HEAR ME LOOKING AT YOU
Written and performed by Dara Culhane
Hear Me Looking at You is a performance of dramatic storytelling that draws on an archive of correspondence, family stories, and memories. The story begins in 1992, when Culhane visited her father for the last time in a nursing home for Alzheimer patients in Dublin. “Don’t forgive me,” he admonished her in an erratic moment of lucidity. That remark continued to haunt her long after he died. She felt compelled to reexamine what she thought she knew about her Jewish mother’s and Irish father’s tumultuous relationship, and about memory, exile, fathers and daughters, and the possibility–and perhaps undesirability?–of forgiveness.
“A magical evening … Over the course of two acts, using a mix of textual documents (including a wonderful trove of letters from her father that serve variously as mnemonics, props, and narrative prompts), and adopting an extraordinary range of voices, Dara has crafted a beautifully intimate piece of memory-theatre that asks, among other things, how we can achieve reconciliation without forgiveness.”
-Peter Dickinson, English and Theatre, Simon Fraser University
“Brave, moving, captivating, inspiring, and a great juxtaposition of pathos and humour. Life is always so much more complex than we want it to be.”
- Helen Mintz, writer, translator and Yiddish storyteller
“This was a play about Irish masculinity, Irish fathers. Your father was so Irish—but not at all like most Irishmen I know.”
-Audience member from the performance in Galway, Ireland
HEAR ME LOOKING AT YOU was developed in collaboration with Noah Drew during 2011-2013 under the title “UABHAR” (Gaelic word describing “Irish Pride”). Dara gratefully acknowledges Drew’s dramaturgical and directorial contributions, which infuse the work.