My Name is Naama Potok

May 10, 2016 by Roz Tarszisz
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Naama Potok, daughter of acclaimed Jewish author, Chaim Potok, is in Sydney to promote the stage version of his novel My Name is Asher Lev.

After its successful off-Broadway season,  the award-winning play written by Aaron Posner, has been brought to Sydney by director Moira Blumenthal and Encounters@Shalom, part of the of the Shalom Institute.

Naama Potok

Naama Potok

Naama was enjoying some of the sights of Sydney on a clear and sunny day when J-Wire caught up with her.

While she was raised in a supportive and creative atmosphere it was still a traditional Jewish home and there were boundaries such as keeping Shabbat and Holy days.

“Parents do the best they can in an ideal world and I think perhaps limitations are necessary for the creative spirit to flourish” she said.

On addressing pupils at The Emmanuel School she said they were a wonderful group and asked some interesting questions on the difficulties of life as an actor in New York.

When asked about her plans after she returns home, Naama  is looking forward to her upcoming summer class with Patsy Rodenburg, a renowned voice teacher.

“Actors need many strings to their bow and a degree of resilience to create opportunities for work in New York.  I like to be pro-active and also enjoy taking classes with Michael Howard, a 92-year-old who runs a highly regarded acting school.

“It’s a laboratory where I can work on my craft” she said.

She studied as Harvard and Oxford University and has taught all aspects of a Humanities curriculum and now tutors in writing.

Although she was too young to read her father’s book when it was first published, Naama has performed in My Name is Asher Lev and enjoys playing strong women. The play explores the tensions between self, tradition, religion and art and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and the John Gassner Award for playwriting.

During this  first week, Naama will be interviewed after the show after which there will be time for a short Q&A session.

My Name is Asher Lev runs at the Eternity Playhouse until May 29.   The theatre’s restaurant , Two Trout, will be run as a kosher restaurant throughout the three-week season under the supervision of The Kashrut Authority.

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