Christie Zhao

Theatre director, producer, interdisciplinary artist

Made during Columbia directing theater interview. The actual performance was followed by a monologue by Alice Waters from Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith about food. With everything that happened and is happening, I can’t help but wonder whether anyone on this earth can be excluded from neocolonialism, oppressive systems in the various forms of capitalism as well as information overload. There’s so much to unpack here. As I was starving during the interview, I decided the most important story I want to tell that day was that we are all connected here through this amazing monologue about food.

I just feel like like food is a way that that people can come together.

Everybody has to eat.

And it’s something that that

And when you do it well it has value right you know, right at the heart of of it.

And when things fell apart in this country in the fifties and sixties, and everything became processed, and

Frozen and canned that,

And all of a sudden people had televisions and TV dinners

That it just pushed people away from the table, and out into the other rooms.

I think there are a lot of people from my generation and younger people. People are we’re all waiting, to have an opport…. To get those marching orders, we’re all waiting! Just tell me

Where is the show? What do I have to do? We’re all waiting to help but we just don’t know how to. It’s so big

And it’s happening so quickly.


And pretty soon you realize that what’s happening out there, with the kids in the streets is is you know it’s my problem

Do you know that eighty-five percent of kids in this country

Don’t eat one meal with their family a day?

I think ah ah I think we just forgot um, you know it just got thrown out that idea of being around a table.

And we don’t know what got thrown out with it It’s an offering to-someone-who-needs-food It’s healing

And I think that’s what the table is! It’s an offering to nourish people!

And the more you’re out there

The more you realize what’s upstream is coming downstream.

The more you realize that you know we’re all sort of connected here.

Twilight, Los Angeles 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith