Prologue hopes to unite community through discussion of food and theater

November 28, 2016

Dillon Taunton

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     With the holidays approaching, a dinner shared among friends can warm the body and the soul.

     Award-winning actress Sally Hybl will join Kevin Landis, theater and dance program director, in the Prologue Series to host a Dickensian feast on Dec. 4 at the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater.

     The event, Christmas Culinary Delights, coincides with “A Christmas Carol,” which will run Dec. 1-24.

     According to Landis, the relationship between food and theater is engraved in the art. Everyone involved in a theatrical performance has a food story, which is part of what influenced the creation of this prologue.

     “‘A Christmas Carol’ is filled with references to food and beautiful monologues of the things that people are eating at the holiday season. I have been looking for an excuse to do a talk about food for years, because it is something I am interested in,” said Landis.

     To create the feeling of community, Landis and Hybl designed the event to feel like a dinner among friends. In the spirit of the holidays, Landis and Hybl will cook minced pies.

     “Minced pies have so many variants, sweet and savory, and that is what theater is. We create the best when we bring many different ingredients to the table,” said Hybl.

     The goal of the conversation and the cooking is for students to set aside their differences and recognize what is important.

     “The event will be interspersed with conversation between (Hybl) and I, as friends and theater people chatting about our lives and our experience in theater all the while cooking a meal for the audience,” said Landis.

     Even though food and theater are intertwined in “A Christmas Carol,” food has always been a part of the conversation in modern theater, according to Landis.

     “I have a passion regarding the way food in the history of theater has been used on stage. The festival of Dionysius that started Western theater was a festival about food and wine. There are so many places in history where we can look about how communities come around food and theater,” said Landis.

     Hybl’s personal experience with food and theater is what inspired her to create this event.

     “One of the most critical things I do, as the chief in charge of dinner, is get people to sit around the dinner table as many nights a week as we can,” said Hybl.

     “There is a real sense of family in theater, so I hope there is a visceral reaction to the smell of food and of Christmas that leads the students to think this is a welcoming place for them.”

     Students can reserve seats on