Food and Storytelling Intersect in 'Potluck' Production, Staged Over Three Nights at The Depot

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2x4 Productions & Oklahoma StoryWorks will perform “Potluck,” an evening of sharing food and telling stories, as part of the theatre companyʼs ongoing Food Project at 7 p.m. on June 21, 22, and 23 at The Depot, 200 S. Jones, Norman.

All are invited to bring a potluck dish to share and enjoy a staged reading of Norman playwright Sheryl Martinʼs newest work, “Potluck.” The show includes monologues based on interviews with Norman residents, who shared with Martin their memories of food, cooking, everyday family dinners, and special celebrations, as well as concerns about whatʼs in the food weʼre eating, whoʼs going hungry, and how we deal with food fears.

In addition to scripted monologues, the show will feature food-related improv games, and some off-the-cuff storytelling by some of the areaʼs finest and most experienced actors: Al Bostick, Kym Bracken, Kathy Kelly Christos, Sue Ellen Reiman, and Terry Veal.

Martin herself is a nearly-thirty-year veteran of Norman and OKC-Metro area theatre.

“I came to Norman in 1989 to work for Street Players Theatre, and I found people who encouraged each other to make the best theatre they could,” Martin said. “We created 2x4 Productions in 1993 and weʼve toured shows to schools, libraries, college campuses, and performing arts centers all over Oklahoma."

“Oklahoma StoryWorks, our newest project, will give us the opportunity to explore the communities weʼve visited, listen to their stories, and create theatre that lets Oklahomans hear each others voices," she continued. “Norman is the perfect place to start—itʼs become my home. “And food seems like a perfect starting point, too. Everybody eats.”

“Potluck” is only one in a series of community offerings in The Food Project. Over the past year the company has presented a Food Talk Forum at The Depot, with guest speaker April Heiple of Food & Shelter, Inc; a storytelling workshop, “Whatʼs Your Story?” led by actor/director/Griot Al Bostick as part of the Norman Arts Councilʼs Undercover Artists series; a Soundpainting workshop led by certified Soundpainter and Norman native Nicole Poole; and improv workshops at Norman North High School, taught by OKC Improv Managing Director Sue Ellen Reiman.

“Potluck” is a work in progress, one that Martin hopes to fine-tune and take on the road.

“Weʼre inviting everyone who comes to see the show to stay for an Audience Talkback, to hear their questions and feedback.”

Admission to the event is free, and a potluck dish can include “anything from fried chicken to vegan burritos or a family-size bag of chips,” according to Martin. “No judging, just sharing and eating.”

The Depot will be open at 6:30 each evening of the run and Hostesses will be on hand to help everyone find a spot for their potluck dishes.

“The show will start at 7:00pm,” said Martin. “Or as soon after that as everyone is sitting down with something to eat. And thereʼll be a 15-minute intermission so everyone can grab some desert!”

The Food Project and “Potluck” are made possible by assistance and grants from The Norman Arts Council Sudden Opportunity Support Program and The Depot, and by the generous support of the Mid-America Arts Allianceʼs Arts Innovation Program and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Depot and the Norman Arts Council have served as community partners for the Food Project.