women did not widely assume ordained senior clergy positions in many religions until the 20th century. We will discuss the importance of having women in these positions and the practice of being a female-identifying rabbi today.

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MEET THE CAST: A conversation with the extraordinary cast of My Name is Asher Lev (ASL Interpretation)
November 25, 2017
Following the 2pm performance
We will sit with the cast to discuss the process of bringing Chaim Potok’s characters to life through the words of Aaron Posner. Two of these outstanding cast members must play multiple characters in quick succession and shift costumes and dialects in the process. We are also thrilled to welcome back founding artist, Lucas Beck, to the stage! You don’t want to miss this one!

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INSIDE THE WRITING: A discussion about Chaim Potok
December 9, 2017
Following the 2pm performance
Join in for a discussion with Susan Kusel, the librarian of Temple Rodef Shalom, to discuss Chaim Potok as a writer, how he was influential as a Jewish writer, and how My Name is Asher Lev fit into his body of work.

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LUCAS BECK* (Asher Lev) is thrilled to return to 1st Stage. Credits include: The Suicide, The Violet Hour, Pig Farm, Red Herring, The Game of Love and Chance, Three Days of Rain, The Prisoner of Zenda, The Glass Menagerie (1st Stage), Beauty of the Father (Gala Hispanic), In Darfur (Theater J), Sucker Punch (Studio Theatre). New York Theatre: Maxwell Anderson’s Richard & Anne (Off B’way with Mirror Rep), The Vatican Knows, Idiot’s Delight (TFNC), Mark and Michael, Le BGE, Lady Burns Manor, SixZebra1 (Rosie Olds Teatro). Film/Commercial: Colony (Official Selection TIFF), Wild Seven, Lucky Day, Overs, Devil’s Racecourse, Nissan, Canon, Longhorn.

ANDY BROWNSTEIN* (The Men) is thrilled to be returning to 1st Stage after playing Jack Jerome in last season’s production of Broadway Bound. Other credits include–LOCAL: God of Carnage, Assassins (Helen Hayes Award), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Signature); The Second Shepherd’s Play (Folger); One Flea Spare (Forum); Behold! (Rorschach); Long Day’s Journey into Night, The Seafarer (Quotidian); Short Order Stories (Charter); Experiment with an Air Pump, The Christmas Foundling (Journeyman). REGIONAL: Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing (Maine Shakespeare Festival).

HYLA MATTHEWS (The Women) is thrilled to be making her debut at 1st Stage. Other credits include- Local: A Little House Christmas (Adventure Theater), The Big Meal (Studio Theater), The Tempest (Lean and Hungry Theater), The Sound of Palin (The Atlas Theater), Aquarium (Imagination Stage), The Vagina Monologues (Silver Spring Stage). New York-Off Broadway: Slow Children (The Public Theater), Vera’s Place (Cucaracha Theater). Los Angeles: Beach Blanket Sunday (The Groundlings Theater). International: Woyzeck (The Edinburgh Festival). TV: VEEP (HBO), Chelsea Lately (E!). Film: The Brothers Solomon (Revolution). Education: Royal Academy, London. BA in Drama from Bennington College.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association

Special Events


Season 2017-2018