“We abide by cultural directives that urge us: clarify each thought, each experience, so you can cull from them their single, dominant meaning and, in the process, become a responsible adult who knows what he or she thinks.”
Richard Foreman, quoted in The Art of Cruelty, Maggie Nelson
Know where you stand.
Know what you think.
Know what you want.
Take a position.
But what if strong positions are no longer workable in a world that is endlessly changing?
Commitment Phobe is an exploration of doubt in a society that values certainty. It is a response to a perceived social and cultural demand for the clear, the sure, and the consistent – ways that we are taught it is worthwhile and understandable for a person to be. And to the seeming necessity to take strong, unambiguous, personal and political positions, along binary lines.
In a live experiment Ira and performer Tiana Hemlock-Yensen research what it means to not know, to not choose, and to keep moving.
How can we conceive of doubt as a strength without making ourselves powerless? What does it mean to not ‘take a position’ as a political choice? Commitment Phobe is an exploration of the space between yes and no. A dedication to doubt.
The project’s first research period took place supported by Frascati Amsterdam, February – March 2020, for their Fraslab programme. Since 2022 Ira is a maker with Frascati Producties, and Commitment Phobe premiered at Frascati in April 2023.
Theaterszene Europa Festival, 23rd September 2023, Cologne, Germany
Past tour dates:
Beyond the Black Box at Monty, 13th May 2023, Antwerp, Belgium
NOW 23 at The Yard, 2nd-6th May 2023, London, England
Frascati, 19th-22nd April 2023 (Premiere), Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Concept & text Ira Brand | Performance Ira Brand & Tiana Hemlock-Yensen | Dramaturgy Marta Keil | Scenography & Lighting Design Paul Boereboom | Sound Thomas van den Berg | Final Direction Abigail Conway
Produced by Frascati Producties in coproduction with wpZimmer, C-Takt, Festival Cement, and The Yard Theatre.