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.

The COUNTER Revolutionary Sandwich Pop Up

The “Loislaida”

Ratner’s Matzoh Balls: The José Way