I Love You Special

An Autobiographical Ritual About Fate and Blood Ties

Hazira Performance Art Arena

Created by Achinoam Mendelson

When my mother ends a phone call with me, she always says: “I love you special”. When I was thinking about a name for the show, I knew this was it. Because this isn’t a normal love between a mother and her daughter, and this isn’t an ordinary love for the theatre.

It’s funny, it’s cruel, it’s twisted, it’s special.

My mother worked at Habima National Theatre for forty years as a casting director; so, when I was six years old, she gave me my first role. My own mother casted me to be one of the children Medea is about to murder. This memory encouraged me to invite her to perform on stage with me. She is seventy-two years old, and this is her first role ever. Using masks of my mother’s face and my own, we exchange our identities, do forbidden things, and create a visual and dramatic ceremony. As you will discover, in my ceremonies, people lose their heads.

Awarded Best Show and Best Director at the Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre, 2022. 

Achinoam Mendelson is a multidisciplinary artist, theatre director, musician, and performer. She creates performance and theatre shows, video art, and also works as a performer, violinist, and dramaturg for several independent Israeli artists. Her works have been shown at Hanut 31 Theatre & Gallery, The Israel Museum, Hazira Performance Art Arena, Habait Theatre, and others. She is a member of the Quantum Choir ensemble that has performed in various museums and theatres in Israel. During her military service as a “Distinguished Musician” (violinist), Mendelson performed with the Tel Aviv Academy Orchestra, and went on a tour in Israel, Germany, and Brazil, under the baton of maestro Zubin Metah.

She holds a degree in Philosophy and Liberal Arts from Shalem College, where she founded the college’s choir. In addition, she holds a degree in Visual Art Creation from the School of Visual Theatre. Her show I Love You Special received Best Director and Best Show Awards at the Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre, 2022. In 2023 she created and curated a series of performance events that took place in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.