Putting food and theatre into direct conversation, this volume focuses on how food and theatre have operated for centuries as partners in the performative, symbolic, and literary making of meaning. Through case studies, literary analyses, and performance critiques, contributors examine theatrical work from China, Japan, India, Greece, Italy, France, Germany, England, the United States, Chile, Argentina, and Zimbabwe, addressing work from classical, popular, and contemporary theatre practices. The investigation of uses of food across media and artistic genres is a burgeoning area of scholarly investigation, yet regarding representation and symbolism, literature and film have received more attention than theatre, while performance studies scholars have taken the lead in examining the performative aspects of food events. This collection looks across dramatic genres, historical periods, and cultural contexts, and at food in all of its socio-political, material complexity to examine the particular problems and potentials of invoking and using food in live theatre. The volume considers food as a transhistorical, global phenomenon across theatre genres, addressing the explosion of food studies at the end of the twentieth century that has shown how food is a crucial aspect of cultural identity.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Culinary Theatres Dorothy Chansky and Ann Folino White Part I: Dramatizing Gluttony and Famine 1. When You are What You Eat: Ruzzante and Historical Metabolism Will Daddario and Joanne Zerdy 2. Gluttonous Pleasures: Arlequin, the Nouveau Théâtre Italien, and the Eighteenth-Century French Stage Maria Bobroff 3. Staging the Politics of the Belly: Depictions of Food and Violence in the Zimbabwean Play Super Patriot and Morons Praise Zenenga Part II: Staging Nationalism and Culture via Cuisine 4. Staging Soul/Food in Rakugo and Shogekijo: Food and Theatre in Japan Lorie Brau and David Jortner 5. Fools Festooned with Foods in Seventeenth-Century Popular German Theatre and Beyond Henriette Kassay-Schuster 6. Eating Red: Performing Maoist Nostalgia in Beijing’s Revolution-Themed Restaurants Claire Conceison Part III: Food Labor and Consuming Symbols 7. Slaughterhouses and Sensorial Affect: Dramatizing Labor, Capitalism, and Industrial Food Production in Bertolt Brecht’s Saint Joan of the Stockyards and Naomi Wallace’s Slaughter City Jocelyn L. Buckner 8. The Dinner from Hell/The Chef from le Cordon Bleu: Omnium Gatherum and Food as Status Symbol after 9/11 Ann Folino White and Dorothy Chansky 9. Look Who’s for Dinner: Staging the Last Supper in Medieval Drama Jesse Njus Part IV: Food Activism Onstage 10. Food Service and Resistance to Authoritarianism in the Southern Cone: Puesta en claro (Argentina) and Lo crudo, lo cocido y lo podrido (Chile) Ariel Strichartz 11. Moveable Feasts and Immoveable Paradigms: Can Theatre Artists and Health Scientists Cook, Eat, and Play Well Together? Stephani Etheridge Woodson and Tamara Underiner 12. The Right to Food Staples in India: Dramatizing a Cultural History of Shame and Pride Kanika Batra Part V: Food on the Other Side of the Footlights 13. "Whole sturgeons in seuerall dishes": The Performance of Feasting and Jonson’s Love’s Welcome at Bolsover Kirsten Inglis 14. Dinner Dress – Tales about Dora: Tasting the Limits of Semioticity, Consuming Autobiography, Contesting Israeliness Dror Harari 15. Audience Appetites: Food, Class, and Consumption in New York City’s Theatres Christine Woodworth and Amy E. Hughes
Dorothy Chansky is Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University, USA
Ann Folino White is Associate Professor of Theatre Studies at Michigan State University, USA