Culinary Theater is a new, neighborhood-food-based performance collaboration between the playwright Ben Gassman and the director Brandon Woolf. We are developing the project as 2018-19 artists-in-residence at the Performance Project @ University Settlement. Dinner theater meets Carolee Schneemann. Rachel Ray meets Rirkrit Tiravanija. We are interested in the culinary as a method and medium of exchange – political and artistic. Bertolt Brecht used “culinary” to mark the ways our lives and traditions have been packaged – and plastic wrapped – for easy consumption and digestion: TV dinner at the theater. We are working to re-ironize the “culinary,” with a return to “slow food”: hearty conversation, celebration, big ideas, bar-room-banter, kvetching, and debate. Delicious yet purposeful. And always also painfully aware of the ways our cultural food fetishes risk being both catalyst and symptom of larger-scale problems with the ways those very cultures are experienced, cherished, and potentially exploited, erased, or flattened.

Between the Bread

The COUNTER Revolutionary Sandwich Pop Up

The “Loislaida”

Ratner’s Matzoh Balls: The José Way