Michelle Levy’s Ruins of Achelach, Restaged
“Michelle Levy summons the serendipitous elements that brought her to this moment: a déja vu in a field; a religious craving; an overlooked report card that is very, very old; a letter drafted from the sky; a grandmother’s cryptic message; a scotch sour; Poland; and possibly, falafel.
Performed at the intersection of premonition, research and reanimation, Ruins of Achelach shares a genealogical mystery as it unfolds.”
I performed Ruins of Achelach for one-night-only this past October. The theater was packed, the audience cheered, and yet, I woke up the next day with a feeling of unease. I had made an error — a harmless quip that slipped so easily off of the tongue had repercussions beyond the stage. I had belittled the achievements of my grandmother (of blessed memory)… in public! A granddaughter’s greatest insult. Oh, why?!
Remorseful, I waited to hear murmured in my ear, “what am I, chopped liver?” But the universe had veered off course leaving only a silent icy trail behind.
For the sake of my grandma and by extension, humanity, I must set things straight. Thanks to Theaterlab, I will perform Ruins of Achelach once more correctly with audience and camera (and hopefully grandma) as witness.
The event will conclude with a moment off-camera for those who wish to air and have forgiven regretted insults inflicted upon loved ones (not necessarily present).
Concept, audio/visuals, script and performance by Michelle Levy
Developed with and directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde
Lighting Design by Guy de Lancey