Are They Edible?
ARE THEY EDIBLE? is a multi-sensory puppetry performance inspired by Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad.
ARE THEY EDIBLE? is a multi-sensory puppetry performance inspired by Homer’s epics: the Iliad and the Odyssey. It takes place in an interactive setting in which food consumption and puppetry performances together are used as a storytelling framework to engage the audience in a tactile discourse on the relationship between war, heroes, and hunger (or the urge to consume).
Guided by four puppeteers, who alternatively act as manipulators and cheerful hosts, the audience is led literally on their feet through a journey of changing perspectives, which are puppetry segments, using many different forms of puppetry, that retell major story junctions from the Iliad and the Odyssey. Furthermore, other than witnessing the events, food and drinks are offered and the audience is asked to participate as a dramaturgical aid to storytelling. By pulling the audience into the performative events, they are cast and re-cast as royal banquet guests, muses, Cyclopes, sirens, soldiers, suitors, and finally emerge again as the guests of Odysseus and Penelope. For example, the show begins with the puppeteers retelling the Trojan War by manipulating an eggplant-king and pepper-Penelope. Fruit and vegetables become warriors and are bound together to become the famed Trojan horse. The puppeteers, transforming into hospitable cater-waiters, then offer the audience the spoils of the slaughter in the form of real flesh (chicken wings in this case). While for the siren section, at multiple listening stations with headphones, the audience listens to the siren song and drinks a unique cocktail of ouzo with dried fish, and later, with palms outstretched, they create the magical stepping-stones for Odysseus, an 18” tall table-top puppet, to make his way into Hades. The tone the piece sets out to create is of uneasy playfulness, where at times the audience is able to taste, enjoy, and comment on the action with one another, and at other times they are lulled into private contemplation through immersive visual, aural, and sense-of-taste experiences.