1–2:30pm / Oct 6 / First Floor Cafeteria

Between the Bread

Ben Gassman & Brandon Woolf

Photo by Miriam Gueluekoglu.

Between The Bread: Curing conversations, cutting recipes, and carving stories, Culinary Theater has built a new sandwich, the “Loislaida.” It tastes of three distinct Lower East Sides, pressing together Puerto Rican, Chinese, and Jewish tastes into the “perfect” (?) sandwich bite. Between the Breadis the unmaking of that sandwich as performance. In this slice of lunch theater, we invite you to taste, to talk, to think, to be startled, and to imbibe together in a ritual meal that uses the fixings of sandwich and their pleas for audience to explore the veins of a neighborhood whole, the parallel networks which don’t always percolate distinctly on the maps we’re used to. Hungry ethnographers, working to keep our appetites transparent and their caloric costs on the table, we offer up an honest sandwich in all its acids, bases, and frustrating commutes. Where do you taste yourself in this “slaida”?

Culinary Theater is a collaboration of playwright Ben Gassman and director Brandon Woolf creating food-based performance that tastes, smells and wonders about community. We are interested in the culinary as a method and medium of exchange – political, social, and artistic. 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 refortify the “culinary,” with a return to “slow food”: ritual, hearty conversation, celebration, and the loud chewing of ideas. Embarking on delicious yet purposeful investigations, we look at the ways our cultural food fetishes risk being both catalyst and symptom of larger-scale problems with the ways cultures are experienced, cherished, and potentially exploited, erased, or flattened.

Special thanks to Robert Garbarino – Minister of Sandwich, El Castillo de Jagua, Wu’s Wonton Garden, The Pickle Guys (1-888-4-PICKLES), Michelle, Yue, José, Violet and everybody at the 189 Allen University Settlement Senior Center.


Independent Study, a new play by Ben, directed by Ran Xia, will be presented at The Tank NYC Nov. 1-17, 2018.



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