Cornerstone Theater Company’s Laurie Woolery on Single Servings
Well…this is my first blog entry…EVER!
This is surprising since I spend most of my time facilitating opportunities for story telling to happen. I love hearing stories. I love telling stories. So consequently I spend most of time doing one or the other. It just so happens that when I am doing one or the other, food is usually involved.
So I have been thinking a lot about food and hunger. My nightstand is filled with stacks of books exploring various aspects of this very wide topic. From Michael Pollan’s infamous The Omnivore’s Dilemma to Gregory Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart, I am immersing my psyche into topics such as food transformation, GMOs, gluten-free diets, food injustice, compassionate communication and a hunger for self worth. You see our theater – Cornerstone Theater Company – is spending the next five years exploring issues of hunger.
Last December, I had the good fortune to work with OMPF here in Los Angeles. It was a delicious, wild ride where my band of noble actors breathed life and spirit into 10 world premiere plays in 10 minutes. We got to work on plays by Kristoffer Diaz, Evelina Fernandez, Velina Hasu Houston, Ricardo Bracho, Julie Hebert – just to name a few.
Afterwards, OMPF’s Dominic D’Andrea spoke with CTC Artistic Director Michael John Garcés to see how we could continue working together. We didn’t know how we could help. Cornerstone is such a mission-driven company and didn’t even have a theater space to offer up since our work is site-specific. However, we did have 2 weeks in November 2011 that we were dedicating to exploring hunger cycle themes! BOOM – an idea was hatched.
What if Cornerstone Theater and OMPF created a hybrid model that brought the strengths of both our missions together? We could reach out to the incredible pool of west coast playwrights and Cornerstone community members, bring them together to share stories about hunger and let that be the source of inspiration for the 1-minute plays. And, in keeping with our theme, we’d call it “Single Servings.”
We’re starting by hosting a story circle at Inner-City Arts [LINK – http://www.inner-cityarts.org] in LA. Playwrights and community members from across the city will spend an evening talking to one another and exploring questions such as: What feeds you? What food reminds you of home? What is a moment in your life when you experienced scarcity? When you experienced abundance? Where does your food come from? We’ll then present a public reading of the plays on Thursday, November 17 at 8:00pm at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum in downtown LA.
“Single Servings” is one of several branches of Cornerstone Theater’s Creative Seeds: An Exploration of Hunger. From November 7 – 20, 2011, we’ll be immersed in a citywide engagement of performances, conversations and explorations that will help shape our new Hunger Cycle plays. I hope you’ll join us!
Laurie Woolery is the Associate Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theater Company
Single Servings: A One-Minute Play Festival on the topic of hunger in L.A. is a collaboration between Cornerstone Theater Company and The One-Minute Play Festival as part of Creative Seeds: An Exploration of Hunger. November 17th 2011, 8PM at Tateuchi Democrary Forum at the Japanese American National Museum. PWYC tickets are available here.