NYU Skirball and The Invisible Dog theater will present the U.S. premiere of Eva Doumbia’s Autophagies (Self-Eaters), a mix of theater and flavors served with a pinch of music and a taste of international politics, running February 23 - 26 at The Invisible Dog Art Center in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. The play features a renowned Paris-based chef who will prepare a meal to be shared by the audience.
Autophagies (2021) is an intimate hybrid experience centered around cooking, memories and the politics of the food we eat. It is also a reminder of the colonial histories still at play in today’s kitchens. Doumbia encourages us to think about the political dimension of food, reflecting with humor and tenderness on its origins, modes of culture, and foodstuffs.
A musician, a dancer, and a mistress of ceremony lead us to a Global kitchen, where ingredients come together for a great celebration of the senses. Without ever resorting to moralizing, Autophagies simply proposes to "eat consciously": to take our daily habits and our prejudices as a starting point for a broader reflection. The cast of seven features the Paris based chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Alexandre Bella Ola, who will be preparing a Maafé, a West African specialty, to be shared with the audience at the play’s end.
The daughter of an immigrant worker and the granddaughter of a railway worker, Eva Doumbia considers herself to be of mixed cultural and social background. After training in literature and directing, she founded her company La Part du Pauvre in Marseille in 2000, which was soon followed by the company Nana Triban, based in Abidjan. Now based in Normandy, where she is originally from, her theater explores both the classical dramatic repertoire and contemporary writing in the French-speaking world.
Autophagies has received the support of FACE Contemporary Theater, a program of Villa Albertine and FACE Foundation, in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States, with support from The Ford Foundation, Institut français, the French Ministry of Culture, and private donors.
Chef Alexandre Bella Ola, originally from Cameroon, trained as an actor at the Sorbonne and the Paris Conservatory of Dramatic Arts before opening three Paris restaurants specializing in a blend of African and French gastronomy, which he calls “Afropean cuisine.” He is the author of three cookbooks, including Current Cuisine of Black Africa, which won the Grand Prix World Cookbook Awards.
The Invisible Dog Art Center, located in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, is dedicated to the integration of innovation in the arts with profound respect for the past. Housed in an 1863, three-story former factory building, its 30,000 square-foot facility was the site of various industrial endeavors. The rawness of the space is vital to the company’s identity. theinvisibledog.org
Autophagies will be play Thursday, February 23 and Friday, February 24 at 7:00 pm; Saturday, February 25 at 12:00 & 7:00 pm; and Sunday, February 26 at 12:00 & 4:00 pm. The show runs 90 minutes. Performances take place at The Invisible Dog Arty Center, 51 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online, by visiting the box office in person, Wednesday - Friday from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm, or by calling 212.998.4941. NYU Skirball is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, New York 10012.
Venue: The Invisible Dog Art Center
51 Bergen Street
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