For three weeks every July, Washington, DC, becomes a citywide venue for the Capital Fringe Festival. The event’s self-described mission is to “connect exploratory artists with adventurous audiences”. Hundreds of performers in dozens of shows take to various locations around the DC Convention Center to perform exciting and original theater. At the center of it all is “The Gypsy Tent” where theater-goers can grab a beer, a light snack or even prosecco on tap! This is theater that appeals to a young, energetic crowd.
In the same Gypsy Tent, you can catch the Tactile Dinner Car, a performance of banished? productions. Under the open air tent, a chef and “servertron” will delight the senses with conceptions of the “futurist” cuisine envisioned in the the 1930s. This conceptualization required separation of hunger and nourishment from pleasure in dining, small portions to discourage a sense of “fullness” and postponement of satisfaction. And, of course, the 1930s vision of future food required flashy technology and shiny kitchen toys.
With tongue firmly in cheek, the Tactile Dinner Car brings each of these envisionments to life as the audience uses tickets (an entry fee gets you 10) to “buy” various futuristic cuisines. A favorite was the “Sushi Injecture” described as “wonderfully liquid, magically sushi”. The show is interactive making it not only different each time, but as fun to watch as it is to participate. In the end the audience might be glad the future of food a la the 1930s did not come to fruition, but just as relieved that banished?productions Tactile Dinner Car did!