Celebrate the Hudson Valley’s
Love Affair with Food
Diane Jackson Schnoor
Half Moon Theatre
Hyde Park, NY – Half Moon Theatre will close its exciting inaugural season at The Culinary Institute of America with its fifth annual Ten Minute Play Festival. This year’s theme, All You Can Eat, celebrates
the new partnership between HMT and the CIA with ten 10-minute plays—all written
by nationally recognized playwrights expressly for this festival—set in familiar
local eateries or featuring food-related themes at hot spots around the Hudson Valley.
On this culinary adventure, you will journey to Mercato restaurant with a NYC couple for a special occasion;
join Margo and Dean while they fight for their future together over a tiramisù at the CIA’s Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici; eavesdrop on a master chef and her
assistant as they prepare a dish at an exclusive French bistro; sit in a Cold Spring
gazebo with an odd couple; and ride with a mother and daughter as they careen down
the Thruway towards Junior Chef summer camp at the CIA.
Half Moon Theatre’s company of professional actors and invited
artists participate in this dynamic, sophisticated staged reading. The immediacy
of a reading—at which the cast has not memorized the plays and is performed 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.
Ten nationally recognized playwrights have all written their
love letters to the Hudson Valley, creating a foodie smorgasbord of dramatic delights.
A list of their impressive biographies is attached.
Playwrights include: Rob Handel, Rob Ackerman, Migdalia Cruz,
Margaret Namulyanga, Darrah Cloud, Jenny Lyn Bader, David Simpatico,
Mark Burns, and Kate Moira Ryan. Most of Half Moon Theatre’s acting
All of the plays will be directed by HMT Resident Director Michael Schiralli. “I am looking forward to playing with these
top playwrights’ work, which celebrate two of my favorite subjects—food and the
Hudson Valley,” says Schiralli. “Bringing these eclectic
pieces, in a fast paced stage reading to the CIA’s glorious Marriott Pavilion, is a thrilling proposition.”
In addition to being one of the playwrights, David Simpatico
is also a co-creator of the Festival. “This year's theme, All You Can Eat, connects the varied hues of the human condition to
the abundant presence of food in both our culture, and our specific region, the
Hudson Valley,” Simpatico says.
Simpatico adds that he and co-creator Darrah Cloud chose playwrights whose work they had either
long admired, or who had recently captured their attention and imagination. “We
told them the theme, and gave them all one common element to include in their plays:
a chef's hat, or toque,” Simpatico says. “The results are wonderful, quirky and
varied, humorous and compassionate. Sex and procreation seem to be recurring elements
in the different plays, connecting food to our essential drives and impulses in
the most unexpected and entertaining ways.”
Cloud, who is also a featured playwright in the Festival, noted
that the local playwrights are members of the Half Moon Writers, a group that meets
every week to workshop their new plays. The nationally recognized playwrights all
boast connections to HMT—as well as numerous theatrical awards, including the NEA,
the Rockefeller, and the Frederick Loewe Award. “This year’s Festival celebrates
our 5th anniversary promoting the new work of local and nationally known playwrights
in the Hudson Valley,” she says. “Each play was written specifically for our theatre,
in the hopes that we might draw more people to come ‘play’ with us at Half Moon!”
Half Moon Theatre Producing Director Patty Wineapple says, “The Ten Minute Play Festival has quickly become
one of Half Moon Theatre’s signature events and is a favorite with our audience.
This year, our patrons can celebrate All You
Can Eat by dining at one of the CIA’s award-winning restaurants before the Festival. There is truly something for everyone—we call it a ‘theatrical
June 12 at 8 p.m.
June 13 at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
$25 all ages
All performances are at the beautiful Marriott Pavilion at The
Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Tickets may be purchased
at halfmoontheatre.org or by calling 1-800-838-3006.
Dine at The Culinary Institute of America Before the Show
Book your table now to enjoy the award winning restaurants at
The Culinary Institute of America paired with the critically acclaimed professional
repertoire of Half Moon Theatre. Enjoy a delicious meal at The Bocuse Restaurant, Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, American Bounty Restaurant, or Pangea
Restaurant. Pre-theatre evening reservations are available
for $39 per person at American Bounty, Bocuse, and Caterina de’ Medici by calling 845-905-4533. Pangea will
be open for dinner before the Friday performance, and a $29 pre-theatre menu is
Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images:
Photo 1 (top photo): Amy Lemon Olson and Barbara Rankin rehearse for Half Moon Theatre's Ten Minute
Play Festival. Ten short food-related plays will be performed in the Marriott
Pavilion at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park on June 12 & 13. (Photo credits CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >
Photo 2: Half Moon Theatre's Darrah Cloud and David Simpatico, co-curators of the Ten Minute Play Festival, peruse
scripts of the food-related short plays to be performed at The Culinary
Institute of America in Hyde Park on June 12 & 13. (Photo credits CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >
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.
# # #