WE KEEP COMING BACK
DON'T MISS THE FINAL WEEKEND
OF THIS BEAUTIFUL AND MOVING PERFORMANCE!!!
MICHAEL RUBENFELD AND MARY BERCHARDPlaying themselves, Mary Berchard, Katka Reszka, and Michael Rubenfeld, within a transformative structure that changes each night, display the kind of flawless and intense professionalism and risk taking that one might expect from the form of non-scripted performance that Self-conscious Productions has become internationally acclaimed for.
There are moments of great laughter and self-examination as Rubenfeld, his mother Mary Berchard, and their collaborator/translator Katka Reszka confront each other with difficult questions, responses, and potentially explosive moments of iconic emotional expression - the mother/son relationship that is the cornerstone of this production - a relationship that finds epic elements in a series of scenes that confront issues rooted in a recognition of the atrocities that took place in Poland during the Holocaust.
Somehow the performers find great humour alongside empowering pathos as they make their respective journeys, together and apart, through memories and actual sites of trauma. And there is a pivotal candy wrapper, and the potential for sharing a cup of tea, that both divides and conquers, by degree, the central connection between a mother, her son, a friend, and their respective approaches to past trauma, homeland, and Jewish identity. The final product is an incredibly moving journey - at times uncomfortable, at times comic, at times heartbreaking.
The technical expertise, through the use of projections and onstage cameras, adds to the journey in a varied and subtly spectacular manner (Trevor Schwellnuss - Scenography and Technical Director). Coupled with Sarah Garton Stanley's precise direction that has Berchard, Reszka, and Rubenfeld occupying varied spaces that frequently integrate with the scenography, the overall production is a beautifully rendered examination of how memory and physical journeys can give birth to significant moments/lifetimes of self-recognition that companies like Self-conscious productions can share, to profound effect, with international audiences.
And there is the candy wrapper, a wonderfully inventive & interactive narrative device that reveals the differences between varied imaginations and personal approaches regarding trauma and investigation.
Rubenfeld's persona acknowledges the intimacy of a candy shop moment that his collaborator fervently resists, and then it all comes together as the audience has been effectively drawn in by a simple gesture, and a simple story, that reaches out to many points of empathy and ongoing collaboration with theatre makers and spectators grappling with the ongoing effects of anti-semitism throughout history - effects that must be addressed and re-addressed by artists and audiences as often as possible.
RUNNING AT FACTORY THEATRE
UNTIL NOVEMBER 25TH
left to right - Michael Rubenfeld, Mary Berchard, Kafka Reszke