DECODING THE TABLECLOTH Set for United Solo Festival, 10/5 & 11/10
Decoding the Tablecloth, the critically acclaimed hit of the New York International Fringe Festival, will be presented at The United Solo Festival on Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street) on Saturday, October 5th at 9 p.m., and Sunday, November 10th at 2 p.m. Written and performed by Gabriela Kohen, the show was co-conceived and directed by Connie Grappo. Selected as "Outstanding Solo Show," and named one of the top picks of the Fringe by New York Magazine, Decoding the Tablecloth played to sold-out houses during its initial run, and was extended by audience demand. It travels now to the United Solo Festival on Theatre Row.
Skillfully portraying a complex assortment of more than twenty characters, Gabriela Kohen brings her colorful family to life in an autobiographical show that spans five generations and describes her experiences as an immigrant girl growing up Jewish and Latina in New York City. Her story begins with her grandmother, a Polish immigrant who fled the holocaust in 1938 on a cargo ship bound for Argentina. Forced to travel fast and light, her grandmother's sole possession on that fateful journey was the heirloom tablecloth she carried to remind her of the family she left behind, all of whom subsequently perished during the war. Using the tablecloth she inherited from her grandmother as a point of reference, Kohen moves back and forth in both time and place, from the Warsaw Ghetto, to Argentina, to disco-'70s-era-Brooklyn, where she emigrated at the age of three. Kohen poignantly expresses the sometimes humorous, and often painful process of adapting to American life. Whether playing herself at different ages, or exquisitely transforming herself into a vast array of relatives and friends, Kohen communicates her family's struggle to belong while maintaining their unique cultural identity. With passion and a bizarre slant on reality, Kohen's strikingly rendered family members discuss their views on everything from racism and Anti-Semitism to love, coming of age and shopping.
Gabriela Kohen (Writer, Performer) received her MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. She has performed "Decoding the Tablecloth" to critical acclaim at Theater J in Washington D.C., as well as at the NY International Fringe Festival, where it won the award for "Outstanding Solo Show." She has toured the show in theaters and universities around the country, and has also performed it for Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, JCC and Hillel, among others.
Connie Grappo teaches Acting at Yale University and facilitates theater workshops through Rehabilitation Through the Arts, an arts program for incarcerated men and women. She has directed productions at Yale Rep, Second Stage, Trinity Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, among many others, and Working Theater, where she served three years as Artistic Director.