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Cahoots Theatre Presents A TASTE OF EMPIRE


Cahoots Theatre Presents A TASTE OF EMPIRE

Cahoots Theatre is proud to present the rice and beans theatre production of A Taste of Empire, written and directed by Jovanni Sy, translated and performed in Cantonese by Derek Chan-with open captioning in English and Simplified Chinese-for seven performances only, May 1-6, 2018 at Factory.

Theatre-meets-cooking-class when the infamous Chef Maximo is called away from the demonstration kitchen leaving his sous chef to prepare, in real time and in front of a live audience, the famous Filipino dish, Rellenong Bangus. While preparing the dish, sous chef Chan chronicles the history of the ingredients, following them back to their source for a thought-provoking lesson in culinary colonialism.

"You are what you eat." But where does the food come from? How does it get to the table? Irreverent and entertaining, A Taste of Empire weaves stories of conquest, imperialistic desires, and colonialism through the construction (and deconstruction) of the dish. Audiences will find themselves immersed in the tantalizing aromas of a kitchen, while exploring global food domination and self-indulgent eating. Even a simple garnish can have a disturbing backstory.

Derek Chan is a playwright, director, performer, translator, and producer, born and raised in colonial Hong Kong. Now based in Vancouver, Chan has been creating and producing for rice & beans theatre as co-artistic director, with Pedro Chamale, since 2010. In 2015, Chan was awarded the Vancouver Fringe New Play Prize Starstuff: Per Aspera Ad Astra, in 2016 he was a cohort at the Glassco Translation Residency in Tadoussac, Quebec, and is currently serving as the guest curator of the 2018 rEvolver Theatre Festival (Upintheair Theatre) at The Cultch in Vancouver. Select creative credits include: No Foreigners (Hong Kong Exile/fu-GEN), Pick a Number (Boca del Lupo/FUSE), Loomings; or The Whale, Mis Papás, Last Train In (rice & beans), The Revolutions (SpiderWebShow), and Sik Zeon Tin Haa/A Taste of Empire (rice & beans/Gateway Theatre's Pacific Festival).

Jovanni Sy began to develop A Taste of Empire, drawing on his Filipino-Chinese roots, in 2005 when he was artistic director of Cahoots Theatre Company. The show premiered in English in Toronto in 2010 and receive two Dora Award-nominations for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Production. Now Artistic Director of The Gateway Theatre in Richmond B.C., Derek Chan's translated version, directed by Sy, was the first ever Canadian-Cantonese show to be presented by the company; previous Chinese language shows always came from afar. Past writing credits include; The Five Vengeances, a comic kung-fu adaptation of The Revenger's Tragedy, the libretti to the chamber operas, Haiku Moments and The Cellar Doo, Song of Songs for Bravo! Television, and the CBC Radio Drama Peking Duck. Past directing credits include; Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage, Jean Anouilh's Antigone, David Harrower's Blackbird, The Five Vengeances (co-directed with Guillermo Verdecchia) and Cliff Cardinal's Stitch.

A tasting plate is served at the conclusion of A Taste of Empire, a feast for the mind and the palate, and like the theatre, food also brings people together!

Cahoots Theatre presents
A Taste of Empire
a rice and beans theatre production
written and directed by Jovanni Sy
translated and performed by Derek Chan
production design by Pedro Chamale
Presented in Cantonese with English and Simplified Chinese captioning
Factory Studio, 125 Bathurst Street at Adelaide Street
May 1-6, 2018
OPENING NIGHT: Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Tuesday - Saturday @ 8pm
Saturday and Sunday @ 2pm
Tickets $35 • Preview $20 • Saturday Matinee Pay-What-You-Can
includes all taxes and ticket fees
To purchase tickets please call 416.504.9971 or visit:
For more information please visit |
FB/CahootsTheatre | FB/rice&beanstheatre
@CahootsTheatre | @ricebeansthtr
IG/@CahootsTheatre | IG/@riceandbeanstheatre

Cahoots Theatre holds a prominent place in Toronto's arts community, pioneering programming that reflects Canada's diverse landscape. Focusing on intercultural encounters, the intersection of identities and the innovation of form contributes to Cahoots' powerful and enduring vision. Working with artists of colour, Deaf artists, queer artists, and other marginalized groups, Cahoots gives voice to unique perspectives through the development and production of new works, mentorship opportunities and community outreach initiatives.

rice & beans theatre was founded in 2010 by Pedro Chamale and Derek Chan. Dedicated to defining the nature and function of A Contemporary Theatre, while telling stories of where they come from and where they are going. rice & beans theatre focuses on the creation, incubation and production of original performances. Through rigorous experimentation, with intimate passion and delicate violence, they write, adapt, and devise work that is relevant and artistically responsible. rice & beans theatre believes that theatre should be accessible, honest, uncompromising and personal.

Photo by Brenda Nicole Kent and Jules Le Masson

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