The Arab-Israeli Cookbook
THE ARAB-ISRAELI COOKBOOK
by Robin Soans
March – April 2006
Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs
The Arab-Israeli Cookbook combines onstage food preparation with intimate interviews to create a portrait of the lives of ordinary people in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. In their travels, the creators met and interviewed more than 80 people, from a wide background of cultures, classes and creeds. The resulting play presents over 40 characters describing their daily lives – driving buses, shopping at the market, preparing meals – amidst the surrounding conflict.
In the words of Soans, Cookbook explores how “inside a complete impasse, people go about their daily lives and retain hope. These are human stories of people’s survival in situations that are intransigent and fraught with danger.”
In their 2006 end-of-year reviews, the Toronto Star listed Studio 180’s production of Cookbook in its Top 10 “honour roll of stellar city shows” and The Globe and Mail named the cast Best Ensemble of the year.
DIRECTED BY Joel Greenberg
FEATURING Victor Ertmanis, David Fox, Barbara Gordon, Mark McGrinder, Jeff Miller, Kimwun Perehinec & Maria Ricossa
STAGE MANAGER Shauna Japp
ASM Ashley Ireland
SET DESIGN Michael Gianfrancesco
COSTUME DESIGN Joanne Dente
LIGHTING DESIGN Trevor Schwellnus
SOUND DESIGN Steve Marsh
PRODUCTION MANAGER Trevor Schwellnus
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Jessica Greenberg
PRODUCED BY Joel Greenberg & Derrick Chua
As a complement to the play, Studio 180 displayed Givat Haviva’s extraordinary travelling photography exhibit in the Berkeley Street Theatre lobby. Through Others’ Eyes reflects the cooperative work of Jewish and Arab youth from neighbouring villages “looking” and getting to know each other from new and different perspectives. To further their relationship, participants in the project invited one another for visits to their respective villages and homes, where they took photographs. Their interactions have led to a deeper understanding of one another, lasting friendships and a profound bond amongst all contributors. This project continues to prove that even in difficult times, through art, one can bridge gaps and broaden understanding among different cultures.
Givat Haviva was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 2001.
2006 end-of-year reviews
Listed in the Top 10 “honour roll of stellar city shows”
“Best Ensemble: The cast of The Arab Israeli Cookbook, confidently directed by Joel Greenberg of Studio 180.”
GLOBE AND MAIL
“A recipe for understanding; a recipe for great theatre.”
“In a world where political and racial tensions are often painted in sweeping strokes, this is a play that succeeds in boiling everything down to a very personal level.”