The Alphabet of Uncertain Times – ZID Theater

A raw, witty and energetic performance

The Alphabet of Uncertain Times is an interdisciplinary theatrical research on guidance in times of crisis. A new performance, an installation and a video series are made from this.

In The Alphabet of Uncertain Times, directed by Karolina Spaić, eight performers create a physical and poetic dictionary in which language, image and movement merge.
“Can we let go of everything and face the future with humour and an open mind? ” they as themselves.

This is a witty, raw and energetic performance that leaves no one unmoved. “It is mainly about the intensity of theatre in its simplest, most human form: an actor and a spectator meet again.” – Karolina Spaic
Feedback from a spectator after the premiere on 30 September: “It was a moving, critical and at times hilarious reflection on the past year. The actors were well attuned to each other, the interaction with the audience was very natural and the fast switches between certain scenes were sharp.”

The public experiences how the actors reflect on collective and personal perception in times of instability. These reflections are processed both in the performance and in an accompanying video installation. Poetess Vivan Deekman wrote new work especially for this performance and performs it in her own intense and sincere way.
The audience sits in a (semi) circle around the performance. In this way, the audience and the actors share a common space. This creates intimacy and confrontation at the same time.

“Life is an alphabet. The Alphabet is life,” wrote one spectator after the performance.

In addition to the performance, an accompanying video installation has also been created, which serves as a deepening for the language and themes of the performance. The videos can be seen on the day itself, but also in the Amsterdam Museum.

Background information about the performance

The idea for this project arose in a period of social isolation and collective fear. The observation that everyone deals with that fear differently led to an investigation into what we can learn from each other in times of great change – when we have to let go of our habits and assumptions.



Duration of the performance: 1 hour, if possible with an after-talk and 1 cup of tea
Setup: the performance can be set up in a full circle (see photo 1) or in a semicircle so that 1 side serves as the background (see photo 2).

The performance is suitable for theatres as well as for indoor and outdoor locations (church, museum, gallery, park, garden, etc.).
The video installation can be set up in different ways, depending on the space.

Performance dates:

30 September 2021: premiere at International ExploreZ Festival, Podium Mozaïek, Amsterdam (150 spectators)
8 October 2021: performance at International ExploreZ Festival, Vondelkerk, Amsterdam (60 spectators)

Het Alfabet van Onzekere Tijden
Het Alfabet van Onzekere Tijden

Director: Karolina Spaić; Film: Lot Wuisman; Dramaturgy: Tomas Leijen; Production: Lot Wuisman, Assistent: Dana Zdero,
ZID Ensemble Performers: Claribel Castillo Rodriquez, Daan Bosch, Issam Zemmouri, Ista Putranto, Joske Daamen, Lara Bakker, Naïma Baraka, Sebo Bakker and poetess Vivian Deekman.
Text: Vivian Deekman, Claribel Castillo Rodriquez, Daan Bosch, Issam Zemmouri, Ista Putranto, Joske Daamen, Karolina Spaić, Lara Bakker, Naïma Baraka, Sebo Bakker, Vivian Deekman, Wendela de Vos.
Special thanks to: Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst (AFK), Stadsdeel Amsterdam Nieuw-West, Stadsdeel Amsterdam West, VSBfonds


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