Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Half Moon Theatre’s 6th Annual Ten Minute Play Festival Celebrates “The Tasting Menu” at the CIA, March 11–12

Hyde Park, NY – Half Moon Theatre presents its 6th annual Ten Minute Play Festival March 11–12 at The Culinary Institute of America’s beautiful Marriott Pavilion. This year’s theme, The Tasting Menu, allows audiences to not only see great plays, but they will be able to taste them too. Eight playwrights were given a delicious dish to “dish” about, and had come up with eight delectable Ten Minute Plays to whet the appetites for the pièce de résistance: the actual tasting menu created by the chefs at the CIA—for audiences to sample after the show!

On this culinary adventure, patrons will uncover the consequences of oysters on the half-shell with a sake glacé in a college library; the truth behind buttermilk fried chicken and Weight Watchers; the seedy underbelly of spicy stir fried lo mein noodles when guarded by a rogue Pastafarian; and the soul of the whoopie pie at an assisted living center full of hipsters.

Ten Minute Play Festival audiences will sample all of the terrific plates featured in the short plays at a reception directly following performances.

Half Moon Theatre’s company of professional actors and invited artists participate in this exciting, sophisticated staged reading. The immediacy of a reading—at which the cast has not memorized the plays and is performing with minimal costumes and sets—lends a more sophisticated, Off-Broadway vibe to the evening. The event is also geared towards a more mature audience, with adult humor and situations.

Participating playwrights are Rob Ackerman, Alexandra Angeloch, Darrah Cloud, Lisa Kimball, Howard Meyer, N.N. Ewing, David Simpatico, and Geoff Tarson.

Simpatico and Cloud are the Festival’s curators. Simpatico says, “This year's theme, The Tasting Menu, offers both the writers and the audience a two-fold treat: the writers get to choose a specific dish to somehow feature in their play, and then the audience gets to actually taste that dish.” Simpatico adds, “The plays themselves offer the audience a wide variety of style, taste, and character, just as the foods they are writing about offer a variety of taste, character, and ingredients. The commonly shared elements of food and human experience intersect in these plays, engaging the audience even after the play is done.”

Cloud describes the decision process when choosing the playwrights for the festival. “We really wanted to focus on the talented pool of local playwrights currently working with Half Moon Theatre’s Writers Group. Seven of the plays were written by Hudson Valley residents whose many credits include work in television, regional theatre, and off- and on-Broadway,” Cloud says. “Each writer came up with a wildly different take on their cuisine. This has broadened our diversity and created a really exciting evening in which people might ‘taste’ a bit of every kind of perspective.”

Kristy Grimes, managing director of Half Moon Theatre says, “This immersive theatrical and culinary experience capitalizes on the unique nature of our partnership with The Culinary Institute of America. The incomparable chefs of the CIA have developed a special menu of culinary creations—which in turn inspired our playwrights.”

Performance Schedule:

Friday, March 11 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 12 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $45 general, $40 senior (includes the tasting reception party at 10 p.m.)

Performances are at the beautiful Marriott Pavilion at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Tickets may be purchased at or by calling 1-800-838-3006. For pre-theatre dining at The Culinary Institute of America, please call 845-905-4533 to make your reservations.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Part of the cast of 2015 Half Moon Theatre's Ten Minute Play Festival at The Culinary Institute of America. (Photo credit: Jennifer Kiaba)
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Media Contact:

Kristy Grimes
Half Moon Theatre

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to driving leadership development for the foodservice and hospitality industry, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts; bachelor’s degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies; and executive education through its Food Business School. Its conferences and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, world cuisines & cultures, and professional excellence & innovation. The college also offers certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its worldwide network of 48,000 alumni includes leaders in every area of foodservice and hospitality. The CIA has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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