Photo: Jason Francisco for Festivalt, Krakòw, June 2019
The multimedia performance is written and performed by Dołowy and Levy, developed with and directed by Kathleen Amshoff.
The precursor to this project was She is alone (2017), a performance-lecture presented by Levy, intertwining the discovery of Paulina's testimony with Levy's quest into her grandmothers' past that had led to Poland, to Paulina's story, and to meeting Dołowy.
"She is alone," the English approximation of the Polish sama, referred, originally, not only to Paulina's status but also to Levy's grandmothers whose memories had been consigned to oblivion. It continues to stand for all women whose voices and stories have been forgotten, silenced, or suppressed.
Over 2018-2019, Levy relocated to Poland to research Paulina's account and to work with Dołowy to create a journey/performance-in-life, physically following Paulina's story in the places where it happened.
PAULINA – the performance – centers around the life-changing experience the women had on the road together, and the great responsibility they have inherited as a result.
Presentations of research and works-in-process have been hosted by Asylum Arts (New York); Apteka pod Orłem/ The Eagle Pharmacy, Museum of the City of Krakow; Craków Saltworks Museum (Wieliczka) Festivalt (Kraków); The Galicia Jewish Museum (Kraków), Inicjatawa LWL (Włodawa), Instytut Teatralny (Warsaw); JCC Warsaw; Jewish Historical Institute (Warsaw); Kana Theater (Szczecin); La MaMa Galleria (New York); POLIN Museum (Warsaw); Public Library of the City of Wieliczka (Wieliczka).
The 2018/2019 research and engagement activities in Poland were developed in cooperation with POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw; with significant research support by the Archive and Genealogy Departments of The Emmanual Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw; and Festivalt, Krakow, which hosted PAULINA as its 2019 Project-in-Residence. The project has been made possible through grants from Asylum Arts, New York; the US Embassy, Warsaw, Poland; Brooklyn Arts Council fiscal sponsorship, and donations from 90+ individuals.
She is alone, was presented by NURTUREart, Brooklyn in 2017; in a private showing with Festivalt, Krakow, 2017; and at The Center and Foundation for Contemporary Art, Prague, 2018. It's precursor, Ruins of Achelach was developed with and directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde, and presented by Dixon Place, NYC (2016) and Theaterlab, NYC (2017).
Levy met Dołowy in 2017 at the Asylum Arts/POLIN Museum Poland Retreat for Jewish Artists in Warsaw. During this trip, Levy discovered Paulina's testimony at the Jewish Historical Institute, and asked Dołowy to help decode the obscured Polish text.