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Acting Professor Features Purchase Alumni and Students in His Work

David Bassuk directed a reading the Potok play Out of the Depths.

Professor of Acting David Bassuk recently directed a reading of Chaim Potok’s original play Out of the Depths at the Center for Jewish History. The reading celebrated the publication of The Collected Plays of Chaim Potok, edited by Rena Potok, who introduced the reading.  

Bassuk first directed the play in Philadelphia in 1990 and this reading was the play’s New York premiere. Read more about the play’s history here.

Eight actors played 25 of the characters with accompaniment by a violinist. Purchase was well represented as six alumni and current students were featured or assisted Bassuk.

The Purchase players and their roles in the project are featured below.

Jasmine Yanase ’21 (Violin) is a violinist studying in the Conservatory of Music. She is enthusiastic about all sorts of music and collaborations, often playing for studio sessions and bands ranging from folk to punk. ​

Erin Michelitsch ’19 (Asst. Director) is in her last semester at Purchase, working toward a BA in Theatre and Performance and Arts Management, with a concentration in Directing and Marketing. She currently works at a Broadway and Off-Broadway producing office in the city. 

Lou Syd Brandt (Dramaturg) graduated with a double major in History and Theater and Performance.

Frank Winters ’11 (Chernin, various) is a writer, actor, and director in New York City. He was a founding /member of Strangemen Theatre Company and graduated with a BFA in Acting.

Michael Bernardi ’12 (Young Ansky), a descendant of a traveling Yiddish theatre troupe, appropriately made his Broadway debut in Fiddler on the Roof directed by Bartlett Sher where he played Mordcha the Innkeeper, as well as u/s his dream role of Tevye. TV credits include: Monk, Days of Our Lives, Law & Order: SVU. Film credits: Marshall, The House Bunny, Born to Be a Star, The Pleasure of Your Presence. He graduated with a BFA in Acting. 

Emily Fleischer ’11 (Sonya, various) has been a full time Associate Casting Director for Susan Shopmaker for several years and has collaborated on dozens of features including Paul Schrader’s now Oscar nominated First Reformedas well as Terence Nance’ HBO series Random Actos of Flyness. She graduated with a BFA in Acting.