The TCP Recipe
In 2008, award-winning director & choreographer, Marlo Hunter’s site-specific theater company, was leading a new wave of immersive projects in New York City theater. Combining her two passions, developing new plays and experiencing great food, Marlo partnered with notable playwrights and chefs throughout New York City to produce one-night-only events, inviting foodie and theater-loving audiences alike to exquisite three-course meals matched with three great plays. After two years of producing these events, working with Pulitzer, Tony and James Beard award-winning playwrights, actors, and chefs, Marlo dreamed of expanding her vision from a one-night-only event into a full production.
In 2011, Marlo met actor & producer, Sasha Eden, co-founder of the critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway company, WET Productions. Marlo had attended a number of Sasha's productions, and was inspired by her creation of bold new work and her commitment to gender parity. By following the mission of WET, to produce media that challenges female stereotypes and advocates for equality, Sasha developed and produced innovative new content generated by women, educated New York City teenage girls on media-literacy, and furthered the careers of numerous women artists in the entertainment industry,
Upon meeting Marlo, Sasha was struck by her talent, entrepreneurial spirit and keen artistic eye. They began to crack open the idea for an expanded version of Eating Their Words: what if the series of short plays could coalesce into one larger story with a connective arc? What if the theater were designed to operate as a restaurant, thereby building the conceit within a naturalistic framework? What if the audience was submerged within the play itself, dining on a tasting menu that serves as a muse for the stories unfolding around them? And lastly, a non-negotiable: what if, at the center of it all, there was a female chef?
And so it happened that in 2013, while Sasha was watching Top Chef, it dawned on her that Chef Carla Hall, her favorite contestant ever, would be the ideal match for this project. Nimble, savvy, collaborative, full of creativity, Carla was perfect. Serendipitously, two weeks later, Sasha met Carla on an empty subway car in the middle of the day. Feeling as if she was struck by lightening (in a good way), Sasha introduced herself to Carla. As fortune would have it Carla shared Marlo and Sasha's dream to merge the theatrical and culinary arts…. and so the collaboration began.
After an extensive search, Sasha and Marlo invited playwrights Jeff Augustin, Martyna Majok, Daniel Pearle and Julian Sheppard to join the creative team. Each writer is matched with a course on Carla’s menu, and their plays are inspired by the essence of the food in that given course. These plays will reflect the different economic, emotional, and historical perspectives found in this restaurant, from patrons, to front and back of house staff. And, of course, Carla's menu tells a story in tandem with the plays.