SILER CITY — Celebrity Dairy Farm may be better known for its goat tours and cheeses, but on Saturday it’ll host a new kind of cooking class — one with an improvised twist.
“Kitchen Comedy,” hosted by Circle City Supper Club, will take place at the Inn at Celebrity Dairy Farm located at 144 Celebrity Dairy Way, six miles east of Siler City on Saturday. That night, patrons can have dinner and a show — with improvised meals prepared with mystery items and improvisational exercises from improv comedian Jane Allen Wilson, who serves on the Chatham County Board of Education.
The event features Circle City Supper Club chef and Celebrity Dairy staffer Clare Reding, originally from Louisiana, and her business partner, Stephanie Hutto, creating improvised meals from ingredients event-goers will bring on Saturday. There’s a maximum of 20 people per class, and Reding said seats are still available. Tickets are $65, and every guest must bring an unopened food item of their choosing, which will be used as an ingredient in an improvised dish created by Reding.
“Everybody who comes brings a mystery ingredient, and I don’t know what they’re bringing,” Reding said. “We have to take everything that they bring and the pantry items (I bring) and create however many courses we can get out of it in the two-hour time frame.”
Kitchen Comedy also features improv exercises and games led by Wilson, who is a part of Transactors Improv Company. Wilson has worked with Duke Medical School and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan Flagler Business School to provide improv situations for students and faculty to learn how to respond to certain scenarios.
“This workshop is about saying yes to new experiences, saying yes to opening your heart and saying yes to connections with people,” Wilson said.
Improv is a style of theater or acting in which the plot, characters and dialogue are all made up in the moment. It has been a passion of Wilson’s for years, but this is the first time she will be teaching a class in partnership with Circle City Supper Club.
For Wilson, improv is something she does on a day-to-day basis, whether it’s formal improv exercises or in daily interactions with others. She said she wants to share the joy of improv with others by providing them a safe space to be themselves and do as they please.
“A lot of us are hesitant to go into spontaneous places even though the feeling of spontaneity gives a lot of people joy,” she said. “This is an opportunity for people to come together and play together … get to know each other and re-experience their own spontaneity and connection — both connection with themselves internally and connection with others.”
Wilson will lead participants in various group activities before, during and after dinner, such as games and ice-breaker exercises requiring group members to tap into what Wilson calls “playful vulnerability.”
“Playful vulnerability is really helpful,” Wilson said, “because one of the reasons why we tend to say no to things that our heart might really want to do, is because we don’t know what to expect or we’re afraid of vulnerability.”
Wilson said the fear of being vulnerable can hold people back from experiencing life to the fullest; by being able to feel safe and experience vulnerability, people can tap in and really enjoy the event.
“Most people associate vulnerability as a negative thing,” Wilson said. “But for me … vulnerability is having that energetic air about us where we want to engage in and experience new things in life, but something might hold us back and this can help people find that magic dust of a new experience.”
Reding said participants can try something new at Saturday’s event, whether it be a new, improvised dish or an ice breaker they may want to take home and do with their friends.
“(Improv) is just a cool way to get out of your shell a little bit, especially after everyone being so antisocial for such a long time,” Reding said. “It’s just a way to do that and meet new people. And it also adds a little another element of fun to the cooking class.”
The impromptu nature of Kitchen Comedy may mean some things are unknown, but according to Reding, the one thing she knows is guests will have fun learning new dishes and doing improvised skits with Wilson.
“You can’t have food and comedy and it not be fun,” Reding said. “How the comedy and the food are gonna meet in the course of the two to three hours that it takes, we’ll see, but it’s definitely gonna be a blast, regardless of what happens.”
Those interested in registering for Kitchen Comedy can go to the Circle City Supper Club website.
Reporter Taylor Heeden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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