About

photo by Shira Bitan

I am a theater director, performer, writer, and translator currently living in Leipzig, Germany. 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. My adaptation of Sophocles’ Philoctetes premiered in March 2020 at English Theatre Leipzig. My book manuscript, Dancing with Philoctetes, is based on this production and on a lifelong engagement with dance, pain, and ‘tragedy’ broadly construed.

I have a PhD in Classics from the University of Chicago with a dissertation on the Poetics of Listening in Sophocles. My research focuses on Greek tragedy and its adaptations, and on empathy onstage and beyond it. 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, in my theatrical productions as well as in a series of independent workshops I am developing.

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