Tag Archives: author

Author Leslie Gray Streeter on the resilience of the human spirit, Sat Dec 28 @ 5pm PST

By France-Luce Benson

No, you are not experiencing Déjà vu. Our guest this week on Saturday Matinees is actually the identical twin sister of our guest a few weeks ago, and an extraordinary talent in her own right. On Saturday, Leslie Gray Streeter will share an excerpt from her book, which bestselling author James Patterson calls “a wonderfully touching love story that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes on the same page.”  Streeter’s memoir Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books With Words like ‘Journey’ In the Title, written after the sudden death of her beloved husband, is a celebration of life and the resilience of the human spirit.

FLB: I love the title of your book. Do you really avoid books with “journey” in the title?

STREETER: I do kinda side-eye them. It’s become such a cliché word that doesn’t mean what it’s supposed to mean. I know that it’s meaningful to a lot of people, but I wanted readers to know that my book wasn’t offering some candy-colored look at grief that was some standard they were supposed to live up to. There is no template.

FLB: Who is this book for?

STREETER: Everyone who ever lost someone or loves someone who did and wants to know how to talk to them. Also humans who like words J And Shelia E. references.

FLB: Are you working on a follow up book?

STREETER: Yes! One chapter down. So many to go.

FLB: What are you most looking forward to in the coming year?

STREETER: Turning 50 and starting the next part of my life in the city I love (Baltimore). Also the vaccine. So I can go sit on an island somewhere safely and dream. Also? A less-sucky world.

FLB: What has been keeping you sane?

STREETER: Yoga. My faith. My funny kid and family. Walking past beautiful old buildings and wondering who lived there. Fried tofu.

FLB: What gives you hope?

STREETER: That humanity can learn. We have to. We can do hard stuff.

Saturday Matinee, Nov 28 @ 5pm PST

Akiva Potok, son of ‘The Chosen’ author, joins cast of acclaimed production for Q&A

Akiva Potok 1

Akiva Potok chats with the company of ‘The Chosen’ and audience in Q&A.

What’s it like to grow up in a house where your father is the author of a beloved internationally best-selling novel dubbed “the Jewish Catcher in the Rye” that is taught in classrooms around the world? Last night, you could have asked Akiva Potok this question yourself, when the Fountain hosted a Q&A discussion following the sold-out performance of the stage adaptation of Chaim Potok’s The Chosen. Akiva is Chaim Potok’s son. 

The lively conversation with Potok drew intriguing questions from the audience. Akiva described his relationship with his world-famous father as one that grew closer when Akiva was in his early twenties and his father gave himself permission to become more open and vulnerable with his son. Audience members commented on the skill and authenticity of the actors and the powerful appeal of the story.  One gentleman pointed out that the play’s central spiritual and philosophical theme, that two opposing realities can be true at the same time, has been proven in modern physics and quantum theory.  

Akiva was joined onstage by actors Jonathan Arkin, Alan Blumenfeld, Dor Gvirtsman, Sam Mandel, and director Simon Levy. The discussion was moderated by Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs. 

Our acclaimed production of The Chosen continues our relationship with the work of Chaim Potok, adaptor Aaron Posner, and Potok’s son, Akiva. The Fountain produced the Los Angeles premiere of Potok’s My Name is Asher Lev in 2014, also adapted by Posner. Akiva visited the Fountain and joined the company for a fascinating post-show discussion at that time, as well.  

Akiva Potok company 2

Akiva Potok (center) and the company of ‘The Chosen’. 

Akiva Potok is an award-winning screenwriter, film producer and cinematographer. His latest film, Haze (2016, cinematography) was released theatrically and is presently in distribution on Netflix.  It was hailed by Variety as “Accomplished and energetic” and the LA Times called it a “Fresh take on fraternity life.” It has screened at ten film festivals and at over fifty college campuses stimulating much-needed conversation on the topic of hazing. Akiva’s other films have featured at festivals such as Sundance, Cinequest and The Brooklyn Film Festival as well as many others. Akiva Potok received his MFA from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in 2003 and presently resides in Beverly Hills, CA.

The sold out run of The Chosen has been extended to May 14th. Get Tickets/More Info