WORK & PRACTICE
Ira makes live, inter-disciplinary performance: solo stage shows, one-to-one pieces, duets, or participatory work. Her process is one of using personal starting points to speak to wider social, political, and formal concerns. In recent years Ira has been exploring power, and how it is felt and enacted – specifically looking at the relationships between power, language, gender and desire. Works she has made in pursuit of this curiosity include: Break Yourself, a performance in male drag that layers multiple, slippery identities on top of each other; Ways To Submit, a work about dominance and submission in which Ira invites the audience to have a physical fight with her; like the party has been cancelled, a show about control – and the desire to lose it – that uses a live collaging practice spilling from the page into the room, and Commitment Phobe, a work about doubt in which a chain reaction machine is constructed live on stage.
Ira makes performance as a way to imagine – and practice – ways of being in the world that do not otherwise feel available to her. She is motivated by multiplicity, contradiction, ambiguity, and inconsistency, in a world that tends to value the opposite. She wants to create spaces to feel strongly and think critically, spaces of equal openness and rigour, and spaces for pleasure. The relationship with the audience is a core material of all her work, and she makes use of text, video, auto/biography, found material, research and interview processes, and physical practices. She has a recurring interest in achieving particular states in the body, and in the space of the theatre – in the looseness and explicitness brought on by exhaustion or obstacle or a lack of control.
Ira is a German-born and UK-raised artist, writer, performer and theatre-maker. She graduated from Dartington College of Arts in England in 2007, and in 2019 completed the DAS Theatre Masters in Amsterdam, where she is now based.
Ira’s work has been widely presented internationally, including at Malavoadora Porto; Matadero Madrid; Kanagawa Arts Theatre Yokohama; Festival Theaterformen Braunschweig; Theaterszene Europa Cologne; Arnolfini Bristol; The Yard, Shoreditch Town Hall, The Wellcome Collection, and Ovalhouse London; Buzzcut Festival Glasgow; Frascati Amsterdam; Monty Kultuurfaktorij Antwerp; CAMPO Ghent; and The Basement Auckland.
Since 2022 she is an Associate Maker at Frascati Producties in Amsterdam.
She is also one of the Co-Directors of Forest Fringe, an award-winning artist-led collective, alongside Andy Field and Deborah Pearson. With Forest Fringe Ira ran a festival venue at the Edinburgh Fringe for ten years, and has delivered projects, festivals, and residencies in London, Hong Kong, New York, Auckland, Dublin, Lisbon, Kanazawa, and Salvador da Bahia.
Ira is an experienced teacher, workshop facilitator, and artistic advisor. From 2014-2016 she taught Theatre and Performance Making at Royal Holloway University of London. She has been a visiting artist and guest lecturer at many institutions in the UK and beyond.