Theatre Kavanah stages production of “The Chosen”

Shelburne resident in featured role

Theatre Kavanah, a new performance group devoted to exploring the intricacies of the Jewish experience, is pleased to bring Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok’s “The Chosen” to the stage for performances on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1:30 pm and Monday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 pm at the North End Studios in Burlington.

Directed by Mark Alan Gordon, “The Chosen” immerses its audience in the lives of two boys, two fathers, and two distinct Jewish communities, “five blocks and a world apart.”  Set against the backdrop of World War II, the revelation of the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel, the play is at once heartbreaking and hopeful.  Its themes of struggle, transformation, and ultimately understanding, transcend time and circumstance.

“Gathering many talented strangers together for the purpose of performing a play about faith has been an honor,” noted Mark Alan Gordon.  “Having just moved to the area, it is a great way to begin my artistic life here in my new home.  It is a remarkable play — not only about what to believe in, but standing by your instinct as to how to believe.”  Gordon has worked in theater, television, and most recently as the Associate Director of the M.F.A. program in acting at Case Western Reserve University.

“In starting Theatre Kavanah I’m combining my passion for theatre with the desire to learn about, delve into, and celebrate the stories that reflect the Jewish experience, but resonate as the human experience,” stated founder Wendi Stein.  “’The Chosen’” is a gentle beginning, a first step really, of what I hope will be a marvelous adventure that will include not only plays, but literature and music.  Not to mention Jewish food. Oy, my mother would be so proud.”

This staged reading of “The Chosen” will feature performances by Shelburne resident Matthew Winston in the role of spiritual leader and “tzaddik,” Reb Saunders.  Winston shared, “’The Chosen’ was my favorite book when I was 13; I’m in awe of the character of Reb Saunders.”

Audiences may remember Winston’s comedic turn as Max in the Shelburne Players’ production of “Lend Me A Tenor” last spring and can look forward to seeing him in their upcoming production of “The Butler Did It.”

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students with a valid ID. To reserve tickets, call (802) 482-5282 (KAVA).  Remaining tickets will be available at the door. A “talk-back” session with the creatives will take place after each performance.

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