This month’s ArtWalk has an extra stop: Theatre on the Square, which is host this week to new original paintings by Bo Bartlett. Collaborating with director Marcus Walker on his Lakewood Playhouse/Broadway Center production of “My Name Is Asher Lev,” Bartlett has painted half-a-dozen original works based on the play and modeled on the Tacoma actors.
“Asher Lev” is adapted from the Chaim Potok novel about a young Hasidic Jew who rebels against his traditional father in painting: he paints nudes, expressions of suffering and ultimately crucifixions. Playwright Aaron Posner (working with Potok’s widow) requested no art be shown onstage, just blank canvases to allow audience imagination to take hold. So instead Bartlett, who as a Southern Baptist trying to reconcile his own religious traditions with artistic impulses, has created art that will hang in the TOTS lobby for the opening performances this weekend – paintings modeled on the Tacoma actors in character.
Says Bartlett: “The book proved to be of great importance in my development…Being raised strict Southern Baptist, and having deep artistic longing but little real experience being a creative artist, the struggles of Asher Lev had strong resonance for me. The story granted me permission to individuate as an artist.”
You can see these tomorrow night during ArtWalk. TOTS will be open 5-8 p.m. (the paintings are upstairs in the lobby), and it’s also a stop on Angela Jossy’s ArtBus, which leaves the Speakeasy Arts Co-operative at 409 Puyallup Avenue at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 on the bus or at www.brownpapertickets.com
You can find out more about the production by reading my GO cover story tomorrow, or by checking out www.broadwaycenter.com