Like Mother, Like Daughter is a participatory performance project produced by Koffler Centre of the Arts, Why Not Theatre, and Complicite Creative Learning. It has been performed in London and Montreal, and the Toronto edition of the production has brought together 12 pairs of mothers and daughters, with at least one member of each pair being born outside Canada. The performance is an unscripted conversation between the 12 pairs of mothers and daughters. This post is part of a series of three K-Blog posts documenting the process and performance of the show.
On Sunday, October 16, 2016, the mothers and daughter participants in Like Mother, Like Daughter met at 918 Bathurst to engage in a bread-baking session led by newcomer Syrian women. Our experts in bread-baking are participants in Newcomer Kitchen: an income-generating project created by Len Senater that provides a space for newcomer Syrian women to cook a weekly meal at his College Street restaurant The Depanneur, that are then sold through The Depanneur website.
Newcomer Kitchen was hired as the caterer for Like Mother Like Daughter, to create and serve traditional Syrian dishes to the cast and audience after each of the six performances.
The women from Newcomer Kitchen baking bread. Photo by Mary Anderson.
Syria has long been recognized internationally as a destination for food, due to its historical location as a stop along the famous Silk Road trade route, and the women of Newcomer Kitchen were generous to share with us their traditional methods of making flatbread: a staple of Syrian cuisine.
Everyone enjoying the bread-baking session in the kitchen at 918 Bathurst.
The enthusiastic group of mothers and daughters collaborated with the newcomer women to make Syrian flatbread, while excitedly discussing their experiences with, and memories of food.
A few beautiful balls of dough. Photo by Mary Anderson.
The excitement in the room was so spirited and lively, that we triggered the fire alarm in 918 Bathurst! Although we were in no real danger, our friendly neighbourhood fire fighters flocked to the building to make sure we were all okay, while we stood outside, chatting more about our disbelief that we set off the alarm, and posing for some photos to commemorate the occasion.
The cast, crew, and caterers involved with the show, waiting outside 918 Bathurst.
By the time the flatbread was finally cooked, we were all ready to sit down together and enjoy the fruits (or in this case, carbohydrates) of our labour. We enjoyed a hearty spread of flatbread, hummus, and baba ganoush, and were left with the additional satisfaction that we had learned some new culinary skills, while making new friends along the way!
Mothers and daughters eyeing the spread.
A close-up of the final product.