Thursday, January 13, 2011

So, you want to be part of a social potluck?

Hello and welcome to the Social Potluck blog. I'm guessing you have heard about this project and either want to join up or would like some more information before signing up. That is completely understandable. If you want to sign up simply send me an email at stating that you would like to add your name to the list of possible participants. On Friday January 21st I will put all the names in a hat and draw out the guest lists for the dinners. If your name has been selected I will contact you with the date and location for the dinner. I will also then send you a consent form so you are up to speed on what will happen. If you aren't selected don't worry as I will be doing the project again later in the spring so there will be another chance.

If you want more information the following blog posts will give a pretty thorough description of the project up to this point. I'd recommend starting from the oldest and working backwards.

If you don't want the in-depth description here is the Coles notes version of the project and what it means to you.


Gabriel Newman is a storyteller, actor, director and writer who lives in Vernon British Columbia. He has created numerous storytelling events in Vernon such as Ghost Tours of Vernon and Farm Tales, Tall Tales and Other Yarns as well as theatrical events such as Rumours of a House which took place at and about Vernon's Caetani House. He is currently completing his MFA in performance at UBC. Social Potluck is his thesis project.


The philosophy of Social Potluck is that the dinner table is the most important performance venue we have as a society and that everyone has something to bring to the table. So in order to explore that I will be conducting a Social Potluck project which will combine local food and stories into a theatrical production.

On the evenings of January 29th and 30th as well as February 4th, 5th and 6th at 6:30 pm I will be hosting dinners for 5-10 people (this is where you come in). The dinner doesn't cost anything but participants must be prepared to share a story (preferably a story you tell often, if you can't think of what that is just ask your family, they'll know. If you are still stuck don't worry something will come to you while you listen to others) with the rest of the diners. Before the meal starts we will take turns sharing our stories (which I will record as my memory isn't very good). Afterward we will eat and talk. No pressure.

After all the dinners are completed I will take all those stories as well as whatever occurred while we ate (what I can remember) and I will try to create a theatrical performance which will be performed in late March/early April. If you took part in a dinner then you are welcome to attend free of charge but you must bring some food to share as well will have a big potluck at the end of the performance.

So there you have it. It is free, it is fun, it will be tasty, local and about you. Well, to be completely honest I can't guarantee what I land up using for the final performance as there will be around 25-50 stories told, not to mention everything that is discussed after the meals are over. I may not tell your story, or I may combine it with other stories or I may change it. I don't know so you need to be willing to have your story be used as inspiration for artistic creativity.


Aha! The dinners will be in a secret location which will be disclosed when your name is selected. The dinners will be held in a non traditional space but don't worry it will be homey and comfortable.


Dinners are held on the evenings of January 29th and 30th as well as February 4th, 5th and 6th at 6:30. The final performance will be held late March/early April at a yet undisclosed location (let me know if you know of one I can have for free).


Because it will be a chance to eat good local food while talking to interesting strangers who live in your home town all while contributing to a theatrical performance. You may never think of dinner parties the same way.

How much?

Free, this project is based on barter. You are paying me for the meal with your story because your story has value to me. Later when I perform for you, you will pay me by bringing food for everyone to share. I think it is a fair trade and I hope you do to.

To Sign Up?

Send an email to to sign up or if you have further questions.

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