The Arab-Israeli Cookbook

06 Season

Arab-Israeli Cookbook Poster

By Robin Soans
Directed by Joel Greenberg

March 3 – April 1, 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.

A CANADIAN PREMIERE

Written by Robin Soans
Directed by Joel Greenberg
Featuring Victor Ertmanis, David Fox, Barbara Gordon, Mark McGrinder, Jeff Miller, Kimwun Perehinec, and Maria Ricossa
Stage Managed by Shauna Japp
Assistant Stage Managed by Ashlyn Ireland
Set Designed by Michael Gianfrancesco
Costume Designed by Joanne Dente
Lighting Designed by Trevor Schwellnus
Sound Designed by Steve Marsh
Associate Produced by Jessica Greenberg
Produced by Derrick Chua

Beyond the Stage events
Through Each Other’s Eyes

March 3 – April 1, 2006

Company

Robin Soans

Robin Soans

Playwright

Robin Soans is an actor, and a playwright specialising in verbatim and documentary plays. These plays include Across the Divide (2007); A State Affair (2000) which looked at life on a Bradford estate, produced by Out of Joint theatre company; The Arab Israeli Cookbook (Gate Theatre 2004); Talking to Terrorists (Out of Joint theatre company and Royal Court Theatre); Life After Scandal (Hampstead Theatre); and Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage (Out of Joint theatre company, National Theatre Wales, Arcola Theatre, and Sherman Cymru). Other plays include Bet Noir (Young Vic 1986); Sinners and Saints (The Croydon Warehouse) and Will and Testament (The Oval House).He wrote Mixed Up North for LAMDA theatre school in 2008, about a youth theatre group created as a means to unite divided racial communities in the Lancashire mill town of Burnley; in 2009 it was performed professionally in a co-production between Out of Joint theatre company and Bolton Octagon Theatre. As an actor, he has appeared at The National Theatre, The Royal Court, The Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe. He also starred in Bill Douglas’s epic film of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, Comrades.In 2014 he appeared as Arthur in Barney Norris’ play Visitors at the Arcola Theatre. In 2015 his verbatim play Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage, about the rugby player Gareth Thomas and young people in Bridgend, toured Britain and was staged at the Arcola.


Joel Greenberg

Joel Greenberg

Director/Producer

For Studio 180: The Passion of the Chris The Laramie Project. A co-founder of Studio 180, Joel is a Chalmers and Dora award–winning playwright and director who has directed productions across Canada. Elsewhere: Ain’t Misbevain‘, What the Butler Saw, Taking Sides, Vanities, Bells Are Ringing, Second City (Toronto and Chicago), Dames at Sea (too many times), Tonight at 8:00…8:30 in Newfoundland (all three editions), The Foreigner, Alice, Drink the Mercury and The Nuclear Power Play. Joel taught at Humber College Theatre School from 1984 to 1989 and the Drama Department at the University of Waterloo from 1991 to 2014, also serving as the Chair of each department.


Victor Ertmanis

Victor Ertmanis

Actor

For Studio 180: debut. He has worked extensively across this country, including 20 productions at the National Arts Centre, most recently as Claudius in Hamlet. Other credits include Neils Bohr in Vancouver Playhouse’s Copenhagen, Volcano’s Goodness as Mathias Todd and Theatre Calgary’s production of Councellor at Law as George Simon, for which he won the Betty Mitchell Award for Best Actor. Victor’s film and television credits are extensive, but watch out for him in the upcoming release of Rhinoceros Eyes, a fun horror romp. After work, Victor enjoys a wee nippy sweetie of Irish whiskey.


David Fox

David Fox

Actor

For Studio 180: debut. David has received numerous accolades for his stage performances across the country, including a Toronto Dora Mavor Moore Award for Michael Healey’s The Drawer Boy, a Maritime Merritt Award for Michael Cook’s Jacob’s Wake and an Edmonton Sterling Award for Paul Quarrington’s The Invention of Poetry, as well as six other theatre nominations. In the early 1970s, he was part of the vital collective theatre movement at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, creating The Farm Show and 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt among other works. His focus on new Canadian work continues to this day. Over the years, David has worked with such filmmakers as Guy Maddin (The Saddest Music in the World), Peter Mettler (The Top of His Head), Sir Richard Attenborough (Grey Owl), Patricia Rozema (When Night is Falling – Genie Nomination, Supporting Role), Chris Grismer (Clutch), Fabrizzio Filippo (The Human Kazoo), Charles Binamé (H2O II: Trojan Horse) and Jeremy Podeswa (Fugitive Pieces). He has worked with such actors as William H. Macy in the TV film Reversible Errors and Lou Gossett Jr. in For Love of Olivia. On television, David played the title role in Shakespeare’s King Lear and, for five seasons, played teacher Clive Pettibone on Road to Avonlea. He has appeared in such series as Due South, The Eleventh Hour, Poltergeist, This is Wonderland, Puppets Who Kill, the CBC/ Sienna Films pilot The Altar Boy Gang, CBC’s six-part series Northern Town, directed by Gary Burns, and the CBC series Heartland. Recent credits include the series lead in Across the River to Motor City, created by Bob Wetheimer, directed by Michael de Carlo and produced by Chum/City and David Devine, a recurring role on the CBC/Temple Street Series Being Erica and a Guest Star role in the new Showcase series Crash Burn.


Barbara Gordon

Barbara Gordon

Actor

For Studio 180: debut. Barbara has been a performer on stage, and in film, television and radio for over 30 years. Recent Toronto appearances include Half Life at Tarragon, Homechild at Canadian Stage, That Time – a collection of Beckett shorts at the Theatre Centre, and Nathan the Wise with Soulpepper
Theatre. She performed for four seasons with Theatre Plus and has appeared at the Shaw Festival and regional theatres across the country. Film work includes Prom Queen, Redemption, Hypercube, Men with Brooms and Skinwalkers. Television work has included Queer as Folk, continuing roles on This is Wonderland, The Associates and Traders, and numerous movies of the week. She is married to writer Douglas Rodger and has two children, Melody and Dougal.


Mark McGrinder

Mark McGrinder

Actor

For Studio 180: The Passion of the ChrisThe Laramie Project. For Studio 180: The Laramie Project, Stuff Happens, Our Class, Parade, Clybourne Park, You Will Remember Me and, most recently, The Nether. Mark is a member of Studio 180’s Core Artistic Team and co-ordinates the Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT program. He also adapted and directed Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish for the company and has assistant directed productions of Blackbird, God of Carnage and The Laramie Project 10th Anniversary reading. Mark was a member of the Shaw Festival’s acting ensemble for 5 seasons and performed in several reviews with The Second City’s National Touring Company. Film and television credits include; Spotlight, Remedy, Murdoch Mysteries and Mayday.


Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller

Actor

For Studio 180: The Laramie Project. For Studio 180: Cock, The Normal HeartThe Arab-Israeli CookbookThe Laramie Project . Other theatre includes Hana’s SuitcaseTo Kill a Mockingbird, Reading the Signs, Liars (Young People’s Theatre); Same Time Next Year, Half-LifeRabbit HoleLeading Ladies (Sudbury Theatre Centre); Steven Gallagherʼs Craplicker (Toronto Fringe 2010); Mike McPhadenʼs Poochwater, Sean Reycraftʼs One Good Marriage (Theatre Passe Muraille); King Lear (Walking Shadow Theatre); Stones in His PocketsPicasso at the Lapin AgileRumors, The Petrified ForestMoon Over Buffalo (Nipissing Stage); Communicating Doors (Magnus Theatre); The Othello Project (Florida Shakespeare Theater); Love! Valour! Compassion!Twilight of the Golds (Boston Speakeasy Theater); and The Lisbon Traviata (Boston Triangle Theater). TV credits include roles on Good WitchThe StrainMan Seeking Woman and Queer as Folk.


Perehinec

Kimwun Perehinec

Actor

For Studio 180: The Passion of the Chris The Laramie Project. Kimwun is a co-founder, artist educator and member of the Core Artistic Team for Studio 180. Other selected credits include Frankenstein’s BoyMadhouse VariationsSideshow of the Damned (Eldritch Theatre); Chasing Margaret Flatwood (Theatre Awakening); Like Wolves (GCTC); Wrecked (Roseneath Theatre); This Is About the Push (Seventh Stage); Mourning Dove (Ark Collective); Vanities (Theatre in Port); Spain (Absit Omen); Phae (Collective Architecture); High-Gravel-BlindShadowsWalk Right Up (Stratford Festival). Film and TV credits include recurring roles on the TMN series The Line and the web series B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye; and Puppets Who KillNikita and Thieves. Kimwun has been nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Ensemble) and is a graduate of the actor training program at George Brown College.


Maria Ricossa

Maria Ricossa

Actor

For Studio 180: debut. For over 30 years Maria has worked in Film, Television, Radio and Theatre in both the US and Canada. As a member of the Stratford Festival for 5 Seasons she played leading roles in King Lear, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure and Hamlet. Other theatre work includes roles at the Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage, Necessary Angel, Nightwood Theatre, The Storefront Theatre, The Manitoba Theatre Center, The Harold Green Jewish Theatre and Studio 180. Maria has been a series lead, guest star and recurring character on TV series including Ransom, The Strain, Flashpoint, The Good Witch and CTV’s Designated Survivor. Leading roles in feature films include The Inlaws, Some Things That Stay and The Space Between. Maria teaches Acting for Film and TV at Humber College and currently is an on-set Acting coach for the Netflix series Tiny Pretty Things. Maria is also a street photographer whose photographs have been featured in photo publications and in the Contact Photography Festival.


Shauna Japp

Stage Manger

For Studio 180: debut. Shauna’s recent credits include Wish (Theatre Rustical), Poochwater (Thousand Islands Playhouse), Over the River and Through the Woods, Sherlock’s Last Case (Showboat Festival Theatre), Seven Days of Simon Labrosse (Pleiades Theatre), Tunnel (Platform9), Poochwater (Poochwater Collective/Theatre Passe Muraille), The Sound Of Music (Theatre Aquarius), One Good Marriage, Blood (Theatre Passe Muraille), The Unnatural and Accidental Women (Native Earth), Top Gun! The Musical (TG!TM Co-op), The OutDoor Donelleys (The Blyth Festival), City For Sale (Video Cabaret), richardthesecond (Players By Nature), fusion (DNA Theatre), bittergirl (bittergirl co-op). Other companies: National Arts Centre, Drayton Entertainment, Sudbury Theatre Centre, Georgian Theatre Festival, New Stages and St. Lawrence Stage Company.


Ashlyn Ireland

Ashlyn Ireland

Assistant Stage Manager

For Studio 180: debut. Most Recently: Three Sisters, Blithe Spirit (Soulpepper Theatre); Cringeworthy (Planet 88); The Gut Girls, The Country Wife, War and Peace, Hot’L Baltimore, Big Love (George Brown College); The Amorous Servant (Pleiades Theatre); Family Stories: Belgrade (Actors Repertory Company); Lust’s Labour’s Lost (Toronto Fringe).


Michael Gianfrancesco

Michael Gianfrancesco

Set Designer

For Studio 180: The Laramie Project. Michael’s set & costume design credits for theatre, opera and dance include A Few Good Men (Citadel/MTC); Trouble in TahitiIn Good King Charles’s Golden Days (costumes), One Touch of Venus (costumes) (Shaw Festival); Caroline or Change (set, Acting Up Stage/Obsidian); Jack and the Giant BeanstalkThe Wizard of OzSeussical (set) (YPT); Romeo and JulietThe 39 StepsWhite Christmas (set), Fiddler on the Roof (costumes) (MTC); The Drowsy Chaperone (set, MTC/Theatre Calgary); Rodin/ClaudelKaleidoscope (set) (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens); SvadbaBeauty Dissolves in a Brief HourThe Midnight Court – presented at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden (Queen of Puddings Music Theatre); In Colour (National Ballet of Canada); A View from the Bridge (set, Segal Theatre); Rock ‘n’ RollIt’s a Wonderful LifeLittle Shop of Horrors (set) (Canadian Stage). Michael has spent nine seasons at the Stratford Festival and most recently designed the scenery for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He was the 2008 recipient of the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design from the Ontario Arts Foundation, and received the Brian Jackson Award from the Stratford Festival.


Joanne Dente

Costume Designer

For Studio 180: debut. A freelance set and costume designer, Joanne has recently contributed to Dreary and Izzy (costume) for Native Earth and Duel at Dawn (costume and props) for LKTYP, both directed by Ruth Madoc-Jones, and The Hostage (set) for Ryerson, directed by Eda Holmes. Selected design credits include: set and costumes for Powers and Gloria and Heat Wave (Blyth Festival), That Time & BEBE (Theatre Centre, Theatre Asylum, Theatre Extasis), China Doll (Nightwood), Dear Boss (Alianak Productions/Eldritch Theatre), Grendelmaus (Eldritch Theatre); costumes for The Danish Play (Nightwood), The One Acts (Stratford Festival Studio Theatre). She was Associate Designer to Phillip Silver on The Marriage of Figaro (Pacific Opera Victoria). She graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada in 1998. She has received eight Dora nominations and one Dora Award for her costume designs for Grendelmaus.


Trevor Schwellnus

Trevor Schwellnus

Lighting Designer/Production Manager

For Studio 180: debut. Trevor is a designer for several indie companies (Aluna, Independent Auntie, K’Now, Obsidian, mammalian diving reflex, Small wooden shoe). His rigging has been seen on square riggers in the Great Lakes and on the East Coast, as well as Peter Weir’s last film, Master and Commander. Recent design credits include set and lights for Born Ready/Pusha Man, Frances Mathilda and Tea /Mysterious Shorts, Capturing Freedom, Little Dragon and For Sale (Dora Award for Outstanding Set Design); sets for A Suicide-Site Guide to the City, Platinum Travel Club and the shortened 2004 Regent Theatre Summer Festival (Picton); and lights for The Dinner Party and The Lover. His play meeting playce was produced at the 2003 Summerworks Festival.


Steve Marsh

Sound Designer

For Studio 180: debut. Steve splits his time between designing sound, being a freelance technician, working at the Music Gallery and touring around Europe with Marie Brassard’s latest show. He has been nominated for a Pauline McGibbon Award and three Dora Mavor Moore Awards (winning one in 2003 for Outstanding Sound Design/Composition for DNA Theatre’s The Observation).


Jessica Greenberg

Associate Producer

For Studio 180: The Passion of the Chris. Jessica (she/her) is an actor and artist educator who has worked on and off stage with Studio 180 since 2004. As an actor, she has appeared in our productions of Indecent, King Charles III, NSFW, Cock, Our Class, Parade, Blackbird, Offensive Shadows and The Passion of the Chris. As the Director of Youth and Community Engagement, Jessica creates our production study guides and lobby exhibits, runs our Studio 180 IN CLASS and Beyond The Stage programs, and contributes to Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT and AT HOME programming. She has acted on stages across Canada and the United States including Canadian Stage, Crow’s Theatre, Project: Humanity, Magnus Theatre, YPT, The Citadel, MTYP, Passe Muraille, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Theatre New Brunswick, Willow Cabin Theatre and Theatreworks/USA. She has appeared on The Handmaid’s Tale, Murdoch Mysteries and Being Erica as well as the animated series Fish ‘n Chips. Jessica has more than 20 years of experience as a guest artist and educator with children and youth of all ages from preschool to post-secondary, was Education Coordinator for ARCfest: Toronto’s Human Rights Arts Festival, and is the Director of Child Engagement for the Child-ish Collective. She holds an Honours BA in political science and women’s studies from McGill University and completed her classical acting training at Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York and as an apprentice at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in Kentucky.


Derrick Chua

Derrick Chua

Producer

For Studio 180: The Laramie Project. A co-founder of Studio 180, Derrick is an entertainment lawyer and award-winning theatre producer. Recent productions include I’m Doing This For You (Edinburgh, Amsterdam, London, Tampere, Piotrowice Nyskie, Halifax, Toronto), Counting Sheep (Edinburgh), Confessions and Adventures of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl (Edinburgh, Brighton), Dance Animal (Toronto Fringe), Obeah Opera (PANAMANIA), The God That Comes When It Rains (Edinburgh Fringe), Oh My Irma (International Tour: Edinburgh Fringe, Berlin, London, Kosovo, Ulaanbaatar, Brighton, Amsterdam, Kiel, New York, Victoria), Fortune and Men’s Eyes (Dancemakers), Gruesome Playground Injuries (The Theatre Centre). Derrick is past-President of the Toronto Fringe Festival, and sits on the boards of The AFC, Theatre Museum Canada, fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre Company and Groundling Theatre. He is the recipient of a Dora Award, a Harold Award, a NOW Magazine Award as Toronto’s Best Indie Producer, and a Canadian Actors’ Equity Association Honorary Membership for Outstanding Contribution to the Performing Arts.


Gallery

The cast of The Arab-Israeli Cookbook. Photo by John Karastamatis.
Barbara Gordon in The Arab-Israeli Cookbook. Photo by John Karastamatis.
Maria Ricossa in The Arab-Israeli Cookbook. Photo by John Karastamatis.
Barbara Gordon and David Fox in The Arab-Israeli Cookbook. Photo by John Karastamatis.
Mark McGrinder in The Arab-Israeli Cookbook. Photo by John Karastamatis.
Kimwun Perehinec and Victor Ertmanis in The Arab-Israeli Cookbook. Photo by John Karastamatis.

Reviews

A recipe for understanding; a recipe for great theatre.

Toronto Star

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.

Toronto Sun