Agoraphobia is the fear of certain, especially public and vast spaces, as well as of masses of people. In the Western world agoraphobia is actually the phobia that is diagnosed most often. It causes panic attacks, in many cases people no longer dare to go out of their homes. Although medicine has a tendency to consider it as a psychological, even physiological defect of the individual some critical studies point out to a necessity to look for the reasons for this illness in the nature and in the circumstances of the space itself – meaning to analyse the city as a possible cause.
In HERE/AFTER Constanza Macras along with four performers and one musician seeks to find out more about this clinical pattern with all its peculiarities like hyperventilation, panic attacks, dizziness and disorientation. Does everyday life in a metropolis pose a threat to the people? Are panic attacks in a shopping mall not a natural human form of defense, and why do they have to be treated in a therapy? This play explores the relation between anonymity and growing isolation, of the individual and urban life, of public spaces and their pathological manifestations. We will see flats with nightmarish narrowness, we will encounter two women who live together and who come up with all kinds of excuses to convince one another not having to leave home anymore. There will be a lonely musician whose only dream to become a rockstar ends with his terrible fear of big gatherings of people; a foreigner who never speaks; and a delivery man who is the only link between these people and the dreaded “outside”. Never before has it been so easy to be “by oneself” in a society which makes a confrontation with the “outside” avoidable through the sheer endless possibilities of communicating via the internet, chatrooms and delivery services. And actually what is it out there that one absolutely has to experience live?
A production by Constanza Macras | DorkyPark and HAU. Supported by the Capital Cultural Fund and the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Department for Cultural Affairs.
Sponsored by American Apparel