About

photo by Shira Bitan

I am a theater director, performer, writer, and translator based in Berlin, Germany. My most recent stage project, A Song that Can’t Be Sung, is an exploration of the soundscape of trauma, empathy, and listening. The piece is inspired by the stories of Cassandra and Iphigenia as evoked in Aeschylus’ poetry. My book, Dancing with Philoctetes, is based on a lifelong engagement with dance, pain, and ‘tragedy’ broadly construed. It blends memoir, scholarship, and dramaturgy, and contains my translation-adaptation of Sophocles’ Philoctetes (Premiere: March 2020, English Theare Leipzig).

A classical philologist by training, I have worked as an actor and dramaturg in Israel, Chicago, and Leipzig. My essays have appeared on 3 Quarks Daily. I have a PhD in Classics from the University of Chicago with a dissertation on the Poetics of Listening in Sophocles. In 2019-2021 I held a Minerva Stiftung post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute for Theater Studies at the University of Leipzig, where I taught a seminar on empathy and music, and conducted research on the ‘Greek plays’ of Israeli playwright Hanoch Levin.

Drawing on my background in dance, I seek to cultivate among actors and collaborators a dramaturgic-choreographic awareness that encompasses the body and the voice.

Contact me: abigail.akavia [at] gmail.com