A celebration of the oral tradition that takes place around the most important performance venue in our society, the table. Social Potluck combines theatre, storytelling, community-building, community art and community food action in one performance project. As an established performer, storyteller, theatre creator, farmer, gourmand and active community resident, Gabriel Newman set out to find a new way to practice performance in a sustainable and inclusive manner. Social Potluck is the result of this exploration.
Act 1: Artists host four free dinners – with food from local suppliers – in exchange for stories from those who attend.
Act 2: Artists presents these stories at a community potluck dinner.
The Project The project is held over a ten day period and it enlists twenty five to thirty participants who attend the dinners free of charge in exchange for a story. The final performance is held for the participants and a guest of their choice. Those attending are expected to bring a dish to share at the potluck in exchange for the performance.
Social Potluck can also be expanded to include a number of final performances for a general public. Social Potluck is a very flexible project that works for communities of all sizes. It can also be designed for a myriad of both culinary and performance spaces. The hosting organization is responsible for recruiting participants and providing and financing locations for the story-gathering dinners and final performance.
To date Social Potluck has been performed in: Vernon, British Columbia Kelowna, British Columbia Port Townsend, Washington A version of Social Potluck entitled The Funeral Café was also performed at the Vernon Public Art Gallery, B.C.