CWT First Show Opens on October 3

September 19, 2013
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Who's Coming to Dinner will be presented by the Charlestown Working Theater opens October 3.

Who’s Coming to Dinner will be presented by the Charlestown Working Theater opens October 3.

The Charlestown Working Theater presents Dan Froot and Dan Hurlin’s Who’s Hungry October 3-5. Who’s Hungry is an evening of experimental tabletop puppet plays that give a voice and face to hunger in America. The project aims to raise awareness of the lives of those of us who, on a daily basis, must choose between life’s basic necessities – food or rent, food or medicine, food or bus fare. The production weaves together the life stories of five homeless and/or hungry individuals, incorporating puppetry, dance, music, and text.

In Who’s Hungry, the performers serve the audience a visual and narrative feast. The 60-minute puppet theater adaptation tells the oral histories of five very different homeless and/or food-insecure people through five 15- to 20-minute segments, woven together much as a chef weaves a succession of flavors into a cohesive multi-course meal. Performed at a specially built 24-foot dinner table, the audience views the action from one side, as if they are banquet guests.

Joining the audience at the table are:

Angel – who tumbled into homelessness after a prominent career as an interior designer

Sharon – a caseworker for an addiction recovery agency and recovering heroin addict herself

Chris – an original member of the notorious 1970s surfing/skateboarding crew known as the Z-Boys

Mike – who endured an eviction from subsidized housing while undergoing a dire health crisis

Chanel – who headed to New York City when the World Trade Center towers collapsed, feeling the need to run down the street in fear with her fellow New Yorkers.

Who’s Hungry is the brainchild of award-winning playwright, composer, choreographer and performer Dan Froot, an associate professor in UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures / Dance. Working in close collaboration with Froot is Dan Hurlin, a nationally acclaimed puppet artist who directed the production and designed and constructed the objects and sets. The project incorporates a range of puppetry styles — a 3-foot tall Japanese bunraku figure, rod puppets, shadow plays inside 1960’s TV sets, and a world of carved wood objects painted to look exactly like Delft china — in order to give each of the five stories its own aesthetic treatment.

Four years after the onset of the economic crisis, hunger remains high in the U.S, and New England has been deeply affected by food insecurity. While New England is certainly not alone in this, it does present some unique dichotomies: acres of working farms, yet people go hungry; a play land of the wealthy is under- girded by the services of the working poor; a city acclaimed for the number of restaurants has food shelves depleted because of need.

CWT is partnering with five New England presenters on this New England tour of Who’s Hungry, as well as with Charlestown-based social service organizations and individuals working on hunger advocacy.

The Charlestown Working Theater was founded on the idea that a theater and a community can engage in a dialogue that results in creative, artistic expression, an exciting exchange of ideas, and a deeper understanding of the people who make up the community. CWT has maintained this philosophy throughout its history and has remained dedicated to serving the cultural needs of Charlestown and greater Boston. CWT’s Resident Artists Program was established in 1997 to create the opportunity and environment for area theatre artists to develop, rehearse, and perform creative theatre productions, teach workshops, and engage with our community. Today, the Resident Artists Program features the work of local, national, and international theatre companies and artists.

Tickets are available online at www.charlestownworkingtheater.org or by phone at 866-811-4111. Press Contact: Jennifer Johnson, Charlestown Working Theater , 617.365.8634 jennifer@workingtheater.org