by Selfconscious (Toronto)

The (mostly) true story of an odyssey to Poland that a son (Michael Rubenfeld) and mother (Mary Berchard) – both descendants of Polish-Jewish Holocaust survivors – took while accompanied by Katka Reszke (Polish-Jewish scholar and author of Return of the Jew) as their guide. The trip is set in motion when Mary suddenly takes ill, and Michael, in hope of healing their struggling relationship, suggests that returning to Poland to find their lost histories could help them mend.

His theory is that their disconnect from their country of origin – Poland – is a contributing factor to the disconnect from each other. The plot, however, takes an unexpected turn when Michael and Mary discover a vibrant contemporary world of Jewish revival in Poland. Unbeknownst to them, many Poles in contemporary Poland are looking for lost Jewish identities, and are, in fact, returning to their Jewish roots. At its heart, We Keep Coming Back is an investigation into the impact that histories – both inherited and hidden – have on subsequent generations – and how the unraveling of stereotypes create space for possible futures.

We Keep Coming Back is a complex, soul-baring and often very humorous performance that takes audiences deep into the genuine traumas of the post-war generations using documentary storytelling, archival video and projection design. It is performed by Michael Rubenfeld and Mary Berchard – real-life son and mother – and Katka Reszke. During the piece, each investigate and share the traumas they themselves continue to negotiate in real-time. The piece is structured, however not fully scripted, creating ongoing space for new discovery amidst a narrative that is impossible to contain. It is deeply intimate and as beautiful as it is uncomfortable.

SELFCONSCIOUS is the performance company of Canadian theater makers Michael Rubenfeld and Sarah Garton Stanley. They both share the belief that other people and being alive are both very confusing. They think that this is probably why they get along so well and also why they both remain interested in using the theatre as a place to explore how hard it is to do and be the things they most want to do and be. But they also believe that it is possible. So they keep trying. There shows are The Book of Judith, The Failure Show, mothermothermother…, and We Keep Coming Back.

In cooperation with the 31st Jewish Culture Days Berlin


Tickets €15 / €9 (students)

Co-created by Michael Rubenfeld and Sarah Garton Stanley with Katka Reszke and Mary Berchard

Directed by Sarah Garton Stanley | Performed by Mary Berchard, Katka Reszke and Michael Rubenfeld | Scenography by Trevor Schwellnus | Sound Design by Lyon Smith with Nick di Gaetano | Production Stage Management by Adam Barrett | Documentary Video Work by Katka Reszke | A Selfconscious Production


Supported by




We Keep Coming Back is supported by The Canada Council for the Arts and The Ontario Arts Council