See You Yesterday – Previewed in Phnom Penh

A Note from Michael Lessac

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We’ve just returned from Phnom Penh where we had an extraordinary opening of our Cambodian production See You Yesterday. Word spread fast and we played to overflow houses filled with children and adults of all ages, including some former Khmer Rouge soldiers, survivors of the genocide, students and teachers as well as delegates from around the world who were part of Cambodian Living Arts’ Forum on “Living Arts in Post-Conflict Contexts.”

We have added a magnificent new score by Michael Jay, an exquisite lighting design by Dave Feldman, a subtly brilliant soundscape by Scott Lehrer, and beautifully simple costumes by Vong Vannak. The piece starts in a circus rehearsal room with this opening line: “Every day we rehearse to become normal again.” It quickly catapults into an adventure of startling imagined reminiscence. Very little translation is needed in this piece because, using their extraordinary circus skills, the cast paints memories. They have created a piece that moves like a graphic novel. It is structured out of their own lives, their own research, and leavened with their own imagination. This company has become an incredible ensemble and their circus skills are world class. We worked on this piece for seventeen weeks over a period of four years. They have in my opinion created a vision and memory of incredible honesty and imagination – hope out of despair.

“KR gives way to Hope in Haunting Show” was the headline of the lead story in the Cambodian Daily the next morning.

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After each show we mingled with elders who said they were were swept away by the immediacy and generosity of these magnificent young people, finally in dialogue with their elders in what I can only describe as a reconciled reunion. People were listening to each other again.

To my friends, I can only say I wish you all could have been there and promise that I will do my best to bring it on tour around the world.