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A Blessing to One Another:
Theatre Ariel honors Adena Potok

Theatre Ariel, Pennsylvania’s oldest professional Jewish theater, presents Theodore Bikel In Concert in his only local appearance on Monday, December 3 at 7:30 PM at the Centennial Hall (450 Lancaster Avenue).  World-renowned singer, actor and activist Theodore Bikel, accompanied by Tamara Brooks, will present songs from the stage and screen, as well as folk music from around the world.

Theodore Bikelhas made more than 25 albums of folk songs, freedom songs, cast albums of musicals, and classical works. Since his celebrated Carnegie Hall debut in 1956 he has performed annually throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Israel. He has recently released two new CDs: IN MY OWN LIFETIME, a bouquet of theatre songs and OUR SONG a compilation of duets with renowned Cantor Alberto Mizrahi. Theodore Bikel began his theatre life at Habima Theatre in Israel where his family fled Nazi Vienna. Since then he created the role of Baron von Trapp in The Sound of Music opposite Mary Martin on Broadway and has played the role
of Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof over 2000 times in the past 37 years. His film debut was in African Queen and he has subsequently
made 35 films.  

An activist in the civil rights movement and the Free Soviet Jewry movement, he served as Vice President and President of the Actor Equity Union for 17 years. Throughout his career, Theodore Bikel has felt a particular responsibility to Jewish life and to the Jewish community as evidenced by his performances and recordings of Jewish music and by his leading role within the Foundation for Jewish Culture.  

Pianist Tamara Brooks has had an international conducting career spanning more than 35 years. She has given concerts in Israel, Asia and all over Europe and was principal guest conductor of the Istanbul Symphony in Turkey, conductor of the Cyprus Broadcast Orchestra and guest conductor of the Mozarteum Orchestra (Salzburg). Ms. Brooks Philadelphia credits include: Founding Musical Director of Sequenza (a professional instrumental ensemble devoted to contemporary music in Philadelphia) and Music Director of Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia for 11 years. As Professor and Conductor, she has been on the faculties of Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges, and The New School of Music in Philadelphia (of which she was the President).

The evening’s honoree is Adena Potok, Vice President of Theatre Ariel’s board. Ms. Potok has been involved in Jewish education and community work, in both professional and volunteer capacities. A Certified Social Worker, she practiced in her field as clinician, educator, researcher, and consultant in various settings in the US and in Israel. She lectures and teaches in the fields of literature and Jewish life and edits the Living Judaism column of the on-line monthly, PhiladelphiaJewishVoice.com. For the past several years she has served as judge for the literary section of the Mordechai Anielewiscz contest commemorating the Shoah. She was active with the Jewish Federation over many years and chaired its Long Range Planning and Implementation Committee. She also served on the Boards of Gratz College, Philadelphia Jewish Archives, JCRC, and the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, Akiba Hebrew Academy, Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education and is currently on the boards of J-Span and the New Israel Fund. Since 1958 she was principal researcher, first reader and editor for her husband Chaim Potok until his death in July, 2002. 

Founded in 1990, Theatre Ariel is Pennsylvania’s oldest professional theater dedicated to illuminating the rich social, cultural, and spiritual heritage of the Jewish people. Theatre Ariel produces and commissions’ works that serves as a bridge between people of all cultures while also strengthening Jewish identity. Since its inception, Theatre Ariel has given life to 46 new plays, which reflect on the varied American Jewish experience, as well as work that draws its inspiration from classical Jewish texts. The company produces an extensive touring repertoire reaching out to children, teens, families and adults at schools, colleges, libraries, community centers, conferences, synagogues, theatres and nontraditional performing venues. Theatre Ariel serves as an educational resource through its improv troupe ARIELPROV, youth theater programs, teacher training workshops and collaborations with the National Museum of American Jewish History. Theatre Ariel is at the forefront of an international network of Jewish Theatres and Theatre Artists.

For further information, call 610-667-9230.