The Government, which sets standards for such things as GMOs, eventually gets around to prohibiting eating meat altogether. Don’t dare ask why. Citizens have to learn to love their legumes. Call on cauliflower. Zing in on zucchini. Embrace broccoli. Tough tomatoes for those for whom veggies are not their things. But what the hell else can they consume at meal times if flesh is supposed to be cut out?  

A few buddies are trying to come to terms while dining, knives and forks akimbo, waiting for someone to join them.  Animal-like, their stomachs begin to growl. Welcome to The Feast, a play by Celine Song, at Shelterbelt Theatre. The company calls this “a biting satire….sensual as it is grotesque, foul as it is funny. ”

Director Noah Diaz sees many things within. Flavors and savors of love, morality, sacrifice, addiction. “Universal struggles,” he adds.   

His staging takes place amid found materials, no doubt suggesting having to make do with what’s available, even as the hungry ones need to adapt to the possibilities. Chewing on these limitations, their ears are penetrated by the sound of an instrument with animal gut for strings, stroked by horses’ hair. Harken. Omaha cellist Hannah Mayer is among those at the table.  

This 2013 play is by Korean-Canadian playwright Celine Song. She lives in Brooklyn but she was here among us when The Feast saw the light at the Great Plains Theatre Conference in 2014. There were subsequent performance last year off-Broadway and at Seattle. Other plays include Family, dealing with incest and cycles of violence plus Four Horsemen about four exterminators. Song is a member of Ars Nova’s 2014 Play Group, a 2012 Edward F. Albee Foundation Writing Fellow, a 2014 resident at Yaddo, and a 2013 Sponsored Artist of New York’s Theatre That Transcends.

Note the artwork: a new definition of “finger food” ?

The Feast takes place Apr. 15-May 8 at Shelterbelt Theatre, Shelterbelt Theatre, 3225 California St. Omaha. Thurs-Sat: 8 p.m. Sun: 6 p.m. except 5/8: 2 p.m. Tickets: $12-15.

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