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To Reach Across a River 
by Marshall Botvinick

Presented by Sandy & Mickey Bernstein


 In a world where family is everything, Yehudis and her husband struggle to have a baby. That struggle will send Yehudis down a remarkable journey full of courage and transformation as she reaches beyond her Hasidic community to find a child in need of a mother. To Reach Across a River tells a story as timeless as Sarah’s, as potent as the rescue of Moses from the Nile.

April 29th and 30th at Mishkan Shalom, 4101 Freeland Ave, Philadelphia
May 6th and 7th at Greenhill Condos (East Building, TV Room), 1001 City Ave, Wynnewood



by Marshall Botvinick

A WORLD PREMIERE Co-developed by Theatre Ariel


Directed by Esther M. Cohen

Presented by Sandy and Mickey Bernstein



LEAH WALTON as Yehudis





Marshall Botvinick (Playwright): is a playwright, director, and dramaturg based in Durham, North Carolina. His plays have been developed by Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Jewish Plays Project, Palm Beach Dramaworks, South Carolina Repertory Company, ATHE New Play Development Workshop, and Mid-America Theater Conference. He has also been a finalist for the ATHE Judith Royer Excellence in Playwriting Award, Todd McNerney Playwriting Award, and the Georgia College Arts & Letters Prize for Drama. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Esther M. Cohen (DIRECTOR) is a Philadelphia-based director, dramaturg, and educator. Most recently, Esther directed SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS by Bess Wohl at the University of Pennsylvania. Upcoming projects include teaching new play development at Drexel University and directing Theatre Ariel's spring 2023 Salon. Esther has assisted at The O’Neill Center, The Drama League, and Yale Rep and has worked off-Broadway at Signature and Second Stage. She is an inaugural member of the 19/20 Roundabout Directors Group, a member of the 2019 Williamstown Theatre Festival Directing Corps, and an alumna of the National Theater Institute and the University of Pennsylvania. 

Esther loves drinking iced coffee all year long, directing in the round, and binging feminist non-fiction at an alarming rate.

When she's not making theatre, she works at Clove, an award-winning sneaker brand built for people on the frontlines of healthcare.

She lives in Old City, Philadelphia with her dog, Babka.

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LEAH WALTON (Yehudis): Leah is a Barrymore Award winning actor who has worked at numerous Philadelphia-based theatres for over 15 years, including InterAct, the Arden, the Walnut Street Theatre, and in NYC at Ars Nova. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Acting at the University of the Arts. 
Off-Broadway: Ars Nova with Berserker Residents. Regional: InterAct, Walnut Street Theatre, Arden Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Theatre Horizon, Lantern Theatre, Pig Iron, 
Montgomery Theatre, 11th Hour, Orbiter 3, among others. Philadelphia Barrymore Award Recipient 2015—Best Supporting Actress in a Musical; Nominations 2019, 2018—Best Leading 
Performer in a Play. Visiting Assistant Professor of Acting at University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Training: National Theatre Institute, Moscow Art Theatre, Michael Chekhov Association, MFA Temple University. Member AEA. 


SETH REICHGOTT is pleased to once again be working with Theatre Ariel. A Philadelphia-based actor, director, and writer, he has directed or appeared on stage at the Walnut Street Theatre, the Wilma, the Arden, Baltimore Shakes, Rep Stage, Interact, the Lantern, Tongue & Groove, and Cape May Stage, among many others. He has twice been a co-recipient of the Barrymore Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play and was nominated for a 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actor. Seth is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre.

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BEN BEHRANDS is a Philadelphia-based writer, actor, and comedian. He has worked with the region’s leading theater companies: Arden Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, Theatre Exile, Act II Playhouse, and Theatre Ariel. He co-wrote and co-starred in a critically acclaimed play, Two-Man, One-Man that was performed at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, ComedySportz Philadelphia, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Benjamin is a company member of ComedySportz Philadelphia, and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Previous readings with Theatre Ariel: Morning Star (Harry Engel), The Sabbath Girl (Seth).

Brittany Onukwugha (she/her) is a Philly/NJ based actor and dancer.  Her favorite acting credits include Hamlet (Hamlet), The Complete Works of Jane Austen Abridged (Self), and Avenue Q (Gary Coleman). She’s also worked on productions in roles such as Associate Choreographer, Dance Captain, and Fight Captain. Recently, Brittany has participated in staged readings and is expanding into film production. Previously she’s worked with Arden Theatre, Opera Philadelphia, Philadelphia Artists' Collective, Shakespeare in Clark Park, and more. She is very excited to make her Theatre Ariel debut! 

Social media: @brittanyonu

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